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REPORTERS GROUP LAMENTS FADING PRESS FREEDOM

February 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) has sharply criticized international organizations who give lip service to freedom of the press but fail to implement their principles. It singled out UNESCO, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Organization of American States (OAS), Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Arab League, the African Union, the European Union, and the United Nations itself, whose Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, who, by failing to congratulate jailed Chinese human rights activist and journalist Lio Xiaobo on winning the Nobel Peace Prize “succumbed to pressure [by the Chinese government] and set a disappointing example for the entire U.N. system.” Meanwhile, the CPJ also concluded that the influence of the U.S., which has traditionally defended press freedom within international organizations, has diminished, particularly following its furious response to the Wikileaks release. (Secretary of State Clinton’s denunciation, it noted, was cited by a Kazakh official to justify the imprisonment of a local newspaper editor who disclosed how the security service had influenced a tax case.) “Today’s sad reality is that while international law guarantees the right to free expression, journalists can rely on few international institutions to defend that right,” the CPJ concluded.