A delegation of international publishers is being sent to the UK to express fears over the potential for state regulation of the press.
The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers is concerned over recent threats to press freedom by senior politicians and the police.
WAN-IFRA has recently led such freedom missions to Ethiopia, South Africa, Libya, Yemen and to central and south America.
Chief Executive of WAN-IFRA Vincent Peyrègne said: “A press freedom mission to the United Kingdom is unprecedented and we cannot underestimate our concern for what is happening.
“It is rather difficult for the United Kingdom to lecture Sri Lanka and others about their press freedom record, when its own actions result in such widespread international condemnation.”
WAN-IFRA decided to act following the Government’s reaction to the Guardian’s reporting of the Snowden files.
“We are concerned that these actions not only seriously damage the United Kingdom’s historic international reputation as a staunch defender of press freedom, but provides encouragement to non-democratic regimes to justify their own repressive actions.”
The delegation will arrive in London in January.
The organisation represents more than 18,000 publishers and a further 15,000 online sites in more than 120 countries.
It is dedicated to defend and promote press freedom and quality journalism.
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