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RSF revives tourist awareness campaign

RSF

(RSF/IFEX) - 12 January 2012 - Reporters Without Borders is repeating its awareness campaign in central Paris to draw residents' attention to the lack of freedom of information in Thailand, Vietnam and Mexico by creating a simulated beach in the city's main shopping area. On the first day of the January sales, activists from the press freedom organization wearing swimming costumes braved the Paris winter to raise public awareness.

“We are carrying on with this campaign, launched last October, to make tourists aware of the issues before they head for the sunshine,” the organization said. “We are not calling for a boycott of these destinations but we want travellers to see what is behind the scenes. We have chosen three countries that are a paradise for vacationers and a hell for journalists: Mexico, Vietnam and Thailand.

“The palm trees, beaches and temples often conceal harsh treatment of journalists and bloggers. We advocate responsible tourism. It is your choice where you take your vacation but it is our duty to tell you where you are venturing.”

More than eighty journalists have been killed in the past 10 years in Mexico. Covering drug trafficking has become a risky activity there. Murders of journalists go unpunished so nothing stops the killers from continuing to ply their trade.

Many subjects are taboo in Thailand and Vietnam. Criticising their rulers or exposing the corruption that permeates the upper levels of government can land you in jail for 15 or 20 years.

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