April 2021 in Africa: A free expression roundup produced by IFEX’s regional editor Reyhana Masters, based on IFEX member reports and news from the region.

Protesters outside Parliament during the End Queer and Trans Hate Campaign, in Cape Town, South Africa, 26 April 2021, Gallo Images/Brenton Geach

World Press Freedom Day in Namibia was an important time to reflect on the safety of journalists in Africa. April was another brutal month, with the death of three journalists in two separate incidents, increasing persecution of journalists in Somalia, and numerous grave threats against media personnel and outlets across the continent.

WPFD returns to its birthplace amidst a backdrop of grave violations against the media

World Press Freedom Day returned to its birthplace — Windhoek, Namibia — against a backdrop of a more technologically diverse media landscape than…


April 2021 in Asia-Pacific: A free expression roundup produced by IFEX’s regional editor Mong Palatino, based on IFEX member reports and news from the region.

A journalist and a camera operator wear personal protective equipment amidst the surge in COVID-19 infections, at a crematorium in New Delhi, India, 20 April 2021, Ganesh Chandra/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Addressing India’s COVID-19 surge is made more difficult by authorities censoring information. Myanmar’s junta has resorted to publishing wanted lists, targeting journalists. A satirical playlist led to the brief incarceration of an artist in Malaysia. And Hong Kong’s first conviction around a violent attack during the 2019 protests? An investigative reporter.

India: Upholding the right to information amid COVID-19 surge

India’s COVID-19 situation has rapidly deteriorated in past weeks. There has been an acute shortage in ambulances, oxygen tanks and other medical equipment, vaccines…


Read IFEX Executive Director Annie Game’s remarks at the launch of a unique World Press Freedom Day exhibit, and listen to a special Africa Brief podcast marking 30 years since the landmark Windhoek Declaration.

To mark World Press Freedom Day 2021, IFEX was honoured to partner with the International Free Expression Project on an exhibit that spotlights selected illustrations from our Faces of Free Expression series. The images and text fill the street-level windows of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette building, and can be viewed in-person or online, from 3 May to 4 July.


By Paula Martins for IFEX

Reporters demonstrate outside the Paraguayan Labor Ministry demanding higher salaries, greater job security and improved safety conditions on National Journalists’ Day in Asunción, 26 April 2017, NORBERTO DUARTE/AFP via Getty Images

On 5 May, Paraguay will be evaluated within the third cycle of the UPR. IFEX member in Paraguay SPP and the IFEX-ALC network have proposed recommendations regarding freedom of expression in the country. Hear what Santiago Ortiz, José María Costa, Dante Leguizamón, and Flavia Borja have to say about the progress to date, and the potential for change.

This is a translation of the original article.

A city divided by a border. In Paraguay its name is Pedro Juan Caballero, while in Brazil, it’s Ponta Porã. Violence is a constant in this city located in…


April 2021 in Europe and Central Asia: A free expression round up produced by IFEX’s Regional Editor Cathal Sheerin, based on IFEX member reports and news from the region.

People take part in a rally for women’s rights and protection, after a young woman kidnapped for marriage was found dead, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 8 April 2021, VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP via Getty Images

April reminded us that “strongmen” are the wrong men if you want a free press and vibrant civil society. The month saw sweeping powers handed to the president in Kyrgyzstan, independent journalists threatened by draft legislation in Belarus and Kazakhstan, and civil society and the press targeted in Russia. But April also saw writer Ahmet Altan released in Turkey:

The worst country in Europe for press freedom

If you thought the situation for journalists in Belarus couldn’t get much…


March 2021 in Middle East and North Africa: A free expression roundup produced by IFEX’s Regional Editor Naseem Tarawnah, based on IFEX member reports and news from the region.

Members of Jordan’s Darak forces (gendarmerie) stand on guard as protesters demonstrate against measures imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19 amidst concerns over the economy, in Amman, Jordan, 15 March 2021, KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP via Getty Images

Egypt targets its critics abroad. New moves to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for its human rights record. Heightened calls for the release of Bahrain’s prisoners of conscience. Authorities in Morocco charge critical journalists with sex crimes. Silencing coverage of a royal rift in Jordan:

A gag order in Jordan

Jordanian authorities banned media coverage of a public dispute within the royal family. Faced with international pressure, the media gag order was amended the next day to…


March 2021 in Africa: A free expression roundup produced by IFEX’s regional editor Reyhana Masters, based on IFEX member reports and news from the region.

A group of Nigerian women mark International Women’s Day and voice their concerns over the recent rise in insecurity, hunger and inequality for women demanding better government due to the recent hike in insecurity, hunger and inequality for women, in Lagos, 8 March 2021, Olukayode Jaiyeola/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The celebration of International Women’s Day on 8 March provided a crucial springboard to foreground issues, concerns, and stories of triumph across the continent. Women took centre stage — from the launch of a new podcast featuring youth voices, to a book honouring women leaders, to speaking out against misogynistic attacks:

A Human Rights Watch (HRW) #PoweroftheStreets podcast kicked off the March International Women’s Day celebrations. Hosted by Audrey Kawire Wabwire, the first interviews feature…


March 2021 in the Americas: A free expression round up produced by IFEX’s Regional Editor Paula Martins, based on IFEX member reports and news from the region.

The President of Mexico, Andres Manuel López Obrador, points during a press conference, in Mexico City, 5 April 2021, Luis Barron / Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

President Obrador attacks ARTICLE 19 after release of critical report

In March, ARTICLE 19 Mexico and Central America released its annual reportDistorsión, examining the overall situation of freedom of expression and information in Mexico in 2020

The news is not good. According to the report, media attacks increased by 13.63% compared to the previous year, with a total of 692 recorded. Of the assaults on journalists, 49.5% were perpetrated by state agents (public civil service personnel, civil security forces and armed…


March 2021 in Asia-Pacific: A free expression roundup produced by IFEX’s regional editor Mong Palatino, based on IFEX member reports and news from the region.

Kathmandu, Nepal, 31 March 2021. A protester holding a burning candle while making the three-finger salute attends a candlelight vigil for those who died in protests in Myanmar, Prabin Ranabhat/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Violence escalates in Myanmar, but the people are fighting back. Women journalists are attacked and killed in Afghanistan. Public outrage in Bangladesh over the killing of a writer and torture of a cartoonist in prison. New laws and regulations undermine media freedom and digital rights in Malaysia and India:

Coup terror, resistance, and solidarity in Myanmar

Myanmar’s military unleashed a brutal nonstop crackdown targeting anti-coup protesters in the past month. But the democracy movement remained defiant, despite the terror tactics of security…


March 2021 in Europe and Central Asia: A free expression round up produced by IFEX’s Regional Editor Cathal Sheerin, based on IFEX member reports and news from the region.

Women in red dance holding up red tulips as they welcome spring during a protest against the Belarus presidential election results near the village of Maloje Zapruddzie, 1 March 2021, -/AFP via Getty Images

March saw Turkey dismantling human rights protections and democratic norms, the promise of change — both good and bad — in Central Asia, and the launch of a new website devoted to tackling SLAPPs. It also saw IFEX members calling on the EU to confront Hungary, Poland and Slovenia’s attacks on media freedom, and important developments in the campaign to hold the Belarusian authorities accountable for human rights violations:

Holding Lukashenko’s regime to account

The repression…

IFEX

IFEX is a global network of organisations that defend and promote the right to freedom of expression and information. Email: info@ifex.org

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