As critical public debate is largely being forced out of Russian media, physical meeting places are assuming an increasingly important role in public discussion. Representatives from Sweden’s Embassy in Moscow and the Consulate-General in St Petersburg recently took part in a ‘BarCamp’ in the forest outside the city of Syktyvkar in north-western Russia.

“Freedom of expression is our greatest step forward,” said Sayeda Mojgan Mustafavi, Deputy Minister of Information and Culture in Afghanistan, in her address as the Embassy in Kabul hosted a conference for the third year in a row on journalist safety, transparency and freedom of expression.

It’s 250 years since Sweden established the world’s strongest freedom of the press through a ground-breaking new fundamental law, the Freedom of the Press Act. It was the first legislation of its kind anywhere in the world.
Freedom of the press, freedom of expression and opposition to censorship are of course well worth celebrating – and are still worth fighting for today!

The difficult situation for journalists and media workers in Afghanistan was the focus when the Embassy of Sweden and the EU Delegation hosted a conference on journalist security and freedom of expression in Kabul. The conference honored all journalists that have become victims of violence in the country. In his introductory remarks, Sweden’s Ambassador Anders Sjöberg paid tribute to Swedish Radio journalist Nils Horner who was murdered in Kabul two years ago.