“2014 has been a particularly hard year for the press. According to figures cited by the Committee to Protect Journalists for 2014, 221 journalists were jailed, 42 were forced into exile and 61 were murdered, many within the borders of our member countries,” the PACE President said on the eve of International Press Freedom Day.
Recalling the recent Report by Council of Europe Secretary General on State of Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Europe, and PACE Resolution 2035 (2015) on “the protection of the safety of journalists and of media freedom in Europe”, Ms Brasseur underlined that threats to freedom of the press are greater and deeper than has been previously reported.
“I am gravely concerned by this data and the repeated violations of freedom of expression in a number States member of our Organisation. Any pressure and restrictions on the media are unacceptable and cannot be justified in the public interest or for security reasons,” she continued. “There can be no press freedom where journalists must work in fear of their lives or liberty, and I encourage once again all Council of Europe member States to urgently comply with their obligations and to safeguard freedom of the press and to respect journalists’ physical integrity”.
“On this important date, I want also to give my support to all those who are committed to upholding human rights and to maintaining an open society anchored on freedom of expression and press freedom,” she concluded.