Free Press Unlimited, a not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, has set up financial, psychological and training supports for journalists worldwide in dangers of persecution from their governments for doing their work.
To achieve this, Free Press Unlimited has set up the legal defence fund; legal support, affordable insurance and safety training; fund for legal emergencies; and the Justice and Safety programme.
The Legal Defense Fund is accessible for journalists who are being prosecuted, imprisoned, denounced and burdened with high litigation costs by governments for reporting the news in order to silence and censor them.
With the Legal Defense Fund, Free Press Unlimited provides support to journalists and media organisations unable to afford a lawyer or trial costs. With the support, they will not be forced to withdraw their defense and accept the consequences of, often false, accusations.
To apply for support from the Legal Defense Fund, interested journalists and media houses should visit https://www.freepressunlimited.org/en/legal-support-for-journalists.
The Free Press Unlimited’s Justice and Safety programme serves to protect journalists who find themselves in danger with measures that include safety training, a fund for legal emergencies and affordable insurance. This is borne out of the realization that journalists require physical security to report objectively and independently.
The fund for legal emergencies, an important part of the Justice and Safety programme of Free Press Unlimited provides financial assistance for a lawyer or court costs.
Dutch and non-Dutch Journalists who run into legal issues outside of the Netherlands can apply for help from the Legal Defense Fund. Families of imprisoned journalists who are breadwinners can also apply for financial assistance.
In 2019, Free Press Unlimited plans to set up a fund to help Dutch and foreign journalists obtain affordable insurance outside of the Netherlands. It will also develop an online training platform that journalists can use to follow security trainings adapted to their region.
Free Press Unlimited believes that violence against and intimidation of journalists, as well as a high measure of impunity for these crimes, causes (self) censorship and with the Justice and Safety programme, it is making sure that journalists can do their work free from danger.
These are parts of Free Press Unlimited’s Justice and Safety programme and further information about the fund is available at https://www.freepressunlimited.org/en/projects/protecting-journalists-with-a-legal-emergency-fund-and-training.