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Open Letter: In Defence of Freedom of Expression

The following is an open letter written and signed by over 60 editors and representatives of Europe’s leading cultural and opinion journals supporting the freedom of expression in Ukraine.

December 1, 2013 - New Eastern Europe - Articles and Commentary



The letter will be published Monday December 2nd via Norwegian daily press, Ukrainian press as well as on the portal Eurozine (www.eurozine.com).

It will be sent as well to press across Europe. The letter was prepared and signed during the 25th Annual Meeting of European Cultural Journals currently being held in Oslo, Norway.

New Eastern Europe, along with partners Krytka (Ukraine) and Res Publica Nowa (Poland) led the efforts to draft the letter of support on behalf of European journals and editors. Please find the text in its entirety below.

In Defence of Freedom of Expression

We, as representatives of Europe’s leading cultural and opinion journals gathered in Oslo at the 25th Eurozine meeting, strongly condemn the unjustified and unprovoked use of force to limit freedom of expression. Early Saturday morning, non-violent demonstrators in Kyiv, Ukraine were beaten by masked riot police.

The use of force rarely prevails. We affirm this simple truth today as the Ukrainian public stands threatened by violence. The lack of a clear and united response not only hurts the Ukrainian people but undermines democratic values and institutions. In an integrated world there should be no peripheries. Today, Ukraine is at the centre of Europe.

Regardless of our ideological standpoints or political involvement, we strongly support the value of public debate and dialogue.

Therefore we call on all democratic institutions to support the rights of protesters to assemble freely and express their opinion in the public sphere.

Signed in Oslo, at the 25th European Meeting of Cultural Journals on the subject “Making a Difference. Opinion, debate and activism in the public sphere”, Nov 30th, 2013.


Samuel Abraham, Kritika & Kontekxt, Slovakia

Emica Antončić, Dialogi,  Slovenia

Carlos Benguigui, Sens Public, France

Nadine Blanchard, Eurozine,  Germany/Austria

George Blecher, Writer, USA

Mika Buljevic, Booksa,  Kulturtreger, Croatia

Oliver Carroll, openDemocracy,  United Kingdom

Jill Cousins, Europeana Foundation,  UK/Netherlands

Göran Dahlberg, Glänta,  Sweden

Carole Dely, Sens Public,  France

Osman Denitztekin, Varlik,  Turkey

Slavenka Drakulic, Writer, Sweden/Croatia

Marc Duenas, Transfer, Catalonia

Walter Famler, Wespennest, Austria

Asle Finnset, STREK magazine, Norway

Rasmus Fleischer, copyriot, Sweden

Oksana Forostyna, Krytyka,  Ukraine

Carl Forsberg, Nätverkstan, Sweden

Andrea Fredriksson-Zederbauer, Wespennest,  Austria

Carl Henrik Fredriksson, Eurozine,  Sweden/Austria

Dessy Gavrilova, Time to Talk,  Red House, Bulgaria

Filippo Giannuzzi, Fondazione Giuseppe Di Vagno,  Italy

Ansgar Gilster, Osteuropa, Germany

Kalle Hein, Akadeemia,  Estonia

Christian Höller, Springerin,  Austria

Eva Karadi, Magyar Lettre Internationale,  Hungary

Martti-Tapio Kuuskoski, Nuori Voima,  Finland

Christoph Laimer, dérive,  Austria

Thomas Lemaigre, La Revue nouvelle, Belgium

Irena Maryniak, Writer and translator, UK

Trpimir Matasović, Zarez,  Croatia

Estera Miočić, Lettera internazionale, Italy

Katerina Mishchenko, Prostory, Ukraine

Stefan Mörchen, Mittelweg 36,  Germany

Klaus Nellen, Transit/IWM,  Austria

Remi Nilsen, Le Monde diplomatique (Oslo),  Norway

Magnus Nome, openDemocracy,  UK/Norway

Janne Nygård, Syn og Segn,  Norway

Renata Obadálková, RozRazil,  Czech Republic

Marc-Olivier Padis, Esprit, France

Antonia Plessing, Eurozine,  Austria

Wojciech Przybylski, Res Publica Nowa, Poland

Elke Rauth, dérive,  Austria

Adam Reichardt, New Eastern Europe, Poland

Iwona Reichardt, New Eastern Europe,  Poland

Almantas Samalavicius, Kulturos barai,  Lithuania

Obrad Savic, Belgrade Circle Journal,  Serbia

Thorsten Schilling, Federal Agency for Civic Education,  Germany

Isabelle Schwarz, Netherlands

Marek Seckar, Host, Czech Republic

Paul Stepan, Eurozine,  Austria

János Széky, Élet és Irodalom, Hungary

Märt Väljataga, Vikerkaar,  Estonia

Boris Vezjak, Dialogi, Slovenia

Judith Vidal-Hall, Publisher, UK

Gottfried Wagner, Austria

Simon Worthington, Mute,  UK

Gaby Zipfel, Hamburger Institut für Sozialwissenschaften, Germany

Mykola Riabchuk, Krytyka,  Ukraine

Karolina Wigura, Kultura Liberalna,  Poland

Zuzana Wienk, Aliancia Fair-play, Slovakia

Tatiana Zhurzhenko, University of Vienna,  Austria


Eurozine is a network of Europe’s leading cultural journals, counting over 80 partner publications published in 34 countries in 32 languages.

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