9 January 1998


WAN announces press freedom kit

Incident details


(WAN/IFEX) - UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Nobel Literature Prize
laureate Wole Soyinka are among those contributing to a package of essays,
interviews, ads, and graphics celebrating press freedom now being
distributed to 15,000 newspapers worldwide for publication on 3 May, World
Press Freedom Day. The package, designed by the World Association of
Newspapers (WAN), focuses on some of the world's most repressive regimes and
also includes contributions by Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng and
journalists Ihar Hermianchuk of Belarus, Raul Rivero of Cuba and Pius Njawe
of Cameroon (who wrote his essay from a jail cell). "In dozens of countries
around the world, journalists, editors and publishers are murdered,
assaulted, detained and harassed. Their publications are censored, fined,
suspended and closed down," noted Timothy Balding, Director General of WAN.
"World Press Freedom Day...exists to recognize the sacrifices made in the
struggle for freedom of the press and to put pressure on the numerous
governments that continue to deny their citizens this basic human right," he

The package also includes information about the 26 journalists murdered in
1997, the 138 journalists who remain in prison, and public service ads which
draw attention to the fight for press freedom and appeal to the public for
support. To receive a copy, email WAN at contact_us@wan.asso.fr or contact
them directly at the WAN Secretariat. The package will shortly be posted at
the WAN website at www.fiej.org.


World Association of Newspapers
7 Rue Geoffroy St. Hilaire
75005 Paris
contact_us (@) wan.asso.fr
Fax:+33 14 742 4948
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