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WAN-IFRA holds press summit in India

Participants marked the opening of a summit organised by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) in India, on 1 December, with a moment of silence for the estimated 30 journalists killed in the Philippines last week. The 62nd World Newspaper Congress, 16th World Editors Forum and Info Services Expo 2009 is being held over three days in Hyderabad.

During the opening ceremony, Gavin O'Reilly, President of WAN-IFRA, praised India for its free press and the "staggering" size of its press with "almost 20 percent of all the newspapers sold daily in the world... sold here in India, which quite recently surpassed China as the largest press market."

Also during the ceremony, Najam Sethi, the former Editor-in-Chief of the "Daily Times" in Pakistan, was awarded the 2009 Golden Pen of Freedom, the annual press freedom prize of WAN-IFRA. Sethi was honoured for his defence of press freedom "under difficult circumstances and constant personal danger."

The WAN-IFRA Board issued several resolutions at the start of the summit, including: calling on the Philippine government to bring the perpetrators of the 23 November massacre to justice and to end the climate of impunity; calling on Chinese authorities to release imprisoned writers, journalists and human rights activists; condemning the imprisonment of 27 journalists in Cuba and the increasing criminalising of speech under President Raúl Castro.

In its 2009 press freedom world review, WAN-IFRA reports that at least 88 journalists have been killed so far this year and hundreds of media employees have been arrested and jailed. At least 170 remain imprisoned.

To read the full report, please see:

Press Freedom World Review
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