International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists
International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists : more needs to be done
Geneva, November 1st (PEC) More needs to be done to fight impunity on the ground, said the Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) to mark the 2022 International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on 2 November. Slow progress is made, but still very insufficient.
PEC appeals to launch the work for an international convention.
Recently, five years after the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia in October 2017 in Malta, two brothers were sentenced to 40 years in prison on 14 October, Justice is very slow but better than nothing.
In Mexico, three persons were condemned on 28 October for the murder of journalist Lourdes Maldonado killed on 23 January 2021.
Despite these rare examples, impunity is prevailing in most crimes. The masterminds of the crime are not prosecuted. According to a recent UNESCO report, 86% of the crimes against journalists remained unpunished. In 10 years the drop is only 9%. UNESCO reported an upward trend of resolved cases worldwide from 11% in 2018 to 14% in 2022.
2022 will be a particularly deadly year for journalists with already 107 media workers killed (see our list of casualties : https://pressemblem.ch/casualties.shtml )
It is an increase of 57% in 10 months compared to last year. Ukraine, Mexico, Pakistan, Haiti are so far the most dangerous countries for journalists this year.
It iy very important that the killings in Ukraine don’t go unpunished and that the circumstances of those crimes are investigated independently.
PEC is calling again on governments to support the adoption of a UN Convention on the safety of journalists and other media professionals. Despite 13 resolutions on the safety of journalists adopted at the United Nations and the adoption of the United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of journalists and impunity which commemorates its 10th anniversary, journalists continue to be attacked for doing their job.
It is urgent to adopt a binding instrument that would force governments to address impunity for violence targeting journalists and media personnel, investigate and prosecute those responsible.
In this regard, PEC welcomes the global campaign for the adoption of an International Convention dedicated to the protection of journalists and media professionals, formally launched by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) at the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 30 September 2022.
The Convention highlights existing weaknesses and loopholes in international humanitarian and human rights law and the lack of effective enforcement mechanisms. Over 60 journalists and media unions, associations, media representative bodies, media organisations and NGOs across the world have already backed the convention.
PEC calls upon the European Union to take the lead in the process of the adoption of the Convention. EU must show its commitment to press freedom and freedom of expression not just with words but with deeds.
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