Tuesday 1 November 2011

Paradise for holiday makers: Hell for journalists. Reporters Without Borders campaign targets tourism in Mexico, Vietnam and Thailand

Press freedom campaign group Reporters Without Borders has launched a hard hitting ad campaign using the f-word to highlight the repression of free speech in Thailand, Vietnam and Mexico - countries where it says life can be "hell" for journalists.

says 80 journalists have been killed in the past 10 years in Mexico, many covering drug trafficking. Murders of journalists go unpunished so nothing stops the killers from continuing to ply their trade, RWB claims.

It also says many subjects are taboo in Thailand and Vietnam leading to journalists being imprisoned. "Criticising their rulers or exposing the corruption that permeates the upper levels of government can land you in jail for 15 or 20 years," according to RWB.

RWB secretary-general Jean-Fran├žois Julliard said. “This campaign’s aim is to make people think before they set off for the sun. We are not calling for a boycott of these destinations but we want travellers to see what is behind the scenes. We have chosen three countries that are a paradise for vacationers and a hell for journalists: Mexico, Vietnam and Thailand.

“The palm trees, beaches and temples often conceal harsh treatment of journalists and bloggers. We advocate responsible tourism. It is your choice where you take your vacation but it is our duty to tell you where you are venturing.”

The campaign consists of three ads (top) that will be placed in magazines and in free press publications and on the Internet. A dedicated website, www.censorship-paradise.com, has been launched to support the campaign.

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