An official of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Liberia has said without press freedom the people will be ill-informed and society incomplete.
UNESCO Officer-in-Charge Stevenson Siedi noted that in an environment where journalists are safe, citizens find it easier to access quality information that can be vital to making sound decisions and analyzing critical national issues.
He made the observation Monday at programs marking the celebration of “International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists” held at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) building on Broad Street in Monrovia.
Siedi said restriction of free expression leads to self-censorship among journalists and also deprives society of the right to contribute to issues affecting the nation.
The program, which was held under the theme: ‘Breaking the culture of impunity: Creating a safe climate for Journalists in Liberia”, was organized by the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) and the Center for Media Studies and Peace Building (CEMESP) with support from UNESCO.
International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists was declared by the UN General Assembly at its 68th Session in December last year to urge UN member states to implement definite measures that will counter the present culture of impunity against journalists.
Over the past decade, more than 700 journalists have been killed for reporting the news and providing needed information to the public.