Each year, World Press Freedom Day is celebrated on May 3. The day acknowledges the importance of press freedom, defends media independence, and pays tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
This year’s theme is:
Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms: This Is Your Right!
The day’s main event is the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize Ceremony, which takes place in Helsinki, Finland. Azerbaijani investigative journalist, Khadija Ismayilova, is the winner of this year’s prize, recognised by an independent international jury for her “outstanding contribution to press freedom in difficult circumstances.”
A freelance journalist and contributor to the Azerbaijani service of Radio Free Europe, Ms Ismayilova was sentenced to seven and a half years’ imprisonment in September 2015 on charges “relating to abuse of power and tax evasion.”
“This was yet another unfair trial relying on fabricated charges,” said Amnesty International’s Denis Krivosheev as reported by The Guardian in 2015. “The government has stepped up its brutal crackdown on political activists, journalists, human rights defenders – indeed anyone who dares to publicly raise a critical voice.”
Ljiljana Zurovac, President of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2016 Jury, said: “Khadija Ismayilova highly deserves the Prize and I am happy to see that her courage and professionalism are recognized.”
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CourtHeath’s Eleanor Doig recorded the following video in Geneva for World Press Freedom Day 2016.
To highlight this year’s World Press Freedom Day theme, a Global Design Contest was held, the winning design by Marc James (Jamaica), featured on all campaign material. Other designs can be seen here.
For additional information about World Press Freedom Day, please visit:
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Marc James, Jamaica
Script: Philippa O’Donnell and Eleanor Doig
Presenter: Eleanor Doig
Production: Maxim Goupil
Music: Love Wins by Lee Rosevere