In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly declared November 2nd the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’ (IDEI) by adopting Resolution A/RES/68/163 . The date was chosen in commemoration of the assassination of two French journalists in Mali on 2nd of November that same year.
The resolution condemns all aggression against journalists and media workers worldwide, and urges Member States to ensure accountability for all attacks and help stop the rising culture of impunity. The resolution also urged the States to promote a safer work environment for journalists to function in without having to worry about threats and censorship from anyone.
The 2016 UNESCO Director-General's Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity shows that 930 journalists have been killed in the last eleven years, with only eight percent of the murders being resolved. There has also been a devastating increase in annual journalist killings, from 2006-2011 when the average rate was 67, to an average of 106 killings per year in 2012-2015. In 51% of the total cases, there was either no information gathered or the killing was acknowledged only as somewhat of a formality.
These kinds of statistics send a very negative message to media workers around the world, causing them to feel unsafe and doubtful about the cost of their work as reporters and news creators. The value of truth is, it seems, being undervalued and investigative journalists and reporters are caught in a constant fear that their stories might cost them their lives. This information and these stories must not be silenced, for they represent the basis of a free and democratic world. Access to information must not be limited to anyone, and independent and free press is today maybe more important than ever. Unfortunately, freedom of the press and the safety of journalists is not possible if the law and the judicial systems of a country are damaged by corruption.
For more information on IDEI, you can read here.
Here is a list of events around the world commemorating EDEI:
Stop Killing Journalists - Video by Al Jazeera Centre for Public Liberties and Human Rights (2017)