What we often forget, they continue, is that freedom of expression is a space that have been brought forward by brave people through history (...) Freedom never comes for free, and this is also true today. In states where emancipated people are not tolerated, freedom of expression is systematically and violently suppressed.
The authors further underline that since suppressive regimes target journalists, artists and writers especially, they are key players in the global fight for freedom and human rights. And hence, the ability to execute their work freely needs the highest priority and protection. Can we in Helsingborg do something to strengthen the work for democracy and justice in the world? they then ask. Can we help journalists and writers in a way that will strengthen freedom of expression, making it possible for them to work for the protection of freedom and human rights in their home countries? Yes, now Helsingborg can. If Helsingborg wants to.
The rest of the article argues for the City of Helsingborg to take concrete measures to become an ICORN member city. The authors appeal to their fellow politicians, especially the liberals ('liber' in the word liberal means freedom, they are reminded). Cities of refuge like Malmö, Paris, Amsterdam, Miami and Ljubljana makes a difference. They protect the most vulnerable ones, who in return contribute to cultural life in the cities. But first and foremost, their own work is strengthened and promoted, the invaluable work to expand the area that our imagination, creativity and happiness never can grow without - freedom.
Read the article in Swedish at Helsingborg Dagblad here.
Foto: Valentina Petrova Helsingborg Dagblad