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As polarisation is on the rise and citizenries shake in their core, governments around the world – often led by demagogues and authoritarian leaders  are tightening their grip on society. If freedom is the basic condition that allows individuals to voice their concerns, go against the status quo and create change, then our collective ability to shape our own future is under threat.


In 2018 alone, at least 321 activists in 27 countries were targeted and killed for their work – the highest number ever on record. In addition to physical attacks and torture, we’ve also seen a trend towards more restrictive regulation meant to frustrate the work of citizens who dare to speak up and do what's right. 


Join us in a critical conversation with our panel of experts as we explore what this decline in freedom  looks like around the world, what this means for us as citizens, and how technology links into this -both as a tool for oppression as well as a means to drive change. 


This event is free and open to the public with limited seats available.  


Light refreshments will be served. 


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A published author, legal consultant, policy and research leader with a special interest in public law, human rights and democracy-building, Tom has worked at the Council of Europe, the Supreme Court of Ireland and the Global Justice Academy, and has done consultancy work for various organisations including the EU and the African Union. Currently a Fellow at Melbourne Law School, Tom is writing a second book on global democratic decay and runs the Democratic Decay Resource (DEM-DEC) which provides a hub for researchers and activists focused on threats to democracy worldwide.

amnesty william nee


William is a business and human rights strategy advisor and analyst at Amnesty International’s East Asia Regional Office. In a previous role as Amnesty’s China Researcher, he carried out extensive research on human rights issues in China with a particular focus on freedom of expression, human rights defenders, the death penalty and the situation in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. Before joining Amnesty International, William worked for China Labour Bulletin as Development Director.

journalist nury vittachi


A journalist and author, Nury's columns are published daily and weekly in a variety of newspapers in Asia as well as on his website. His work has appeared in many publications, including the New York Times, Reader’s Digest and Time magazine and his book publishers include Penguin Random House, Scholastic Books, John Wiley Inc., and St Martin’s Press. Nury is also noted for his role in co-founding the Asia Literary Review, the Hong Kong International Literary Festival and the Man Asian Literary Prize.

we the people freedom in decline