On 3 May 1993, the UN General Assembly proclaimed an international day for press freedom. This day is meant to remind world governments that they need to respect their commitment to press freedom. This year, UNESCO is focussing its activities on ‘Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights’.
However, the IFJ deplores the fact that freedom of expression is far from acting as a driver for other human rights and that press freedom is clearly taking a step backwards.
“From Peru to Iran, from Sudan to Afghanistan, governments are taking drastic measures to impede freedom of expression and prevent the public’s right to know, including internet restrictions, beating, jailing and intimidating journalists, controlling media content and introducing drastic media laws and other laws to curb the free flow of information. Since the adoption of the Windhoek Declaration in 1991, very little has been undertaken to create concrete conditions at international level to guarantee freedom and security for journalists,” said IFJ President Dominique Pradalie.
The figures speak for themselves. According to the IFJ’s latest list of media professionals killed in the course of duty, 68 media staff were killed in 2022. Very few of these cases have been investigated because impunity for killing media workers has been the rule over the years.
The IFJ calls for the urgent adoption of a binding international instrument that will strengthen press freedom by forcing governments to investigate and respond to attacks against the media.
Watch IFJ leaders speaking up for freedom of expression