Miami (February 4, 2011)—In light of the popular uprising in Egypt that has led to censorship, attacks and restrictions on journalists and news media, the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today stressed the need for respect for international treaties on protection of the press and guarantees for its work, so that press freedom and the public’s right to know are not violated.
IAPA President Gonzalo Marroquín, of the Guatemala City, Guatemala, newspaper Siglo 21, reacting to complaints the organization has received from media based in the Americas whose foreign correspondents are coming under fire in Egypt, declared, “It is the duty of the authorities to ensure compliance with United Nations Security Council requirements that there be humanitarian protective measures taken and that news media personnel and their staffs not be assaulted.”
The extensive information coming out of Egypt indicates that in recent days more than 50 journalists – both foreign correspondents and local reporters – have been arrested, others beaten, their equipment confiscated or stolen and that several news media have been attacked, censored or had difficulty obtaining official information. While some telecommunication channels and the Internet are now being restored the government of Hosni Mubarak has been shutting down or blocking these services periodically since the revolt began on January 25.
The chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Robert Rivard, of the San Antonio Express-News, Texas, said that the IAPA has been showing solidarity with journalists, news media, international agencies and other organizations devoted to the freedom of the press and human rights operating in that part of the world.
The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org.