The CJA today joins the world-wide demand for an end to the impunity that reigns when journalists and media workers are targeted for harassment, attacks and murder.
On November 2, the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, the CJA calls on news media to monitor the actions of their governments and judicial authorities in implementing the UN Plan of Action on the Safety for Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. It also challenges governments to create safe environments for working journalists.
The sad reality is that despotic leaders and criminals continue to freely attack journalists whose work exposes crime, corruption, and repression of rights. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 370 journalists have been murdered in the past ten years in retaliation for their reporting. The vast majority were local journalists reporting on human rights, politics, or war. In 90 per cent of cases there is total impunity with no perpetrator convicted.
“Journalist safety and a free media are fundamental to freedom of expression,” said Rita Payne, President of the Commonwealth Journalists Association. “Ending the impunity for those who attack journalists is a matter of urgent and legitimate concern for governments and societies around the world.”
The CJA condemns all cases of killings, physical attacks, intimidation, and wrongful imprisonment of journalists and media workers. It is dismayed at the failure of many governments to end impunity for these violations of human rights, and demands that all governments support journalist safety and a free media that as cornerstones of democracy.