World Press Freedom Day 2007

“The rights to life and to liberty and integrity and security of person and also to freedom of expression are fundamental human rights that are recognized and guaranteed by international conventions and instruments.” (UNESCO Resolution, General Conference 1997)

Press freedom, safety of journalists and impunity will be the topics of UNESCO World Press Freedom Day 2007. Due to the 10th anniversary of UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize, this year’s World Press Freedom Day will be celebrated in the city of Medellin, Colombia. The murder of Guillermo Cano, director of the Colombian daily newspaper “El Espectador,” is significant as regards unpunished crimes against journalists.

Guillermo Cano Isaza was assassinated on December 17, 1986 in front of the newspaper’s exit in Bogota by two hired killers. Cano was a victim of drug trafficking mafias, which he fearlessly denounced and about whose harmful effects on Colombian society he cautioned. The magistrates in charge of the investigation became the objects of threats and bribes, with some being murdered for rejecting such bribes. The life of Guillermo Cano, his courage, his commitment to independent journalism and the tenacity with which he fought for his country are an example for the rest of the world to follow. >> Read more

"Press Freedom, Safety of Journalists and Impunity"

Safety of journalists
The Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Barometer proves that countries involved in violent conflict are dangerous places for media professionals – with 37 journalists killed in Iraq since the beginning of 2006, 3 in Sri Lanka and Colombia, 2 in Afghanistan. But also the figures from countries like Mexico, Russia the Philippines and China show that the lives of journalists are threatened even in states that do not have discernible war zones. >> Read more

Impunity of crimes committed against journalists
"Freedom of expression and of the press are severely limited by murder, kidnapping, pressure, intimidation, the unjust imprisonment of journalists, the destruction of facilities, violence of any kind and impunity for perpetrators; such acts must be investigated promptly and punished harshly " >> Read more

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