SPOTLIGHT: TEN YEARS ON FROM TAHRIR SQUARE

Freedom of Expression in the Middle East

Ten years ago, a wave of protest swept the Middle East and north Africa. Launched with an eyewitness account from Egypt’s Tahrir Square, IWPR’s Arab Spring reporting project featured voices from across the region; journalists, human rights defenders, activists and ordinary people caught up in a time of extraordinary change.
Women cheer in Tahrir Square after it is announced that President Hosni Mubarak was giving up power on Feburary 11, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt.
Women cheer in Tahrir Square after it is announced that President Hosni Mubarak was giving up power on Feburary 11, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt. © Chris Hondros/Getty Images
A Tunisian journalist holds a TV frame on April 25, 2012 during a sit-in outside the municipal theatre in Tunis to protesting silencing Tunisian Television journalists.
A Tunisian journalist holds a TV frame on April 25, 2012 during a sit-in outside the municipal theatre in Tunis to protesting silencing Tunisian Television journalists. © Fethi Belaid/AFP via Getty Images
Tunisian journalists of Assabah daily hold signs calling for freedom of the press during a protest in Tunis on September 11, 2012.
Tunisian journalists of Assabah daily hold signs calling for freedom of the press during a protest in Tunis on September 11, 2012. © Khalil/AFP/Getty Images
Candle light vigil to remember journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi Arabia consulate on October 25, 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey.
Candle light vigil to remember journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi Arabia consulate on October 25, 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey. © Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Libyan journalists protest to denounce violence against journalists, on January 20, 2019 in the Libyan capital Tripoli.
Libyan journalists protest to denounce violence against journalists, on January 20, 2019 in the Libyan capital Tripoli. © Mahmud Turkia/AFP via Getty Images
Anti-government protesters wave flags and demonstrate at Pearl Roundabout on February 20, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain.
Anti-government protesters wave flags and demonstrate at Pearl Roundabout on February 20, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. © John Moore/Getty Images
Protesters listen to speeches bout their hopes and plans for the future government on May 03, 2019 in Khartoum, Sudan. Thousands of demonstrators continued their mass sit-in outside military headquarters in Khartoum to call on the country's military rulers to cede control.
Protesters listen to speeches bout their hopes and plans for the future government on May 03, 2019 in Khartoum, Sudan. Thousands of demonstrators continued their mass sit-in outside military headquarters in Khartoum to call on the country's military rulers to cede control. © David Degner/Getty Images

Why Local Voices Matter

The real heroes are those on the ground, fighting to bring truth to light.

"Always when I think of press freedom I think of my colleague Jamal Khashoggi... Jamal’s work is not over – it lives on in the spirit of every reporter working to bring truth to light."

Janine di Giovanni
Janine di Giovanni
Senior Fellow at Yale University
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2021: The New Global Concern

Against the loss of life and economic devastation suffered in the pandemic, the world can at least take hope from science and the emerging vaccines. Yet another “new normal” has emerged with long-term consequences potentially even more dangerous – disinformation.
Myanmar youths browsing Facebook pages at an internet shop in Yangon. Facebook has been heavily criticised over failures to control hate speech and misinformation in Myanmar.
Myanmar youths browsing Facebook pages at an internet shop in Yangon. Facebook has been heavily criticised over failures to control hate speech and misinformation in Myanmar. © Sai Aung Main/AFP via Getty Images

"Driven by state powers and extremist operators, and fuelled by unregulated, conflict-driving social media, disinformation spreads even more quickly than a virus."

Anthony Borden
Anthony Borden
IWPR Founder & Executive Director

Democratic accountability comes from journalists investigating their own societies – IWPR provides a much needed platform and support for those reporting from some of the most dangerous and difficult places in the world.

Lindsey Hilsum

International Editor, Channel 4 News

Disinformation is a major global threat , especially in conflict and post-conflict areas. IWPR performs a vital mission, building up local voices as a bulwark against this challenge.

Dr Karin von Hippel

Director General, Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies

IWPR fills a critical gap by helping local journalists to focus on human rights and justice issues. In the process, it contributes to democratic transitions, and demonstrates that the best war reporting is not about military conflict, but human consequences.

Samantha Power

Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations; Pulitzer Prize-winning author

Covering Coronavirus in Cuba

IWPR’s network of reporters in Cuba are defying one of the most repressive media environments in the world to expose mass government disinformation over the Covid-19 crisis.
A woman wearing a face mask walks in Havana on September 14, 2020.
A woman wearing a face mask walks in Havana on September 14, 2020. © Yamil Lage/AFP via Getty Images
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Independent, dissenting Azerbaijani voices have never been so ostracised.
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Malala's IWPR Roots

Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai began her campaigning work as a 12-year-old IWPR trainee in a Pakistani programme empowering young people through public debate and dialogue.
Malala at age 12 talks about taking part in IWPR's Open Minds Pakistan project.
Founder and executive director of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting in Nigeria, and IWPR partner on a project bringing media and civil society together to fight human rights abuses.
The founder & president of the Media Association for Peace in Lebanon which works with IWPR on Aswat Horra, a regional freedom of expression project.
IWPR project manager who coordinated a project aimed at preventing violent extremism and training religious leaders in how to use social media to communicate with young people.

IWPR's journalism illustrated by stunning photography thanks to support from GettyImages.

Displaced Syrian girls wear face masks decorated by artists during a COVID-19 awareness campaign at the Bardaqli camp in Syria's Idlib province, on April 20, 2020.
Displaced Syrian girls wear face masks decorated by artists during a COVID-19 awareness campaign at the Bardaqli camp in Syria's Idlib province, on April 20, 2020. © AAREF WATAD/AFP via Getty Images
An Iraqi man sells coffee in the capital Baghdad's now deserted al-Mutanabbi street during the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis.
An Iraqi man sells coffee in the capital Baghdad's now deserted al-Mutanabbi street during the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis. © AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images
A fire burns in a hardware store after a rocket attack caused the building to catch fire on October 3, 2020 in Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh.
A fire burns in a hardware store after a rocket attack caused the building to catch fire on October 3, 2020 in Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh. © Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images © Paula Bronstein/Getty Images
Demonstrators participate in an anti-Lukashenko rally on August 18, 2020 in Minsk, Belarus.
Demonstrators participate in an anti-Lukashenko rally on August 18, 2020 in Minsk, Belarus. © Misha Friedman/Getty Images
Rohingya Muslim refugees wait to board boats over a creek after crossing the Myanmar Bangladesh border on September 07, 2017 in Whaikhyang, Bangladesh.
Rohingya Muslim refugees wait to board boats over a creek after crossing the Myanmar Bangladesh border on September 07, 2017 in Whaikhyang, Bangladesh. © Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Pigeons fly after being fed by Syrians in the courtyard of the Omayad mosque October 18, 2002 in Damascus, Syria.
Pigeons fly after being fed by Syrians in the courtyard of the Omayad mosque October 18, 2002 in Damascus, Syria. © Chris Hondros/Getty Images
Iraqi protesters gather at Tahrir square during ongoing anti-government demonstrations in the capital Baghdad on October 31, 2019.
Iraqi protesters gather at Tahrir square during ongoing anti-government demonstrations in the capital Baghdad on October 31, 2019. © Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP via Getty Images
Northern Iraqi Kurds Hendrin Usman (L) and Ubeid Hasen look out a window of their house adorned with doves June 16, 2003 in a village near Erbil, Iraq.
Northern Iraqi Kurds Hendrin Usman (L) and Ubeid Hasen look out a window of their house adorned with doves June 16, 2003 in a village near Erbil, Iraq. © Mario Tama/Getty Images
Boys play on a street next to a building destroyed by war more than twenty years earlier on April 18, 2015 in Shushi, Nagorno-Karabakh.
Boys play on a street next to a building destroyed by war more than twenty years earlier on April 18, 2015 in Shushi, Nagorno-Karabakh. © Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images
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