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Difference Day 2023

On 3 May, EED celebrated World Press Freedom Day for the eight consecutive year by co-organising Difference Day together with Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Erasmushogeschool Brussel, IHECS, BOZAR, and other partners. The theme for this year’s edition was 'Speak Freely, Listen Respectfully, Different Opinions Matter':

Every year, Difference Day honours people, institutions and organisations defending freedom of expression through a day-long event held at BOZAR. Difference Day also awards an Honorary Title to journalists who have distinguished themselves for their commitment to press freedom. This year’s Difference Day Honorary Title laureates are Indian journalist Ravish Kumar and former president of PEN International Jennifer Clement.

EED contributed to the organisation of the panel ‘Protection of Journalists across the globe’, where journalists in exile Arzu Geybulla, Rewaa Morshed, together with Rob Hartgers of RGF Magazine, discussed threats and harassment faced by journalists worldwide.

Geybulla spoke about her experience as an exiled journalist from Azerbaijan and how she found herself in the middle of a defamation campaign, to the point where she had to deactivate many of her social media accounts.

Morshed talked about the human rights violations she has been subject to as a journalist living and working in Gaza, which eventually pushed her to move to Belgium.

Finally, Hartgers discussed the work of RGF Magazine, a media outlet set up by Dutch freelance journalists to mentor fellow journalists who had become asylum seekers and refugees in the Netherlands, giving them a platform to share their experiences.