UN chief calls for end to crackdown against journalists

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

On the occasion of this year’s World Press Freedom Day, the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has called for an end to the crackdown on journalists who he described as a ‘‘voice of the voiceless.’‘

Every year, May 3 is a date set aside to celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

The forty-four seconds video of the UN chief also called for the defense of a free media stressing that it was ‘‘crucial to counter misinformation.’‘

Journalists go to the most dangerous places to give voice to the voiceless.

Media workers suffer character assassination, sexual assault, detention, injuries and even death.

‘‘We need leaders to defend the free media, this is crucial to counter misinformation and you need everyone to stand for our right to truth.

‘‘On World Press Freedom Day, I call for an end to all crackdown against journalists because a free press advances peace and justice for all. When we protect journalists, their words and pictures can change our world,’‘ he concluded.

The international day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the 26th Session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991.

This, in turn, was a response to a call by African journalists who in 1991 produced the landmark Windhoek Declaration on media pluralism and independence.

UNESCO, the Government of Indonesia, and the Press Council of Indonesia are the organizers of the 2017 World Press Freedom Day’s main event.

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The UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize Ceremony takes place in Jakarta, Indonesia, from 1-4 May 2017.

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