Fighting crimes against journalists

Fighting crimes against journalists

More than 900 journalists and media workers have been killed in the past decade. And this year alone as many as 70 journalists and media workers have been killed worldwide, according to UNESCO, with Mexico, Ukraine, the Philippines, Pakistan and Haiti among the deadliest countries for the press. Even in established democracies in the EU, journalists have been targeted and killed, International Press Institute (IPI) says in a statement for the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists that is observed annually on November 2.

“In the vast majority of cases, those responsible go unpunished. Impunity for these crimes fuels further violence, weakens democracy, and harms everyone’s right to the truth”, IPI says.

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“Intentionally directing attacks against journalists, as civilians, constitutes a war crime, EU Commission’s High Representative Josep Borrell and Vice-President Věra Jourová, say in a statement. 

In Ukraine, several journalists and media workers have been killed or injured, sometimes deliberately targeted, while documenting the truth about the atrocities committed by Russian troops in Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Their work is essential, as the Russian regime wages a global disinformation campaign on the realities of their war.”

Over the past 10 years, 80% of journalists’ murders worldwide have not been held to account.

“Under the new Global Europe programme for Human Rights and Democracy, we are establishing an Observatory on the Fight Against Impunity to contribute to collect and use evidence and knowledge for advocacy and accountability at global, regional and national levels.”

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“Also within the European Union journalists can face difficult conditions. Member States are expected to comply with the Commission Recommendation on the safety of journalists adopted in 2021. Candidate countries and those in its neighbourhood are also expected to adopt these standards.”

“The new Media Freedom Act aims to safeguard the independence and the pluralism of the media and to support journalists, enabling them to hold those in power to account without fear or favour.” 

“States must investigate and prosecute all criminal acts committed against journalists in an impartial, independent, effective, transparent, and timely manner”, Borrell and Jourová say. 

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