UN calls to end impunity for killers of journalists

Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, has saluted the work of journalists who are killed because of their work and called for an end to impunity for the killers.

On the second annual awareness day for this global issue, UNESCO, the section of the UN devoted to freedom of the media, reports these chilling facts:

  • 680 killings of journalists condemned by UNESCO 2006-2014
  • 94% of journalists who are killed are local  
  • Only 6% are foreign correspondents.
  • Male journalists account for 94% of journalists who were killed.
  • Less than 6% of the 680 cases are ever resolved
  • 41% of journalists who were killed worked in print media.

(source: UNESCO)

Ending Impunity for Criems Against Journalists 2015However UNESCO’s Secretary General Irina Borkova claims their campaign is working: „This work is bearing fruit. There is growing international recognition of the importance of improving safety of journalists and of ending impunity.“

Whilst the statistics show that most journalists who are killed in the line of duty are male, UNESCO also notes a growing number of female journalists being sexually assaulted, and recognises that this number may be under-reported because of cultural considerations.

ECPMF protest

Irina Borkova has received a letter from the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom urging her to remove the first Lady of Azerbaijan, Mehriban Aliyeva, from her post as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. The reason: Azerbaijan’s record on press freedom in general and the long prison term imposed on investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova in particular show that the Azeri president’s wife is not in a position to promote UNESCO’s ideals of freedom of expression.