Friday, February 02, 2007

RSF Annual Press Survey

Reporters Sans Frontieres yesterday published their worldwide survey of press freedom in 2006. Here are some key passages from the summary:

“The report lists the worst violations in repressive countries, including major culprits North Korea, Eritrea, Cuba and Turkmenistan, but also looks at democracies, where progress needs to be made too,” the organisation says.

“A disturbingly record number of journalists and media workers were killed or thrown in prison around the world in 2006 and we are already concerned about 2007, as six journalists and four media assistants have been killed in January alone,” the report’s introduction says.

“But beyond these figures is the alarming lack of interest (and sometimes even failure) by democratic countries in defending the values they are supposed to incarnate."

“Almost everyone believes in human rights these days but amid the silences and behaviour on all sides, we wonder who now has the necessary moral authority to make a principled stand in favour of these freedoms.”

The publication by a Danish newspaper of cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed focused the world’s attention in 2006 on the issue of freedom of expression and respect for religious beliefs. Democratic countries did not defend Denmark, whose embassies were attacked, or the journalists who were threatened and arrested. Europe especially seemed to choose silence for fear of offending Arab or Muslims regimes.


(Emphasis added-DD)


Click here to access the full report (in PDF).

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