Human Rights Defenders


“What I want is action. Hope comes from action; and if you do not act, you are going to lose.”

– Maria Ressa –

Journalist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Read the Human Rights Defenders Journalists online now!

Across the globe, journalists are confronted with threats, persecution and the horrors of violence and murder. Their safety is no longer guaranteed simply due to their chosen profession. Along the front lines of the Ukraine conflict, they courageously report on the war, with a particular focus on war crimes committed by Russia. They are unwavering in their commitment to prevent silence.

The third edition of the FNF’s publication Human Rights Defenders: Journalists portrays media professionals who frequently face personal threats to expose injustice and become human rights defenders in their home countries.

As the Human Rights Defenders publication stresses, media professionals worldwide find themselves under immense pressure. They face attacks and threats, as well as threats to their families, both in the digital realm and in the physical world. Some are even incarcerated or forced into exile. Distinguishing between human rights advocacy and independent investigative journalism is an insurmountable challenge in various countries, including Russia, Belarus, Turkey, and Mexico. Journalists have effectively become the foremost champions of universal human rights. In a free world with open societies, there is a moral obligation to inform the public about the perilous situation faced by media professionals and to raise awareness. Public exposure can also provide a protective shield for valiant media experts who persist in their battle for freedom of expression. Furthermore, we must offer support to those in exile, such as Anisa Shaheed from Afghanistan who had to flee her country after the Taliban returned to power in 2021. This is the primary objective of this publication.

The Human Rights Defenders publication with the focus on journalists demonstrates that the international community needs to undertake a mission to empower not only journalists but also opposition activists who advocate for democracy within their nations, and work to weaken corrupt, autocratic, and totalitarian systems of governance. Our own freedom is secure only to the extent that we are willing to defend it. Freedom of the press and freedom of expression remain pivotal indicators of the true degree of liberty enjoyed by a nation's people. Nothing embodies this truth more than the dedication of journalists and media professionals. When propaganda and disinformation become pervasive in a society, and this state of affairs endures for years, it becomes the norm, as it can be seen in Russia and other countries today. Propaganda and disinformation shape public opinion, casting aspersions on the truth.

Standing up for truth and freedom takes courageous journalists and media professionals who persist in their work, even in the face of threats to their physical safety and challenging circumstances. On the 25th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, this publication is dedicated to them.

Ein Angebot der

Freedom of expression and the media

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