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3 May World Press Freedom Day

06/05/2012

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

3 May was proclaimed World Press Freedom Day by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991.

Every year, 3 May celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom to: 1. evaluate press freedom around the world, 2. defend the media from attacks on their independence, and 3. pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

The day serves to alert citizens of the many violations of press freedom – a reminder that many regimes censor, fine, suspend and have closed down the press, and harass editors and publishers, attack, detain and murder journalists.

It is a date to encourage and develop initiatives in favour of press freedom, and assess the state of press freedom worldwide.

It serves as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom and is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics. Just as importantly, World Press Freedom Day is a day of support for media which are targets for the restraint, or abolition, of press freedom. It is also a day of remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

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