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Countdown to world press freedom day: Action must be taken to end the killing of journalists

Keynote speaker Mrs Justice Susan Denham, Ireland’s Chief Justice   -  © private

30 April 2014

Action is needed from governments across the globe if the deaths of journalists are to be prevented, Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary has warned.

Speaking in advance of a major event in Dublin marking World Press Freedom Day, she said freedom of expression is a human right which could not be vindicated where journalists operated under threat or fear of persecution.

Last year was one of the bloodiest for journalists. The International Federation of Journalists report In Mortal Danger revealed that 105 were killed in the line of duty. In the vast majority of cases, their killers were not brought to justice.

At today's event, Mrs Justice Susan Denham, Ireland's Chief Justice, will deliver the keynote address at a seminar organised by the NUJ.

Michelle Stanistreet will say that freedom of the press is not possible where journalists face extreme violence for doing their job and that without freedom of expression, there can be no real democracy.

She will say that as protections enshrined in international law for journalists are ignored by member governments with no interest in press freedom, the real solution is for the international community to ensure there is no impunity for those who use violence against those who work in the media.

Other speakers will include Kevin Bakhurst, Managing Director RTÉ news & current affairs; Professor John Horgan, Press Ombudsman; and Séamus Dooley, Irish Secretary.

Gerry Curran, Cathoairleach of the IEC and Chair of Dublin P&PR branch, who is hosting the event, said the event will provide an opportunity for a comprehensive debate with a sharp focus on global as well as national media issues.

Tags: , world press freedom day, impunity, dublin, press freedom, rté, john horgan, iec