Amongst others, these will be the speakers at the Free Press Live - stand up for journalists and justice.

Javier Espinosa (1964)

Javier EspinosaA long time veteran war correspondent who has covered over fifteen wars in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South America and Asia since he started his work as a journalist in 1990. He reported on the former Yugoslavia civil war to the Ruanda Genocide, the Tamil Tiger conflict in Sri Lanka, the Iraq war and all the other wars that happened in countries like Libya, Yemen or Syria after the so called Arab Spring.

Espinosa covered the Syrian conflict since the beginning in 2011, travelled inside the country many times and survived a round of devastating bombing in the Syrian city of Homs that killed an estimated 700 people, including two western journalists, American reporter Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik.D

In September 2013 he was abducted by IS and held captive for 194 days. One of his guards was the infamous Jihadi John who tortured him with mock executions.


Hans Jaap Melissen (1968)

Hans Jaap MelissenA Dutch freelance reporter working for public television and radio as well as for various magazines and newspapers. (Vrij Nederland, Trouw, One World.) He reports frequently about human crisis (earthquake Haiti) and he is a renowned war correspondent.

Melissen was one of the first international journalists to arrive in Libya when the revolution against Moammar al-Qadhafi took off. In 2012 Melissen was awarded 'Journalist of the Year' for his reports on the Arab Spring. Melissen has written various books, his latest an account on the rise of Islamic State.


Brechtje van de Moosdijk (1970)

Bregje van MoosdijkChief foreign editor at RTL news in the Netherlands. Van de Moosdijk studied Slavic languages at the University of Amsterdam and started working for RTL news soon after she finished her studies. In 2003 she was promoted to Editor of the international news desk. Van de Moosdijk is responsible for the work of 20 editors, 15 international correspondents and a worldwide network of stringers.

Under her watch cameraman Stan Storimans was killed while covering the events in Gori, Georgia (2008). RTL news is still pressing to get those who were responsible for his death behind bars.

Van de Moosdijk is member of the board of “de Tegel” a prestigious Dutch annual award for outstanding reporting. And judge at the AIB award (Association for International Broadcast).


Can Dündar (1961)

A Turkish journalist, columnist and documentarian. One of the best known figures in Turkish media Can Dündar has written for various newspapers. In 2013 he was laid off as columnist for Miliyet for "writing too sharply" about the Gezi protests and the developments in Egypt.

As Editor in chief of center-left Cumhuriyet newspaper he was arrested in November 2015 after his newspaper published footage showing the State Intelligence MİT sending weapons to Syrian Islamist fighters. He was released after 92 days in prison. Dundar stepped down as editor in chief from Cumhuriyet and now lives abroad.

Can Dündar, together with Erdem Gül, were awarded the Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media, by the Leipzig Media Foundation, lead partner of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom.


Alinda Vermeer

Alinda VermeerAlinda Vermeer is Senior Legal Officer at Media Legal Defence Initiative and joined the organisation in 2014. Alinda helps journalists, bloggers and media outlets defend cases against them, including before international and regional mechanisms such as the European Court of Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Prior to joining MLDI, Alinda worked at Privacy International, where she was responsible for developing and implementing the organisation’s litigation strategy on the international trade in surveillance technologies. She also worked as a criminal defence lawyer with Stibbe, a large law firm in the Netherlands, and has experience working in the field of international criminal law at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.


Guy Berger 

Guy BergerDirector for Freedom of Expression and Media Development, UNESCO, Paris, France. Guy has many years of experience in the African media and headed the School of Journalism & Media Studies at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa and in 2015 he was appointed as Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development at UNESCO.

In the past, he has worked in both press and television and had a long-running column on the The Mail & Guardian website. He holds a doctorate from Rhodes University and was the deputy chair of the South African National Editor's Forum.


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