World Press Freedom Day (May 3, 2014) – Statement by Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development.
On this World Press Freedom Day, I would like to pay tribute to journalists who, all over the world, carry out their work in the name of the duty to inform and establish the truth.
They do so often at the expense of their freedom, sometimes at the risk of their lives. Since the beginning of 2014, 16 journalists have been killed while carrying out their work. 2013 was an especially deadly year; according to Reporters Without Borders, almost 76 journalists were killed, including our compatriots, Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verdon, who were killed in a cowardly attack in Mali.
We are determined to do everything possible to ensure that such crimes against the fundamental freedom to inform and be informed do not go unpunished. Our mobilization recently resulted in the release of our 4 journalists held in Syria. But, beyond that, we have a lot of work to do. On our initiative, the UN General Assembly adopted, on November 26, a resolution on the safety of journalists, calling for states to prevent violence against journalists and to combat the impunity of the perpetrators of this violence.
France makes press freedom a top priority of its foreign policy.