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November 18th, 2020

Protect Brazilian journalists

topic:Freedom of Expression
type:Donation, NGO
by:Yair Oded

In October 1975, Vladimir Herzog, a Brazilian journalist, was arrested, tortured, and murdered by the dictatorial government that ruled Brazil between 1964-1985. His tragic story triggered a movement of resistance that fought against totalitarianism and promoted freedom and speech and democracy.

Alas, long after the collapse of Brazil’s military dictatorship, freedom of speech and of the press continue to be curtailed in the country, and attacks on journalists persist (with the perpetrators rarely held accountable for their crimes).

Under the leadership of far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, attacks on the press have become even more frequent and severe. A survey conducted by the Journalists National Federation, which scrutinised Bolsonaro’s speeches, interviews, live-talks, and Twitter account found that the president issued as many as 245 attacks on the press in the first half of 2020 alone.

The Vladimir Herzog Institute, founded in 2009 by family members, friends, and former colleagues of the late journalist, is working to promote and implement Herzog’s core values of democracy, human rights, and freedom of expression in Brazilian society. In order to do so, this nonprofit organisation engages in extensive advocacy, education, and awareness building efforts both among government institutions and the general society in order to facilitate freedom of speech and promote ideals of democracy.

One of the Institute’s main projects is an initiative launched in 2018 that specifically addresses the danger facing journalists in Brazil and sets out to protect them in their work. Driven by the motto “The Safety of Journalists is the Safety of All of Us,” the program seeks to both guarantee the personal security of journalists and protect society’s right to information. 

“[T]his struggle aims to strengthen the institution of freedom of expression, a cornerstone of democracy,” reads the program’s description on the Institute’s website, “and to ensure the right of all citizens to access information that allows them to form their own individual judgments on matters of public interest in national life.”

Please visit the Vladimir Herzog Institute’s website to learn more about their various projects designed to protect Brazilians’ freedom of speech, defend journalists, educate a new generation of humane and determined reporters, and raise public and institutional awareness of the indispensable role of freedom of expression in a democracy.

You may follow this link to make a donation and support their efforts. 

Image: vladimirherzog

vladimirherzog.org