Speaking on the fringes of his trip to Mexico, Foreign Minister Maas issued the following statement today (3 May) to mark World Press Freedom Day:
A free, independent and diverse press is a prerequisite for any functioning democracy. It investigates, looks behind the scenes, informs and educates the general public, demands accountability, and stimulates debate. In short, it creates a space for communication and participation – which is essential in every democratic society. Our Basic Law was adopted 70 years ago, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights a little over 70 years ago. However, we cannot rest on our laurels.
We must open our eyes to another reality: the names Khashoggi and Kuciak remind us of the more than 60 journalists who were killed – and of the innumerable others who received threats – last year. Their fate is a clear reminder that world press freedom is under severe pressure. That is true especially here in Mexico, one of the most dangerous countries for journalists.
Protecting press freedom is one of our most important tasks – both at home and around the world. This is why we are working closely with our partners to improve protection for journalists around the globe.
We express our thanks to all dedicated journalists on this World Press Freedom Day. We promise that we will continue to stand up for them and campaign for world press freedom.