If Debate Is Silenced We Risk More Violence in the Name of Religion
In the last few months, the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief have been brought into sharp focus. Article by Thomas Hughes, Director of Article 19 - in The Huffington Post.
The tragic Charlie Hebdo murders, and the subsequent attack on a kosher Supermarket in Paris, the copycat Copenhagen shooting, the flogging of Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia, the murder of atheist blogger Avijit Roy in Bangladesh, the anti-Muslim marches in Germany, the on-going persecution of Muslims in Sri Lanka, the executions of Coptic Christian migrant workers in Libya... the list is depressingly long.
Thomas Hughes is the Executive Director of ARTICLE 19, an international human rights organisation that defends freedom of expression and the right to information.
He is the founder and former Director of the social purpose enterprise Media Frontiers, which runs Diversity (the international advertising network for online news media from Human Rights repressed countries) and VirtualRoad.org (a secure hosting service that protects websites of civil society organisations). Thomas continues to act as a board member for Media Frontiers.
Thomas has a worked on press freedom, media development and Human Rights issues, including as Deputy Director of International Media Support, as well as previously for the European Commission and OSCE.