Two women, two stories of denied rights, persecution, and the price that authoritarian regimes impose to those who seek truth and fight for freedom of expression.

Maryam Al-Khawaja is an activist who had a leading role in the 2011 democracy protests in Pearl Square, Bahrain. While she was returning to her country, to visit her father who was protesting his life sentence with a hunger strike which had almost led to his death, she was attacked and imprisoned for 19 days, and then forced into exile with a specious conviction.

Khadija Ismayilova is an Azerbaijan journalist who was intimidated and blackmailed, arrested and convicted to seven years in jail in 2015, for covering news about the family of President Aliyev. Thanks to an international mobilization of colleagues - including Miranda Patrucic - and activists, she was freed. Khadija is currently under a travel ban and cannot leave Azerbaijan. She will participate via Skype.

This session will be moderated by Marina Petrillo.