November 23, 2017


Name World Solidarity Forum Email



The Oppression of Free Voices – How can the EU Help to Protect Free Speech in the World?

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Time: 23rd November 2017, 13.00 – 15.00.

Registrations and Welcome Lunch Start at 12.30.

Venue: The Press Club Brussels Europe, Rue Froissart 95, 1040 Brussels, Belgium

In many countries, the fundamental human right of free speech is not only hindered but actively violated. Activists, journalists and opposition figures are punished by the government for speaking their minds. The violence often takes more brutal forms like kidnapping, torture, beating and even murder and rape but also more subtle abuse such as social ostracization, ridicule, threats to loved one, etc…

It’s not just governments who use such methods but also powerful criminal organisations, who exploit a weak rule of law and is some cases are even supported by the government.

Countries like Egypt, Syria and China but also localised regions like Kashmir and part of Sudan are theatre to such brutal acts. Even in places where democracy is formally upheld such oppression happens at the hands of brutal organisations, like in Mexico where the drugs cartels kill journalists with impunity or in Turkey where the government ordered to put journalists in jail.

The EU is a powerful political and economic actor in the world and free speech unhindered by the fear of repercussions is one of its core values. What can it do to make sure such value is respected globally? What can be done in a practical and effective way to achieve real results?

Speakers and Agenda

12.30 – Opening of Registrations and Welcome Lunch

13.00 – Keynote Speeches

Mrs Ana Gomes MEP, Member of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Security and Defence

Mrs Marie-Christine Vergiat MEP, Member of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (interpretation from French available)

13.30 – Panel Debate with Q&A – The Impact of Oppression

Mr Waqass Goraya, Human rights activist and blogger from Pakistan, currently in exile in the Netherlands.

Mr Aya Altun, Turkish journalist now living in Belgium

Panel Chair: Luca Cristina –  Communication and Events Coordinator, World Solidarity Forum

14.15 – Closing Remarks

Mrs Mercedes Garcia Perez, Head of Division GLOBAL 1.Human Rights  at the European External Action Service

14.30 – Networking Reception


We look forward to welcome you at the Brussels Press Club on the 23rd November!

You can register here:

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