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Advocating for Press Freedom

Alongside providing accurate, uncensored news and open debate in countries where a free press is threatened, RFE/RL upholds the rights of persecuted journalists and advocates for press freedom.  

Advocacy is essential to our work, and our priorities reflect our mission to promote human rights and democratic values. For more than 70 years, RFE/RL has defended its journalists against attempts to silence them. We continue to use advanced technological tools to circumvent censorship to ensure that our audiences can access trusted, independent reporting. 

Across RFE/RL’s broadcast region, we are witnessing the rapid proliferation of new legal frameworks to censor free expression and criminalize independent journalism, including so-called foreign agent laws and disinformation bills. We are partnering with human rights defenders to push back against this dangerous trend and protect press freedom. 

Support Independent Journalism

Join us in advocating for press freedom and supporting RFE/RL journalists who have been unjustly imprisoned.

Working to Free Imprisoned Journalists

RFE/RL advocates on behalf of its journalists who have been imprisoned because of their work. They must be released immediately to their families. Journalism is not a crime. 

Vladyslav Yesypenko Headshot


Vladyslav Yesypenko, a journalist for RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service, was detained in Russia-occupied Crimea on March 10, 2021.


Ihar Losik, a journalist for RFE/RL’s Belarus Service, was detained in Minsk, Belarus, on June 25, 2020.


Alsu Kurmasheva, a journalist with RFE/RL’s Tatar-Bashkir Service, was detained in Kazan, Russia, on October 18, 2023.

Andrey Kuznechyk Headshot


Andrey Kuznechyk, a journalist for RFE/RL’s Belarus Service, was detained in Minsk, Belarus, on November 25, 2021.

Advocacy priorities

Latest Updates

Russia Extends Detention of Alsu Kurmasheva; Her Imprisonment “As Outrageous Today as It Was Six Months Ago”

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) condemns the latest extension of American journalist Alsu Kurmasheva’s pretrial detention.

Journalists in Trouble: Alsu Kurmasheva’s Family Fights for Her in Washington  

Alsu Kurmasheva’s family advocates for her; Vladyslav Yesypenko marks three years in detention; Iran’s judiciary targets RFE/RL journalists; and more. 

Family of Detained RFE/RL Journalist Alsu Kurmasheva Meets Top Biden Aides, Lawmakers, Hostage Advocates in Washington, D.C.

The husband and children of American RFE/RL journalist Alsu Kurmasheva—who is spending her 150th day in a Russian prison—spent a productive week in Washington, D.C.

Subscribe to Journalists in Trouble for Updates

RFE/RL journalists and staff face intimidation, physical harm, and imprisonment because of their work. It is RFE/RL’s top priority to advocate for the release of our imprisoned journalists and ensure our staff can do their jobs safely.  

Subscribe now to stay informed about incidents targeting RFE/RL journalists, developments affecting press freedom in our coverage region, and how you can help. 

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