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
Ali al-Nimr was just 17 when he was arrested on 14 February 2012 a few months after taking part in anti-government rallies. He was sentenced to death, despite being a minor when he was arrested and fo...
Press Release
Five years after a wave of protests demanding widespread reform rocked Bahrain, hopes for progress on human rights and accountability for past and present abuses have faded, said Amnesty International...
Victory

Three Saudi Arabian lawyers convicted over messages posted on Twitter deemed offensive to the Ministry of Justice have had their prison sentences quashed by an appeal court.

Report

Malaysia’s government has launched an unprecedented crackdown through the Sedition Act over the past two years to silence, harass and lock up hundreds of critics, Amnesty International said in a ne...