WAN message 2008

The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) dedicates its 2008 World
Press Freedom Day campaign to Chinese journalists and cyber reporters
currently held in prison for reporting facts or peacefully expressing
their views and it calls for their immediate release. Despite
promises of reform made ahead of the Beijing Olympics, the Chinese
authorities have not only failed to respect them, but they have
intensified their crackdown on those who seek to exercise their right
to freedom of expression.

It is high time for China to respect its commitments pertaining to
freedom of expression and freedom of the press and to guarantee the
right of all people to access information.

This is the clear message we need to impress on the Chinese
authorities and other Olympics’ stakeholders on World Press Freedom Day.

On World Press Freedom Day, WAN also wishes to commend the dedication
of the Rural Media Network Pakistan to defend and promote freedom of
expression in Pakistan.

It is the view of WAN that RMNP is indeed playing an active role in
promoting and defending freedom of expression in rural Pakistan. It
does so through relevant actions and tools, including a website
dedicated to freedom of expression and freedom of the press, a
monthly newsletter published in Urdu language, a press freedom award,
and the celebration since 1999 of the World Press Freedom Day.

Over the past years, the Network has, moreover, actively and
successfully contributed to efforts initiated by WAN in the field of
press freedom.


Timothy Balding
Chief Executive Officer
World Association of Newspapers

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