On World Press Freedom Day, SRFOE publishes its Annual Report 2023

May 3, 2024

Washington, D.C. - The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression (SRFOE) of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) presents the 2023 Annual Report, which presents the main trends, challenges and advances in freedom of expression in the Americas. The Rapporteurship's report is an annex to the Annual Report of the Inter-American Commission.

The Rapporteurship notes with extreme concern the persistence of violence against journalists. In 2023, the Office documented the murder of at least 21 journalists for reasons that could be linked to their work, specifically in Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay, and the United States. In addition to this, there continues to be little progress in the clarification of crimes against journalists and the pursuit of justice, so SRFOE reiterates its emphatic call to the States to fully, objectively and impartially investigate these facts, to punish those responsible, and to ensure adequate reparations to the victims.

The Annual Report also reports cases of threats, intimidation, stigmatizing speeches by public officials, arrests, restrictions on the free exercise of journalism during social demonstrations, judicial harassment, among other acts, especially against journalists and media workers, human rights defenders and other people who participate in public debate.

On the other hand, the Office of the Special Rapporteur monitored the development of protests in several countries in the region, in many of which excessive use of public force was observed, as well as arrests and obstruction of journalists who were covering the events.

In terms of freedom of expression and the fight against discrimination and exclusion, the Rapporteurship observed efforts by several States to promote inclusion and protect the rights of historically marginalized groups; however, it also identified persistent challenges in the region, such as censorship of controversial debates in educational spaces, censorship of books in educational institutions, or stigmatizing speech against women and LGBTI+ persons.

Finally, the Office observes restrictions on freedom of expression on the Internet, associated with threats, intimidation and discriminatory comments against individuals who speak out on matters of general interest. Likewise, concern persists regarding the proliferation of disinformation during election periods.

This is the twenty-fifth Annual Report prepared by the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression since its creation in 1997.

- To access the full 2023 Annual Report, click here.

The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression is an office created by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to encourage the hemispheric defense of the right to freedom of thought and expression, considering its fundamental role in the consolidation and development of the democratic system.

No. R087/24

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