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This week at Index: #WorldPressFreedomDay Governments must do more to ensure the safety of journalists
03 May 2019
BY INDEX ON CENSORSHIP
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Friday 3 May 2019
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#WorldPressFreedomDay

On World Press Freedom Day we call on governments to do more to ensure the safety of journalists

Today marks World Press Freedom Day, an annual event to highlight the importance of a free press. Journalism is one of the most dangerous professions according to the UN, and as the Reporters Without Borders 2019 World Press Freedom Index shows, press freedom is deteriorating around the world, with 80 journalists killed while reporting in 2018. "The murders of three journalists in Malta, Slovakia and Bulgaria in the space of a few months has made the world realise that Europe is no longer a sanctuary for journalists," the report states.

This World Press Freedom Day Index on Censorship express our solidarity with all those suffering in the protracted and unprecedented crackdown on freedom of expression around the world, including the acclaimed cartoonist Musa Kart who is once again imprisoned in Turkey.

We also stand in solidarity with those defending freedom of the press, including those in Serbia who have gathered every Saturday for the past five months on the streets of Belgrade to voice their dissent against President Aleksandar Vučić’s authoritarian tendencies and increasing control over the country’s media.

Today we honour the past and current Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards Fellows for journalism, including Mimi Mefo, one of less than a handful of journalists working without fear or favour in Cameroon’s climate of repression and self-censorship, and Wendy Funes, an investigative journalist from Honduras who regularly risks her life for her right to report on what is happening in the country. 

Also read

ARTISTIC FREEDOM

French visas: Artists need not apply

Murad Subay, a Yemeni street artist and the 2016 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards Arts Fellow, was rejected for a visa to study at Aix-Marseille University as part of a one-year grant for threatened artists.

“This rejection highlights a spreading hostility to artistic freedom around the world. From Uganda to Indonesia to Cuba, proposed legislation threatens to control artists, while a growing number of supposedly democratic countries such as the UK frequently refuse visas to foreign authors, musicians and activists for events or training. This reinforces notion that constraining artistic freedom is acceptable,” Jodie Ginsberg, CEO of Index on Censorship said.

#OnlineHarms

Online harms and media freedom: UK response to Council of Europe lacks concrete details

"The UK's response to our Council of Europe alert lacks concrete details about how government proposals dealing with online harms will not damage media freedom and the public's right to information," said Joy Hyvarinen, head of advocacy, Index on Censorship.

The UK has responded to an official alert to the Council of Europe’s platform to protect journalism, which was filed by Index on Censorship and co-submitted by the Association of European Journalists on 25 April 2019. The alert highlights the risks to media freedom in proposals in the government’s recently released online harms white paper.

MAGAZINE

The latest Index on Censorship magazine is FREE to read for a limited time

The spring 2019 Index on Censorship magazine looks at what happens when local newspapers disappear and decline. Who is there to hold politicians and lawmakers to account locally? To coincide with World Press Freedom day, the entire issue is now FREE to read online for a limited time only. 

Read the full issue

INDEX IN THE NEWS
Writing in the Independent, Joy Hyvarinen, Index's head of advocacy, advises Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt that he should look at the UK's track record on media freedom.
Index CEO Jodie Ginsberg tells Brasil's Crusoe magazine that she fears the world is moving toward a situation where artists and journalists will have to ask permission to work.
Writing in The Telegraph, Jodie Ginsberg warns that many of the most important exposés of our time rely on journalists receiving confidential information and having the courage to publish it. And it is a freedom that must be protected fiercely.
EVENTS

Thirty years since Tiananmen Square, what are the challenges today?

In 1989, student-led demonstrations took place in Beijing, China – commonly referred to as the Tiananmen Square protests. Set against the backdrop of socio-economic and political change, the protests called for democracy, greater press freedom and freedom of speech. Thirty years on, state censorship is an increasing concern in China once more as the government uses new tactics to restrict speech.

Index on Censorship magazine editor Rachael Jolley will chair a series of discussions on the protests in May 2019.

17 May: Yemen: Inside a Crisis

The Imperial War Museum explores the Yememi civil war through 50 objects, including a mural by 2016 Index Arts Fellow Murad Subay.
Index on Censorship defends people's freedom to express themselves without fear of harm or persecution. We publish censored writers and artists, monitor and campaign against censorship, and encourage debate.  

We rely on donations from readers and supporters. By donating to Index you help us to protect freedom of expression and to support those who are denied that right.
 
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