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Press freedom in Spain in 2020: Coronavirus and five years of the ‘gag laws’ - Article

Watchdog PDLI (Plataforma en Defensa de la Libertad de Información) highlights key developments in press freedom last year

Shelter City - Support Centres

Shelter City is a nationwide initiative of Justice and Peace Netherlands to protect human rights defenders, in cooperation with a growing number of Dutch cities and local organizations.

Human rights defenders defend the rights of themselves and of others. Through their work they play an important role in the promotion of democratic values, political freedoms, and civil rights. This is a challenging and dangerous fight: they are often silenced, threatened, arrested, tortured and sometimes they disappear.

Justice and Peace established Shelter City in 2012 on the request of their network of international human rights defenders. After the first Shelter City in The Hague, Middelburg joined in 2014, followed by Nijmegen, Maastricht, Utrecht, and Amsterdam in 2015, Tilburg and Groningen in 2016 and Zwolle and Haarlem in 2017. In 2018 Deventer also joined the Shelter City network. Rotterdam followed in 2020. Tbilisi & Batumi (Georgia), Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), Cotonou (Benin) and San José (Costa Rica) have joined the network as International Shelter City Hubs. The expectation is that other cities (in or outside the Netherlands) will join in the future as well. The growing number of applications from Human Rights Defenders under threat shows that new Shelter Cities are strongly needed.

In every Shelter City the municipality, local organizations, universities, and Justice and Peace provide the shelter and take care of the program for the human rights defender. Together with the human rights defenders they organize meetings and workshops that contribute to the raising of awareness about human rights issues among the inhabitants of the Shelter Cities.

Shelter City is affiliated with the EU Human Rights Defenders Relocation Platform

Netherlands: Journalists’ safety increasingly under attack - Article

The European Federation of Journalists is concerned by the situation and calls on the authorities to do the utmost to protect journalists and investigate all attacks

Serbia: the Coalition for Women Journalists interviews Gordana Bjeletić who received death threats - Article

Gordana Bjeletić and her colleagues were targeted with death threats, CFWIJ spoke to her after filing a complaint about the brutal attacks to the police

Montenegro: MFRR letter to authorities for threats to Olivera Lakić - Article

The Media Freedom Rapid Responses calls for urgent police protection for Olivera Lakić following assassination threats made against her

Civil Rights Defenders - Stakeholders

An Expert Organisation for Human Rights. CRD partners with and supports human rights defenders who work in some of the world’s most repressive regions on four continents.

Through advocacy, litigation, and public campaigns, CRD advances people’s rights globally. The organisation also acts as Sweden’s watchdog civil rights group.

Every year, CRD has The Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award, an award for outstanding work in defence of civil and political rights, to recognise a prominent human rights defender who, despite the risk to their own safety, continues the struggle for civil and political rights.
The award highlights the situation of human rights defenders at risk. It enhances their human rights work by providing international recognition and support to the organisation represented by the award recipient. The award recipient is a person who carries out their work without the use of violence and within an independent human rights organisation or network.

Among the support activities, there are security training, emergency support, expertise, organisational development, and long-term financial support.

CRD also brings together its partners so they can exchange experiences, as well as learn from and inspire each other.

Coalition For Women In Journalism - Stakeholders

The Coalition For Women In Journalism fosters and supports camaraderie between women journalists around the globe. We were the first to pioneer a worldwide support network for women journalists. Through our mentorship program and advocation for a safe and flourishing professional environment, we are creating spaces for women journalists where they can be nurtured, stay safe, and expand their skills. We work with no national or ethnic boundaries, and offer support to women from all backgrounds.

The Coalition launched in March 2017 as a pro-bono org.

From 2019 it operates as an NGO with the seed funding received from Craig Newmark Philanthropies.

Portugal: four journalists under illegal police surveillance - Article

The European Federation of Journalists denounces a clear violation of the confidentiality of journalists’ sources and demands urgent clarification from the General Prosecutor

Police violence against the press in Europe, by Martin Hoffmann - Article

The Vice Chair of the European Institute for Journalism and Communication Research (EIJC), Editor with ZDF heute journal and Researcher for ECPMF, gives an overview of cases and recommendations to tackle the issue of police violence against media

Malta: Threats to the independence of the public inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia must stop - Article

16 December marks 38 months since Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated in Malta, yet barriers to justice remain as Maltese official continue to threaten the public inquiry set up to investigate the circumstances surrounding her murder. A statement signed by MFRR