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Canada issues statement on World Press Freedom Day
May 3, 2016 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada
The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, today issued the following statement:
“Canada resolutely supports journalists, human rights defenders, bloggers and all others who use media platforms to promote inclusion and diversity, demand transparency and accountability from their governments, and ensure that the rights of all individuals are respected.
“No person should ever be afraid to speak freely. No person should ever face intimidation, harassment, violence or death for voicing an opinion.
“According to a Freedom House survey, 2015 was the worst year in the past 12 for global press freedom. This was due to an increase in hostility toward journalists, bloggers and media outlets by governments, as well as by terrorists and criminal forces. Journalists and a free press are part of what makes countries strong. Beyond keeping people informed, an independent press helps hold governments to account. Those whose job it is to pursue and share information play an invaluable role in the promotion and protection of human rights and the preservation of an open and resilient society. Any attack on the media’s right to express itself freely is an attack on society itself.
“On World Press Freedom Day, Canada recognizes the important role the media play in keeping the public dialogue vibrant. We also acknowledge the journalists, bloggers and activists who face censorship, imprisonment, and personal attacks as a consequence of carrying out their work, and we remember those who have lost their lives while exercising their right to report and speak freely.”
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