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New pledges not credible without action, say press freedom groups

Posted on: 
10 Jul 2019

On 9 July, 33 press freedom and media development organisations met in London in advance of the Global Media Freedom Conference to call on all participating States to ensure the protection and safety of all journalists and media workers in compliance with their existing obligations and international standards.

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Call for Applications: Southern African Digital Rights & Online Freedom of Expression Litigation Surgery

Posted on: 
16 May 2019

MLDI is calling for applications from lawyers based in Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, eSwatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe to participate in a forthcoming litigation surgery and training on the right to freedom of expression online, digital rights and the internet. Successful applicants will attend the litigation surgery and become members of a digital rights legal network through which there will be opportunities for engagement both regionally and internationally.

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Two Colombian officials sentenced to 30 and 40 years for crimes committed against Jineth Bedoya

Posted on: 
9 May 2019

MLDI's partner organisation in Colombia, FLIP, have secured a significant legal victory which serves to challenge impunity for violence against journalists in the country. In May 2000 Jineth Bedoya was kidnapped, tortured and sexually assaulted whilst reporting at La Modelo prison in Bogota. It has taken 19 years for her perpetrators to be brought to justice but the jduge ruled that her suffering amounted to crimes against humanity, handing down 70 year sentence combined for both perpertrators.

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Vacancy: Development Director

Posted on: 
18 Apr 2019

MLDI is looking for a dynamic individual to join our senior leadership team as Director of Development, leading our newly created Development Cluster. As Development Director, you will have responsibility for fundraising, communications and impact tracking. You will lead and develop your own team to bring a step change in our approach to fundraising and engagement. You will unlock significant unconditional capital and create an engaged community around our work. You will cultivate individual donors, institutional funders and corporate partnerships in the USA and Europe, and you will manage and grow an annual fundraising portfolio of $3 million.

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Important media freedom judgment at the East African Court of Justice

Posted on: 
9 Apr 2019

The East African Court of Justice (EACJ) has handed down an important judgment for freedom of expression in Tanzania, and elsewhere in the region. The legal challenge was brought following the 2016 enactment of the Media Services Act, which placed restrictions on freedom of expression – restricting certain types of news content and introducing the offences of criminal defamation, sedition and publication of a false statement. The challenge was brought by the Media Council of Tanzania, Legal and Human Rights Centre, and the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition.

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Call for Applications: West Africa Digital Rights and Freedom of Expression Litigation Surgery

Posted on: 
20 Mar 2019

Applications are now open for English-speaking lawyers based in countries that are members of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) and the Republic of Cameroon to take part in a practical litigation workshop on the right to freedom of expression, digital rights and the internet. Successful applicants will be funded to attend the litigation surgery training in Accra, Ghana, and become active members of a digital rights legal network.

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Mapping digital rights and online freedom of expression in East, West, and Southern Africa

Posted on: 
11 Mar 2019

Media Legal Defence Initiative has published a new report, Mapping digital rights and freedom of expression in East, West and Southern Africa. This in-depth study analyses each region and each country, and is ideal for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of digital restrictions in sub-Saharan Africa. The report is free to download and distribute under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial Licence.

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Italian investigative journalist acquitted of unfounded libel charges

Posted on: 
11 Feb 2019

A Rome court has acquitted freelance investigative journalist Raffaella Cosentino of aggravated libel. The charges were brought against her for an article she wrote about corruption and exploitation in asylum centres in Italy. Her case was supported by MLDI. Ms Cosentino is a journalist whose reporting covers human rights issues with a particular focus on migrants and asylum seekers. At the time she was working freelance; writing for the Italian online newspaper, Espresso, as well as other outlets including the BBC.

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Free speech organisations submit amicus brief in Inter-American Court of Human Rights case on criminal defamation

Posted on: 
14 Jan 2019

MLDI and seven other free speech organisations have today filed an amicus brief before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the case of Tulio Álvarez v Venezuela . The applicant, Mr. Álvarez, is a Venezuelan constitutional lawyer and university professor who was criminally convicted of “ongoing aggravated defamation” in respect of a column he published in a local newspaper regarding the alleged misappropriation of funds from the National Assembly’s Workers’ and Retirees’ Savings Bank.

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European Court of Human Rights finds Azerbaijan violated the rights of investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova

Posted on: 
10 Jan 2019

The European Court of Human Rights delivered its judgment in the case of award-winning Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova. Ms Ismayilova, an independent investigative journalist known internationally for her pro-democracy stance, was the target of a systematic smear campaign comprising threats, intimidations and gross violations of her privacy designed to prevent her from pursuing her journalistic work.

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