On World Press Freedom Day, Kobler damns violence against journalists

By Libya Herald reporter.

UNSMIL chief Martin Kobler today damned attacks on journalists (File photo)

UNSMIL’s Martin Kobler has damned attacks on journalists (File photo)

Tunis, 3 May 2017:

UN envoy Martin Kobler has marked World Press Freedom Day by condemning the violence against journalists in Libya.

While he noted the post-Revolution expansion of media channels and the “constructive debate” they add to society, he nonetheless said media workers continued to face attacks for simply exercising their freedom of expression.

“Over the last 12 months alone, UNSMIL has documented 14 serious cases of human rights violations and abuses against journalists and media workers,” he said.

“These include unlawful killing, enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention, deprivation of liberty, torture and ill-treatment as well as death threats,” Kobler added.

Freedom of expression was a fundamental right for all those in Libya and therefore attacks against journalists must be tackled.

Kobler added: “Professional media is objective and independent. It is not propaganda and it does not spread hatred nor incite hostility and violence.”

He saluted those journalists “who endured hardship to be the voice of the voiceless”. He also asked that those media workers who have lost their lives or remain missing be remembered.

Kobler quoted the new UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres who said:  “When we protect journalists, their words and pictures can change our world.”

Last week Reporters Without Borders, the media watchdog, put Libya in a just 163 out of 180 countries worldwide for terms of press freedom.

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