Freedom of expression, information a basic right

National, Normal

The National, Friday 3rd May 2013

 FREEDOM of expression and information is one of the European Union’s (EU) essential rights enshrined in Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, the local EU mission says.

Press freedom is a pre-condition for the preservation of all other political liberties, EU’s delegation said in a statement to mark World Press Freedom Day today.

“A free press is one of the founding pillars for sustainable democracies and prosperous societies.

“We should not take press freedom for granted: threats to this volatile liberty are always present, and come in different forms, sometimes from unexpected sources. Civil society and politicians must work together to ensure the functioning of a democratic regulatory framework, in order to safeguard access and pluralism. All of us must preserve and support press freedom around the world every day, not just on May 3.

“The EU tries to uphold the highest standards within its borders – by limiting political control of the media sector, media monopolies and all forms of intimidation against journalists – but also considers press freedom universal and indivisible, just as all other fundamental human rights. 

“This is why the EU actively promotes and defends it when engaging in relations with other countries and takes media freedom in consideration in all its bilateral relations and agreements.”

The EU delegation said the today should also be a time to pay tribute to all journalists who have risked and lost their lives to provide free reporting, very often in the most dangerous places on earth.