Journalists and media outlets in our global network are currently battling a record 41 SLAPPs — strategic lawsuits against public participation. These are suits filed specifically to threaten, intimidate, and financially burden journalists.
Experience shows that journalists usually win these cases. But fighting them is debilitating. It takes years, requires expensive attorneys, eats away time, and takes our focus away from reporting in the public interest. On the other hand, it’s cheap and easy for wealthy, SLAPP-happy criminals, corrupt officials, and shady businessmen to hire lawyers who specialize in trying to silence journalists.
So we’ve started “OCCRP SLAPPs Back,” an in-house legal defense fund to battle lawsuits brought against journalists and media outlets in our network.
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Special thanks to Gorjan Atanasov and Investigative Reporting Lab for video production.