On 6th of September, BBC was reporting that Gauri Lankesh, a prominent Indian journalist critical of Hindu nationalist politics, vocal about Kashmiri Rights and Muslim rights has been shot dead in front of her house in India.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered across several Indian cities on Wednesday. Media, human rights organisations and opposition party leaders also strongly condemned the shooting. Calling for a “thorough investigation” into the journalist’s murder, Amnesty International in London asked the police to determine whether Lankesh was killed “because of (her) journalism”.
“State governments must act to protect those whose voices of dissent are being silenced” she said, adding that investigations into these killings have been “ineffective for too long”.
But what happened to Gauri Lankesh is not a singular case. Journalists all over the world are put in danger every day. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has released the following numbers, for 2017 alone:
30 journalists have been killed
171 journalists in prison
55 journalists still missing
Since 1992, more than 808 journalists have been killed and from what we see these days, these numbers are not going down too soon. Governments and non-state actors find innovative ways to suppress the media worldwide.
Following the polarizing election of Donald Trump in the United States, concerns were raised about the rise of fake news and the hostile and intimidating environment created by Trump’s heated rhetoric. But around the world the trends are deeper, more enduring, and more troubling. These days, the strategies to control and manage information fall into three broad categories that are called repression 2.0, masked political control, and technology capture.
These strategies have contributed to an upsurge in killings and imprisonment of journalists around the world. In fact, at the end of 2016 there were 259 journalists in jail, the most ever documented by CPJ. Meanwhile, violent forces–from Islamic militants to drug cartels–have exploited new information technologies to bypass the media and communicate directly with the public, often using videos of graphic violence to send a message of ruthlessness and terror.
Under this global context it is clear that certain European, EU values are being tackled. What is the EU doing towards the freedom of press and protection of journalists? Is there more we could do both at EU and global level? How can individuals, companies and institutions cooperate? Let’s find out together.
World Solidarity Forum (WSF) is inviting you to an open discussion about the freedom of press and human rights situation in 2017. Join us and share your opinion!
18.00 – 18.30 Registration
18.30 – 18.45 Welcome Words & Introduction
18.45 – 19.45 Discussion Table
19.45 – 20.00 Q&A Session
20.00 – Networking