The Hague showing solidarity to people who are putting their lives on the line for freedom of expression

Published on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Press Release 21/02/2017

The Hague showing solidarity to people who are putting their lives on the line for freedom of expression

Muktomona, an internet congregation of freethinkers, rationalists, skeptics, atheists & humanists and the Hague Peace Projects, a Dutch human rights organization are jointly organizing "The Hague Freedom Book Fair 2017" from 24th until 27th of February in order to peacefully fight for an essential human right - freedom of expression - and show our deepest solidarity with people who are putting their lives on the line for it. This event is organized in coordination with among others: Amnesty International, Free Press Unlimited, Front Line Defenders, Center for Inquiry, Dutch Humanist Association, International Humanist and the Ethical Union etc.

About the event The event brings together publishers and intellectuals from very different parts of the world. There will be numerous panel discussions gathering people from different nations and also two inspirational nights filled with Bengali and Somali poetry to feed our souls.

The panel discussions will address various topics - the freedom of speech vs. hate speech in the Netherlands, freedom of expression in Turkey, LGBT-activism in religious societies, voices of dissent in Bangladesh and freedom of speech, dialogue and conflict resolution in Bangladesh. Some of these include also watching a relevant documentary. Numerous prominent speakers are coming, including a Turkish writer, civil rights activist and parliament member Hüda Kaya, a Dutch professor of jurisprudence, philosopher and writer Paul Cliteur, Bangladeshi civil rights activist and former member of caretaker government Sultana Kamal, author and writer Rafida Ahmed and so on.

This year's event is a follow up to the event "Bangladesh Alternative Book Fair" which was successfully held in The Hague in February 2016 in the memory of Avijit Roy and other Bangladeshi writers, bloggers and free thinkers who got killed in 2015. These book fairs are also a reflection of the "Ekushey National Book Fair" which is annually held in Bangladesh and where Avijit Roy was hacked to death in 2015.

Freedom of expression is not always and not everywhere a regular part of our everyday lives. We tend to forget how many creative and intelligent souls just hopelessly dream about it, fight for it and even sacrifice their lives for it. The weekend from 24th until 27th of February 2017 there is an incredible possibility to gather together, show our support and speak up.

Info & Reservation "The Hague Freedom Book Fair 2017" will be held at Nutshuis (Riviervismarkt 5, The Hague) from 24th until 27th of February 2017. The book fair is open from 1 pm until the end of the events every night. Entrance is free, but registration is necessary to attend the discussions and the poetry nights.

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