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UK Offers Fund to Support Free Speech

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“Freedom of expression is a universal human right and a free press underpins that right. As a former journalist I am alarmed that worldwide attacks on journalists are rife and increasing, civil society is all about free people,” Mr Johnson said in a statement….reports Asian Lite News 

 British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has committed UK support for freedom of expression projects in countries where press freedom is curtailed.

On the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, Mr Johnson has committed to spending £1m over the next financial year on projects that will enable journalists and media professionals to promote their own free press and uphold human rights. Funding will be available for press freedom projects in countries where media freedom is under significant pressure.

“Freedom of expression is a universal human right and a free press underpins that right. As a former journalist I am alarmed that worldwide attacks on journalists are rife and increasing, civil society is all about free people,” Mr Johnson said in a statement. “Where governments fear freedom of expression they often try to shut down media and civil society, or clip their wings. This both violates human rights and crushes creativity. A free media is vital to creating a vibrant, informed and engaged population and helps to support a safer, more prosperous and progressive world.”

Over the past 11 years, more than 900 journalists globally have been killed for simply doing their jobs. Many countries are increasingly turning to restrictive measures to control their media with journalists being subjected to or threatened with arrest, detention and prosecution on a daily basis.

Funds will be allocated to projects that:

  • help journalists build their international support networks to drive up journalistic standards;
  • build the capacity of local journalists to help support and safeguard press freedom;
  • lobby governments to change laws that put pressure on journalists, such as anti-defamation laws;
  • monitor human rights violations, trial monitoring and long-term advocacy on targeted impunity cases.

 

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