A death sentence has been pronounced via Twitter for Kuwati-born Naif Al-Mutawa by the jihadist militant group ISIS, according to reports out of the Middle East. Dr. Al-Mutawa’s groundbreaking comic THE 99 has sought to give the Muslim community its own superheroes while at the same time fostering a greater, more positive understanding of Islam among its non-Muslim readers. Created in consultation with Sharia scholars, THE 99 has led to Al-Mutawa being listed among the world’s 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by Jordan’s Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center and named, alongside Steve Jobs, one of the seven most influential designers in the world by Forbes China. read more
Human Rights and Free Speech Organizations
IFEX is a highly credible and effective global network of 90 independent organizations, including the Cartoonists Rights Network International, that participate in action and information-sharing. IFEX was created in 1992 in Montréal, Canada when a dozen leading free expression organizations came together to create a coordinated mechanism to rapidly expose free expression violations around the world. The IFEX Clearing House, based in Toronto, Canada, runs the day to day operations of the network and is managed by founding member organization Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE).
As violations of the right to free expression continue, so do the efforts of the membership of the International Freedom of Expression eXchange network (IFEX), which has emerged as a strong global opposition to forces challenging this right. In a global situation where more than half of the world’s nations violate the principles of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, IFEX supports regional capacity while facilitating campaigns and advocacy that help build a vibrant free expression community. IFEX assists members to work strategically to defend and promote free expression within regions by providing advice, training, financial and technical support to maximise strengths and avoid duplication of efforts, and shares lessons learned between regions through facilitated skills exchanges across the IFEX community. Putting violators on notice that the worldwide free expression community is watching, is at the heart of IFEX’s campaigns and advocacy work. By developing strategies, tools and capacities for effective advocacy, IFEX supports member campaigns – both urgent and long-term actions that target abuses in a particular country or issues such as defamation laws, Internet censorship and impunity. The IFEX Clearing House works with members to ensure that the IFEX network develops and thrives as a diverse, engaged and effective international freedom of expression community – by organizing key forums where groups decide strategy and develop joint actions, through targeted organizational development grants, and by carrying out research and analysis on key issues.
Reporters Without Borders, aka Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), was created in 1985 to defend journalists and media rights worldwide. It is a non-profit organization based in Paris, with more than 150 correspondents on the ground and a dozen offices abroad, including in Washington, D.C.
Article XIX is a human rights organization that monitors journalists in trouble and tracks United Nations Commission on Freedom of Speech challenges. It is a major source of free speech information in Europe and around the world.