Countries that restrict media freedom must pay price - UK's Hunt

Countries that restrict media freedom must pay price - UK's Hunt

Countries that restrict media freedom must pay price - UK's Hunt

British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt speaks during the Global Conference for Media Freedom in London, Britain July 10, 2019.

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, who was appointed a special envoy for media freedom by Hunt, will also convene a panel of legal experts who will advise governments on how their laws or actions affect media freedom.

She also took aim at the response of world leaders to the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

The group, known by its French acronym RSF, had not publicized its April visit, which it called unprecedented, in hopes that the authorities would pardon the detainees during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, which ended weeks ago, it said at the start of a media freedom conference in London.

He said in his acceptance speech, he noted: "There is a deliberate strategy underway to tempt the freedom of expression community, and liberal democracies more generally, to betray our principles".

The UK is giving $3.75 million over the next five years while Canada has committed just over $765,050.

The two-day conference in London attended by hundreds of delegates from around the world, which runs until Thursday, is focussed on measures to help protect journalists around the world.

In his letter to the British secretary of state for foreign and Commonwealth affairs, Simon said by denying RT and Sputnik accreditation based on a determination that these outlets are a form of propaganda, "your government risks undermining the very principles of free expression that the conference was meant to promote".

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Russian state-owned RT was censured past year by Britain's broadcast regulator for breaking United Kingdom impartiality rules in its coverage of the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy in England.

"Media freedom is not a western value but a universal value".

Organizers have not released a list of participants, but say delegations are expected from nations with dire records on press freedom such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

The report says the UN Security Council should initiate a follow-up criminal investigation into Khashoggi's murder to build up strong files on each of the alleged perpetrators and identify mechanisms for formal accountability, such as a tribunal.

Hunt said countries that silenced journalists and freedom of the press must be made to pay a "diplomatic price". He and singled out China, which routinely censors the internet, as an example of a country where "the situation continues to deteriorate".

U.S. President Donald Trump's attacks on the media make reporters more vulnerable to abuse around the world, a prominent lawyer for the rights of journalists told an worldwide gathering on Wednesday.

Clooney also took aim at Trump, saying "the country of James Madison" - one of America's founding fathers and a champion of a free press - "has a leader today who vilifies the media".

"I wouldn't use the language President Trump used, and I wouldn't agree with it", he said.

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