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Recent Highlights

Each year, through collaboration and innovation, IFEX members and the Secretariat find creative ways to raise awareness of free expression issues, strengthen the power of our network, and bring about real change. The past year featured many events and milestones for the IFEX network – we've chosen a few for mention here. To learn more, you can search this site or contact us directly at info (@)

The movers, the shakers, and the change-makers

  • We want more people to know about the lives, the work, and the sacrifices of the incredible individuals around the world who work to defend and promote freedom of expression. Our profiles series and searchable hub page went live in 2016. Check it out!

Tools for change

  • Civil society is increasingly under attack, and the IFEX network of over 100 member organisations in over 70 countries is no exception. Resilience is more important than ever. In 2016, IFEX officially launched its Organisational Toolkit – a set of guides developed to support institutional strengthening. The toolkit includes the Organisational Strength Map, a tool to identify strengths and explore areas for growth and development, as well as other key resources.

Gender and free expression

  • Women and LGBTQI+ people are often distinctly and disproportionately targeted for their expression. In 2016 IFEX convened a Gender Think Big Tank, and since then we’ve been keeping gender issues in the spotlight, publishing on homophobic legislation in Russia and Kenya, profiling IFEX member initiatives aimed at improving the lives of women working in the media and interacting in digital spaces, launching a social media series of reflections on gender and human rights, and working to ensure gender equality is integrated into all of our programming.

A long road to justice

  • 2016 – 16 years after the crime – saw two convictions in the case of the abduction and violent assault on journalist Jineth Bedoya Lima, an emblematic case of impunity in Colombia. With IFEX’s support, the Foundation for Freedom of the Press (FLIP) presented her case during hearings at the Inter American Commission for Human Rights and at the United Nations Human Rights Committee review of Colombia.

    After a flawed investigation into the 2014 killing of Pakistani journalist Shan Dahar, IFEX and the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) successfully advocated with the family of Shan Dahar to have the case re-investigated as an intentional killing, based on evidence that refutes the claim of an accidental death and points to a possible cover-up by local officials.

Campaigns for freedom

  • IFEX members and their allies work tirelessly to release free expression defenders who have been unjustly imprisoned. Here are some recent examples of campaigns that had an impact:

    Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova – who was sentenced to 7.5 years in jail on politically-motivated charges – was released in 2016 after nearly 18 months, following a concerted global effort that included advocacy by IFEX members, fellow journalists, and regional bodies.

    A well-mobilised campaign by Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI) and IFEX gathered over 100 signatures from IFEX members and notable cartoonists on behalf of Iranian cartoonist Atena Farghadani. She was freed from prison on 3 May 2016, World Press Freedom Day.

    IFEX joined CIJ-Malaysia and other Southeast Asian members in standing against amendments to the Communications and Multimedia Act. The amendments threatened to increase penalties of a system frequently used to punish offenses to royalty and political leaders and increase the power of the Malaysian Communications and Oversight Commission to take down content without explanation. With substantial last-minute criticism across the network, public pressure forced the vote on the amendments to be delayed, pending more discussion and input.

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