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Sunday, November 1, 2015, Kartik 17, 1422 BS, Muharram 18, 1437 Hijri

States must end cycle of impunity, safeguard journalist rights to speak truth
Observer Online Desk
Published :Sunday, 1 November, 2015,  Time : 10:26 PM  View Count : 2
The International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists will be observed on Monday with a call that
States must end the cycle of impunity and safeguard the rights of journalists to speak truth to power.

The day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly to highlight the urgent need to protect journalists, and to commemorate the assassination of two French journalists in Mali on November 2, 2013.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Unesco Director General Irina Bokova issued separate messages marking the day.

"Together, we must end the cycle of impunity and safeguard the right of journalists to speak truth to power," Ban said in a message.

More than 700 journalists have been killed in the last decade -- one every five days -- simply for bringing news and information to the public.

Many perish in the conflicts they cover so fearlessly. But all too many have been deliberately silenced for trying to report the truth. Only 7 percent of such cases are resolved, and less than 1 crime out of 10 is even fully investigated.

Such impunity deepens fear among journalists and enables Governments to get away with censorship.

"Today we remember the journalists and media workers who have been killed in the line of duty. We must do more to combat this trend and make sure that journalists can report freely," said the UN Chief.

The Unesco DG through her message urged States to take all the necessary measures - through legislation , protection mechanisms, and new adequate resources - to ensure that investigations and trials relating to crimes against journalists are undertaken.

"Every time the perpetrator of a crime is allowed to escape punishment, this emb oldens other criminals and creates a vicious cycle of violence. This must stop," she said.

The Unesco DG urged everyone to stand up on November 2 and demand that the rule of law is fully applied when journalists are attacked and killed in the line of duty.


Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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