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RSF urges U.N. to grant access to Taiwanese reporters

2018/09/18 21:04:05

CNA file photo

Taipei, Sept. 18 (CNA) Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Tuesday called on the United Nations to allow Taiwanese reporters to cover the United Nations General Assembly's session that started that day in New York.

"In recent years, the U.N. has been under Chinese pressure to turn down requests for press accreditation from Taiwanese nationals on the pretext that their passports are not recognized," according to a RSF press release issued Tuesday.

"Accrediting Taiwanese journalists is not a political move and it avoids unacceptable discrimination that contradicts all fundamental rights to free information stated in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," Christophe Deloire, secretary-general of RSF, was quoted as saying in the statement.

He urged the U.N. "to accredit all journalists of good faith, regardless of their nationality or the place of origin of their media."

The RSF statement went on to say that Taiwan is not a U.N. member over which the People's Republic of China (PRC) claims sovereignty.

"Over the past years, China has been lobbying in every possible way to isolate Taiwan on the international stage, including preventing its journalists from doing their job," it noted.

The statement lists a number of examples including in May when Taiwanese journalists were denied accreditation to cover the meeting of World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization, in Geneva for the fourth consecutive year.

The same thing happened at the 2016 triannual Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization, a specialized U.N. agency, it added.

The RSF praised Taiwan for its press freedom, which was ranked 42nd out of 180, the highest in Asia, in the 2018 RSF World Press Freedom Index.

Meanwhile, the PRC ranked 176th, with 50 journalists and bloggers in its prisons, RSF added.

The 73rd session of the U.N. General Assembly starts Sept. 18 at U.N. Headquarters in New York, with the annual general debate scheduled for Sept. 25 to Oct. 1.

Taiwan's foreign ministry has previously called on the U.N. to allow Taiwan to play a more meaningful role in its operations.

(By Joseph Yeh)
Enditem/AW