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IAPA observes four trends in freedom of expression in the last six months

(IAPA/IFEX) - The following is an abridged version of a 7 October 2008 IAPA press release:

IAPA General Assembly conclusions highlight press freedom gains, setbacks in last six months

MADRID, Spain (October 7, 2008) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today adopted reports on freedom of the press and resolutions after four days of sessions here enhanced by the presence of Spain's King Juan Carlos I and Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, among other prominent figures. The Western Hemisphere free press organization in winding up its review issued the following conclusions:

CONCLUSIONS
of the 64th
General Assembly
Madrid, Spain
October 3 - 7, 2008

Four distinct trends are apparent at this time. The first is a worrisome increase in physical violence against journalists and attacks on the media, the most serious outcome of which is the killing of eight journalists in Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Venezuela. The second is in the exacerbation of relations between governments and the press, characterized by systematic verbal attacks by high level officials intended to discredit the work of journalists. The third is the inappropriate government use of public funds to pressure and discriminate against the media by granting or withholding advertising. And finally, there is the approval of freedom of information laws in several countries although numerous exceptions could compromise their efficacy.

For the complete press release, see: http://www.sipiapa.com/v4/index.php?page=cont_comunicados&seccion=detalles&idioma=us&id=4067

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