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
Renowned investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova turns forty on Friday, May 27, celebrating her birthday for the second consecutive year in Baku’s Kurdukhani jail. Please join Amnesty Internationa...
Press Release
The Israeli military today renewed for six months the detention of Palestinian circus performer Mohammad Faisal Abu Sakha, who has been held without charge since his arrest in December 2015, in a case...
Victory

Zainab al-Khawaja and her son were released from prison in Bahrain on humanitarian grounds on 31 May. She left Bahrain for Denmark on 7 June after receiving information that she could face new char...

Report

Authorities in Gambia must free dozens of political prisoners and end the brutal crackdown on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly ahead of elections later this year or face su...