Report on Providing Safe Refuge to Journalists at Risk

Launch of the Third Report by the High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom

Authored by Professor Can Yeginsu, barrister and member of the High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom, the Panel’s report has been formally endorsed by: (i) the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, (ii) the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission, (iii) the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, and (iv) every major international non-governmental organisation working to promote media freedom. By reference to real life case studies, the report examines in detail the circumstances which make relocation necessary for journalists at risk today, finding that the pathways to safety open to them are too few in number and those that do exist are too slow, burdensome, and difficult to navigate to be capable of providing practical and effective recourse.

The report recommends to members of the Media Freedom Coalition and partner States committed to the protection and promotion of media freedom: (i) the introduction of a new emergency visa for journalists at risk; and (ii) the implementation of a number of essential adjustments to the existing framework for safe relocation.

The publication of the Report was accompanied by an Op-Ed by Professor Yeginsu entitled How to Fight Truth Decay: Protect the Truth Tellers published in Just Security on 23 November 2020.

The High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom is an independent body that was convened by the Chair Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury at the request of the UK and Canadian governments. The High Level Panel comprises a diverse group of leading lawyers from around the world, including the Deputy Chair, Amal Clooney and the IBAHRI Director, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC.

The event was organised by the Secretariat to the High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom, the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, as part of the International Bar Association's Virtually Together Conference.

Event recording

Closing remarks

  • Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury former President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

Panel

  • Professor Can Yeginsu Barrister, 4 New Square Chambers and member of the High Level Panel
  • Download remarks
  • Ms. Amal Clooney Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers and Deputy Chair of the High Level Panel
  • Download remarks
  • Dr. Courtney Radsch Advocacy Director, Committee to Protect Journalists
  • Mr. David McCraw Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at The New York Times Company and Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School
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  • Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon UK Minister for South Asia and the Commonwealth and UK Minister for Human Rights
  • The Honourable Irwin Cotler Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights and former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of Canada

Chair

  • Baroness Helena Kennedy QC Director, IBAHRI and member of the High Level Panel

Media coverage