Category : About Index

Index Awards 2017: Celebrating defenders of free expression Index Awards 2017: Celebrating defenders of free expression

Index on Censorship is a nonprofit that campaigns for and defends free expression worldwide. We publish work by censored writers and artists, promote debate, and monitor threats to free speech. We believe that everyone should be free to express themselves without fear of harm or persecution – no matter what their views.

Index’s aim is to raise awareness about threats to free expression and the value of free speech as the first step to tackling censorship.

Index relies entirely on the support of donors and readers to do our work.

We work in four ways:


Index on Censorship publishes an award-winning quarterly magazine that has featured some of the world’s best-known writers. We publish original creative writing and articles about free expression from across the globe.

Our website offers additional information to help people understand the current threats to free expression globally. And we reach a wider audience through social media.


Each year, Index on Censorship identifies some of the greatest threats to free speech around the world and develops advocacy campaigns to push for change in legislation or public attitudes. We choose topics where our work can make a significant impact – and deliberately choose areas where others might not be focused. You can see our current areas of focus on our Campaigns and Projects work.

We use a mixture of research, reporting, direct advocacy and media campaigning to achieve our goals.


Index on Censorship believes that free expression encourages more open and tolerant societies. We actively promote debate with an exciting series of events each year to help people better understand the value of free speech. This includes performances, exhibitions, talks and concerts. We are also regularly quoted in international media on free expression issues. Read more about our current events programme here.


Index on Censorship directly supports groups and individuals facing censorship through our Freedom of Expression Awards Fellowship. The fellowship offers a year-long programme of tailored support to a small group of fellows selected for their outstanding work in the fields of journalism, arts, campaigning and digital advocacy. Read more about this innovative work here.

Index condemns abuse of power by Met Police in phone-hacking probe

Index on Censorship is appalled by reports that the Metropolitan Police is seeking a court order under the Official Secrets Act to force Guardian journalists to reveal sources in the phone-hacking scandal investigation INDEX ON CENSORSHIP LETTER TO METROPOLITAN POLICE COMMISSIONER JOHN KAMPFNER ON PRESS REGULATION: BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

Joint letter to Home Secretary on social media blackouts

As Twitter, Facebook and Blackberry prepare to meet the home secretary, Index on Censorship and other human and digital rights campaigners ask to be included in discussions on social media blackouts

An open letter to the head of Iran’s judiciary

Index on Censorship calls for the release of film maker Mahnaz Mohammadi and actress and documentary maker Pegah Ahangarani

Letter: Free Hossein Derakhshan

A letter to the head of the Iranian judiciary, from Index on Censorship, PEN Canada, Article 19, Committee to Protect Journalists, and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression Plus free speech groups call for release of “blogfather”

Smashed Hits 2.0

Press release – 2 September 2010 Daniel Barenboim, Radiohead’s Colin Greenwood, Femi Kuti, Will Self and Gilad Atzmon discuss music and censorship in the new issue of Index on Censorship ‘Smashed Hits 2.0’ – publication date 8 September. In association with Freemuse. Launch: 21 September 630pm at the Free Word Centre 60 Farringdon Road London […]

Index on Censorship at the Hay Festival

Join Index on Censorship at the Hay Literary and Arts Festival from 27 May to 6 June Visit the Index stand in the main festival site for special Hay subscription rates, freebies and special guests. Index will have events on both weekends of the festival. On 30 May, Chief Executive John Kampfner discusses his latest […]

Open letter to Ayatollah Khamenei

On the 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution, Index on Censorship and international free speech campaigners call on Iran to release the more than 60 writers, journalists, and bloggers currently in prison
PLUS: Maziar Bahari calls on the regime to let his colleagues go

Index Projects: 2009-10

Index on Censorship runs a programme of UK based and international projects that put the organisation’s philosophy into practice. Its long history and years of experience inform work in some of the worlds most complex and dangerous regions, making Index more accessible, relevant and authoritative on the issues than most media and think tanks. The […]

Index shortlisted for Amnesty award

A series of articles from Index on Censorship‘s How Free Is The Russian Media? issue has been shortlisted for Amnesty International’s Media Awards. The winner of the award will be announced in London on 17 June. You can download the three nominated articles in pdf format below. under-pressure-sergei-bachinin crime-without-punishment-alexei-simonov nothing-personal-fatima-tlisova

Freedom for Mohamed Abbou

Jailed Tunisian dissident, writer and lawyer Mohamed Abbou was released from prison in Le Kef, where he had been held since his arrest in March 2005. He was sentenced to prison for three-and-a-half years for exposing torture in Tunisian prisons on the Internet. His release and that of more than 20 other political prisoners came […]

An open letter to the Iranian Ambassador

His Excellency Mr Rasoul Movahedian Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran 16 Prince’s Gate London SW7 1PT Fax: 020 7589 4440 19 June 2007 Your Excellency, ARTICLE 19, English PEN and Index on Censorship call for the immediate release of three US-Iranian citizens, charged by the Iranian authorities with ‘acting against national security by […]