Challenges to defending the freedom of artistic expression

Challenges to defending the freedom of artistic expression



Andra Matei
Lawyer, Founding Director of Avant-Garde Lawyers
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Recent years have registered serious threats to freedom of expression worldwide. These threats harm artists directly and generate self-censorship among artistic communities in autocracies and democracies alike. In countries with high levels of corruption and an unstable political situation, censorship is fueled by situations where artists spend years in pre-trial detention for their art, and where criminal convictions are a result of trumped-up charges. When the prime suspects for these attacks are governments, international justice mechanisms such as the UN and regional courts, are the sole hope for accountability. But in the absence of follow-up procedures, and a lack of political will to pursue accountability, more often than not, these efforts fall flat. Where do we go from here? What really works?

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