Index on Censorship’s Freedom of Expression Awards celebrate those who have had significant impact fighting censorship anywhere in the world. There are four categories: Arts, Campaigning, Digital Activism and Journalism

Winners are honoured at a gala celebration in London and join Index’s Awards Fellowship programme and receive dedicated training and support. The judges for the awards have included digital rights champion Martha Lane Fox, bestselling Turkish author Elif Shafak, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, actor and activist Khalid Abdalla and former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown.

The 20th Freedom of Expression Awards were held online on Thursday 16th April as a digital celebration.


Index has several tiers of sponsorship, from Gold, Silver and Bronze to Seat Sponsorship.

All of the money raised goes towards supporting our work defending freedom of expression worldwide.

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In previous years, more than 200 leading figures from the worlds of journalism, arts and the law have gathered each year for our Oscar-awards style ceremony in central London.

Previous hosts and award presenters include comedian Shappi Khorsandi, columnist David Aaronovitch, entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox and cartoonist Martin Rowson.


The Freedom of Expression Awards Fellowship exists to celebrate individuals or groups who have had a significant impact fighting censorship anywhere in the world. Through the fellowship, Index works with the winners – both during an intensive week in London and the rest of the awarding year – to provide long-term, structured support.

The 2020 fellows are: Russian artist Yulia Tsvetkova (arts); Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei (campaigning); Turkish lawyer Veysel Ok (campaigning); 7amleh (digital activism) and OKO press (journalism).

Previous winners include courageous Honduran investigative journalist Wendy Funes who uncovers corruption and covers the ongoing violations of women’s rights in the country, and anonymous Chinese digital activists GreatFire who have secured significant additional funding since their award.

Click here to find out more about previous winners.


Veysel Ok

Digital activism



OKO Press

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