Ideas Human rights

Freedom of expression and political satire are in danger

The Librexpression centre for freedom of expression (Libex) has organised a cartoon competition on the threats that this fundamental right, and the political satire which is an expression of it are currently facing even in Europe.

Published on 10 September 2020 at 09:32

On the 4th of November 1950, the Council of Europe Members signed in Rome The European Convention on Human Rights. Its Article 10 provides that “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authorities and regardless of frontiers”

To ensure respect for these rights, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) was created in 1959. Since 1976, the Handyside judgment has consistently made case law. The Court confirms that freedom of expression “applies not only to “information” or “ideas” welcomed or regarded as harmless or indifferent, but also to those which bump, shock or concern the State or any fraction of the population. This is what are pluralism, tolerance and spirit of openness without which there is no democratic society demand”. 

Nevertheless, for many reasons, these rights are made a game of. More and more journalists and editorial cartoonists are victims of murders, assaults, kidnappings, physical intimidation, imprisonment, arrests, travel bans, police harassment, politically motivated lawsuits, asset freezing or seizure, vandalism, cyber-attacks, online harassment, blacklisting and bullying.

Freedom of expression political satire and therefore democracy are nowadays in danger. 

It is the reason why Libex and its partners Cartooning for Peace and Voxeurop have invited to participate to a competition on this theme 160 cartoonists from 44 of the 47 member countries of the Council of Europe. 118 of them from 32 countries responded, and sent 287 cartoons. The international jury has selected the 55 cartoons presented here, and in the exhibition organised at the Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Free Expression (Libex) – Giuseppe Di Vagno Foundation in Conversano (Italy) from 25 September. The finalist cartoons will be presented on Voxeurop on 17 September.

The other partners are:

Click on a cartoon to activate the gallery:

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