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United Nations: Freedom of the press and expression is threatened around the world


The United Nations said that freedom of expression is under threat around the world, with journalists being killed and facing various kinds of intimidation for trying to report the truth.

The UN organization emphasized that the function of the free press and media is to tell the truth in the face of power, which threatens the lives of journalists in most countries, including democracies.

67 journalists were killed, most of them with total impunity, in 2022, and 323 journalists were imprisoned, setting a new record, according to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for the Promotion and Protection of Freedom of Opinion and Expression.

Arman Soldin, Ukrainian video coordinator for AFP in Ukraine, was killed on May 9 after being hit by shrapnel from a missile near Chasiv Yar in the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.

Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb in October 2017 on the island of Malta after investigating corruption cases involving wealthy businessman Jürgen Fenech and the government. The following year, Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak was murdered for similar investigative reporting in Slovakia.

85% of the world’s population has restricted their freedom of expression

About 85% of the world’s population has had their freedom of expression curtailed over the past five years, says Guilherme Canela de Souza Godoy, Head of Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists at UNESCO. “In fact, freedom of expression is being undermined all over the world,” he added. Bad everywhere, there are new types of crime, especially electronic, which are not limited to a particular region or a particular country.

According to UNESCO data, at least 160 countries still have criminal defamation laws.

At least 57 laws and regulations have been adopted or amended in 44 countries since 2016 that contain “extremely vague language or disproportionate penalties” that threaten freedom of expression and freedom of the press online.

According to the latest UNESCO report on the safety of journalists and the risk of impunity in 2021, about 36% of journalists were killed in war zones, and about 64% in countries not fighting war such as Mexico, Russia, China and Saudi Arabia.

“We can see that the Balkan countries that knock on the doors of the European Union suffer from a catastrophic situation in terms of press freedom,” said Pauline Addis-Miville of Reporters Without Borders. “Serbia, for example, suffers from a large number of Russian disinformation laboratories. It should not These countries protect criminal groups and mafia groups that attack journalists.”

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media, regardless of frontiers.”

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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