The right to peaceful protest, activism, and freedom of speech are fundamental to any society as a human right.
However, these human rights are also essential as a model for peace negotiations, mediation, and communications.
The protection of journalists, for example, is crucial to any society as it not only allows for freedom of speech but also allows for news and information to be disseminated globally.
What happens when a society does not trust the information given to them? It is a seed for chaos and violence.
In recent statements this week, we highlighted the repression of dissidents in Belarus, Iran, Ukraine, Ethiopia, etc.
It is a global problem. Every country has the issue of the repression of dissidents: censorship, restrictions on access, and violent acts directed against those whose views or queries are dangerous or wrong.
A very recent example of the repression of journalists was the imprisonment and recent release of Maria Ressa.
The Philippino journalist was recently released from prison after being charged with the pretense of tax evasion; the real reason was that her media outlet program was critical of the then-president.
The accusations against the journalist were politically motivated to silence her voice.
The right to exercise free speech is essential to any society.
We at the Europe Peace Foundation stand with all peaceful protests, dissidents, and activists who promote communications and the responsible dissemination of information to the public.