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Combating Impunity for Online Violence

Online attacks against journalists are increasing exponentially. We can help journalists seek redress for violations of their rights.

Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation

Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) are a form of legal harassment designed to intimidate journalists and silence critical reporting. We help journalists resist these abusive tactics.

Environmental Journalism

Reporting on the environment has become one of the most dangerous jobs in journalism. We support journalists reporting on what us widely regarded as one of the most urgent challenges of our time.

Fact-Checkers Legal Support Initiative

Fact-Checkers Legal Support Initiative (FLSI) provides legal defence for fact-checkers, connecting them with pro bono lawyers, helping to pay legal fees where pro bono support isn’t available, and providing technical legal assistance to pro bono lawyers.

Journalists in Distress Network

The rapid decline of press freedom needs a global and coordinated response. This is why we work with partners around the world to fight back. Media Defence is a member of the Journalists in Distress (JID) Network, a group of 18 international organisations that provide direct assistance to journalists and media workers whose lives or careers are threatened because of their work. Each organisation has its own mandate and criteria for emergency assistance. The JID Network allows member organisations to more easily share information, coordinate joint efforts, and avoid duplication.

Members

Article 19 | Canadian Journalists for Free Expression | Committee to Protect Journalists | Free Press Unlimited | Freedom House | Front Line Defenders | Human Rights Watch | International Federation of Journalists | International Media Support | International Women’s Media Foundation | International Research & Exchanges Board | Journalists Help Journalists | The Kality Foundation | Pen America | Pen International | Rory Peck Trust | Reporters Without Borders

Emergency Defence News

UN body finds Cameroon journalist unlawfully detained and tortured

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) has published an Opinion holding Cameroon responsible for unlawfully detaining prominent investigative journalist and blogger Tsi Conrad. On 8 December 2016, Mr Conrad was arrested in Bamenda while filming a protest held by the ruling political party, the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM). He was arrested at…

Court acquits Concita de Gregorio and Marco Travaglio

Court acquits Italian journalists sued by former Prime Minister’s outlet Italian journalists Concita de Gregorio and Marco Travaglio were both writing for the newspaper L'Unita back in 2008. That was the year that Mediaset, the news company owned by then Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, sued them for criminal defamation. In May of this year they…

New Zealand news site LawFuel ordered to hand over communication with sources

John Bowie is the publisher of LawFuel, a law news site based in New Zealand. Between April and August 2020, LawFuel ran a series of articles detailing allegations of harassment and abuse by Sergey Grishin, a Russian oligarch living in California. Other newspapers, including the Sun, the Times and the Daily Mail also reported on…

Fighting SLAPPs in Colombia

Constitutional Court declares law facilitating SLAPPs in Colombia 'unconstitutional'. In Colombia, there is a 75-year-old law that regulates the conduct of civil lawsuits against press publications. On the 13th May 2021, the Constitutional Court of Colombia declared it unconstitutional. The law stated that where a person stood accused of causing harm through a publication, they…

Las Volcánicas: sued for reporting on allegations of sexual abuse

Matilde de Los Milagros Londoño and Catalina Ruiz-Navarro are two Colombian journalists, founders of the news outlet Las Volcánicas. After extensive research, on 24 June 2020 they published a report denouncing eight cases of alleged sexual abuse and harassment against women by the renowned Colombian filmmaker Ciro Guerra. Soon afterwards Guerra launched a series of…

SLAPP Lawsuit Used to Silence Reporting on Alleged Labour Rights Abuses

Media Defence is supporting Thai journalist subject to SLAPP lawsuit after reporting on alleged labour rights violations We are supporting Suchanee Cloitre, a journalist facing criminal defamation proceedings filed by Thammasakaet, a poultry company based in Thailand. In 2019, Thailand's Human Rights Commission accused the company of committing serious labour rights violations against its migrant…