Strengthening local media voices in transitional societies is always a challenge, especially in areas of conflict or “closed spaces” where freedom of expression is actively repressed. The challenge escalated alarmingly this week when Belarus grounded a civilian airplane in order to seize independent journalist Roman Pratasevich. As with Russia’s 2018 use of Novichok in Salisbury, the signal being sent is that nowhere is safe.
IWPR’s core work is to support just such vital independent voices. Amid this disturbing development, we are pleased to feature two stories from Belarusian reporters, including the response of the Belarus protest movement and fears among the diaspora.
Meanwhile, IWPR continues to support a network of international research groups to track Chinese disinformation and “sharp power” across Asia and globally. IWPR project associate Charles Scanlon, a senior journalist formerly with the BBC, contributes an assessment of Beijing’s threat to Taiwan across the restive Pacific area.
Where possible, IWPR always seeks to work constructively with governments to increase the space for free voices. IWPR’s Central Asia Director Abakhon Sultonnazarov recently addressed a regional forum in Kazakstan to promote the democratic benefits of cooperation between media and civil society.
These are just some highlights from the work of IWPR teams, active in more than 30 countries around the world, strengthening local voices and helping them to drive positive change.
For more information, visit us at iwpr.net, or drop me a line. Do also consider supporting us directly; contributions make a critical difference in enabling our vital work around the world.
IWPR FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Fears Grow Among Belarusian Diaspora After Arrest
Calls for further sanctions as well as heightened protection for pro-democracy campaigners.
"What is happening is beyond comprehension. How can you, in 2021, in Europe, just hijack a plane, hijack a person?"
A PROTESTOR FROM WARSAW
China: Threats Loom in the Pacific
Beijing believes an epochal struggle for mastery is already underway.
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