2007: Turkey: Hrant Dink

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Office of the Prime Minister
Basbakanlik
06573 Ankara
Turkey

Fax: +90 312 417 0476

23 January 2007

Your Excellency,

As Chair of Norwegian PEN Centre, Writers in Prison Committee, I express my deep shock at the murder of Hrant Dink, the editor of the bilingual Armenian-Turkish magazine, Agos who was shot dead outside his offices in Istanbul, and I urge you, Your Excellency, to see to it that the investigation into his murder be impartial and transparent, and that all those responsible for the crime are brought to justice.

I am seriously concerned that the existence and the use of laws that criminalise “insult to freedom Turkishness” are not only in violation of international standards protecting the right to freedom of expression, but that these laws also endanger the lives of those charged.

I call for your urgent reconsideration of insult laws, in particular the repeal of Article 3001 of the Penal Code. Around twenty “301 trials” are still before the courts. In a recent comment on Article 301, The Minister of Foreign Affairs dismissed concerns about the law saying that no-one had been imprisoned under it. This, to date, has indeed been the case, yet, as shown so appallingly by Dink’s murder, the effect of this law is to tar those accused as enemies of the state and to turn them into targets of fanatics

I also call for an end to all prosecutions of writers, editors, publishers and journalists solely for the peaceful practice of their professions.

Confident that you, Your Excellency, will do all in your power to investigate the murder of Hrant Dink, and that you will see to it that those responsible for this crime are brought to justice, I remain,

Yours faithfully,

Elisabet W. Middelthon, Chair Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN

Copies to:
The Turkish Embassy, Oslo, Norway
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oslo, Norway
The Norwegian Embassy, Ankara, Turkey

2007: Azerbaijan: Rafiq Tagi, Samir Sadagatoglu

January 19th 07

President Ilham Aliyev
Office of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic
Baku

Your Excellency

Norwegian PEN, the Norwegian section of International PEN, a non-political association of writers, expresses severe concern regarding Rafiq Tagi and Samir Sadagatoglu, who are both under prosecution and death threats because of their written and spoken opinions. It is reported that hey are being kept in detention awaiting a trial, and that this term is being extended without trial and a formal verdict. PEN calls for the release of Rafiq Tagi and Samir Sadagatoglu and that they be protected from attack and that any person who threatens their lives be brought to prosecution.

We consider the detention of these two men to be in direct violation of their right to freedom of expression. International PEN is appalled by calls that the two men be executed and the threats against their families. We are of the opinion that the imprisonment for an article published in a newspaper is in clear breach of international standards protecting the right to freedom of expression, notably Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Azerbaijan is a signatory.

Your Excellency, we urge you to look into these cases and make sure that the two men are being released and that all further threats to their families must be brought to an end.

Yours sincerely

Aase Gjerdrum
Member of Norwegian PEN,

2006: Tunisia: Mohamad Abbou

Oslo, 19 December 2006

Président Zine El Abidine Ben Ali,
Président de la République,
Palais Présidentiel,
Tunis
Tunisia

Your Excellency,

The IFEX Tunisia Monitoring Group, a coalition of 16 free expression organisations, is calling attention to human rights violations in Tunisia, where journalists and rights activists known for criticising the government are being harassed by authorities.

The TMG has received reports that the family of jailed human rights activist and lawyer Mohamed Abbou is constantly followed and harassed by the police. The latest incident occurred on 25 October 2006 in the capital, Tunis, when Abbou’s wife, Samia, and her two children were harassed by policemen on the street.

Journalist Hamadi Jebali has been harassed for attempting to visit Moncef Marzouki, the jailed leader of the Congress for the Republic, a political party banned in Tunisia. Marzouki has been charged with «incitement to civil disobedience,» an offence punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment. Another journalist, Mohamed Fourati, faces charges of belonging to a banned organisation. He appeared in court in the southern city of Gafsa on 1 December.

According to the  National Council for Liberties (CNLT) in Tunis, its mail is regularly intercepted and Internet access has been cut off. Observing that the country that in 2005 organized the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society, makes access to email services such as Hotmail  inaccessible to Tunisians, and that more Tunisians have been arrested for expressing themselves on the Internet during the past three years than for views carried by the print media since the country’s independence in 1958,

I, as chair of Writers in Prison Committee in Norwegian PEN, remain concerned regarding the conditions of human rights and freedom of expression in Tunisia, and I urge you, Your Excellency, to take immediate action to remedy these conditions.

Confident that you, Your Excellency, will take action accordingly, I remain,

Yours faithfully

Elisabet W. Middelthon/sign.
Chair Norwegian PEN’s Writers in Prison Committee

Carl Morten Iversen
secretary general
Copies:
Tunisian Embassy, Oslo
Norwegian Embassy, Tunisia,
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

2006: Turkey: Elif Shafak

September 29th 2006

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Basbakanlik

Dear Prime Minister, Your Excellency

PEN International welcomes the acquittal on 21 September 2006 of writer Elif Shafak of charges of “Insult” for comments made by fictitious characters in a novel.
And yet, we cannot celebrate the event, thinking of the scores of writers, journalists and publishers that are on trial in Turkey.

Among those listed as being prosecuted or under threat of being prosecuted, are: Hrant Dink, Ipek Calislar, Ragip Zarakolu.

International PEN is deeply alarmed by the continued and growing number of writers, journalists and publishers who are before courts for reasons that are in breach of international human rights conventions. It calls for an end to these trials and for a thorough review of the legislation that penalise freedom of expression as guaranteed under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Turkey has stated its commitment.

We call on the Turkish governments to do all that it can to abide by its commitments to the protection and promotion of freedom of expression.

Thank you, Your Excellency, for reading and listening to this urgent appeal.

Yours sincerely

Aase Gjerdrum
Member of Norwegian PEN WiPC

Cc to The Turkish Embassy in Oslo

2006: Niger: Mamane Abou, Oumarou Keita

His Excellency Monsieur Mamadou Tandja
Président de la République, Présidence de la République
Palais de la République, Niamey, Niger

Monsieur Hama Amadou, Premier ministre
Primature, Niamey, Niger

19. September 2006

Your Excellencies,

As Chair of The Writers in Prison Committee of Norwegian PEN I am appalled at the
sentencing of Mamane Abou and Oumarou Keita, managing editor and editor of
the weekly Le Republicain newspaper respectively. Although the legality of the trial was contested by the journalists’ lawyers, Justice Chaibou Moussa allegedly disregarded an appeal against the apparent illegality of the trial in sentencing the two men. The appeal will be heard by a separate court on 11 September.

The arrest of Mamane Abou and Oumarou Keita followed an article published in July by Le Republicain which suggested that the government’s strengthening of diplomatic relations with Iran and Venezuela was happening at the expense of its relations with western countries. Abou and Keita have also been ordered to pay a fine of 5 million CFA Francs.

The two journalists are being detained in separate prisons, both some distance from Niamey, which violates Niger law which states that detainees should be kept in a detention facility within the court’s jurisdiction.

The Writers in Prison Committee of Norwegian strongly protest the detention of Mamane Abou and Oumarou Keita for alleged «defamation of the state of Niger» and «spreading false news». We call upon the Niger authorities to release unconditionally Mamane Abou and Oumarou Keita and to adopt a law decriminalising press offences in accordance with the public commitment made by President Mamadou Tandja during the 2004 presidential campaign.

Confident that you, Your Excellencies, will take immediate action and set the journalists Mamane Abou and Oumarou Keita free without delay.

Yours faithfully

Elisabet W. Middelthon
Chair Writers in Prison Committee Norwegian PEN

Carl Morten Iversen
Secretary General

Copies to:
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Niger Representative in Norway
The Norwegian Representative in Niger

2006: Kina: Zhao Yan

His Excellency Hu Jintao
President of the People’s Republic of China
State Council
Beijing 100032
P.R.China.

Procurator General Mr. Jia Chunwang
Supreme People’s Procuratorate
Beiheyan Street 147
100726 Beijing
P.R.China                                Oslo, 30 August 2006

Your Excellencies,

The Writers in Prison Committee of Norwegian PEN welcomes the announcement on 17 March 2006 that the charge of revealing state secrets has been dropped against journalist Zhao Yan, but is seriously concerned that he has not been released.

Zhao Yan, news assistant at the Beijing bureau of the New York Times and former reporter for China Reform magazine, was arrested on 17 September 2004 and charged with “providing state secrets to foreigners”. He was charged for an article published in the New York Times on 7 September 2004 revealing Jiang Zemin’s retirement from the position of Chairman of the Central Military Commission and the transfer of leadership to President Hu Jintao. The article preceded the official announcement about Jiang’s retirement, which was made on 19 September 2004. The New York Times said that Zhao had no involvement whatsoever in the article. Zhao was also indicted on the lesser charge of fraud, which is still under investigation.

Norwegian PEN demands his immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory.

Hoping that you, Your Excellencies, will take immediate action to set Zhao Yan free, I remain,

Yours faithfully,

Elisabet W. Middelthon
Chair Writers in Prison Committee

Carl Morten Iversen
secretary general Norwegian PEN

Cc:
The Chinese Embassy, Oslo
The Norwegian Embassy, Beijing
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oslo

2006: Syria: Habib Saleh

August 28th 2006

His Excellency President Bashar al-Assad
Presidential Palace
Damascus

Your Excellency

From the non-political association PEN International we learn with dismay and alarm about the imprisonment of cyber-dissident Habib Saleh. He was convicted on August 16th following a trial which reportedly lacked due process.

International PEN condemns the imprisonment of Habib Saleh and calls for his immediate release. PEN is extremely concerned by the Syrian government’s continued imprisonment of writers who have exercised their right to freedom of expression.

We call for Habib Saleh’s immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Syria is a signatory. We also protest the detention of all writers currently detained in Syria for expressing their views, including Mohammad Ghanem, Michel Kilo, Ali al-Abdullah and  Fateh Jamous, and call for their release. We are alarmed by reports that they are kept incommunicado and are at risk of ill-treatment. We demand that whilst detained they are granted access to their families, lawyers and any necessary medical treatment.

Your Excellency, we urge you to look into Habib Salah’s case, and also the cases of the other persons here mentioned, and we trust that you will see to it that they are given fair and just treatment, according to internationally accepted standards.

Yours sincerely

Aase Gjerdrum
Translator, member of Norwegian PEN’s WiPC

2006: Kina: Guo Qizhen

His Excellency Hu Jintao
President of the People’s Republic of China
State Council
Beijing 100032
P.R.China

Oslo, 22 June 2006

Your Excellency,

The Writers in Prison Committee of Norwegian PEN is seriously concerned about the detention of Internet writer Guo Qizhen, who has reportedly been held since 12 May 2006 on subversion charges for his critical writings and pro-democracy activities. Guo is said to be in poor health and held without access to adequate care. International PEN considers journalist Guo Qizhen to be detained in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

According to PEN’s information, cyber-dissident Guo Qizhen was arrested at his home on 12 May 2006 and charged with ‘inciting subversion of state power’ on 8 June 2006. His arrest appears to be linked to his participation in a rotating hunger strike which has been taking place by pro-democracy activists since 4 February 2006 to protest against human rights violations in China. The charges are believed to be based on his anti-government articles published online on overseas websites.

Guo is currently held incommunicado without access to his family, at Cangzhou detention centre No.2 in Hebei Province, central China, and without adequate medical facilities to give him the medical treatment he needs.

As chair of Norwegian PEN’s Writer in Prison Committee I protest against the detention of Internet writer Guo Qizhen, and I call for his immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China became a signatory in 1998.

Hoping that you, Your Excellency, will take immediate action to set Guo Qizhen free, I remain,
Yours faithfully,

Elisabet W. Middelthon/sign.                                        Carl Morten Iversen
Chair Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN        secretary general

Cc:
The Chinese Embassy, Oslo
The Norwegian Embassy, Beijing
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oslo

2006: Iran: Elham Afroutan

Oslo, February 14. 2006

His Excellency
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei

Head of the Judiciary
His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi

c/o Iranian Embassy in Norway
telefax: 22554919

Norwegian PEN fears for safety of journalist and writer Elham Afroutan and other journalists arrested for the publication of a satirical article

Norwegian PENs Writers in Prison Committee is deeply concerned about the arrest of journalist and writer Elham Afroutan, who is among seven journalists from the provincial weekly newspaper Tammadon-e Hormozgan (Hormozgan’s Civilisation) to have been detained since 29 January 2006 following the publication of a satirical article. The journalists are believed to be held incommunicado without charge, and to be at risk of torture and ill-treatment.  According to information from International PEN, there is serious concern for the safety of Elham Afroutan and those detained with her, and Norwegian PEN therefore seeks immediate guarantees of their well-being.  Both International and Norwegian PEN call for their immediate and unconditional release if held in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory.

According to PEN’s information, journalist and writer Elham Afroutan and six other Tammadon-e Hormozgan journalists were arrested following the publication of a satirical article entitled «Let’s Expose the AIDS Epidemic of the Regime», which compared the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran and the advent of Ayatollah Khomeini to AIDS and gave the current physical embodiment of the disease as President Ahmadinejad. The detained journalists did not write the article, and are thought to have reproduced it in the newspaper’s health section without thorough checking because they were short of stories. Afroutan is believed to be the principle accused in the case. The article is said to have been written under an alias by somebody outside Iran, and published on the Internet.

Norwegian PEN hereby express our serious concern about the arrest of journalist and writer Elham Afroutan and up to six other Tammadon-e Hormozgan journalists detained with her, and we seek immediate assurances that they are not being ill-treated.  We urge that they are granted access to their families, lawyers, and any necessary medical attention and call for their immediate and unconditional release if held in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory.

Sincerely
for the Writers in Prison Committee of Norwegian PEN

Carl Morten Iversen
secretary general

2005: Tunisia/UN: Concern over WSIS

October 1, 2005

His Excellency Kofi A. Annan
Secretary-General
United Nations
Room 3800,
United Nations Headquarters
New York, NY 10017

Dear Mr. Secretary-General,

We civil society organizations participating at the Prepcom 3 of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva (17 – 30 September 2005) express our deep concern about the conditions in which the WSIS is about to take place in Tunis from 16 – 18 November 2005. Since we learned that the second phase of the Summit would take place in Tunisia, we have expressed serious concerns over at the violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Tunisian authorities. Today, shortly before the holding of the Summit, we unfortunately must note that there has been no improvement and that we have recently even witnessed a serious deterioration of fundamental freedoms as follows:

The harassment of the Association of Tunisian Judges and the disciplinary sanctions taken against its active members on 1st August; the prohibition of the holding of the founding congress of the Union of Tunisian Journalists on September 7th and the harassment of its members; the prohibition of the holding of the 6th congress of the Tunisian Human Rights League on September 9th and the police blocks of its local sections.

These new attacks come in an already alarming context regarding such threats to fundamental freedoms as:

* Assaults on the Tunisian Bar that have included physical aggressions of lawyers at the law court and the sentencing of lawyer Mohamed Abbou in June 2005 to three years imprisonment – after an unfair trial – after he published on the Internet an article criticizing conditions in Tunisian prisons;
* Denial of the right to legal accreditation of independent civil society associations;
* Threats against freedom of assembly;
* Police blocking of the approaches to association headquarters and homes of their leaders;
* Verbal and physical aggressions of human rights defenders and public defamation campaigns against them;
* Retaliations against publicly independent university professors;
* Systematic censorship of newspapers and books;
* Blocking of Internet sites, systematic surveillance of e-mails and telephones;
* Arbitrary denial of authorizations to publish new newspapers and magazines and to create independent broadcasting outlets;
* Lack of a published and transparent system of broadcast licensing;
* Systematic use of torture by police to obtain confessions;
* Use of the pretext of the fight against terrorism to sentence without proof young people following trials international observers have deemed unfair;
* Keeping in jail of more than 600 prisoners of opinion, inhumane and degrading conditions and harassment of those who have finished their prison terms by imposing administrative controls, including banishment to distant locations.

These systematic violations of fundamental freedoms, coupled with the serious dysfunctioning of the judicial system have undermined the rule of law in Tunisia. It is shocking for the Summit to take place in a country with such a deplorable record.  We recall that the participants in the first phase of the WSIS have reaffirmed in their Geneva Declaration of December 2003 the centrality of human rights for the Information Society, most particularly:

* “The universality, indivisibility and interdependence and interrelation of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development as enshrined in the Vienna Declaration, as well as tight links between them. We reaffirm also that democracy, sustainable development and the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as good governance at all levels are interdependent and mutually reinforcing” (§3)

* “That as the essential foundation of the information society and as outlined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; that this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers” (§4)

We regret that the Tunisian government has not respected its commitments to these Declaration in its capacity of host country of the second phase of the WSIS and that it is jeopardizing the chances of success of this Summit by a deliberate policy of massive human rights violations.

We hence consider that the minimal conditions for the holding of this Summit are not met and that the credibility of the United Nations is at stake, as well as that of the international community, not to legitimize practices and policies contrary to its international commitments.

We regret to inform you that if there are no significant improvements in the human rights situation in Tunisia before November 16, we would then need to reconsider the modalities and level of our participation at this Summit.

We, therefore, respectfully request you to dispatch a high representative to Tunisia to review the state of affairs in the host country and for you subsequently to seek Tunisian official conformity with its international human rights commitments.

We look forward to your early reply.

Steve Buckley, President, World Association of Community Radio Broadcasting (AMARC)
Jim Ottaway, Jr., Chairman, World Press Freedom Committee (WPFC)
E. Markham Bench, Executive Director, World Press Freedom Committee (WPFC)
Chantal Peyer, Comunica-ch

On behalf of the following international civil society entities:
Eric Sottas, Directeur, Organisation Mondiale Contre la Torture (OMCT)
Sean O Siochru, Campaign for Communication Rights in the Information Society (CRIS)
Karen Banks, Association for Progressive Communication (APC)
Sidi Kaba, President, Federation International des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH).
Aidan White, General Secretary, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
Alexis Krikorian, International Publishers Association (IPA)
Guillaume Chenevière, Chairman, World Radio and Television Council
James H. Ottaway, Jr., Chairman, and E. Markham Bench, Executive Director, World Press Freedom Committee (WPFC)
Timothy Balding, World Association of Newspapers (WAN)
Gus Hosein, Privacy International, UK
Fatou Jagne Senghor, Article 19
Luckson Chiapare, Executive Director, Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
Susana Fernandez for WSIS Gender Caucus
Vittorio Bertola, Member of the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG)
Karin Karlekar, Freedom House
Rohan Jayasakeera, Index on Censorship
Robert Ménard, General secretary,  Reporters without borders
Andrew Anderson, Deputy Director, Front Line, The International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
Randy Naylor, General Secretary, World Association of Christian
Communications (WACC)
Jim McDonnell, Director of Advocacy, World Catholic Association for Communication (SIGNIS)
Joanna Arevalo, Third World Majority (TWM)
John D.H. Downing, Director, Global Media Research Center  (Southern Illinois University)
Lisa McLaughlin, on behalf of Union for Democratic Communications
Clemencia Rodriguez for OURMedia
Dr B. Shadrach, Director for South Asia, OneWorld International Foundation
Alejo Miro Quesada, president, and Julio E. Munoz, Executive Director, Inter American Press Association,
Fernando Martins, Brazilian Association of Newspapers – ANJ-Brasil
Paulo Lima, Executive Director, Rede de Informações para o Terceiro Setor (RITS)
Rita Freire, Planeta Porto Alegre and Ciranda Internacional, Brasil
Felix Gutiérrez Matta, Red de comunicaciones indígenas Apachita, La Paz, Bolivia
Roberto Bissio, Executive Director, Institutdo del Tercer Mundo (ITeM), Uruguay
Daniel Pimienta, President, Fundation Redes y Desarrollo (FUNREDES)
Julian Casasbuenas, Colnodo, Colombia
Carlos Alvarez, Wamani, Argentina
Edmundo Vitale, Escuela Latinoamericana de Reds (ESLARED), Venezuela
Olinca Marino, Laneta, Mexico
Rod Macdonell, Executive Director, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE)
Spencer Moore, National Press Club of Canada
Oliver Zielke, Web Community Resource Networks, Canada
Michel Lambert, Alternatives, Canada
Carl Morten Iversen, Norwegian PEN
Rikke Frank Jorgensen, Digital Rights, Denmark
Jane Johnson, Danish United Nations Association (DUNA)
Sjoera Nas, Co-director, Bits of Freedom, Dutch digital civil rights
Meryem Marzouki, President, Imaginons un réseau Internet solidaire (IRIS), France
Jean-Louis Fullsack, President, Coopération Solidarité Développement aux PTT (CSDPTT), France
Ghislaine Glassom Deschaumes, Transeuropeennes, France
Ralf Bendrath, Netzwerk Neue Medien, Germany
Ulrich Remmel, Deutscher-Journalisten-Verband (DJV), Germany
Johannes Schunter, computer scientist, ICONICS Informations- und Computersysteme, Germany
Danièle Lenzin and Roland Kreuzer, Presidents of comedia – the Swiss media union
Olivier Labarthe, Président de la Commission d’information, Fédération genevoise de coopération, Switzerland
Carlo Sommaruga, lawyer and MP, General Secratary Asloca SR, Switzerland
Claudia Padovani, University of Padova & CRIS Campaign, Italie
Andrea Amato, Institut mediterraeen (IMED), Italie
Marco Cappato, Parti Radical, Italie
Liz Probert, GreenNet
Anastasia Roniotes, MIO-ECSDE, Grece
Corina Cepoi, Independent Journalism Center (IJC), Moldova
Pavel Antonov, Bluelink, Bulgaria
Bako Mihaly, StrawberryNet, Romania
Danijela Babic, Zamirnet, Croatia
Leandro Navarro, Pangea, Catalunya, Spain
Marise J. R. A. Fonseca, Network of Feminists Women for Gender Equity in Development (GENERA), Spain
Helene Olivan, Institut europeen de la mediterranee (IEMED), Spain
Valentina Pellizzer, UniMondo, Southern Europe
Jose Moises Martin President de la Plateforme Intergouvernemental Euromed
Jean François Courbe, Forum social Mediterreen
Chaffai Abdelhamid, Reseau marocain Euromed gerarda Ventura
Kamel Jendoubi, President, Reseau Euromediterraneen des Droits de l’Homme (REMDH)
Mokhtar Trifi, president, Ligue Tunisienne pour la défense des droits de l’Homme (LTDH)
Sihem Bensedrine, spokesperson, Conseil National pour les Libertés en Tunisie (CNLT)
Radhia Nasraoui, President, Association de Lutte contre la Torture en Tunisie (ALTT)
Lotfi Hajji, president, Syndicat des journalistes tunisiens (SJT)
Naziha Rjiba, deputy president, Observatoire pour la Liberté de Presse, d’Edition et de Création (OLPEC)
Essia Belhassen, coordinatrice SMSI, Association Tunisienne des femmes démocrates (ATFD)
Samir Dilou, deputy president, Association Internationale pour le soutien aux prisonniers politiques (AISPP)
Ali Ben Salem, president, Amicale Nationale des Anciens Résistants (ANAR)
Safwa Aissa, president,Vérité-Action (VA)
Mokhtar Yahyaoui, president, Centre pour l’indépendance de la justice et des Avocats (CIJA)
Jalel Matri, president, Union des Tunisiens en Suisse (UTS)
Mourad Errahib, Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, Maroco
Naim Abou tair, Palestinian NGO (PNGO)
Amir Makhlouf, ITTIJAH (Union of Arab NGO)
Dawoud Hassan, Arab Committee for the Defense of Journalists
Georges Abi Saleh, Plateforme euromed, Liban
Ahida Taleb, Rassemblemeñt Deomcratique libanais des femmes (RDLF)
Ziad Abdessamad, ANND
Pius N. Njawé, Organisation Camerounaise Pour La Liberte De La Presse.
Natasha Primo, WomensNet, South Africa
Sohrab Razzaghi, Iran Civil Society Organizations Training and Research Center (ICTRC)
Parminder Jeet Singh, Director, IT for Change, India
Ahmed Swapan, Executive Director, VOICE, Bangladesh
Kong Sidaroth, Open Forum, Cambodia
Oh, Byoung-il, Jinbonet, South Korea
Al Alegre, Foundation for Media Alternatives, Philippines
Frederick Noronha, Bytesforall, South Asia
John Dada, Fantsuam Foundation, Nigeria
Andrew Garton, c2o, Australia

Marianne Seger, Germany
Lucia Fanini, Italy
Elizabeth Eide, Norway