NEW YORK — The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is hosting a panel at RightsCon Brussels on March 30, 2017, on the topic of strengthening free speech standards across the globe.

Mar 28, 2017

The panel, "Free Speech Unlimited," features U.N. Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye; Bahraini free speech activist Maryam Al-Khawaja; Eritrean journalist Meron Estefanos; and two members of HRF's legal team, Joy Jiao and Celine Assaf Boustani. It takes place on March 30, at 2:30, on the 1st floor of the RightsCon Brussels venue, and will address the ways that governments manipulate free speech standards to curb dissent and prosecute dissidents. The panel will also be livestreamed on HRF’s Facebook page for those who cannot attend RightsCon.

The panel will mark the official launch of HRF's comparative legal research and advocacy project of the same name. Over the past three years, HRF has curated a massive online resource evaluating free speech standards in over 160 countries around the world. Free Speech Unlimited is designed to help activists and civil society groups understand their country's free speech regulations. The project also presents information on at least one important free speech case per country, including the stories of panelists Al-Khawaja and Estefanos. The website, which is being launched in beta at this stage, allows users to directly compare and contrast free speech standards under democracies and authoritarian regimes worldwide.

HRF will also be on the RightsCon Brussels convention floor from March 29-31 to showcase Flash Drives for Freedom, a project that sends information and media into North Korea.

RightsCon Brussels convenes human rights experts, business leaders, technologists, and more to discuss the future of the internet and related human rights concerns. HRF hopes to draw attention to the way limits on free speech and online expression can harm human rights advocates, and to advance its goal of connecting human rights activists to technologists.

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.

To inquire about Free Speech Unlimited or arrange for an interview with the project’s director, Javier El-Hage, please email [email protected]

To reach a member of the HRF staff at RightsCon by phone, please contact Celine Assaf Boustani at +1 (646) 309-2227.