Legal Defense Fund for journalists

Safety of journalists

Almost everywhere in the world, journalists and media are subjected to growing judicial harassment. Prosecutions, long-running lawsuits, and imprisonment are part of the abusive judicial proceedings designed to silence reporters and media houses and to drain them of financial resources. Journalists and media organisations facing legal action because of their work can apply for support from the Legal Defense Fund.

With this Legal Defense Fund, we provide financial support to journalists and media organisations worldwide. We give support to journalists who face prosecution or imprisonment and who are unable to afford a lawyer or trial costs. This way, they will not be forced to withdraw their defense and accept the consequences of, often false, accusations.

Applying for legal support

Journalists, media workers, and media organisations who are at legal risk because of their profession can request non-structural support from the Legal Defense Fund. We can offer basic legal support for:

  • A lawyer or legal expert and other legal fees;
  • Support in prison;
  • Initial family assistance for detained media workers.

Besides that Free Press Unlimited engages in strategic litigation projects. Through these projects, support is given to cases that challenge repressive laws threatening the safety of journalists and freedom of expression.


When you apply, make sure you meet the following requirements:

  • You are currently a practicing media worker or media organisation;
  • Your legal situation is a direct result of you being a media worker or media organisation;
  • Your situation can be confirmed by at least two trusted sources outside of yourself.

Are you a journalist and in need of legal support? Apply here for support.

The fund will do the utmost to provide the support as soon as possible. In the most urgent cases, support can be offered within 24 hours. For additional questions you can email us at legalfund@freepressunlimited.org or contact our Free Press Unlimited office on: +31 20 8000 400

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