Freedom of Expression

Press Release 97/03


The three international defenders and promoters of Freedom of Expression approved today a joint declaration proclaiming their position on many problems that threat the full exercise of freedom of expression in the world.  

For the past four years, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression; the Representative on Freedom of the Media of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE); and the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Organization of American States (OAS) issued a joint statement with the assistance of ARTICLE 19, Global Campaign for Free Expression.  

This year, the Joint Declaration deals with problems related to the regulation of the media and the restrictions on the practice of journalism, and recognizes the importance of investigative journalism to democracy.   

The Declaration condemns the attempts by some governments to limit freedom of expression and to control the media through regulations that pose a threat to freedom of expression.  

The defenders spoke out against the requirements of licenses or registering for the practise of journalism.  They stated that accreditations are appropiate only when necessary to provide privileged access for journalists to certain places or events, but they should be issued pursuing a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory process.  

Finally, the Declaration proclaims that media investigating corruption or wrongdoing should not be targeted for legal or other harrassment in retaliation for their work.  

“This Declaration demonstrates, once again, that those of us in regional or international organizations who advocate for freedom of expression are not isolated voices. Rather, we share a common concern about the violations and threats to this fundamental right that are committed in every region of the planet”, said Eduardo Bertoni, the Rapporteur of the OAS.  

Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression

Washington , D.C. , December 18, 2003 .

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