More than 30 journalists have been killed in targeted attacks this year, two UN Special Rapporteurs announced. Speaking ahead of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, the Special Rapporteurs on arbitrary, summary and extrajudicial executions, Agnes Callamard, and on freedom of expression, David Kaye, called on states to take actions in this regard, reports Xinhua news agency. “In addition to taking individual lives and depriving family members of their loved ones, these attacks aim to destroy the public watchdog role of journalism that is essential to democratic society,” they said in a joint statement issued on Wednesday.
According to them, the attacks on journalism were widespread and deplorable. “When authorities fail to follow up such attacks with independent and impartial investigations that can bring perpetrators to justice, the killers and their allies achieve their objectives,” the statement said. The attacks need to stop, they said, adding that so too does the public demonisation of reporting and specific media outlets and reporters by political leaders at the highest levels.
“Our societies cannot afford to continue this downward spiral of attacks against journalists. We urge all States – in word and action – to devote resources to reverse this trend,” it added. A United Nations General Assembly resolution in 2013 designated November 2 the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.