Joint Declaration on Freedom of Expression and Countering Violent Extremism

3 May 2016

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The Joint Declaration on Freedom of Expression and Countering Violent Extremism is an effort to combat violent extremism in a manner that poses no threat to freedom of expression. The Declaration emphasizes that “everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, especially on matters of public concern, including issues relating to violence and terrorism, as well as to comment on and criticise the manner in which States and politicians respond to these phenomena” and that the concepts of “violent extremism” and “extremism” should not be employed as a basis for restricting freedom of expression unless they are clearly and narrowly defined. The Declaration further stipulates that States are required to ensure that there is an adequate media-friendly environment for keeping society informed, “particularly in times of heightened social or political tensions”.