When it is safe to speak, the whole world benefits: UN
On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day-2013, UNESCO is organizing a three-day festival in Rabat, Morocco that includes conferences, training sessions, art exhibition and movie screening, among other usual speeches to stress the freedom of speech.
In their joint message on World
Press Freedom Day (WPFD), UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Director-General of the UNESCO Irina Bokova said, “Every day, freedom of expression faces new threats. Because they help ensure transparency and accountability in public affairs, journalists are frequent targets of violence.”Calling for action to ensure the safety of journalists in every country, they said, “When it is safe to speak, the whole world benefits,” reported CNN.
Bloggers, citizen reporters and social media producers, as well as their sources, face increasing threats to their safety,” added Ban and Bokova in their joint message.
Denouncing the acts of psychological and emotional violence through cyber-attacks, data breaches, intimidation, undue surveillance and invasions of privacy of journalists and press people, they said, "Such assaults not only limit the right to freedom of expression and threaten the safety of online journalists and their sources – they undermine the ability of all people to benefit from a free and open Internet.”
A shocking fact a has been brought forth by UNESCO about the assaults on press by stating that more than 600 journalists have been killed in the past decade, many while reporting in non-conflict situations. Impunity is also widespread as nine out of 10 cases of killings of journalists go unpunished.
“As we mark World Press Freedom Day, let us pledge to do our utmost to enable all journalists in all media to do their jobs,” urged Ban.