US Mission to the UN: Internet Freedom Fellows (2014)

Bektour Iskender Ezgi Tuzun & Cheikh Sene
Bektour Iskender Ezgi Tuzun & Cheikh Sene

In 2014 the Internet Freedom Fellows program, funded by the U.S. Mission to the UN-Geneva, brought five human rights activists from across the globe to Geneva and Washington to strengthen and defend freedom of expression across the globe. The program engaged in topics concerning the importance of the internet to the promotion of the fundamental rights of expression and assembly. Fellows promoted ideas and shared best practices through meetings with fellow activists, U.S. and international government leaders, and members of civil society and the private sector engaged in technology and human rights.

Launched in 2011, the Internet Freedom Fellows program is an initiative of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva. The United States Mission to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva advances U.S. policy on the front lines of multilateral diplomacy at over 100 international organizations in Geneva. U.S. Mission personnel engage daily on issues as diverse as refugee crises, global health, international law, economic development, trade, the environment, arms control and human rights.

The Meridian International Center is a Core Partner to the program, administrating the U.S. based portion of events.  Meridian’s GlobalConnect Division designs customized leadership exchange programs, conferences, events and training seminars for delegations and business leaders from around the world.

While in Washington, D.C., participants met with government representatives, NGO officials, technology and internet experts and academics to discuss:

  • U.S. legislation at the federal, state, and local level designed to promote internet freedom
  • Role of NGO’s, government officials, and other institutions in raising awareness of the importance of a free and open internet for the promotion of human rights and transparency
  • Best practices in utilizing social media and interactive platforms to showcase human rights issues
  • Research and scholarship focused on how a free and open internet can be used to defend human rights and improve governance



U.S. Department of State

Project summary

US Mission to the UN: Internet Freedom Fellows (2014) | September 2014
Number of Visitors: 5
Countries: Cuba, Kyrgyzstan, Senegal, Türkiye, Zimbabwe
Impact Areas: Civic Engagement, Human and Civil Rights, Science and Technology
Program Areas: Global Leadership
Partners: Diplomatic Corps