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UN calls for worldwide press freedom

3 May 2010 10:38

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on governments and global bodies to stand up for freedom of information, as the world observes Press Freedom Day.

In the era of communication there are some governments “who find many ways to obstruct freedom of press,” the UN chief said in a statement on Sunday.

He also slammed media censorship, high taxes imposed on newsprints, and journalist intimidations in various countries.

To put emphasis on his words, Ban named this year’s theme “Freedom of Information: the right to know.”

The UN Secretary General also touched on journalists’ safety, saying “all governments have a duty to protect those who work in the media.”

This is while less then a month ago a video footage released in the internet showed trigger-happy US pilots assaulting Iraqi civilians in Baghdad.

The raid left dozens of people, including two Reuters journalists, dead.

Ironically, the footage release was sought to be taken off the web by different bodies in the United Sates – a country widely believed to be the land of freedom of speech.

US news coverage of the Israeli war on Gaza also provides a second insight and more than enough evidence to the contrary.

May 3 was proclaimed World Press Freedom Day by the UN General Assembly in 1993.

Freedom of expression is a fundamental right enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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