The United Nations (UN) has said no fewer than 1,100 journalists were murdered over a decade globally. According to the world body, in 2018 alone, at least 88 journalists have been killed.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in a video message for the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists’, marked annually on Nov. 2, described the killing of journalists as “outrageous”.
The UN chief also regretted that the journalists were killed in the line of duty.
“The killing of journalists around the world for doing their job is ‘outrageous’ and should not become the ‘new normal’.
“In just over a decade, some 1,010 journalists have been killed for reporting the news, and in nine out of 10 cases, the perpetrators are never brought to justice”.
The UN chief lamented that many thousands more have been “attacked, harassed, detained or imprisoned on spurious charges, without due process”.
The Secretary-General paid tribute to the reporters in the field “who do their jobs every day despite intimidation and threats.”
He, however, called on the international community “to protect journalists and create the conditions they need to do their work”.
To mark the International Day, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is launching an initiative to fuel awareness on the issue of journalists killed on the job.
Called ‘Truth Never Dies’, the initiative encourages people to share stories by and about fallen journalists to keep their legacies alive and to push for investigations into their deaths to be continued.
“The truth never dies. And neither must our commitment to the fundamental right to freedom of expression,” the UN Chief said, stressing that when journalists are attacked “societies as a whole pay a price”.
A study on global trends in media published by UNESCO in 2017 highlighted that impunity for crimes against journalists remained the norm, and trends in kidnappings, disappearances and torture had shown substantial increases since 2012.
The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in September, calling on the international community to promote strategies that protect journalists and bring perpetrators of violence against the media to justice.