Date Posted: October 27th, 2014
The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed November 2 as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. The date was chosen to commemorate the assassination of two French journalists in Mali on November 2, 2013.
Why is there an International Day of Commemoration?
- 593 killings of journalists were condemned by UNESCO between 2006 and 2013. In 2012 alone, the UNESCO Director-General condemned the killing of 123 journalists, media workers, and social media producers of public interest journalism
- Less than 6 % of the 593 cases have been resolved
- 94% of killed journalists are local correspondents
- 41% of killed journalists worked in the print media
- Only one in 10 cases of crimes against journalists, social media producers and media workers has led to a conviction
These figures do not include the many journalists who suffer non-fatal attacks on a daily basis, including torture, forced disappearances, arbitrary detention, intimidation and harassment in both conflict and non-conflict situations. Women journalists also face specific risks, including sexual attacks.
When attacks on journalists go unpunished, it sends the message that reporting the “embarrassing truth” or “unwanted opinions” will get people in trouble. Society as a whole suffers from this impunity. The kind of news that is silenced is exactly the kind the public needs to know.
You can read the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity here: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/freedom-of-expression/safety-of-journalists/un-plan-of-action/
For more information about the Day, go to the UNESCO website where you will find news of events and further resources: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-days/int-day-to-end-impunity/international-day-to-end-impunity-2014/