Sharing the stories that need to be told

Arts award-winning artist Zehra Dogan with Perla Hinojosa of Index on Censorship (Photo: Elina Kansikas for Index on Censorship)
Arts award-winning artist Zehra Dogan with Perla Hinojosa of Index on Censorship (Photo: Elina Kansikas for Index on Censorship)

Afghanistan. Hong Kong. Belarus.

Every day we’ve learned of a new atrocity. A new act of repression. A new effort to silence. A new law to intimidate.

The news has been awful. There are too many heartbreaking stories, too many images of people being tortured or arrested. Too many things to be angry about. But the reality is, thankfully, as painful as these stories are. They are in the news. They are being covered. And the world knows what is happening – daylight is truly trying to act as a disinfectant.

So as much as I worry about the horrendous restrictions to free expression that we see on the news and the people behind the headlines, every night I find myself fretting about who we’re not reporting on. Who is missing? What other regimes should we be focusing on. Whose story needs to be told. And most importantly how can we help.

In part, the annual Index Freedom of Expression awards is our answer to that question. Shining a light on activists, campaigners, artists, writers and journalists who are being targeted by repressive regimes. Making sure that some of the bravest most inspirational people in the fight for the right to global free expression have their stories told. This weekend we will be announcing our winners. But it’s not just about our winners, it’s about every nominee from Brazil to Nicaragua, from Egypt to Russia. Their stories, their fights deserve the world’s attention. And on Sunday evening we get to share their stories.

So over the weekend please watch our social media for the coverage. But before we get there I want to thank this year’s sponsors, Facebook, Edwardian Hotels, the Times and Sunday Times, Microsoft and Sage publications for enabling us to shine a spotlight on repressive regimes that don’t always dominate the news.

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