On 2 November 2021 we will mark the United Nations International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.
It is an important day. It is acknowledging that impunity remains a global concern for journalists, their families and friends across the world, and that freedom of expression and the public's right to know will never enjoy full protection until all those who are threatening, harassing and attacking journalists are brought to justice.
More than 35 journalists have been killed this year in the course of their duty. Some have been hit by bomb blasts, others were killed in cold blood.
On social media, journalists, especially women and those who represent ethnic or racial minorities or LGBTQIA+, are subject to destructive campaigns in an attempt to muzzle them. Death threats, rape threats, doxxing, racist abuse, account impersonation have led many journalists in to muting themselves not to mention the psychological damage such attacks leave on the reporter targetted.
Across the globe journalists are regularly attacked while reporting in the field, their equipment is destroyed, their families are threatened. Investigative journalists usually pay the highest price for uncovering money laundering and large scale corruption.
Only 1 out of every 10 journalists' killing is subject to a proper investigation. A society that leaves journalists killers and harassers to walk free is not a democracy. A judicial system that does not bring to justice the masterminds behind crimes is corrupted.
When a journalist disappears, their family, colleagues and friends too often remain powerless and many stories won't be told.
As every year, we will be running a campaign to condemn impunity for crimes against journalists and call on governments around the world to account for their lack of commitment to bring journalists' attackers and killers to justice.
This year's IFJ campaign will focus in particular on Afghanistan, Kosovo, Mexico, Somalia and Yemen who have shown a deplorable lack of will to investigate attacks on media workers.
We want justice. We want the truth.
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