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.

I takt med att kritisk samhällsdebatt i hög grad tvingats bort från de ryska medierna har fysiska mötesplatser kommit att spela en allt viktigare roll för det offentliga samtalet. Sveriges ambassad i Moskva och Generalkonsulatet i Sankt Petersburg deltog nyligen vid ett så kallat ”barcamp” i skogen utanför staden Syktyvkar i nordvästra Ryssland.

“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 statue of Swedish newspaper publisher Lars Johan Hierta watches over Riddarhustorget in Stockholm’s Old Town. And what a proud inscription: “Lars Johan Hierta, pioneer of a free press and popular government.”

Our human rights-based approach is the starting point and the added value that Sweden brings into the discussion on global internet affairs.

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.
Freedom of the press, freedom of expression and opposition to censorship are of course well worth celebrating – and continuing to fight for today!

11 march 2016 marked two years since Swedish journalist Nils Horner was murdered while working in Afghanistan. Throughout the world, we see journalists becoming targets in armed conflicts. According to Reporters Without Borders, 110 journalists were killed in 2015. Sweden works actively for freedom of expression and media freedom and an improved situation for journalists around the world.