21 January 2009


More than 500 freedom of expression activists, including writers, journalists, artists and academics from around the world, are expected to descend on Oslo, Norway from 1 to 6 June to participate in the Global Forum on Freedom of Expression. Find out how you can be a part of this historic event here.

How effective was free expression campaigning around the Olympics? What's the best way to ensure free expression makes the UN agenda? Should defamation of religion be a crime? These questions and more will be answered in three days of open seminars and debates, and special keynote lectures by leading thinkers in the field from 3-5 June.

Expected speakers include Mexican journalist and UNESCO World Press Freedom Prize laureate Lydia Cacho, South African writer and Nobel Prize laureate Nadine Gordimer and Sudanese journalist Sami al Haj, released after six years in Guantanamo.

Those seeking hands-on workshops will be able to take advantage of special, small group training sessions in different languages geared to campaigning, fundraising, free expression monitoring and security.

Throughout the week, free expression issues will also be highlighted through cultural exhibitions and performances, such as a film festival spotlighting films from the South, a national library exhibition on banned books, and a boat trip to an island where you can visit a cartoon exhibition housed in an old fortress.

International Publishers Association (IPA) will also be awarding its Freedom to Publish Prize during the forum. The annual prize honours a person or organisation that has made a notable contribution to defending and promoting the freedom to publish. Nominations are accepted until 13 March and the nomination form is available here: http://tinyurl.com/9vg3ys

The forum kicks off with the IFEX general meeting, and organisational meetings for International PEN's Writers in Prison Committee and Human Rights House Network.

There will also be ample opportunities to meet like-minded groups from your region as well as others across geographic and professional borders.

Register now - the deadline is 15 April 2009. Individuals and organisations with limited resources and something to share may register and apply for a grant.

The Global Forum on Freedom of Expression is a partner initiative, led by IFEX, Norwegian PEN and the Freedom of Expression Foundation, Oslo (Fritt Ord), and supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For more information and to register, including updated info on the conference programme, visit: http://expressionforum.org or email: info (@) expressionforum.org

(21 January 2009)

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