Visiting Berlin brought me an opportunity
to meet Reporter Ohne
Grenzen office there. Thank you very much for the warm
Freedom of expression and information will always be
the world’s most important freedom. If journalists were not free to report the
facts, denounce abuses, and alert the public, how would we resist the problem of
children-soldiers, defending women’s rights, or preserve our
The question raised by RSF defines freedom of
expression and information is fundamental for any democracy; but defending it is
what RSF has been doing for more than thirty years (since 1985).
Based in Paris, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is an
independent NGO with consultative status with the United Nations, UNESCO, the
Council of Europe and the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF).
Its foreign sections, its bureaux in ten cities, including Brussels,
Washington, Berlin, Tunis, Rio de Janeiro, and Stockholm, and its network of
correspondents in 130 countries give RSF the ability to mobilize support,
challenge governments and wield influence both on the ground and in the
ministries and precincts where media and Internet standards and legislation are
As one of the world’s leading NGOs in the defense and
promotion of freedom of information, RSF has distinguished itself in China, by
its protests during the 2008 Beijing Olympics; in Africa, by creating the only
independent radio station broadcasting to Eritreans in 2009; in Haiti, by
creating a media support center after the January 2010 earthquake; and more
recently in Syria by providing training to journalists and bloggers.
Every day, RSF issues press releases and reports in
French, English, Spanish, Arabic, and Farsi (and often in other languages such
as Chinese, Portuguese and Russian) about the state of freedom of information
throughout the world and how it is being violated. Its statements in the
international media increase public awareness and influence leaders as regards
both individual cases and general issues.
Well-known internationally, RSF has received awards
throughout the world: the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass
Communication’s First Amendment Award, the city of Bonn’s 2014 DemokratiePreis,
the 2013 International Association of Press Clubs Prize, the 2009 Charlemagne
Medal for European Media, the 2006 Emmy Award of the U.S. Academy of Television
Arts and Science, the 2005 European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of
Thought, the OSCE’s Journalism and Democracy Prize in 1997 and the European
Commission’s Lorenzo Natali Prize in 1992.
Mohammad Elias Hatimi