In our own words: IFEX voices from the pandemic
Last year, as COVID-19 spread around the globe, our first thought here at IFEX was to reach out to member organisations. We asked: How are you? How is this affecting you? What are your priorities now, in the face of all this?
In June 2020 we took this a step further. We invited members to reflect on their experiences, both personal and professional, living and working during the global health crisis, and share those reflections back with us. We called the project: “In our own words.”
Forty-two responses later, we had a snapshot of the impact the pandemic was having on this vibrant, diverse, and resilient network and the people in it, as well as – by extension – on civil society in general. It provided timely information to help us better understand and support each other through the ongoing pandemic.
Exiled journalists can face direct intimidation, such as physical attacks in their new homes or threats to the family members they left behind. Many more are pushed out of their profession because of difficulties finding employment and language barriers in their new environments
In its recent Index of Racism report, the Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media (7amleh) documented a staggering 15-fold increase in violent online speech against Palestinians and Arabs in May 2021, compared to the same time period in 2020, spurred by Israel’s recent aggression.
500 Hong Kong police officers raided the office of “Apple Daily”, a publication owned by Jimmy Lai who is in prison for his role in democracy protests. Five editors were arrested. Media groups said the raid and arrests “are designed to create a chilling effect and intimidate journalists and media in Hong Kong.”
International groups call on Turkey to investigate new allegations related to journalists’ unsolved murders
Allegations have recently been made by a mob leader in connection with the murders of investigative journalists Uğur Mumcu and Kutlu Adalı, killed in Turkey and Northern Cyprus in 1993 and 1996, respectively.
Forced public confessions are in widespread use against journalists, human rights advocates, and opposition figures in China, Iran, and Russia, and in Ukraine by Russian-backed separatists.
Last summer, the businessman Marian Kočner and his confidante, Alena Zsuzsová, were acquitted of ordering Kuciak’s murder in February 2018. After reviewing new evidence on 15 June 2021, the Supreme Court remanded the case back for a retrial.