UN Special Rapporteurs address attacks on free press by US President

2 Aug 2018

UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression David Kaye and Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Edison Lanza condemned US President Donald Trump's attacks on the free press, saying 'His attacks are strategic, designed to undermine confidence in reporting and raise doubts about verifiable facts'. The experts went on to point out that 'These attacks run counter to the country’s obligations to respect press freedom and international human rights law' and to express that 'We are especially concerned that these attacks increase the risk of journalists being targeted with violence'. As one example, a New York Post article reported 'Trump keeps up attacks against media: "They can also cause War!"'

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Several international instruments guarantee the right to freedom of expression. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that this right includes the freedom to hold opinion without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas. The Internet, with the opportunity it offers people to express themselves, is seen as an enabler of the exercise of this particular human right. Although these freedoms are guaranteed in global instruments and in national constitutions, in some countries freedom of expression is often curtailed through online censorship or filtering mechanisms, imposed by states, often for political reasons.


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