To mark World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, we’re shining a light on the importance of a free press. Right now, journalists are being locked up, tortured, threatened or even killed just for speaking out.
Freedom of expression is a human right
World Press Freedom Day provides an opportunity for people around the world to celebrate the fundamental human right to freedom of expression. Journalism is not a crime, yet the principles of free speech and a free press are threatened right across the world.
Every day, journalists around the world face the threat of intimidation, censorship, imprisonment and violence, including torture, for their efforts to report on human rights violations.
Journalists, media professionals, writers and activists all play a key part in maintaining freedom of expression and holding the powerful to account. Unfortunately, they often find themselves facing danger for doing their work, like Floriane Irangabiye, a journalist currently sentenced to 10 years in prison on trumped up charges.
Why is a free press important?
A free press reports on the issues that interest us and shape our lives is a building block of any rights-respecting society. Fighting for a free press means supporting individual journalists as they report on human rights issues, and calling on governments to legislate for protections for media organisations.
How to fight for a free press: Support journalists like Floriane
In August 2022, journalist and single mother of two Floriane Irangabiye‘s world was turned upside down when she was arrested on a family visit to Burundi. It was the first time she had returned since 2015 – when the government first began its widespread crackdown on protesters, civil society organisations, and the media.
Convicted on trumped-up charges, she remains in prison where she is serving a 10 year sentence for doing her job as a journalist and exercising her human rights.
Floriane should not be punished for bravely speaking out – it is her job as a journalist, and her human right to freely express herself.
This World Press Freedom day, call on the Brundian authorities to demand Floriane’s immediate and unconditional release now.
International pressure works — in 2021, hundreds of thousands of Amnesty supporters from all over the world took action for Burundian human rights defender, Germain Rukuki. Last year, Germain was released from prison after his sentence was reduced from 32 years to one. Together, we can do the same for Floriane.
Amnesty International is a global movement of 10 million people standing up for justice, freedom and equality. Together, our voices challenge injustice and are powerful enough to change the world. Find out more about what we do, our impact and our current campaign cases.