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
Mrs Carrie Lam, GBM, GBS
Office of the Chief Executive
President, Foreign Press Association USA
1501 Broadway, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10036
+1 917 362 1477
Open Letter to Carrie Lam GBM, GBS, Chief Executive of Hong Kong,
Many members of the press based in New York have visited Hong Kong and appreciated its role as an enclave of press freedom. The vibrancy of the local Hong Kong media and of other based there has been a model and has played a key role in thriving economy of the special region.
Your collaboration with the Central Government’s repressive over-riding of the fundamental principle of One Country Two Systems is not just an affront to the Sino British Treaty, it is an assault on the human rights and press freedoms of the people of Hong Kong and the media community it has hitherto fostered.
“It is not just a crime – it is a mistake,” as Napoleon was warned.
That freedom of information has served Hong Kong as a financial and commercial center, since investors rely on transparency. It has also hitherto benefited the mainland since the ability of the media in Hong Kong to report on other, less transparent, financial centers has been a factor in decisions to invest in China.
The Foreign Press Association of the USA, will do whatever it can to support our media colleagues in Hong Kong.
President, Foreign Press Association and Foundation