EU launches Samir Kassir Award for Freedom of Press 2015

JANUARY 22, 2015 (REFERRING TO THE NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY – LEBANON) The European Union to Lebanon on Thursday launched the Samir Kassir Award for the Freedom of Press 2015, with the EU ambassador Angelina Eichhorst delivering a speech for the event which is the following:

This is the tenth time the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon is launching the Samir Kassir Award, an award that reminds us more than ever of the value of upholding our values. We strongly believe that at all times journalists should have to right to write freely and safely – without fear, without pressure, without prosecution. It is the free press that were dear to the heart of Samir Kassir, as they are dear to the heart of the European Union.

Dear friends,

We say it again and again: For the world to prosper, we need the brilliance of informed and professional journalism in all its forms, whether expressed through written words, photographs or videos. The freedom of speech is intrinsically linked to our own freedom as individuals and as citizens, as responsible members of society. The freedom of speech is essential for what is called in Germany ‘Zivilcourage’, civil courage to react to any form of extremism, discrimination, racism.

Without freedom there is no press, there is only propaganda. As Albert Camus puts it: ” La presse libre peut sans doute être bonne ou mauvaise, mais assurément, sans la liberté, elle ne saura jamais être autre chose que mauvaise. ” [A free press can undoubtedly be either good or bad, but, without freedom, the press will certainly never be anything but bad].

Without freedom and the respect for the other there is no citizenship. Submit your journalistic work. The jury will look at what are the professional standards of good journalism: independence, sense of objectivity and balance. We look forward to you sharing your work with us and we have a rendez-vous on 2 June… the day we give the Award… the day Samir Kassir was assassinated.”