Statement of Support – U.S. Embassy Swaziland
MISA World Press Freedom Day Event
May 3, 2013
As the world celebrates World Press Freedom Day, the government of the United States of America adds its voice to those who honor the work of journalists in Swaziland. World Press Freedom Day is not only a day that should be commemorated by members of the media. It is a day for all of us to speak up on behalf of the hard working journalists who enable us to make informed decisions about issues affecting our nation and to hold our leaders accountable for their actions. When press freedom is threatened, all of us suffer. It is critical that we all do our part to protect and promote freedom of the press.
Both the American Constitution and the Swazi Constitution guarantee press freedom. As the foundational documents that should guide our governments’ decision making, this constitutional guarantee must be protected by government and citizens must remain vigilant and speak out when that freedom is threatened.
We honor those individuals and organizations from both media and civil society who have recently stood up and spoken out against threats to press freedom. Your solidarity in support of this fundamental freedom is both admirable and critically important. It is an example of how all citizens should play a role in promoting and protecting constitutional rights. In the end, press freedom is a freedom that all of us enjoy, as journalists or as consumers of the newspapers, radio and television.
As we commemorate World Press Freedom Day, let us re-commit ourselves to the protection of the constitutional guaranteed rights of press freedom and freedom of expression. Let us speak up when that freedom is threatened. Let us honor those who choose the difficult, yet critical profession of journalism.