Prominent journalists and champions of press freedom from across the world are examining ways to overcome increasing challenges facing the media during a two-day online conference organized jointly by the UN’s cultural and educational agency, UNESCO, and the Netherlands.
Reporters and other media workers in warzones across the world, are reliable witnesses who contribute to forging peace, and must be better-protected under international humanitarian law, said the UN chief on Wednesday.
Clampdowns on the media have increased sharply in 2020, the UN cultural agency said on Monday, highlighting 21 protests around the world this year in which State security forces have violated journalists’ rights.
Following the gruesome death of a Mexican journalist specializing in crime reporting, who was found beheaded on Wednesday, UN chief António Guterres has issued a statement condemning the increasing number of attacks made on media workers worldwide.
The conviction of prominent Filipino journalist Maria Ressa has been described by an independent UN expert as “a new low in the Philippines’ protection of the freedom of expression” and “the ability of an independent media to function in the country”.
The coronavirus pandemic has spawned new threats to press freedom in some countries, according to the UN human rights chief, who declared on Friday that “credible, accurate reporting is a lifeline for all of us”.
Threats, unlawful surveillance and harassment by the authorities, are just some of the concerns facing journalists in Iran, prompting a group of independent UN human rights experts on Wednesday, to once again sound the alarm.