Discussion: Freedom of Expression Under Attack
- Thu 09 Jan 2020
- 7:30 pm
Freedom of expression is in decline worldwide as authoritarian leaders devise novel methods of distortion, distraction and suppression. Today, free countries face problems that were once specific to dictatorships.
Could western journalists one day have to counter the same challenges their colleagues in other parts of the world have had to face? What can we do to prevent this?
***This event is FREE and there is no ticket required***
Join host and chair Julie Ward MEP, British Member of the European Parliament for the North West England region and Vice Chair of the Culture and Education Committee at the European Parliament at this special panel.
On the panel will be Natallia Radina, a journalist and the editor-in-chief of the website Charter97.org, a popular independent news website in Belarus. After the Presidential elections in December 2010 Natallia was arrested and spent two months in the notorious Minsk KGB prison in inhuman conditions. She declined an offer from the KGB which involved altering the editorial policy at Charter97.org in 2011; instead, Natallia publicized the demand and the circumstances of the offer. She then covertly fled the country and successfully re-established Charter97.org in Poland from scratch. The indictment of “organizing mass disorders” – which could result in a fifteen-year prison sentence – remains in effect to this day. Natallia is a nominee for the Netizen prize from Reporters without borders and the recipient of the International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Fellow panellist John Hunt is an editor, journalist and communications consultant who has covered several popular movements around the world, including the end of apartheid and the election of Bolivia’s first indigenous president. In recent years, he has made several visits to Turkey, particularly its Kurdish region, and witnessed an ever-increasing assault on media freedom and human rights.