Quick Read
14 November 2018

STOP! The media are being gagged

Around the world, on the 16th of November, the websites of citizens’ movements and NGOs are going dark. Why? As an act of protest and solidarity; protest against the diminishing possibilities for making your voice heard as an active citizen or organization and to come together or debate peaceably. And in solidarity with those who cannot speak.

Why now?

This protest is needed more than ever. Recent years have witnessed an unprecedented offensive against those freedoms, and increasingly, violence accompanies the restrictions that have been imposed. In 2017, 312 human rights defenders were killed, simply because they stood up for the rights of their community. Also in 2018 many activists, journalists and human rights defenders do not have the freedom to fight injustice and to speak up.

This all happening far way?

Hungary recently violated fundamental rights by enabling an anti-NGO-legislation. In Italy a famous anti-mafia writer, Robert Saviano, got caught up in a lawsuit because he posted a tweet in which he described the Italian minister of home affairs as ‘minister of the criminal underworld’.

Not as far away as you thought right? The ability to let your voice be heard and to be politically actively involved are part of our true freedoms. We don’t want this to change and we also don’t want this to change for others.

What can I do?

On 16 November, and beyond, activists, journalists, bloggers, citizen movements and NGOs cry out, “STOP!” The increasing lawlessness, threats and murders of people who stand up for their civil rights must cease. On Friday, we will shout out by having our websites “go dark”, along with various other organizations and NGOs in The Netherlands and around the world.

17th and 18th of November

The SPEAK! campaign starts on Friday 16th and ends on Sunday 18th. On Saturday and Sunday we will not be quiet. During these days we want to speak up. During the whole weekend events around the whole earth will be organized in order to speak up. Check out togetherwespeak.org and find out how you can make your voice heard too.

Because it is has to stop.

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