ICNL works with its global network of partners to strengthen freedom of expression and combat threats to this fundamental right. Restrictive legislation, often justified on the grounds of national security, can limit individuals’ ability to speak their mind, criticize government policies, and report on current events. ICNL helps local partners understand threats to freedom of expression and provides them with tools and assistance to ensure that domestic legislation complies with international law. Our aim is to enable people to share their thoughts and opinions without fear of prosecution or retribution.
Freedom of Expression
Freedom of expression is the bedrock of a thriving civil society. It allows people to formulate and exchange ideas, encourages transparency and accountability, and facilitates the promotion and protection of human rights and civic space.
The UN Special Rapporteur makes recommendations to how to best promote and protect freedom of expression. Part of this includes gathering information relating to violations of this right, as well as discrimination against, threats or use of violence, harassment directed at persons seeking to exercise the freedom of expression. Opinions of the Special Rapporteur are considered persuasive interpretations of existing international human rights law on the freedom of expression.
This report outlines the fundamental elements of freedom of expression, including the conditions that must be met to ensure that any effort to restrict freedom complies with international law. It then discusses several national laws and evaluates the extent to which they restrict freedom of expression.
This guide outlines the legal instruments governing expressive activities on social media in Jordan. It discusses the laws that apply either directly or indirectly to written and visual online expression and presents information about the technical requirements and policies of social media platforms.
Higher education institutions around the world face increasing limitations on their autonomy. This report explores the ways in which states use legislative, regulatory, and other approaches to close academic space. In examining the ways in which restrictions are applied, the report seeks to help universities and other stakeholders reduce interference and maintain their independence.
This 2018 in-depth study assesses the effect of formal and informal restrictions on the viability of civil society organizations in Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, and Kuwait, including a focus on freedom of expression. The report is available in English and Arabic.