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The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, ahead of World Press Freedom Day on 3 May paid tribute to the courage of media workers and emphasized their essential role in the development of democracy.

“I admire your fearless efforts to tell the truth. We would live in a very different world without a strong independent media,” said Mijatović, speaking from Tunis, where she is attending an international media freedom conference.

“Risking your safety and even lives in the line of duty, you continue to courageously fulfill your mission.”

“At this moment when we are celebrating World Press Freedom Day, there are many journalists sitting behind bars and many still waiting for justice,” she emphasized.

“I will continue to urge governments to solve all cases of violence against journalists and to stop impunity for the perpetrators, in order to make our region a better and safer area for reporting. I will continue to oppose restrictive laws and practices that silence independent and critical voices of media, off- and online.”

“The digital revolution and modern Internet technologies have changed your methods, but not the essence of what you do. They have made news gathering and sharing faster and easier, but they have not eliminated the need for professional investigative reporting.”

The OSCE media freedom representative, along with the other three special rapporteurs on free media from the United Nations, the Organization of American States and the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, is attending a UNESCO conference tomorrow dedicated to World Press Freedom Day.

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