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Index on Censorship

Index on Censorship publishes a quarterly magazine,  the leading publication dedicated to the defence of free expression, available on- and off-line. International writers contribute regularly to its content and to the websites Index hosts. Index on Censorship is one of nine organisations resident at the Free Word Centre. Our funding is towards the costs of the magazine and websites. 

Funding awards

  • 2012-2013: £45,000
  • 2013-2014: £45,000
  • 2014-2015: £45,000

Video feed

Libel Reform Is No Joke

Index on Censorship, English Pen, Sense About Science and libel reform supporters presented a 60,000-strong petition to Downing St after holding a star-studded mass lobby of Parliament for a truly fair and effective Defamation Bill.

Index interview with Richard Allan (Director of Policy EMEA, Facebook)

On 20 June, Index on Censorship hosted a conference with the Global Network Initiative (GNI) entitled "The dynamics of digital freedom: Freedom of Expression in an age of security and surveillance". Richard Allan of Facebook answers a few questions after speaking on a panel about control of communications.

Index interview with activist and researcher Chris Soghoian

On 20 June, Index on Censorship hosted a conference with the Global Network Initiative (GNI) entitled "The dynamics of digital freedom: Freedom of Expression in an age of security and surveillance". At the conference, Index spoke with activist and researcher Chris Soghoian.

Index interview with Eric King, Head of Research at Privacy International

On 20 June, Index on Censorship hosted a conference with the Global Network Initiative (GNI) entitled "The dynamics of digital freedom: Freedom of Expression in an age of security and surveillance". Head of Research at Privacy International, Eric King, talks to Index after speaking on a panel about regulation and exporting surveillance.

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Acceptance speech: Idrak Abbasov, winner of the Guardian Award for Journalism

Idrak Abbasov of Azerbaijan, winner of the Index Guardian Award for Journalism, delivers his acceptance speech. UPDATE: Idrak Abbasov was brutally beaten on 18 April in an attempt to silence him from reporting on the activities of the state owned oil company SOCAR. Find more information here:http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2012/04/azerbaijan-idrak-abbasov-beaten/ Videography by mark@nwmsltd.com

Post Awards interview: Idrak Abbasov

Idrak Abbasov of Azerbaijan, winner of the Index Guardian Award for Journalism, describes the significance of receiving his award, the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest and his government's attempt to control the internet. UPDATE: Idrak Abbasov was brutally beaten on 18 April in an attempt to silence him from reporting on the activities of the state owned oil company SOCAR. Find more information here: http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2012/04/azerbaijan-idrak-abbasov-beaten/ Many thanks to Oliver Bullough of the Institute of War and Peace Reporting for translating. Videography by mark@nwmsltd.com

Highlights from the Index Awards 2012

The Index Freedom of Expression Awards took place on Wednesday 28 March at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. Before an audience of 400, Jonathan Dimbleby presented awards to the heroes of free expression - those who have put their lives and jobs at risk to defend the inalienable right to express themselves freely. Index on Censorship was proud to give awards to Nabeel Rajab of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, Upenyu Makoni-Muchemwa of Kubatana, Ali Ferzat, Irina Flige of the Research and Information Centre 'Memorial' St Petersburg and Idrak Abbasov. Many thanks to all those who attended the Awards, at which we celebrated our 40th birthday, and to our sponsors SAGE, Bindmans, Google and the Guardian. Videography by mark@nwmsltd.com

Index Awards 2012: Freedom Fone wins Innovation award supported by Google

Upenyu Makoni-Muchemwa accepts the Index award for innovation on behalf of Kubatana. The Google award for innovation recognises innovation and original use of new technology to circumvent censorship and foster debate, argument or dissent. Videography by mark@nwmsltd.com

Idrak Abbasov: winner of the Index Guardian Award for Journalism

The Guardian award for journalism recognises investigative journalism of high determination across a range of media including print, online, radio and television, taking into consideration impact, originality and revelation. This year's award goes to Azerbaijani journalist Idrak Abbasov. Idrak Abbasov is an Azerbaijani journalist whose investigative work has put his life in danger. Abbasov reports for newspaper Ayna-Zerkalo and the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, which aims to give voice to people on the frontline of conflict and crisis. On 9 September 2011, after Abbasov investigated the activities of a local oil company, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) sent bulldozers to his family's home. SOCAR claimed ownership of the site as part of a project to develop local oil resources with Global Energy Azerbaijan Ltd. His parents and brother were hospitalised after being attacked by the company's security service during the incident. It is believed that bulldozers targeted the journalist's home because of his work monitoring human rights. Later that month, his parents were again attacked at their home. One attacker reportedly said: "Tell Idrak to get smarter, or we will cut off his ears." Videography by mark@nwmsltd.com

Kubatana: winner of the Index Innovation Award supported by Google

The Google award for innovation recognises innovation and original use of new technology to circumvent censorship and foster debate, argument or dissent. Kubatana is an NGO based in Harare that uses a variety of new and traditional media to encourage ordinary Zimbabweans to be informed, inspired and active about civic and human rights issues. As an organisation, it continuously seeks innovative fixes to the challenges of sharing independent information in Zimbabwe's restrictive media environment. Freedom Fone is one of Kubatana's solutions. An open-source software, Freedom Fone helps organisations create interactive voice response (IVR) menus to enable them to share pre-recorded audio information in any language via mobile phones and landlines with their members or the general public. The software is aimed at organisations or individuals wishing to set up interactive information services for users where the free flow of information may be denied for economic, political, technological or other reasons. Freedom Fone is one of the many ways Kubatana reaches across the digital divide to inform and inspire the vast majority of Zimbabweans who do not have regular or affordable internet access. Videography by mark@nwmsltd.com

Ali Ferzat: winner of the Index Arts Award

The Arts Award recognises artists, filmmakers and writers whose work asserts artistic freedom and battles repression and injustice. Special attention has been given to the originality and artistic quality of the nominees' work. Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat has been called "an icon of freedom in the Arab world". He has spent decades ridiculing dictators in more than 15,000 caricatures. His depictions of President Assad and the police state have helped galvanise revolt in Syria. In August 2011, Ferzat was wrenched from his vehicle in central Damascus by pro-Assad masked gunmen who beat him badly and broke his hands. Passers-by found Ferzat dumped at the side of a road; his briefcase and the drawings inside it had been confiscated by his attackers. Ferzat earned regional and international recognition in the 1980s with stinging cartoons of officials, autocrats and dictators including Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi. Saddam Hussein called for Ferzat's death in 1989 after an unfavourable portrait of him was exhibited in Paris and Ferzat's cartoons have been banned in numerous Arabic countries. Videography by mark@nwmsltd.com

Bahrain Center for Human Rights: winner of the Index Bindmans Award for Advocacy

The Bindmans advocacy award recognises campaigners or activists who have fought repression, or have struggled to challenge political climates and perceptions. This year's award goes to the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR). BCHR has played a crucial role in documenting human rights violations, political repression and torture in the gulf kingdom. Despite efforts to silence and discredit it, the BCHR has kept international attention on the brutal government crackdown that began last February. It has prevented the Bahrain government from whitewashing its international image, and at times when news media were severely restricted and foreign journalists barred, it acted as a crucial source of alternative news. Former BCHR president Abdulhady Al Khawaja is one of eight activists serving life sentences for peacefully protesting at the now-demolished Pearl Roundabout. Like many other activists he claims he has been tortured in prison. It is widely reported that BCHR employees regularly experience threats, violence and harassment. In January 2012, BCHR president Nabeel Rajab was severely beaten by security forces while peacefully protesting. Videography by mark@nwmsltd.com

Judging the Freedom of Expression Awards 2012

Index's Chief Executive, John Kampfner, introduces this year's Freedom of Expression Awards, which honours individuals and organisations who have made great contributions to the fight against censorship through journalism, technological innovations, advocacy, and the arts. Videography by mark@nwmsltd.com

Research and Information Center "Memorial": winner of the Index 40th Anniversary Award

Memorial Archive logs the brutal repression suffered by millions in former Soviet countries, demonstrating a fierce commitment to protecting human rights. It not only chronicles the crimes of the Stalinist period, but monitors current threats against those who speak out against injustice. The Memorial Archive is a living tribute to the survivors of Soviet Russia, providing documentation that many have tried to bury. Its work is a vivid reminder of the vital but very real risk taken by those who speak out against repression. The award is particularly pertinent in Index's 40th year. As we explore our archive and its role in exposing international human rights violations, we are conscious of the often undervalued work of historians and archivists in keeping the memory of these violations alive.

Joanna Lumley, Michael Sheen and Samuel West read the stories of Andrei Sannikov

At a unique event at the Serpentine Gallery in London on 19 December to mark a year since the post-election crackdown in Belarus, Joanna Lumley, Michael Sheen, Sam West, Belarusian actor Oleg Sidorchik and musician Pavel Arakelian read fairy stories written from prison by opposition politician Andrei Sannikov to his son.

George Monbiot and Baroness Onora O'Neill clash during Data Debate

Monbiot and Baroness O'Neill clash during Data Debate. Join the debate and access a full copy of The Science Issue on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/IndexOnCensorship Follow us on Twitter: @IndexCensorship

Data Debate: Is transparency bad for science?

If you enjoyed the debate, please like our Facebook page to access a full copy of The Science Issue for a limited time: http://www.facebook.com/IndexOnCensorship Debate held by Index on Censorship to launch the new Science Issue on 6 December at Imperial College in London. As scientific data is more freely available now than ever, the panel, which included Sir Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust, George Monbiot, Guardian Columnist, UCL Professor David Colquhoun, and Philosopher Baroness Onora O'Neill, discussed whether or not a push for more freely available scientific data helps or hinders science. Chaired by Jo Glanville, editor of Index on Censorship.

Protest for Free Expression in Belarus

Clapping on Wednesdays is the new way to register protest in Belarus. And then there's the annoying mobile phone method...

Index Privacy event at the LSE

A public debate to celebrate the launch of the new issue of Index on Censorship magazine, Privacy is dead! Long live privacy. Index editor Jo Glanville chairs a panel featuring Hugh Tomlinson QC, who represents Ryan Giggs, former F1 president Max Mosley and Imogen Thomas' lawyer David Price, who discuss gagging orders, tabloid intrusion and the right to a private life.

Life After WikiLeaks: Who Won the Information War?

May 4 2011. A panel debate organised by Index on Censorship and Columbia Journalism School that asked: Has WikiLeaks expanded our view of how news should be shared, or ushered in a new age of dangerous muckraking Whether governments have a right to keep secrets, or is radical transparency the only way to ensure accountability The panel included: PJ Crowley, the US state department spokesman, who resigned in March after he described Bradley Manning's treatment as "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid", Julian Assange's attorney Mark Stephens, investigative journalist and security services expert Andrei Soldatov, Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism Emily Bell and Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, to debate the fallout from WikiLeaks for freedom of speech, national security and the media.

Freedom of Expression Awards 2011 Show Reel: Index on Censorship

Freedom of Expression Awards 2011: Index on Censorship

Ibrahim Eissa: INDEX on CENSORSHIP AWARDS 2011

Ibrahim Eissa: INDEX on CENSORSHIP AWARDS 2011

2011 winners: Belarus' political prisoners

Belarus's Prisoners of Conscience: INDEX on CENSORSHIP AWARDS 2011 Natalia Koliada

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