World Association of News Publishers

Deterioration in freedom of expression in the Americas

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Deterioration in freedom of expression in the Americas

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International Association of Broadcasting
World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers
World Press Freedom Committee
International Press Institute
Inter American Press Association
International Federation of the Periodical Press
Committee to Protect Journalists 


The Coordinating Committee of Press Freedom Organizations at its meeting held in Vienna, Austria, on June 17, 2011, adopted by unanimous vote of the members present the following resolution: 

Deterioration in freedom of expression in the Americas 


freedom of expression and of the press, the right to live in freedom, safety and protection under the law are fundamental principles of the people recognized and guaranteed by international treaties, among them the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the American Convention On Human Rights 


in the Americas it has become evident that the enemies of press freedom – organized crime and authoritarian governments – are taking actions to control information and restrict news media, bringing about a climate of tension


drug trafficking and other illegal activities are the source of violence, abductions, threats and murders of journalists which this year have cost the lives of more than a dozen news men and women, and lack of punishment for these crimes is leading to the serious consequence of self-censorship 


some Latin American governments have passed laws that restrict freedom of expression and the right to receive information, as well as the freedom and independence of news media


some governments are creating or unduly expropriating news media, turning them into propaganda apparatus and using public resources as if they were their own or penalizing those who do not hew the official line


to reiterate its concern at the deterioration in freedom of expression and of the press in the Americas, which does not comply with what is enshrined in the political constitutions and international treaties on human rights

to call on the legislative branches of government to enact specific laws to combat impunity, not to pass legislation that restricts press freedom, as a matter of urgency review and abolish laws that restrict the work of journalists and to ask the judicial branches to be rigorous in investigations and in the full administration of justice

to encourage inter-American bodies, such as the Organization of American States, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Union of South American Nations, Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of the Americas, among others, to take concrete action to defend freedom of expression and of the press, not as a privilege for journalists and news media but as a natural right of human beings that should be guaranteed for the full development of democracy and that is stipulated as an essential condition in the Inter-American Democratic Charter.


Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop


2011-06-22 17:31

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