On the eve of World Press Freedom Day tomorrow, EU High Representative Josep Borrell has congratulated brave journalists, camera crews, reporters, photographers and bloggers on behalf of the EU, saying that they are “risking their lives to keep us informed about Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine”.
“Russian forces are detaining, abducting or kidnapping and targeting journalists and civil society actors to prevent the world from hearing the truth,” Borrell said. “We strongly urge the Russian Federation to immediately stop such attacks and practices.”
According to the Council of Europe platform for the protection of journalism and safety of journalists, ten Ukrainian and international media workers have already been killed, and many others were wounded.
Borrell said the safety of journalists was an EU priority,adding that the EU is providing emergency support to media outlets and journalists covering the war in Ukraine, including psychological support, helmets and other protective equipment, as well as financing to cover salaries.
“By reporting from the front lines and shedding light on the gross human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law committed by the Russian armed forces, journalists importantly contribute to counter disinformation and information manipulation surrounding the invasion,” said Borrell. “They play a crucial role in ensuring that these atrocities do not remain unpunished.”
Borrell also noted the courage of independent journalists in Russia and Belarus, who are trying to convey accurate information about Russian aggression against Ukraine.
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