IFJ/FAJ Commend UN Resolution against Impunity and African Court Hearing on Norbert Zongo

The Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) has today joined the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) to commend the United Nations' General Assembly for passing the Resolution to establish 2nd November as International Day to End Impunity.

This development preludes the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights (AfCHPR) hearing of the assassination of the journalist Norbert Zongo, on 28 November in Arusha, Tanzania.

The United Nations General Assembly- yesterday 26 November- passed by consensus a resolution on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity. The resolution includes a call to make the International Day to End Impunity an official UN day, to be commemorated each year on 2 November.  In Africa, journalists have been attacked, killed and imprisoned with impunity by state agents and criminal groups. 

The resolution unequivocally condemns all attacks, intimidation and violence against journalists and media workers, and calls on all UN Member States to protect them, to ensure that all crimes against them are investigated and brought to justice, and to promote an environment in which journalists and media workers can work independently without interference.

It also expresses support for the United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, an unprecedented step in the promotion of freedom of expression.

"We welcome this extremely important UN Resolution and call on African states and prosecutors to follow suit", said Mohamed Garba the president of FAJ. " We are confident that this development should boost our campaign to end impunity for crimes against journalists in Africa", Garba added.

In the same vein, the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights will hold a public hearing on the case of the journalist Norbert Zongo and his colleagues in Burkina Faso.

The hearing is scheduled on 28 November 2013, during the 31st Ordinary Session of the African Court which will take place in Arusha (Tanzania).  Norbert Zongo, an investigative journalist and his companions, Abdoulaye Nikiema alias Ablassé, Ernest Zongo, Blaise Ilboudo, as well as his brother Ernest Zongo, were assassinated in Burkina Faso. 

The Applicants are represented by Anselm Odinkalu Chidi (Nigeria) and Ibrahima Kane (Senegal), while the Respondent is represented by lawyers from the Government of the Republic of Burkina Faso.

"We are monitoring this case at the African Court and we hope that this development will pave the way for the Court and the Prosecutor to engage a crusade against impunity in Africa," said Gabriel Baglo, the IFJ Africa Director.

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The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries

FAJ represents more than 50.000 journalists in 40 countries in Africa