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Global press freedom campaigners begin mission to UK

A group of international press freedom campaigners has begun a mission to the UK amid concerns over the government’s plans for press regulation.

The mission, headed by the Paris-based World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) will investigate the British government’s actions on newspaper regulation along with the handling of revelations of state surveillance.

It will hold meetings Culture Secretary Maria Miller, culture, media and sport select committee chairman John Whittingdale and Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger among others.

WAN-IFRA chief executive Vincent Peyrègne said: ““The WAN-IFRA membership is deeply concerned by the British authorities’ treatment of the profession of journalism and its attempts to control the public debate.

“The British government’s actions have far reaching consequences across the globe – particularly within the Commonwealth – and any threats to the independence of journalism in Britain could be used by repressive regimes worldwide to justify their own controls over the press.

“We will endeavour to investigate all elements that threaten the United Kingdom’s position as a bastion for free and independent media with the same rigour as we have approached other international press freedom hotspots in nearly 70 years of defending freedom of expression worldwide.”