Vice Minister Emanuela Del Re attended, by VTC, the Ministerial meeting of the Media Freedom Coalition chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada. The Media Freedom Coalition is a partnership of Countries aimed at supporting the freedom and safety of journalists and media operators, both online and offline, and prosecuting violations of journalists’ rights and attacks on their safety and security.
The Vice Minister announced Italy’s decision to join the Coalition, in line with its long-term commitment to promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms around the world.
“In these complicated times rights are threatened in various areas of the world” – she pointed out – “The Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on the daily work of journalists and has affected everyone’s right to seek, receive and disseminate quality information”.
“Emergency measures cannot be abused to restrict the freedom of the media and the freedom of opinion and expression. All the more so at a time when free access to reliable and fact-based information is essential to guarantee everybody’s right to the best possible level of healthcare: fake news and distorted information are harmful and can endanger people’s lives”.
The Vice Minister then recalled that, on November 2, the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, the United Nations reported that, over the past fourteen years, nearly 1,200 journalists have been killed in the line of duty, and that in nine cases out of ten their killers have gone unpunished. “Ensuring the protection and safety of journalists, preventing all acts of violence against them and combating the impunity of those responsible for such acts, is indeed a priority”. – Vice Minister Del Re added.
“We are ready to support further initiatives to internationally raise public awareness of the need to pay more attention to the protection of journalists, and to call on all States to fully comply with their international obligations regarding freedom of expression and media freedom” – she concluded.