For the first time ever, Reporters Without Borders is publishing a list of profiles of “100 information heroes” for World Press Freedom Day (3 May).Through their courageous work or activism, these “100 heroes” help to promote the freedom enshrined in article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the freedom to “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” They put their ideals in the service of the common good. They serve as examples.“World Press Freedom Day, which Reporters Without Borders helped to create, should be an occasion for paying tribute to the courage of the journalists and bloggers who constantly sacrifice their safety and sometimes their lives to their vocation,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire.
M. V. Kaanamylnathan – Sri Lanka
M. V. Kaanamylnathan had 50 years’ tough experience in journalism and had worked for every Tamil-language newspaper in Sri Lanka when he took the helm of the main Tamil daily Uthayan in 1985, two years after the civil war flared up. Dozens of members of the paper’s staff were among the conflict’s 100,000 dead. Bombings, shootings, grenade attacks and murders were used to try to silence a voice that tried to keep to a middle course between the central government and the Tamil rebels. Five years after the official end of the conflict, Kaanamylnathan, who himself escaped an attack in 2001, and his newspaper are still making waves. Last year, a series of articles on land seizures by the Sri Lankan army was followed by a brutal attack on the paper’s offices by six masked men.
Read the full list here
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