Wednesday, September 15, 2010

IPI honors press freedom heroes

IPI honors press freedom heroes

15 September 2010 | 16:51 | Source: B92
VIENNA -- The International Press Institute (IPI) honored heroes of the freedom of the press at the celebration of the institute’s 60th anniversary.

(FocusInfo - Vienna)
(FocusInfo - Vienna)

Journalists from all over the world stated that many of their colleagues paid with their lives for the right to not keep quiet about the problems their societies were facing.

Among the heroes who fought for the freedom of the media is B92 Editor-in-Chief Veran Matić.

“We also see that more and more often critical speech is being punished with questionable charges brought against the journalists,” said OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović.

“he impunity of the perpetrators and the responsible authorities’ passivity in investigating and failing to publicly condemn these murders breeds further violence. There are numerous cases that need to be raised over and over again. We need to continue to loudly repeat the names of these courageous individuals who lost their lives for the words they had written,” she stressed.

A monograph which was issued regarding the IPI’s 60th anniversary contains the names of the selected IPI World Press Freedom Heroes, among others journalists Anna Politkovskaya of Russia, Hrant Dink of Turkey, Lasantha Wickrematunge of Sri Lanka, Akbar Ganji of Iran, May Chidiac of Lebanon, Lydia Cacho Ribeiro of Mexico, Veronica Guerin of Ireland.

The IPI included the B92 editor-in-chief among the press freedom heroes ten years ago, as the only editor from Serbia.

Matić said that he dedicated the award to his colleagues who had been killed in the line of duty and whose murders had not been solved yet.

“Ten years ago, when I was declared one of 50 press freedom heroes for the past 50 years, we were establishing B92 TV and preparing to topple Slobodan Milošević’s government,” he stressed.

“Today, ten years later, when we have ten more press freedom heroes, we can ask ourselves how the freedom of the press and freedom of the media works. It can be seen in our example that freedom of the press and freedom of the media should be cherished regardless of the regime you live in, because it’s completely clear to us that after ten years we have problems with endangering the lives of journalists who fight for free and public speech,” Matić emphasized.

“We have a news desk, such as ours, that is still protected by police, we have research journalists who are heroes, such as Brankica Stanković, who also has been protected by police for several months now. That’s a warning to all of us that freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of the media, is a prerequisite of every democracy and all progress, and that we must protect it,” the B92 editor-in-chief concluded.

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