It is less than 10 days now until some of the world’s most exceptional free expression heroes will gather in London to celebrate the Index Freedom of Expression Awards, hosted by Jonathan Dimbleby. I don’t know about you, but we are all incredibly excited here at SAGE to be part of this incredible event.
The shortlist for this year is, yet again, impressive, with individuals who have shown astounding bravery and passion in asserting their right to freedom of expression across the arts, journalism, advocacy and innovation.
This year’s shortlist consists of:
Kostas Vaxevanis, Greek journalist – Kostas was arrested for publishing a list of more than 2,000 suspected tax evaders. His arrest and subsequent courage in exposing the list of wealthy Greek and Swiss personnel drew international condemnation.
Mosireen, Egyptian citizen media collective – the Mosireen Collective supported and promoted the growing wave of citizen journalism that had emerged in the lead-up to the ousting of Hosni Mubarak, when members of the public captured the protests and police brutality on their mobile phones.
Ta Phong Tan, imprisoned Vietnamese blogger – one of three Vietnamese bloggers, collectively calling themselves the ‘Club for Free Journalists’, at the centre of a draconian clampdown by the country’s authorities.
Sadiye Eser and Turkey’s imprisoned journalists – writes for the leftist daily Evrensel (Universal) Newspaper, was arrested on 10 December and is still being held for her coverage of political rallies as well as the notes she has and continued to keep on them.
- Digital freedom
Bassel Khartabil, Champion of open internet detained in Syria – Software engineer Bassel Khartabil has been held in detention since his arrest in Damascus on 15 March 2012. The Gulf Centre for Human Rights believes his arrest is related to his work as a computer engineer, specialising in the development of open source software
Moez Chakchouk, Tunisian internet agency chief – campaigner for greater internet freedom, winning the admiration of bloggers and digital activists along the way
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Indian parliamentarian – Indian MP and businessman Rajeev Chandrasekhar has battled tirelessly against growing internet censorship in India, using his position in the upper house of parliament to challenge legislation that chokes digital freedom.
Hillsborough Family Support Group: UK lobbying group – For more than 20 years, the Hillsborough Family Support Group lobbied the UK government for a second investigation into the Hillsborough disaster, the human crush at the Sheffield Wednesday stadium, which claimed 96 lives in 1989.
Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani education campaigner – 15 year old Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai has received global attention for her courage in standing up to the Taliban and her defence of girls’ education. Yousafzai first came to attention when, at the age of 11, she wrote a pseudonymous diary for BBC Urdu, describing the Taliban’s closure of her school in the city of Mingora.
Ales Bialiatski, Belarusian human rights defender – prominent human rights defender in Belarus. As chairman of the Viasna Human Rights Centre and vice president of the International Federation for Human Rights, he dedicated his life to helping victims of human rights until his imprisonment in August 2011. Bialiatski was sentenced to four and a half years for alleged tax evasion.
Girifna, Sudanese youth movement – Sudanese youth movement calling for non-violent resistance.
Pussy Riot – Russian Punk Group – Feminist punk collective Pussy Riot made international headlines in 2012 when they were arrested for their anti-Putin performance in Christ the Saviour Cathedral, Moscow.
Zanele Muholi – South African Photographer – award-winning photographer and LGBT activist whose work focuses on gender and sexual identity in post-Apartheid South Africa.
Haifa al Mansour– Saudi-Arabian film maker – In October 2012, filmmaker Haifa al Mansour broke new ground in Saudi Arabia. Not only did she create the first film to be shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, but she is also the country’s first female filmmaker.
Aseem Trivedi – Indian Cartoonist – one of India’s most controversial satirical artists.
This year’s awards are taking place on Thursday March 21 at Inner Temple London and we are incredibly proud to be principle sponsor of the event again this year.
Tickets are nearly sold out so don’t miss your chance to be a part of what will be an incredibly inspiration and moving evening. More information can be found here.
If you are unable to make it, keep your eyes on SAGE Connection for the announcement of the winners on 22 March!