Network of Translators Launched to Advocate for Press Freedom


An advocacy network of linguists called “Translators for Journalists Network” was launched last month in Paris, France. The group of Linguists, who are all members of Kontax, forged the network following the gruesome murder of Naseeb Karnafah.

Karnafah was a Libyan journalist on Al-Wataniya TV whose body was found dead in a cemetery in Sabha, Libya two days after she had been kidnapped. According to the network, they stated, “Her death and those of her colleagues around the world are both the motive for the creation of the network, and the reason why the standards, the press apply in its work must be of the highest order.”

The Network  plans to apply standards and practices similar to those of journalists, in the choice of subject matter, its treatment, and in the procedures used to ensure that their translations are accurate, accountable, and do not endanger journalists such as Naseeb Karnafah. In so doing, they will not only be informed about attempts to curb freedom of speech in the media, but also help protect the public’s freedom of thought.

The Network said, “Journalists like Naseeb are harassed, kidnapped, imprisoned, tortured and killed everyday all around the world. It is not a question of east or west, north or south. In any country there will always be people who try to curb the freedom of journalists to remind us of our own. If the right to write, read, say or think what we want is universal, the most important liberty is that of the press, because it safeguards all the others. The proof is that in every country where democracy is in peril, those in power will always want to first muzzle journalists as power over the press is the key to power over the people.”

Kontax is a body which translates copyright-free articles about freedom of the media in about 160 countries.