Note to Correspondents – in response to questions on a recent letter from the Committee to Protect Journalists
I have been asked about the Secretary-General’s response to a recent letter from the Committee to Protect Journalists concerning recent restrictions on the press as well as the death of journalists while in detention.
It’s clear that, during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Secretary-General has been concerned about the number of restrictions and attacks against journalists - who are just doing their job. Many have been subjected to harassment, acts of intimidation, sanctions, killing and also arbitrary detention. We know that prisoners, detainees and those deprived of their liberty in general are highly vulnerable to the rapid spread of the virus. The Secretary-General calls on governments to immediately release journalists who have been detained for exercising their profession.
It is the Secretary-General’s firm belief that a free press is essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights. No democracy can function without press freedom, which is the cornerstone of trust between people and their institutions. When media workers are targeted, societies as a whole pay a price.
You will recall that we issued a statement last week saying that the Secretary-General is appalled at the continued and increased numbers of attacks against journalists and media workers around the world.
Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General
New York, 17 September 2020
Bookmark the Spokesperson’s website: http://www.un.org/sg/en/spokesperson