I had a conference call last week with several staff of AIUSA to plan some actions for the case of Shi Tao in the next six months. There was a discussion about holding a public event for local Amnesty groups and interested individuals to participate together. I suggested holding an event on World Press Freedom Day which is celebrated on May 3rd every year. It is not as well known as Human Rights Day on December 10th. Since the amount of obstacles and danger (such as being imprisoned or killed) faced by journalists is on an upward trend in recent years, it is becoming more crucial to bring attention to press freedom.

This year is particularly special because it will be the 10th anniversary of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, named in the honor of the Colombian journalist Guillermo Cano, who was killed in 1986 for criticizing drug lords. The UNESCO is holding its annual World Press Freedom Day conference on May 3-4 this year in Medellin, Colombia in memory of Cano and the award ceremony for the prize will be held in the morning before the official start of the conference.