PEN Canada highlights killing of journalists in RP, Mexico on World Press Freedom Day

Community News & Features May 1, 2005 at 2:19 pm

TORONTO – PEN Canada, in a press statement to mark World Press Freedom Day, stated that the murder of journalists in Mexico and the Philippines is “a stark reminder of the dangers of working for the media.”

The prestigious Canadian organization of writers noted that during the past decade, Mexico and the Philippines are the two countries where journalists regularly face risks  to their lives. It cited that  49 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 1987, while 66 have been killed in the Philippines since 1986, with most of  the perpetrators in both countries neither identified nor punished.

“These shocking statistics underscore the need to highlight the safety of journalists everywhere,” said PEN Canada Writers in Prison Committee Chair Alan Cumyn.  “PEN Canada uses  the opportunity of May 3, World Press Freedom Day, to call on the governments of Mexico and the Philippines to conduct thorough investigations into the murders and to bring an immediate end to the impunity that surrounds them.”

To that end, PEN Canada has joined  the Ni Uno Mas campaign that pressures state and national authorities in Mexico to carry out serious investigations into the murder of journalists and to ensure that media workers can practise their profession free from danger.

In the Philippines, both PEN Canada and other centres of International PEN have reported on the wave of attacks on journalists and have protested to authorities there so that those responsible are brought to justice.

PEN Canada is a centre of International PEN that campaigns on behalf of writers worldwide persecuted for the expression of their thoughts.