International Day for the freedom of the press: France focuses on online information
On the occasion of the Word Press Freedom day, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development (MAEDI) decided to illustrate its action in favour of one of the most fundamental liberties, by organizing a conference on Monday 5th May under the theme “Freedom of expression on the internet”, in the context of the recent cyber-attack targeting the biggest French media in the world, TV5Monde. It will be opened today by the French Secretary of State for Development and Francophonie, Mrs Annick Girardin.
The conference has a very controversial subject on the theme. Many partners, including Reporters without Borders, Rfi, France Média Monde, TV5Monde etc., will be represented and will lead the debate on the two major themes: “the protection of cyber-journalists in conflicts and against terrorist threats” and “the freedom of expression in the face of “enemy States of the internet”.
France’s commitment to press freedom
As a “country of human and citizen’s rights”, France has always defended press freedom and so must continue on this path. Freedom of expression is indeed enshrined in clause 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in clauses 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966.
Therefore, the aim of this conference will be to reaffirm the importance of mobilizing all the information stakeholders to enable internet professionals protect their data, avoid censorship and undo the restrictions hindering their profession. This conference-debate will also provide an opportunity to interact with the field players, listen to their testimonies and underscore the commitment of France to freedom of information all over the world.
2015, a deadly year beginning for the press
Already 24 journalists killed all over the world in 2015, and this in just in a few months, according to the Press Freedom barometer updated daily by Reporter Without Borders. In 2014, over the 12 months, 71 deaths of journalists were recorded.
A particularly deadly year for France, as out of the 24 journalists killed, 8 were French, the tragically renowned Charlie Hebdo cartoonists.