Killing of journalists should not be new normal: UN chief
On "The International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists", marked annually on November 2, the UN Chief, Antonio Guterres said the killing of journalists around the world for doing their job is "outrageous" and should not become the "new normal". The Secretary-General, in a video message, paid tribute to those reporters "who do their jobs every day despite intimidation and threats."
According to the United Nations, in just over a decade, some 1,010 journalists have been killed for reporting the news, and in nine out of 10 cases, the perpetrators are never brought to justice. In 2018 alone, at least 88 journalists have been killed. Many thousands more have been "attacked, harassed, detained or imprisoned on spurious charges, without due process," Guterres pointed out.
"Reporting is not a crime. Together, let's stand up for journalists, for truth and for justice." -- @antonioguterres on Friday's Intl Day to #EndImpunity for Crimes against Journalists. https://t.co/yPxQ0t5TML #TruthNeverDies pic.twitter.com/pR5e4cAdW4— United Nations (@UN) November 2, 2018
To mark the International Day, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is launching an initiative to fuel awareness on the issue of journalists killed on the job. Called "Truth Never Dies," it encourages people to share stories by and about fallen journalists to keep their legacies alive and to push for investigations into their deaths to be continued.
When journalists are targeted, societies as a whole pay a price. I call on governments and the international community to protect journalists and create the conditions they need to do their work. #TruthNeverDies pic.twitter.com/2KA32tS1RF— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) November 2, 2018
A study on global trends in media published by the UNESCO in 2017 highlights that impunity for crimes against journalists remains the norm, and trends in kidnappings, disappearances, and torture have shown substantial increases since 2012. The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in September, calling on international community to promote strategies that protect journalists and bring the perpetrators to justice.
The latest incident against a scribe was the killing of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi last month. Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. The Saudis, under intense pressure to explain Khashoggi's whereabouts, have offered conflicting accounts. They initially said he had left the consulate on October 2, but later admitted that he had been killed in a fight.