Press freedom in crisis in Europe and the Arab world?

Is freedom of speech, as one of the foremost fundamental rights, eroding?

Freedom of speech and press freedom are increasingly under threat around the world. Political pressure on and violence against journalists are on the rise. Fact-based journalism is also being undermined by the notion of “fake news”, while social media provides an avenue for public confusion and hate speech. Is freedom of speech, as one of the foremost fundamental rights, eroding? What risks and threats are free speech and the free press facing in modern society, and how can public policy address them?

The event is held mainly in English with some comments in German. There will be simultaneous translation into English. Please find additional information on the programme here.


Hanan Badr is a Professor at the Freie Universität Berlin. She is an expert on media discourse and the interdependence of media and democracy in North Africa, the Arab countries and Europe.

Hatice Cengiz is a scholar and author. Her fiancé, the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018, sparking a global debate on violence against journalists.

Matthew Caruana Galizia is an investigative journalist. He led the Data & Research Unit of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which won the Pulitzer Prize for their work on the Panama Papers in 2017. Since 2017, he has been investigating the car-bombing death of his mother, Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. 

Katja Gloger is the spokesperson of the German division of Reporters without Borders. She is an expert on Russian Affairs and Security Policy.

Lina Al-Hathloul is a human rights activist known for her advocacy to free her sister Loujain, who is being detained in Saudi Arabia due to her fight in the women’s rights movement.

Frank Plasberg is one of Germany’s leading TV journalists. Since 2001 he has moderated the weekly political talk show “Hart aber fair” on prime time German television. 


Pierre Thielbörger is Professor of Law at Ruhr-University Bochum and Executive Director of the Institute of International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (IFHV). He is also an Adjunct at the Hertie School in Law and Governance.

In cooperation with the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict, Ruhr University Bochum