OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović paid tribute to media workers around the world and emphasized their essential role in the development of democracy in the run up to World Press Freedom Day on 3 May.
“World Press Freedom Day serves as a reminder of the importance of free media and the fundamental role it plays in civil society,” Mijatović said. “It is a day on which we pay tribute to journalists who work under increasingly difficult conditions around the world.”
Mijatović noted with grave concern the continuing and deteriorating trend for journalists’ safety around the world and specifically pointed to the situation in Ukraine.
“With the crisis in Ukraine and other conflict zones, journalists’ safety, offline and online, is of particular concern and we need to stop the attacks against, intimidation, detention and imprisonment of members of the media,” Mijatović said. “International organizations must work together to put pressure on governments to ensure journalists’ safety.”
The Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media also released the Second Edition of the Safety of journalists Guidebook. It is available in English at www.osce.org/fom/118052 and in Russian at www.osce.org/ru/fom/118052.
Mijatović along with the other three special rapporteurs on free media from the United Nations, the Organization of American States and the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, will launch a joint declaration “On Universality and the Right to Freedom of Expression” at a UNESCO conference in Paris on 6 May dedicated to World Press Freedom Day.