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Defending Freedom of Expression

East Africa Journalists Defence Network project is funded by the European Union and intends to establish mechanisms and tools for protecting journalists and Human Rights Defenders as a first line of defence in realising the universal right to freedom of expression and monitor abuses. The project covers Rwanda, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia where the security situation for journalists has deteriorated and there is little coordinated effort to address the threats and protect media workers.

Journalists in these countries are routinely subjected to physical threats, assault, intimidation and harassment resulting in self-censorship; some are forced into exile or killed in the line of duty. This situation creates a chilling effect on Freedom of Expression protected through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and Africa Charter on Human and People’s rights.

East Africa Journalists Defence Network thus aims at providing a public solidarity mechanism for journalists when they are attacked as a first line of defence in respecting human rights and the right to Freedom of Expression. It is multi-layered, addressing different problems of journalists in distress on different levels simultaneously by bringing together different areas of expertise.