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In exile

Danger for press freedom means danger for writers. Three journalists from Syria, the Ukraine and Turkey report on their experiences at the World Congress of the International Press Institute.

© dpa - Can Dündar

Germany. At the G20 summit in July 2017, Hamburg will become the place where issues of global importance are discussed. The heads of state and government of the most important industrialized and emerging countries will be looking for answers to questions about the world economy, health, integration and the threat posed by terrorism. Two further topics of great importance will already be bringing people from all over the world together in Hamburg in May: press freedom and the future of quality journalism. These topics will be at the focus of the World Congress of the International Press Institute (IPI).

Medial self-determination is under threat in many countries – affected journalists will report on this issue in Hamburg. The list of speakers includes Yahya Alaous, Aleksei Bobrovnikov und Can Dündar. These three journalists currently live in Germany because they are unable to work freely in their home countries.

Yahya Alaous
The Syrian journalist was imprisoned for two years after reporting on corruption and human rights violations. He was later editor-in-chief of the online magazine Thara, which deals especially with children's and women's rights. Alaous fled from the civil war in Syria and now lives with his family in Berlin. He writes for the Süddeutsche Zeitung on 'My Life in Germany'. He has also written about his early days in Germany in a column for the Handelsblatt.

Aleksei Bobrovnikov
The life of newspaper and television journalist Aleksei Bobrovnikov has been threatened ever since he researched a network of traffickers and money launderers in East Ukraine. He worked as a war reporter in Donbass and reported on the Maidan protests in Kiev. Before making a name for himself as an investigative reporter, he wrote mainly on economic issues. Bobrovnikov is a guest of the Hamburg-based Foundation for Politically Persecuted People. 

Can Dündar
Journalist, columnist and film-maker Can Dündar has written for a number of Turkish newspapers, including Huerriyet, Sabah and Milliyet. He was editor-in-chief of the newspaper Cumhuriyet when he was arrested in November 2015 accused of espionage. He was released from detention in February 2016 after a decision by the Supreme Court, but then sentenced to five years and ten months in prison in May. He narrowly escaped an attempt on his life on the day of his trial in Istanbul. Today, Dündar lives in Berlin and runs the Internet portal Özgürüz ('We Are Free') together with the German research centre 'Correctiv'.

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