Measures for freedom of expression
In 2012, the Government will strengthen the special measures for democratisation and freedom of expression in development cooperation. Priority is to be given to actors for change such as private individuals, groups or civil society organisations, including defenders of human rights, trade unions, journalists, politically active people, researchers, professional artists, women’s rights groups, religious communities and youth associations and other civil society organisations working for increased democratisation and freedom of expression. It will also be possible to support independent and professional media organisations. The work of groups of professional artists for democratisation and freedom of expression will be enabled, including actors in exile such such as guest writers in places of refuge. The Government has, among other things, instructed the Swedish Arts Council to actively contribute to the creation of more Swedish places of refuge for persecuted authors.
At present there are four cities of refuge – Malmö, Gothenburg, Stockholm and Uppsala – which offer an author or other writer the opportunity to live and carry out their art there for a period of one year. The objective is that more Swedish towns, municipalities, regions and counties will offer refuge. In this way, more authors, playwrights, journalists and other professional writers living under difficult conditions would have the financial requirements to develop their activities in Sweden for at least a year. The conditions for literary community and dialogue with Swedish colleagues, readers and audiences are thus created. One part of the work is also to work for the creation of a network of Swedish places of refuge for threatened authors/playwrights/journalists and other professional writers.