World Press Freedom Day
Every year, May 3rd is World Press Freedom Day, a day to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.
It serves as an occasion to inform citizens of violations of press freedom - a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered.
This day is to encourage and develop initiatives in favour of press freedom, and to assess the state of press freedom worldwide, discussing issues of press freedom and professional ethics with media professionals.
A day to remind governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom. Just as importantly, World Press Freedom Day is a day of support for media which are targets for the restraint, or abolition, of press freedom. It is also a day of remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.
This year, World Press Freedom Day is dedicated to the theme “Media and Good Governance”. To celebrate the day, UNESCO organized a conference in Senegal's capital Dakar, from 1 to 3 May 2005.
Unfortunately many Arab countries do not believe in press freedom, any kind of criticism is not welcome. Although I think Arab countries are experiencing great improvement in many fields of life, freedom of expression and press freedom have not yet reached a safe constructive level.
Today is a very important chance to call for the rights of journalists who are suffering, experiencing torture and being thrown in prison or receiving threats that include them and their families for simply expressing their opinion.
I’m sure that when granted their rights and their freedom, we’ll witness more positive developments in our countries; respect will replace fear, creativity will replace hesitance, and success will replace failure.