″I′m a journalist, not a criminal! - Help me!″ | Press Releases | DW | 30.04.2015
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Press Releases

"I'm a journalist, not a criminal! - Help me!"

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day on May 3, DW Features articles by guest authors on a special webpage - "Fighting for press freedom" - including a dramatic appeal by an imprisoned Egyptian photo journalist.

The webpage also offers background information on the state of press freedom in various countries around the world.

"I am conveying to you the misery of Egyptian journalists who are celebrating this day in the darkness of prison cells," writes Egyptian photo journalist Mahmoud Abou Zeid and demands support for imprisoned reporters and a commitment to press freedom. Zeid, nicknamed Shawkan, has been in jail for 600 days. He has worked for Time Magazine, and Germany's Bild and Die Zeit publications.

Zeid's fate stands for that of many other critical reporters threatened by state reprisals, persecution, torture and death. On its special page "Fighting for press freedom". DW features a series of articles by guest writers.

It takes courage to tell the truth, says award-winning Syrian writer and journalist Samar Yazbek: "The only form of self-defense in Syria is words used to convey independent opinions and facts. Freedom of expression is my entire existence." Persecuted by the Syrian intelligence service, Yazbek has lived in exile in France for the past few years.

Russia critic Oleg Kaschin and Privilege Musvanhiri from Zimbabwe also contributed to the page. Three years ago, Kaschin lost his job. "That was very painful," he remembers. "But with hindsight, I understand that forced unemployment in contemporary Russia is the only way people who have something to say can exercise a freedom of expression."

Musvanhiri focuses on keeping reporters safe, pointing out "situations where journalists have been abducted and detained without charge." "On March 9, unknown assailants abducted journalist Itai Dzamara - his whereabouts remain unknown," he writes, adding that Dzamara repeatedly spoke out against the government of President Robert Mugabe.

However, Musvanhiri hasn't lost his optimistic outlook. "I hope for a day when our media shall be free to promote the development and the prosperity of the nation."

April 30, 2015,

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