A global stress test for freedom of expression

SWI gives a platform to global voices of freedom

© Ed Kashi / Vii

Freedom of expression is a human right, yet it is anything but a matter of course. Many dedicated people around the world continue to campaign for it day in, day out. Here at SWI, some of them express their views.

This content was published on November 1, 2021 - 16:21

Manami, Dmitry, Jessica, Ellie and Marie are entrepreneurs, journalists, elected politicians or just active citizens from all around the world. They express themselves on public issues, big and small, controversial or less controversial. What unites them is their daily commitment to expressing themselves freely and, importantly, to being heard.

In the age of digitalisation and global social media, freedom of expression must be defended every day. That’s what the people behind the voices we met for our short video series “Global Voices of Freedom” are doing. In very different places, in various conditions and in the most diverse contexts, they are standing up for freedom of expression.

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Our world tour of the “Global Voices of Freedom” begins on the small Japanese island of Ishigaki, almost 2,000 kilometres south of Tokyo. This is where 28-year-old Manami Mihara lives.

From Ishigaki we travel around the world to the Caribbean, and to Cuba, where we meet online journalist Jessica Dominguez Delgado.

From Cuba we wanted to travel to the Russian capital Moscow. But we met the former editor-in-chief of a leading news channel in a completely different place.

Next stop on our virtual trip around the globe we meet Ellie Kisyombe who hails from the east African country of Malawi and arrived in the Irish capital Dublin as an asylum seeker more than ten years ago.

Over in Brazil, Gregório Duvivier hosts the popular weekly HBO Brazil show Greg News. The comedian says preemptive obedience and self-censorship are the worst enemies of freedom of expression. 

Nabil Alosaidi from Yemen dreams of a country,  where independent journalism and freedom of speech are protected. He calls on the international community for help and pleads not to abandon war-torn Yemen to its fate.

In the Swiss city of Lausanne, Marie Maurisse publishes the online Gotham City magazine. Together with her team she uncovers economic crimes and experiences the limits of press freedom every day.

We are also taking your to Bangkok and talking with one of the most renowned journalists in South East Asia, Pravit Rojanaphruk. He is on the governments blacklist, simply because he dares to write and talk about the challenges in a military-dominated monarchy.

So, stay tuned and read also about developments on freedom of expression around the world in states such as Brazil, India, Turkey and even Hungary and Poland, who have become increasingly authoritarian in recent years. First of all, this is bad news for freedom of expression. In these countries, but also in many others around the world, committed and active citizens are increasingly not only restricted, but also persecuted – and, as in Hong Kong, put in prison.

Read about other aspects of the freedom of expression topic in our focus page:

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