Markus Löning, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (30 April) to mark World Press Freedom Day on 3 May:
“Freedom of opinion and freedom of the press are the most important freedoms. Good governance, democracy and human rights are not possible without them. They form an indispensable basis for free thinking and social participation.
Around the world, an increasing number of journalists and other members of the media are falling victim to human rights violations, whether in the course of armed conflicts, in connection with organized crime or following disputed elections. They are intimidated, threatened, become the victims of enforced disappearances, face dubious criminal charges or are even murdered. At the same time, an increasing number of people who are not engaged in traditional journalism but, rather, initiate public debates and draw attention to human rights violations as bloggers or in online platforms are facing difficulties.
The credibility of our human rights policy will therefore be measured by the strength of our commitment to freedom of the press. Championing freedom of the press will therefore form an important part of my work as Human Rights Commissioner.”