Murdered Kurdish human rights lawyer Tahir Elci (pictured) and Pu Zhiqiang, the Chinese lawyer facing prison on charges of 'picking quarrels and provoking trouble' are among the legal figures in the running for an international freedom of expression award. 

The long list for the Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards includes 100 nominees from 53 countries ranging from Azerbaijan to Zambia. They were selected from around 500 public nominations.

Index on Censorship's chief executive Jodie Ginsberg said the individuals and organisations long listed demonstrate courage, creativity and determination in tackling threats of censorship.

'They are a testament to the universal value of free expression. Without their efforts in the face of huge obstacles, often under violent harassment, the world would be a darker place.' 

A shortlist will be announced in January and winners selected by an international panel of judges including human rights lawyer Kirsty Brimelow QC.

The winners will be announced on 13 April.