Friday, 24 November 2017

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Reported rise in the number of journalists killed while exercising their profession

International Day to #EndImpunity against journalists

As the world marks the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists on 2 November, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reported a notable rise in the number of journalists killed while exercising their profession, including in Western Europe and North America as well as worrying trends concerning women and online journalists. According to the 2016 UNESCO Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity, Arab countries reported the highest number of journalists killed in the 2014-2015 period.

The same report noted that in the past decade, 827 journalists were killed but of those who died, only 8 percent of those who carried out the crimes were held accountable. In a statement, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on countries around the globe "to mark the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists with concrete actions to ensure that all media personnel are guaranteed the space they need to operate free from any form of harassment or intimidation. In this way, we will strengthen public access to information, which is key to Sustainable Development Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions." 

EndImpunity

The United Nations General Assembly in 2013 voted to recognize 2 November as the International day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists following the deaths of two French journalists in Mali. In its latest report, UNESCO noted that 11 journalists had been killed in 2014-2015 in Western Europe and North America, 8 of whom were killed in an attack on the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

The UNESCO report, released to coincide with this year's commemorations, said that 213 journalists were killed in 2014-2015, with an increase in the number of women and online journalists. The majority of those killed were television journalists and 90 percent local journalists.

"Attacks on journalists violate the human rights of individuals and undermine freedom of information and expression across societies,'' the Secretary-General said in his message marking the Day.


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