According to a recent UNESCO report, 86% of the crimes against journalists remained unpunished. In 10 years, the drop is only 9%. UNESCO reported an upward trend of resolved cases worldwide from 11% in 2018 to 14% in 2022.
Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), the global media safety and rights body, while marking the 2022 International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on Wednesday commented, ‘more needs to be done to fight impunity on the ground’.
Slow progress is made, but still very insufficient, said the PEC after appealing to launch the work for an international convention.
“Recently, five years after the killing of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in October 2017 in Malta, two brothers were sentenced to 40
years in prison on 14 October, Justice is very slow but better than nothing,” said Blaise Lempen, president of PEC, adding that in Mexico,
three persons were condemned on 28 October for the murder of journalist Lourdes Maldonado (killed in January 2021).
Despite these rare examples, impunity is prevailing in most crimes. The masterminds of the crime are not prosecuted. According to a recent
UNESCO report, 86% of the crimes against journalists remained unpunished. In 10 years, the drop is only 9%. UNESCO reported an
upward trend of resolved cases worldwide from 11% in 2018 to 14% in 2022.
“2022 will be a particularly deadly year for journalists with 107 media workers (the latest one is Pakistani female journalist Sadaf Naeem) killed. It is an increase of 57% in 10 months compared to last year. So far Ukraine, Mexico, Pakistan, Haiti emerge as the most dangerous countries for journalists this year. It is important that the killing of journalists in Ukraine don’t go unpunished and those crimes must be investigated independently,” added Lempen.
PEC is calling again on governments to support the adoption of a United Nations convention on the safety of journalists and other media
professionals. Despite 13 resolutions on the safety of journalists adopted at the UN and the adoption of the United Nations plan of
action on the safety of journalists and impunity which commemorates its 10th anniversary, the journalists continue to be attacked for
doing their job.
In this regard, PEC welcomes the global campaign for the adoption of an international convention dedicated to the protection of journalists
and media professionals, formally launched by the International Federation of Journalists at the 51st session of the UNHRC in Geneva
on 30 September last. The convention highlights existing weaknesses and loopholes in international humanitarian and human rights law and
the lack of effective enforcement mechanisms.
PEC’s south Asia representative Nava Thakuria informed that Pakostan television reporter Naeem (40) was crushed to death as she fell from a truck during the political march led by former PM Imran Khan on 30 October. The mother of two children, associated with Channel 5 in
Lahore, followed the convoy which was proceeding towards Islamabad. Thus, the hard-working journalist died in the line of duty, said the release.
Pakistan earlier lost journalists Arshad Sharif, Muhammad Younis, Iftikhar Ahmed, Hasnain Shah, Murtaza Shar and Athar Mateen to
assailants since 1 January. It’s neighbour India witnessed the murder of journalists Rohit Kumar Biswal, Sudhir Saini, Juned Khan Pathan and Subhash Kumar Mahato. Three journalists (Hashibur Rahaman Rubel, Mohiuddin Sarker Nayeem and Abdul Bari) were killed in Bangladesh and Myanmar lost photojournalist Aye Kyaw and reporter Pu Tui Dim to military atrocities.