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United Nations Correspondents Association Statement on Press Freedom
United Nations Correspondents Association has issued a statement on press freedom following a recent surge of violence against journalists. UNCA President Pamela Falk is a member of the OPC.
A copy of the UNCA’s statement follows.
The U.N Correspondents Association is profoundly disturbed and saddened by the recent assaults on journalists around the world.
In view of the shocking multiple violations of the rights of journalists to cover world events, the U.N. Correspondents Association Executive Committee calls upon the United Nations, including the Secretariat, the Security Council and the General Assembly, as well as individual member nations, to defend the right of free expression and for journalists to report the news – without fear of death, detention, incarceration, or intimidation.
American journalist James Foley was beheaded by terrorists in Iraq. We join the Committee to Protect Journalists, and other professional organizations dedicated to press freedom, in condemning this barbaric act.
Last week, in Ferguson, Missouri, several local, national, and international journalists were subjected to threats, harassment, and detention by law enforcement, including Turkish journalist Bilgin Sasmas, a U.N. accredited reporter.
These events, and many more around the world, highlight different dimensions of a general failure to respect the individual human right to speak freely as well as the right of all people to receive news and information from journalists, who often risk their own safety to report on events.
Freedom of expression is an inherent human right, not a privilege.
These outrageous attacks shock the conscience. The U.N. Correspondents Association is calling on diplomats and world leaders to include the protection of journalists in U.N. Resolutions, as UNCA proposed earlier this year, and to protect and defend freedom of expression and journalists around the world.
The Executive Committee, U.N. Correspondents Association
August 22, 2014