The workshops, which took place on 17 and 18 June 2021, are part of the project funded by UNESCO/Global Media Defence Fund (GMDF) designed to set up legal representation networks to support journalists under threat.
The project involves establishing and operationalising a network of licensed lawyers, who will provide legal representation to journalists based on international standards.
The IFJ invited Ms Catherine Anite, an experienced Ugandan lawyer and a member of the High Level Panel of Experts on Media Freedom, to run the workshop which was attended by ten lawyers from the four countries. Representatives of journalists’ unions and associations in the countries concerned also joined the training.
The workshops focused on international and regional standards on freedom of expression and comparative jurisprudence on freedom of expression and digital rights.
The lawyers who attended the training will work with IFJ affiliates in the four countries to provide expert support to journalists who need legal representation in defending their rights and freedoms before courts and public institutions.
‘’We know journalists in the four countries face multiple legal challenges, from blatant violations of their rights to subtle restrictions in their daily reporting which undermine press freedom and public accountability,’’ said IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger. ‘’Through this project, we welcome the opportunity to provide workshops for the lawyers who will support our colleagues as they stand up for their right to work safely and independently.’’