This year the events marking World Press Freedom Day on Sunday 3 May assert the urgent need to uphold press freedom with determination in the face of multiple attacks, threats and harassment directed against journalists who report on matters of public concern. The AEJ is one ofmore than fifty press freedom organisations which issued a joint Statement ‘Not in our name: World Press Freedom Day 116 days after Charlie Hebdo’: see details below.
A summary of some 2015 events and campaigns:-
28 April, Romania: AEJ and AZIR (Association of Independent Journalists of Romania) Debate in Bucharest on the theme of ‘The heroism of the local press in Romania: The courage of young journalists’.
1 May, International: More thanfifty organisations campaigning for press freedom have issued a joint Statement and Appeal marking World Press Freedom Day 2015. The Statement – Not in our name: World Press Freedom Day 116 days after Charlie Hebdo condemns the murderous attacks in Paris and Copenhagen earlier this year, as well as subsequent actions by government authorities restricting the free flow of information in the name of security. The Statement calls on all Governments to honour all their international obligations to protect freedom of expression; to take determined action to end impunity; to remove laws and measures that expose journalists and others to judicial harassment; and to put in place legal and judicial controls on any state surveillance of communications as required by the strict standards of international law. The World Press Freedom Day Statement was initiated by PEN International and signed by the AEJ, Index on Censorship, IFJ, IPI, and a wide range of organisations that are dismayed at the growing and present threats to journalists and others exercising their right to expres their views freely.
2- 4 Mayin Riga, Latvia: World Press Freedom Day international conference, hosted by UNESCO and Latvian Foreign Ministry. AEJ participants include Liana Sayadyan, AEJ Armenia; and William Horsley, AEJ Media Freedom Representative
Conference title: ‘Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality and Media Safety in the Digital Age
3 May, Turkey: Public events organised by press freedom organisations: –
Istanbul: Debate and Panel including L. Dogan Tilic (AEJ) on press freedom under attack
Istanbul (13.00 onwards): Mass protest march by journalists’ associations, lawyers, doctors, engineers, artists, political representatives and others; from Tunnel rail terminal to Taksim Square. Speeches and reading of a Joint Statement by Dogan Tilic in the name of 90 journalists organisations in Turkey, including the AEJ.
Early May: AEJ Armenian Section engages in practical discussions with members of parliament to address major threats to press freedom and strengthen protections for journalism; publication of annual monitoring report recording attacks and serious violations.