In 2018 Medial Defence turned ten years old. Our 2018 annual report reflects on our growth, achievements and impact over the last ten years, as well as taking an in-depth look at 2018.
We launched in 2008 with three staff, a handful of cases, and a mission to provide emergency legal assistance to journalists. Ten years later we have grown to a team of 11 staff and in 2018 we supported 265 cases around the world. Sadly, the need for our work has become more acute. The past decade has seen a contraction of the space for independent media – a trend which accelerated in 2018.
Over the last decade we have fought hundreds of legal attempts to silence independent media. We provided legal defence to journalists prosecuted for a wide range of offences including defamation, blasphemy, public order, terrorism-related offences and, more recently, offences created under new cyber-crime legislation. Throughout this time we have maintained a strong case success rate of around 70%.
In 2019 we are rebranding. This annual report has been produced in our new style with our new logo. Our thanks to Atelier Doodle for their pro bono work in developing this new identity with us.
Cover art thanks to Hassan Karimzadehm and Cartooning for Peace.
Journalist Mamunur Rashid Nomani, editor of the local online news portal Barishal Khobor, has been charged with violating Bangladesh’s Digital Security Act (DSA), following an accusation claiming that he secretly filmed the mayor of Barisal and his family. Nomani rejects this, alleging instead that he and two of his acquaintances – Kamrul Mridha, working for […]
As part of Media Defence’s project Empowering Women in Digital Rights Advocacy, we are building a strong legal defence network in sub-Saharan Africa. To achieve this goal, we are providing financial assistance to organisations to establish legal aid units or media defence centres. We are excited to announce that, as part of this project, we are extending […]
This year marks Media Defence’s 15th anniversary. To celebrate this milestone, we will be taking a look at the ways in which freedom of expression has been threatened around the world, and how we have sought to protect it. The internet has become an essential part of modern life. It has transformed the way we […]