News / 21 September 2017

Civil society is being silenced

September 22nd websites of civil society organisations and NGO's all over the world will go black, in protest and solidarity. Protest against the shrinking space for civilians and organisations to speak out, unite and protest peacefully.

This protest is necessary. The attack on our freedoms continues and increases. It is accompagnied by violence more and more. In 2016, 281 activists and human rights defenders were killed for speaking out and defending the rights of their community.

In even more cases, essential human rights such as freedom of press and freedom of speech are being abused by imprisoning journalists, by intimidating activists, by prohibiting protests. And this is not only happening far away, in countries like Uganda and Nicaragua. Also in countries around us, civic space is shrinking, for example in Hungary and Poland. Also in the Netherlands, budgets of organisations that support human rights initiatives are being cut.

That's why activists, journalists, bloggers, human rights movements and NGO's say: it's time for a change. We have to end the impunity, the threats and murders of people who stand for their rights.

The campaign will begin on Friday 22nd September with a "day of silence", as individuals and organisations choose to silence their own voices in solidarity with those who have been silenced against their will.
Then, from Saturday 23rd until Monday 25th, the world will speak as one, with hundreds of events happening around the globe.

Join us at


Also read the examples below of the oppression of press and civil society:

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