HRMI together with the Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights implements EIN project on the right to freedom of expression

September 21, 2023

We are thrilled to announce our cooperation with the European Implementation Network (EIN) in their new project focused on safeguarding freedom of expression in the Council of Europe member States. As a participant to this project, we are dedicated to promoting this fundamental right and the effective implementation of the relevant judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, as well as to advocating for reforms aimed at effectively protecting free speech in Lithuania.

Violations of the right to free speech have become central to the crisis of democratic backsliding in European States. We witness the healthy functioning of democracies being undermined, and sometimes curtailed, by a combination of factors, depending on the jurisdiction, such as draconian defamation laws silencing journalists through court proceedings, the undermining of free debate through excessive ownership of media outlets by the State or its affiliates, and even widespread violence against reporters.

To address these pressing issues, the European Court of Human Rights has already issued about 300 leading judgments that identify violations of the right to free speech. However, it is alarming to note that at the time of writing, 50% of the leading free speech judgments handed down by the ECHR in the last 10 years are still pending implementation. Currently, there are more than 100 leading ECHR judgements on free speech awaiting implementation.

Together with EIN and other partners, we are committed to championing freedom of expression and upholding democratic values throughout Europe. By actively engaging with the implementation process of ECHR judgments, we aim at creating lasting reforms that protect and promote free speech across the continent. Stay tuned for updates as we work towards a more inclusive and democratic society.

Photo: Brotin Biswas I Pexel