Arrival in Exile

  • Projects

Exile usually comes unexpectedly, even if it is the result of a long period of pressure. Persecuted journalists often must make far-reaching decisions for themselves, their families and their media under great stress and time pressure. They need support in matters relating to residence law and other practical everyday issues.

LEGAL MANUALS FOR EXILED MEDIA AND JOURNALISTS: SHPARGALKA

The online platform Shpargalka.info which means cheat sheet in Russian, was started in 2022 and provides answers to 19 of the most frequently asked legal questions related to relocation and living in exile in different countries, such as how to obtain documents required for entry, open bank accounts, acquire work permits, and register media organizations. The answers aim to help Russian and Belarusian journalists, and the selection of 17 countries reflects their escape routes in 2022. By offering this comprehensive overview, Shpargalka enabled journalists to make informed decisions about their relocation and first professional setup. The website provides the option of directly comparing answers to specific questions for two selected countries.

  • Implementation: Mass Media Defense Center, JX Fund
  • Runtime: established April 2022, latest updates September 2023

Supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM).

Legal manuals for media from other countries can be made available upon request.

SUPPORT AND STABILITY: CRITICAL VOICES FELLOWSHIPS

The Critical Voices fellowship program provided immediate and essential support for 46 journalists from Belarus and Russia. By assisting them in extending their German residency permits or applying for long-term visas, the program ensured that these journalists could continue their work without the constant fear of deportation.

Beyond securing legal residency, the fellowship addressed the broader needs of exiled journalists for financial stability, professional development, and psychological support. The program offered monthly stipends, legal advice, counseling, workshops, and language courses, all aimed at helping journalists rebuild their careers in exile. Additionally, participants were provided with access to workspaces and production facilities, enabling them to continue their journalistic endeavors effectively.

  • Implementation: MiCT, Reporters Without Borders, JX Fund
  • Runtime: July – December 2022

Supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM).