The International Partnership Group of freedom of expression organizations visited Macedonia on an evidence-gathering mission from 17-18 November 2011 and met with representatives of the government, the parliament, civil society, journalism associations and media development organizations, as well as individual journalists.
Nearly ten months since the start of the Egyptian revolution, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has yet to take basic steps towards establishing a human rights-respecting, democratic, civilian government.
Firstly, we applaud and welcome the report by UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression, Mr Frank La Rue, at the 17th session of the UN Human Rights Council, which affirmed human right in the internet. Nothing the important role that the internet played during times of political unrest, the report affirmed it as “an indispensable tool for realising a range of human rights, combating inequality, and accelerating development and human progress”. We, too, agree that there is enormous potential in the internet in all aspects of human development – from economic and social, to commerce, finance, business, innovation, mobilisation and the attainment and exercise of freedoms. And since the Internet as a source of information is especially crucial in the context of the repressive situation many Southeast Asian countries still find themselves in, we are heartened by Mr Frank La Rue's call that "ensuring universal access ... should be a priority for all states."
UN Human Rights Council, 15th Session Agenda Item 3: Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development, September 16, 2010