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World's press rallies around journalists in exile on World Press Freedom Day

(WAN-IFRA/IFEX) - 19 April 2010 - The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) is calling on publications world-wide to commemorate World Press Freedom Day, 3 May, by honouring journalists who are forced to flee their countries just for doing their jobs.

WAN-IFRA, which represents 18,000 newspapers, 15,000 online sites and more than 3,000 companies world-wide, is dedicating its 2010 World Press Freedom Day campaign to "Journalists in Exile", and has produced editorials, advertisements, political cartoons, interviews and other materials for publication in newspapers and other media on or around 3 May.

Newspapers wishing to view, download and publish the materials, free of charge, can find them at .

The materials are offered in English, French, Spanish, German and Russian, but newspapers are encouraged to translate them into other languages as well.

Thousands of newspapers world-wide publish the WAN-IFRA materials on World Press Freedom Day each year.

"Despite the existence of rights enshrined by national and international conventions, journalists continue to find themselves in frequent peril for simply doing their jobs, as they strive to report the truth in the passionate belief that reporting what they see is the foundation of a healthy democracy," said Virginie Jouan, Executive Director of Press Freedom and Development Programmes for WAN-IFRA.

"Journalists who find themselves facing harassment, death threats, attacks and imprisonment rightly fear for their lives, and often are forced into exile," she said. "This frequently deprives them of the means to continue working as journalists, and effectively silences them. That's why we have dedicated our World Press Freedom Day initiative to exiled journalists, and are asking colleagues around the world to show support by focusing attention on their plight."

The materials provided by WAN-IFRA for 3 May give an in-depth look at the problem and are designed to help publications:

- Inspire, with editorials and interviews from exiled journalists, publishers and public figures

- Stimulate, with cartoons from renowned French cartoonist Michel Cambon

- Endorse the campaign by running ready-to-publish adverts with your publication's name.

- Evoke emotion with striking high-resolution photographs

- Illustrate, with clever infographics

- Encourage young readers and teachers to take part with classroom activities, testimonials and a competition

World Press Freedom Day marks the anniversary of the 1991 Declaration of Windhoek, a statement of principles calling for a free, independent and pluralistic media throughout the world. The Declaration affirms that a free press is essential to the existence of democracy and a fundamental human goal.

Click here to read and sign protest letters to the leaders of Iran, Mexico, the Philippines, China and Sri Lanka

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