More journalists killed in 2015- UNESCO

She said that since 2006, they have cumulatively received information from 59 member states on 402 killings out of 827 in the last decade but just a few have been handled conclusively.

TUESDAY NOVEMBER 1 2016

By Catherine Ageno

latest04pixA new UNESCO report shows that up to 115 journalists were killed in 2015, making it the second deadliest year over the past decade after 2012 when 124 killings were recorded.

The report shows that since 2006, more than 800 journalists have been killed and less than 7 per cent of these crimes have been resolved.

The findings come as the world marks the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI), which is commemorated on 2 November.

The Director General’s Report on safety of journalists and danger of impunity, published every two years since 2008 will officially be presented to UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme to the Development of Communication on November 17.

The report shows that only one in every ten cases of killed journalists is resolved by the judiciary. According to Ms Irina Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO, working as a journalist remains unacceptably dangerous.

She said that since 2006, they have cumulatively received information from 59 member states on 402 killings out of 827 in the last decade but just a few have been handled conclusively.

“Only 63 of these 402 cases have been reported and resolved, representing 16 per cent of the cases for which information was received and only 8 per cent of all killings registered by UNESCO”, Ms Bokova said in a statement.

Ms Bokova calls for a new commitment by all to create a free and safe environment for journalists to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal on access to information.

“We need new mobilisation to implement the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the issue of impunity. More than ever before, we must do everything to protect journalists and fight against impunity. Fighting impunity for crimes against journalists is vital for implementing SDG 16.10, to ensure public access to information and to enhance protection of journalists in danger and prosecute perpetrators of attacks”, Ms Bokova adds.

On this day, UNESCO is calling all member states to do everything to bring perpetrators to justice by developing and strengthening laws and mechanisms in accordance with international humanitarian law and existing UN resolutions.

UNESCO is also using this day to launch the awareness raising campaign; “My Killers Are Still Free” to highlight the key findings of the Director General’s report. It features testimonials of close relatives of journalists killed because of their work in Africa, Asia & Pacific as well as Latin America.

The latest report, however, shows that there is an increase in the number of member states showing stronger will to monitor and report on these crimes.

Forty out of 62 countries where journalists have been killed in connection with their work have responded to the Director General’s request compared to 2014 when only 16 out of 59 countries concerned provided information.

– Daily Monitor

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