Freedom of Expression

"Free speech" isn't so free when it costs you your liberty. In countries around the world, the right to express one's thoughts and beliefs is under assault.

Throughout the world individuals face harassment and imprisonment as a result of exercising their right to freedom of expression.

Everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas without fear or interference.

This right is important for the personal development and dignity of every individual and is vital for the fulfillment of other human rights.

Freedom of Expression

"Free speech" isn't so free when it costs you your liberty. In countries around the world, the right to express one's thoughts and beliefs is under assault.

Throughout the world individuals face harassment and imprisonment as a result of exercising their right to freedom of expression.

Everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas without fear or interference.

This right is important for the personal development and dignity of every individual and is vital for the fulfillment of other human rights.

Freedom of expression has always been a core part of Amnesty International's work and is closely linked to the right to hold opinions and the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Prisoners of Conscience

Amnesty International has campaigned on behalf of thousands of prisoners of conscience – people who are imprisoned because of their political, religious or other conscientiously held beliefs, ethnic origin, sex, color, language, national or social origin, economic status, birth, sexual orientation or other status.

Amnesty International calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience

Protecting the Right to Defend Human Rights

Human rights defenders are individuals, groups of people or organizations who promote and protect human rights through peaceful and non-violent means. Their actions depend on, and fuel, freedom of expression.

Because of their activities, human rights defenders can become a target of abuse. Governments, security forces, business interests, armed groups, religious leaders and sometimes even their own families and communities can try and silence their dissenting opinions or actions.

New Technology, New Challenges

The internet has opened up new possibilities for individuals and groups to seek and impart information and ideas. Yet, the internet is also a new frontier where freedom of expression is being challenged.

Censorship and Free Speech Updates
Blog
By Emily McGranachan, Member of Amnesty International USA’s LGBT Human Rights Coordinating Group While pundits in the U.S. lament the political stalemate on Capitol Hill, legislatures elsewhere have h...
News
Anna Politkovskaya was gunned down in broad daylight as she entered her Moscow apartment block on 7 October 2006. She was a staunch defender of human rights, and was bitterly opposed to the war in Che...
Report

Amnesty International USA and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) urge the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to recommend the repeal of Section 702 as well as other measures to subs...