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30 Days for Freedom – Global campaign to free jailed journalists

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum have launched an exciting online campaign to highlight the plight of jailed journalists worldwide.

In the 30-day lead-up to May 3, World Press Freedom Day, daily profiles of imprisoned journalists will be published on and linked to protest letters calling for their release. WAN-IFRA is encouraging social media users to share information about their cases across digital networks and particularly Twitter.

Using the hashtag #FreethePress, WAN-IFRA aims to raise the issue of imprisoned journalist in a campaign that will have global impact.

Turkish journalist Fusun Erdogan, jailed since September 2006, is the first journalist profiled. She is accused of being a member of the outlawed Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP), which she denies, and for “attempting to change the constitutional order by force.” She remained in custody for seven years until she was finally convicted in early November 2013 - along with three other journalists - to life in prison without parole, plus 300 years. More on her case can be found at

In 2013, according to research by the Committee to Protect Journalists, 211 journalists were listed as imprisoned - the second highest number on record. WAN-IFRA's 2014 Golden Pen of Freedom laureate, Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega, is one of them.

Eskinder Nega was arrested on September 14, 2011 after publishing an article criticising his government’s use of the 2009 Anti-Terror Proclamation to jail and silence critics. He was sentenced on January 23, 2012 to 18 years in prison and denounced as belonging to a terrorist organisation.

While Eskinder will become the focus for WAN-IFRA’s World Press freedom Day campaign and beyond, the campaign in the build-up to May 3 will explore the issues surrounding the detention and imprisonment of journalists around the globe by highlighting individuals who have been sent to jail simply for doing their jobs.

Date posted: April 5, 2014 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 6