Free Razan
Network Latest News
Ali Ferzat — Cartoons for Freedom of Expression
The attached cartoon represents a child drawing the future in the form of a new house with the sun shining on the ruins of the devastation and destruction caused by oppression in all its forms - including police repression of the media over a period of 50 years in Syria.
Andrey Sakharov's 94th birthday
21/05/2015: Today Andrey Sakharov, the man who gave his name to the European Parliament's Freedom of Thought Prize would have turned 94. More
Salima Ghezali and Ali Ferzat in a human rights programme on TV5
Two Sakharov Prize laureates, Salima Ghezali and Ali Ferzat participated in a programme on freedom of press on the French TV5 channel. The EP President, and co-President of the Sakharov Prize Network, Martin Schulz also took part in the programme. The programme is available here:
Sakharov Lecture with Denis Mukwege in Ghent
8-05-2015: Dr Mukwege, Sakharov Prize Laureate (2014) and currently co-Chair of the Sakharov Prize Network (SPN), participated as Special Guest in a SPN event in Ghent organized and hosted by the Belgian European Parliament Information Office. On that occasion, the Laureate accepted the invitation to sponsor the "Ghent4peace" campaign, launched by the City of Ghent. More
#FREE RAZAN action supported by MEPs and Sakharov Prize Laureates.
17-12-2014: Members of the European Parliament and Sakharov Prize Laureates together with civil society activists photographed above are calling for freedom for Razan Zaitouneh and for the three activists kidnapped with her one year ago on 9 December 2013 in the rebel-held area of Douma in Syria. The four, known in social media as the Douma 4 are still missing, believed to be alive, but their whereabouts are unknown. No one has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. Razan bravely denounced all those committing human rights violations in the Syrian conflict, government and rebels alike.
Many MEPs are supporting the campaign calling for the freedom of the Douma 4, among them the European Parliament President Martin Schulz, Vice President for the Sakharov Prize Network Ulrike Lunacek, Chair of the Committee on Development and co-Chair of the Democracy and Election Coordination Group (DEG) Linda McAvan, Chair of the Subcommittee of Human Rights and DEG Member Elena Valenciano, Chair of the Conference of Delegation Chairs and DEG Member Pier Antonio Panzeri, Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee Eduard Kukan, Chair of the Delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly Heidi Hautala, Chair of the Delegation for relations with Afghanistan Petras Auštrevi ius, Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights Barbara Lochbihler, Vice-Chair of the Delegation for relations with the Pan-African Parliament Maria Heubuch, and Vice-Chair of the Delegation for relations with the countries of the Andean Community and DEG Member Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, and former EP President Jerzy Buzek.
Sakharov Prize Laureates Denis Mukwege, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nasrin Sotoudeh, Iran, Asmaa Mahfouz, Egypt, Ahmed El Senussi, Libya, Damas de Blanco, Cuba, Reporters without Borders represented by Olivier Basille, France, the Belarusian Association of Journalists represented by Zhanna Litvina and MichaB Janczuk, Belarus, and Nurit Peled-Elhanan, Israel, are also supporting the call as well as the EU's High Representative for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis and many NGOs. Razan's sister Reem and the NGO Razan co-founded, the Violations Documentation Centre have also expressed their support of this action. This call is being supported by MEPs, Laureates and the public through social media, by tweeting using the #FreeRazan #Sakharov and posting photos of themselves holding up a paper with these same words. More
The European Parliament and Sakharov Prize Laureates for freedom of expression
17-04-2015: an online campaign for freedom of expression has been launched by the European Parliament featuring Sakharov Prize Laureates Reporters Without Borders, the Belarusian Association of Journalists, Salima Ghezali, Ali Ferzat and the niece of kidnapped Syrian Sakharov Prize Laureate Razan Zaitouneh. The campaign has been launched to mark World Press Freedom Day and will be online to 3 May and beyond. More
Sakharov Prize laureates discuss press freedom
Salima Ghezali - Freedom of expression on… Mars
Laura Rawas - ‘We deserve freedom as you do!'
Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) - Freedom as evergreen line of defence
Reporters Without Borders - The new era of propaganda
Laureates Latest News
Layla Zana is re-elected to the Turkish Parliament
Sakharov Prize Laureate (1995) Leyla Zana has been re-elected to the Turkish Parliament with the People's Democratic Party (HDP) at the elections held on 7 June 2015. more
Taslima Nasreen moves to U.S. after death threats
03-06-2015:Sakharov Prize Laureate Taslima Nasreen has relocated to the United States after receiving death threats from the same extremist group linked to Al-Qaeda that killed three secular bloggers this year in Bangladesh. Taslima Nasreen had already had to flee her native Bangladesh because of a fatwa for her writing when she was awarded the Sakharov Prize in 1994. She has recently been living in exile in India. More
Nurit Peled supports the BDS campaign by Palestinian civil society
09-05-2015:It is a duty to support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, Israeli Sakharov Prize Laureate (2001) and Russell Tribunal co-initiator Nurit Peled stated in an editorial for the Los Otros Judios (The Other Jews) website, on the 10th anniversary of the movement. The BDS campaign calls on Israel to comply with international law and Palestinian rights. It was initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005, and is coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee. The campaign call was endorsed by over 170 Palestinian political parties, organizations, trade unions and movements representing refugees, Palestinians in the occupied territories, and Palestinian citizens of Israel. More
Reporters without Borders keep a watchful eye on media freedom in Burundi
12-03-2015:Sakharov Prize Laureate Reporters Without Borders joined the Union of Burundian Journalists (UBJ) in welcoming the new media law adopted unanimously by Burundi's National Assembly on 4 March. The new law replaces the media law of 2013 and the controversial clauses concerning the confidentiality of journalists' sources and heavy fines for media offences. Burundi's Constitutional Court quashed the problematic media law in response to a petition by the UBJ in January 2015. The new law still needs the final approval from the Senate, the higher legislative chamber of Burundian Parliament. More
Hu Jia expresses concerns on new Chinese draft counterterrorism law
11-03-2015:Chinese Sakharov Prize Laureate Hu Jia has criticised a new draft counterterrorism law saying it is aimed at extending the Chinese government's control. "The government controls propaganda, if they say you are a terrorist, then you are", Hu Jia said in the media. Human Rights Watch has called the new law a "recipe for abuse" and it has also caused unusually strong concerns among Chinese human rights activists, who see it as a new attempt by the government to exploit the terrorist threat to further empower its repressive state-security apparatus. More
Taslima Nasreen criticizes religious extremism amidst deadly attacks on free thinkers
31-03-2015:Sakharov Laureate (1994) Taslima Nasreen criticized the oppression of religious fundamentalism in Bangladesh amidst deadly assassinations of bloggers and free thinkers in this country. In an interview she gave to an Indian newspaper on 21 March, Taslima states that 'Bangladesh will be heading for a complete disaster if Islamic terrorists are not brought to justice.' Taslima's words came as a warning as a blogger was hacked to death by assailants using machetes in Dhaka on 30 March. This is a second attack in five weeks on a critic of religious extremism in Bangladesh. More
Nurit Peled calls inter-religious electoral list "a ray of hope" in Israel
25-03-2015:speaking at the International Social Forum in Tunisia Israeli Sakharov Prize Laureate and co-initiator of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine Nurit Peled-Elhanan deplored the propaganda inciting fear and hatred that, she said, led to the recent electoral result in Israel, with Benjamin Netanyahu being returned to power. More
The European Parliament's multiple efforts on the Douma 4 case

Razan Zaitouneh

30-04-2015 2015 In coincidence with Razan Zaitouneh's 38th birthday (on April 29) the European Parliament has organised several public events featuring the case of the Douma 4. This is a follow-up of the EP's call for the immediate release of Razan Zaitouneh, as well as that of her missing colleagues Samira Khalil, Nazem Hamadi and Wa'el Hamada, known as the Douma 4. The EP's public efforts to that end include the Freedom of Press campaign, a special action in the Parliamentarium, and a panel debate on Syria. Also, the Douma 4 case was discussed at a special Syria hearing of the EP Subcommitte on Human Rights on 23 April. More
EP Human Rights Resolutions
Paraguay: child pregnancy and abortion laws

Syria: Palmyra and the case of Mazen Darwish

The situation in Nepal following the earthquakes

EP Latest News
EP mentions Razan Zaitouneh in its latest Syria urgency resolution
19-06-2015:Razan Zaitouneh, a Syrian human rights activist, and a Sakharov prize laureate (2011) was mentioned in the EP Human Rights urgency resolution on Syria adopted during the June plenary session in Strasbourg. Razan and three other activists were abducted in 2013 in Douma, Syria. She has been missing and not heard of since then. The Parliament has made multiple efforts to help find and release the kidnapped activists including two public campaigns and two resolutions. More
The European Parliament votes to recognise Palestinian Statehood
17-12-2014: The European Parliament supports "in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two state solution, and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced". A resolution drawn up by five political groups and passed by Parliament as a whole, decided to launch a "Parliamentarians for Peace" initiative to bring together MEPs and MPs from the Israeli and Palestinian parliaments More