Individual cases

MLDI provides legal aid to ensure that journalists, bloggers and media outlets have an effective legal defence when cases are launched against them. Legal cases are often brought against journalists with no purpose other than to harass and silence them, and we want to ensure that journalists have the means to defend such cases.

In addition, MLDI wants to ensure that journalists and bloggers whose right to freedom of expression has been violated have access to legal remedies. For example, if a journalist has been assaulted by police in the exercise of their journalistic duties, we will consider providing them with legal assistance to ensure that they can bring legal action. MLDI prioritises cases where there is no other support in country available.

MLDI will support all applications that fall within our mandate to the best of our financial ability.

However, we will prioritise cases that have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • There is a real risk that the case will result in the imprisonment of the journalist concerned;
  • There is a real risk that the case will result in the bankruptcy of the media outlet or journalist concerned;
  • There is a real risk that the case will end in the closure of the media outlet concerned;
  • MLDI is the only realistic avenue to provide the assistance required;
  • The case is of potential strategic importance

If you are unsure whether you qualify, please get in touch by emailing info@mediadefence.org and our staff will advise you.

How to apply

Applications are made through an online application system (see link below).

Applications are normally made by the lawyer handling the case but can also be made by the journalist, the family/friend of a journalist or a relevant support organisation.

If the application is being completed by the lawyer handling the case, you will need to:

  • complete the full application form
  • provide copies of the legal documents
  • provide a budget breakdown
  • provide a link to or copy of the relevant article associated with the case

If the application is being completed by the journalist, family member or support organisation, you will need to:

  • have identified a lawyer to handle the case (if you have not yet found a lawyer please contact us first and we may be able to put you in touch lawyers we have worked with previously)
  • complete the full application form
  • provide copies of the legal documents
  • provide a budget breakdown
  • provide a link to or copy of the relevant article associated with the case

Submit an application