UN chief calls for end to impunity for crimes against journalists
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Nov. 2 called for an end to impunity for crimes against journalists and said in the last 10 years, a total of 930 journalists and media workers were killed in the world, marking the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.
“In just the past few weeks, a renowned investigative journalist was murdered by a bomb that booby-trapped her car; another was dismembered in the course of researching her story; and a photojournalist was found dead after being forced to leave his home at gunpoint,” Guterres said in a statement.
From 2006 to 2016, 930 journalists and media workers were killed. Thousands of others routinely face sexual harassment, intimidation, detention and ill treatment.
“Rampant impunity then compounds the crimes. In nine out of 10 cases, the perpetrators are never brought to justice,” Guterres said.
He said when journalists are targeted, societies “as a whole also pay the price.”
“The kind of news that gets silenced - corruption, conflicts of interest, illegal trafficking - is exactly the kind of information the public needs to know,” he noted.
In late 2013, the U.N. decided to dedicate Nov. 2 to draw attention to crimes against journalists.
The date was chosen in memory of two French journalists. Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon were brutally murdered in Mali on
Nov. 2, 2013.
They were seen being beaten before they were driven away in a truck. Some sources say their bodies were found riddled with bullets, while others report their throats may have been cut.