Number of journalists killed in 2018 up by 57%: PEC

Cheryl Sanders
May 3, 2018

"The United Nations recognizes that Afghanistan is one of the most unsafe places for journalists to work, and we reiterate our determination to protect journalist safety and to fight against impunity".

The PEC said it "deplored the dramatic increase in media victims as the world celebrates World Press Freedom Day on May 3", adding the number of journalists killed from January to April has soared by 57 per cent from the same period previous year.

She added, "Any State under the rule of law that respects individual freedoms, and particularly the freedoms of opinion, conscience and expression, relies on a free, independent press that is safe from censorship or coercion".

Press Council Chair Neville Stevens said the selection committee agreed unanimously that the two recipients demonstrated all of the qualities the medals were meant to celebrate.

This is the day that the transparency of the political processes, independence and media literacy of the judicial system and the accountability of state institutions towards the public will be on the spotlight.

Professor Greste spent two decades reporting from the frontline in the world's most risky countries before making headlines following his own incarceration in an Egyptian prison. Names are submitted by regional and worldwide non-governmental organisations working for press freedom, and by UNESCO member states.

It's a day on which everyone is reminded of the role of free media as a cornerstone of democracy.

"I congratulate Peter and hope his presence at UQ will infuse similar courage in journalists of the future", he said. Accepting the medal at an event hosted by Twitter in Sydney this morning, Greste said the award was a great honour. The theme of 2018 highlights the importance of an enabling legal environment for press freedom and prosecution of crimes against journalists.

IFEX, a global human rights network of organisations defending the right to freedom of expression and information, said strengthening the watchdog role of independent journalism was necessary to expose electoral violations, gender-based inequalities, and human rights abuses.

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