April 20, 2024, 7:16 am

Journalists must be able to work without fear: Canada

  • Update Time : Monday, November 2, 2020
  • 227 Time View
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FBD Desk:

Journalists across the world must be able to work without intimidation, reprisal, and the fear of arrest or violence. Freedom of the media and expression is essential to democratic societies and for protecting human rights.

People need independent media to get timely and accurate information that holds governments to account.

Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Benoit Prefontaine said this at the virtual consultation “Defending Media Freedom for Democracy and Citizen’s Rights in Bangladesh.”

ARTICLE 19, the British and Canadian high commissions jointly organized it on Monday.

The consultation brought together a group of experts, including journalists, academics, bloggers, activists, and human rights defenders, and ambassadors to discuss the challenges to media freedom and how to overcome them.

One of the key topics discussed was the issue of impunity for those attacking journalists.

The Canadian high commissioner called it a timely discussion since November 2 is the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.

Also, Benoit Prefontaine said violations of the right to freedom of opinion and expression has continued to occur, including attacks or acts of intimidation against journalists.

“Threats to the safety of journalists and other media professionals remain one of the key obstacles to the full implementation of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.”

The high commissioner also said Canada is concerned about the trend toward growing restrictions on free expression online, resulting from measures of some governments to censor or control digital technologies, especially during the pandemic.

The same rights that exist and are protected offline must be protected online, he said.

Also, the second Global Conference for Media Freedom, which Canada and Botswana are co-hosting on November 16, will be an opportunity for countries to advance their commitment to a free and independent media.

The conference will bring key stakeholders together to identify solutions and address the unprecedented risks posed by Covid-19 and digital technology to media freedom.

It will build on progress made since the inaugural conference and also feature the first ministerial meeting of the Media Freedom Coalition. (Source: UNB)

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