International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists

Stop killing journalists. Photo: UNESCO
Stop killing journalists. Photo: UNESCO

International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists

In the past twelve years (2006-2017) close to 1010 journalists have been killed for reporting the news and bringing information to the public. In nine out of ten cases the killers go unpunished.

Impunity leads to more killings and is often a symptom of worsening conflict and the breakdown of law and judicial systems.

UNESCO says it is concerned that impunity damages whole societies by covering up serious human rights abuses, corruption, and crime.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2 November as the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’ in General Assembly Resolution A/RES/68/163.

The Resolution urged Member States to implement definite measures countering the present culture of impunity. The date was chosen in commemoration of the assassination of two French journalists in Mali on 2 November 2013.

“On this day, I pay tribute to journalists who do their jobs every day despite intimidation and threats. Their work – and that of their fallen colleagues — reminds us that truth never dies. Neither must our commitment to the fundamental right to freedom of expression,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists
End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists

The UN resolution condemns all attacks and violence against journalists and media workers. It also urges Member States to do their utmost to prevent violence against journalists and media workers, to ensure accountability, bring to justice perpetrators of crimes against journalists and media workers, and ensure that victims have access to appropriate remedies.

It further calls upon States to promote a safe and enabling environment for journalists to perform their work independently and without undue interference.

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Rakesh Raman