IPI Statement for World Press Freedom Day for the Rural Media Network of Pakistan

As the International Press Institute (IPI) prepares to celebrate its 60th anniversary this year, we look back at the numerous struggles that independent journalists have fought over the last six decades.
Over 60 years, IPI has supported and celebrated the victories of many courageous journalists who have brought about important changes in many countries, leading to the overthrow of dictators and the defence of democracy against all odds.
Unfortunately, we also grieved over their defeats, which led to the loss of many journalists’ lives, or of their liberty, of their courage to write independently and expose wrongdoings.
We have condemned the injustice perpetrated against journalists, in the course of their lives and after their death. And we have upheld the principle that freedom of expression is the right that safeguards all other human rights.
As we look at Pakistan today, we honour the heroic struggles of courageous journalists such as Aslam Ali, Hayatullah Khan, Musa Khan Khel and Najam Sethi, whose work has inspired and given hope to so many other journalists in their country and elsewhere. We honour the important work that the Rural Media Network of Pakistan and other Pakistani press freedom and journalists’ organisations carry out every day to defend the basic principle of press freedom in a country that too often has chosen to disregard it.
At the beginning of the 21st Century, it is time to reject censorship and to restate the case, in every society, that individuals want to be free. We have to combine our voices to convince those who want us to remain silent and ignorant that, however hard they resist, information will always escape. It is our belief that the free flow of information and ideas is an important antidote to injustice, corruption and terrorist ideologies and that a free media is indispensable to achieving this.


David Dadge 
International Press Institute

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