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Submission on Freedom of Expression in Times of Armed Conflict

13 July 2022.

The Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) has prepared a Submission in response to a call for inputs on challenges to freedom of expression in times of armed conflict and other disturbances by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression.

The importance of freedom of expression is perhaps greater during armed conflicts than ever, and yet States often try to take advantage of the situation to further limit this right ”, said Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD. “This Submission tries to set out some of the key freedom of expression principles that apply during armed conflicts”.

CLD’s Submissions focus on the following areas:

    • The prohibition on propaganda for war.
    • Legal protections for journalists working in conflict zones.
    • Emergency derogations from freedom of expression obligations.
    • The responsibilities of social media companies during armed conflict in relation to:
      • Measures, such as content moderation and deprioritisation, for harmful speech.
      • Decisions to deplatform.
      • Transparency issues.

In addition to making a number of direct recommendations for States and social media platforms, CLD’s Submission lists several areas where further exploration by the Special Rapporteur would be useful, given the novelty of this issue.

The Submission is available here.

For further information, please contact:

Toby Mendel                                                           
Executive Director                                               
Centre for Law and Democracy                      
+1 902 431-3686                                    
twitter: @law_democracy 

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