According to IFJ statistics 118 journalists lost their lives when carrying out their duties in 2014. Today only one out of 10 killings in the media is investigated. The situation for non-fatal attacks on journalists is even worst. Governments fail in their duty to hunt down the harassers, the attackers, the killers of media workers. Impunity not only endangers journalists, it imperils democracy and compromises hopes for peace and development. Legal guarantees exist for the protection of journalists as civilians which states are duty bound to enforce under domestic and international law.
Our #endimpunity campaign 2015 will run from 2 to 23 Novembre 2015. So far 29 IFJ affiliates' have endorsed the campaign!
It aims at holding governments and de facto governments accountable for their impunity records and denouncing any crime targeting journalists that remain unpunished. Murder is the highest form of these crimes but all attacks targeting journalists that remain unpunished must be denounced.
While we are targeting all governments and de facto governments that have failed to investigate those crimes we are putting a specific emphasis on four countries: Mexico, the Philippines, Ukraine and Yemen.
In Mexico, 50 journalists and press workers have lost their lives in the course of their profession since 2010. According to the Mexican ‘National Human Rights Commission’ (CNDH) around 89% of cases of aggression are not solved.
IFJ has also recorded 15 journalists killed in Yemen since 2011, ten of whom have died in 2015. In addition, 14 reporters remain captive as a consequence of the fighting between the Houthis, the Saudi led-coalition and al-Qaida. None of the perpetrators of the killings has been brought to justice.
Furthermore, the IFJ regrets that not a single person has been convicted for their involvement since the 2009 Ampatuan Massacre of 32 journalists in the Philippines. Forty media workers were killed since 2009, including 7 in 2015, which makes the country the deadliest for journalists in South Asia.
In the meanwhile, fifteen years after the body of journalist Georgy Gongadze was found beheaded in the forest outside Kiev, Ukraine, a recent report on the violations against journalists in the country records 8 killings, 125 intimidations, 322 assaults, 162 attempts of censorship and 196 cases of impeding activities since the beginning of 2014. If 54 investigations were launched, only three cases passed to court.
There can be no press freedom where journalists work in fear.
Join the campaign now, show your solidarity and support by endorsing our activities scheduled this year!
The UN Day to end impunity for crimes against journalists was adopted on 18 December 2013 and will be marked on 2 November, the second anniversary of the killings of two RFI reporters, Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, murdered in Kidal, Mali in 2013.
It comes ahead of another important date of 23 November which commemorates the 2009 Maguindanao massacre in the Philippines when at least 32 journalists lost their lives in the single deadliest attack on media.
- We are collaborating with our affiliates on targeted campaigns in Mexico, Philippines, Ukraine and Yemen to advocate for justice and resolution of cases of impunity
- We are holding governments and de facto governments of Mexico, the Philippines, Yemen and Ukraine, accountable for their impunity records and organising different activities around this
- We are calling on intergovernmental organisations to make a stand against impunity and support our campaign
- We are organising media coverage of the issue of impunity
- Our 25th killed list will be presented at the beginning of January 2016 as a follow up to our campaign
- Sign up to the campaign to indicate that your union is supporting our actions. It will appear as such in our communications about the campaign.
- Like our Facebook page and follow us on twitter @IFJGlobal @ifjasiapacific @IFJAfrica @FIP_AL #endimpunity to be kept informed about the campaign
- Download the campaign poster in EN, FR or ES, use it during the campaign in your electronic signature, on your twitter account, your facebook page or your web site. Encourage all your members and their friends to download it, take pictures holding it and share them on facebook, post them on twitter and attach a brief message to the President or Prime Minister of your country, urging them to take a public stand against impunity for crime targeting journalists.
- Sample for twitter: “President or Prime Minister [add name ] ,on @UN Day v. impunity what are you doing to end violence against journalists in [add name of country] #EndImpunity”
- Sample for facebook: “Dear [ add Mr/Ms President or Mr/Ms Prime Minister] ,On this UN Day against impunity for crime targeting journalists, we urge you to take a public stand against forms of violence on media professionals in [add name of your country] and direct your government’s services to investigate all attacks on journalists and media staff. Thank You” . Send it to us so that we can share with all the IFJ family.
- Send letters to your own government or to government of targeted countries holding them accountable for their impunity records. Organise a visit to their embassies in your country to deliver the letter, take photographs and disseminate them widely, send them to us so that we can share them in our own network and support you. You may use the following samples for Mexico, the Philippines, Ukraine, Yemen
- Contact your newsroom about publishing /broadcasting stories about impunity on 2 November
- Commemorate special impunity days: UN Day v. impunity on crime against journalists (2 November) and IFEX International Day v. impunity (23 November). Organise a march or a specific activity (conference, minute of silence, group picture holding the impunity poster) to mark your solidarity. Take pictures of the activities; share them on your social media and with us.
- Make a short video. If you know a colleague or a family member of a killed journalist in your country, we urge you to talk to them and ask them to make a two-minute video message about the need to secure justice for their loved ones which we can post on the IFJ website and share in our social networks.
Watch and share video messagesJefry Tupas Leader of the section of Mindanao National Union of Journalists in Philippines (NUJP)
The Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity, UNESCO Director General’s report. This report, released every two years, includes information on judicial inquiries into the killings of journalists, and other steps that governments are taking to end impunity. The 2014 report was prepared following the Decision on the safety of journalists adopted at the 28th session of the IPDC’s Intergovernmental Council, in March 2012, urging Member States to “comply with the relevant obligations under international law to end impunity” and “to inform the Director-General of UNESCO, on a voluntary basis, of the actions taken to prevent the impunity of the perpetrators and to notify him of the status of the judicial inquiries conducted on each of the killings condemned by UNESCO”
Resolution of the UN Security Council 1738 (2006): the resolution condemns attacks against journalists in conflict situations and urge "states and all other parties to an armed conflict to do their utmost to prevent violations of international humanitarian law against civilians, including journalists, media professionals and associated personnel".
Resolution of the UN Security Council 2222 (2015) urges member states to take appropriate steps to ensure accountability for crimes committed against media workers during armed conflicts and calls on all parties of an armed conflict to comply fully with the obligations applicable to them under international law related to the protection of civilians in armed conflict, including journalists.
UNESCO Resolution 29 “Condemnation of Violence Against Journalists” adopted by the UNESCO General Conference at its 29th session on 12 November 1997, which called on Member States to remove any statute of limitations on crimes against persons when such crimes are "perpetrated to prevent the exercise of freedom of information and expression or when their purpose is the obstruction of justice" and which urged governments to "refine legislation to make it possible to prosecute and sentence those who instigate the assassination of persons exercising the right to freedom of expression"