Monday, May 04, 2009

Editor’s note: The following statement was issued by Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Frank La Rue, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, May 3, 2009.
World Press Freedom Day serves as an occasion to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate the benefits of a free and independent press; and to defend the media from attacks on their independence. Sadly, on this day we must also pay tribute to media professionals worldwide who have lost their lives in the daily struggle to disseminate the news. In the last year, over 60 journalists have been killed in the line of duty. Their sacrifice should further strengthen our efforts in promoting press freedom and the protection of journalists everywhere from ongoing harassment and threats.