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Freedom group backs Taiwan journalists' rights to cover U.N. events

Freedom group backs Taiwan journalists' rights to cover U.N. events

The Paris-based press freedom group Reporters Without Borders renewed its call Tuesday for the United Nations to stop discriminating against Taiwanese journalists, who have again been barred from an annual session of the U.N. General Assembly.
The United Nations has refused for years to issue press accreditation to Taiwanese journalists for the annual meeting on the grounds that Taiwan is not a U.N. member state.
The policy continued for the 63rd session of the General Assembly that opened Sept. 16 in New York.
Taiwanese journalists used to be able to cover the annual World Health Assembly held every May in Geneva, but authorization was withdrawn in 2004 under pressure from China.
In a letter sent recently to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Reporters Without Borders Secretary-general Robert Menard called on the United Nations to "do something for the Taiwanese media, " according to a statement issued by the group.
"There is real respect for press freedom in Taiwan and the country enjoys a degree of media diversity that is unfortunately quite unusual in Asia," Menard noted in the letter.
"Like Taiwanese journalists’organizations, we regard journalists as individuals who represent only the media they work for, and not their country. We regard this discrimination against Taiwan's journalists as unacceptable," Menard said.