World Association of News Publishers

3 May World Press Freedom Day: Free Eskinder Nega, Free Jailed Journalists Worldwide

3 May World Press Freedom Day: Free Eskinder Nega, Free Jailed Journalists Worldwide


#FreethePress ’30 Days for Freedom’ campaign has seen a month of online action for jailed journalists in the lead up to 3 May, World Press Freedom Day; campaign culminates with free-to-publish resources calling for the release of Eskinder Nega, sentenced under anti-terrorism legislation in Ethiopia to 18 years in prison.

’30 Days for Freedom’, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers’ (WAN-IFRA) latest social media campaign, culminates on 3 May, World Press Freedom Day with global media attention focused on the plight of jailed journalists.

Each day for 30 days, biographies of journalists currently in jail around the world have been published online at, with social media users encouraged to share the stories and call for their release.

The hashtag #FreethePress has already reached millions of Twitter users, while content has been shared across Facebook and through online news sites. Italy’s La Stampa newspaper also ran the campaign in its daily print edition.

The final journalist to be profiled for the campaign is WAN-IFRA’s 2014 Golden Pen of Freedom laureate Eskinder Nega, sentenced by Ethiopian authorities in 2011 to 18 years in prison for his critical writing.

Eskinder was arrested on 14 September 2011 after publishing an article criticising his government’s use of the 2009 Anti-Terror Proclamation to jail and silence critics. He was sentenced on 23 January 2012 and denounced as belonging to a terrorist organisation.

WAN-IFRA is providing free to publish materials to highlight Eskinder’s case, including full biography information as well as a selection of his articles, exclusive interviews with prominent Ethiopian journalists, and both web-ready and print adverts calling for his release.

WAN-IFRA is also providing a series of high-impact adverts for print and online use, designed by Publicidad Comercial Lowe in El Salvador, that highlight the plight of journalists worldwide.

All of the materials can be found online at

WAN-IFRA calls on the Ethiopian government to release Eskinder Nega and all journalists convicted under the country’s sedition provisions, including Solomon Kebede, Wubset Taye, Reyot Alemu, and Yusuf Getachew.

According to the New York based Committee to Protect Journalists, over 211 journalists were behind bars in 2013, the second highest number since records began. Over half are jailed under anti-state provisions.

The Golden Pen of Freedom is an annual award made by WAN-IFRA since 1961 to recognise the outstanding action, in writing or deed, of an individual, a group or an institution in the cause of press freedom. More on the Golden Pen can be found at

The 2014 Golden Pen will be presented during the opening ceremony of the 66th World Newspaper Congress, 21st World Editors Forum and 24th World Advertising Forum, the global summit meetings of the world’s press to be held in Torino, Italy, from 9 to 11 June next. Full details can be found at

For more information on WAN-IFRA’s press freedom work visit

WAN-IFRA, based in Paris, France, and Darmstadt, Germany, with subsidiaries in Singapore and India, is the global organisation of the world’s newspapers and news publishers. It represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. Its core mission is to defend and promote press freedom, quality journalism and editorial integrity and the development of prosperous businesses.

Inquiries to: Andrew Heslop, Director of Press Freedom, WAN-IFRA, 96 bis, rue Beaubourg, 75003 Paris France. Tel: +33 1 47 42 85 00. Fax: +33 1 42 78 92 33.  E-mail:

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Journalists continue to find themselves in frequent peril for simply doing their jobs as they strive to report the truth in the passionate belief that reporting what they see is the foundation of a healthy democracy. 3 May is World Press Freedom Day. Read more ...