UN observes World Press Freedom Day on 3 May

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Photographer Farzana Wahidy covering a women’s empowerment event in Mazar-i-Sharif, in Afghanistan’s north. Photo: UNAMA Fardin Waezi

The United Nations on Friday observed World Press Freedom Day, under the theme "Safe to Speak: Ensuring the Safety of Journalists and Media Workers."

The day, marked on 3 May each year, was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO to draw attention to the situation of journalists and media workers.

According to UNESCO, 121 journalists were killed last year, nearly double the deaths reported in 2010 and 2011.

Philippe Kridelka is Director of the UNESCO Office in New York.

"Nine out of 10 cases of crimes against journalists, media workers and social media producers go unpunished. This cannot stand. Violence and impunity undermine basic rights and freedoms, they erode public faith in the rule of law, they encourage self censorship and they poison governance." (19")

Celebrations of World Press Freedom Day are taking place throughout the world with a major event in Costa Rica.

They include the award ceremony of UNESCO Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, named in honour of an assassinated Colombian journalist.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1'07"

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