Since 2014, every November. 2 is commemorated the “International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalist”. The UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) decided to set this date after two French journalists were killed in Mali in November. 2. 2013.
In the past 12 years, more than 1000 journalists have been killed for doing their job of informing people (these numbers don’t include other crimes against journalists as torture, disappearances, arbitrary detentions, intimidation, harassment, pressure, the physical destruction of media, and, in addition, sexual violence and assaults on women journalist), and each year 100 journalist get shot.
Only in one out on ten cases the responsible of the murder end up with conviction and an average of one journalist is killed every four days on our planet.
Journalist’s safety is vital for society and democracies to have access to independent and diverse information. Impunity only brings more murders and exacerbates the situation. Society is the first to suffer from the culture of impunity, because the kind of news that are silenced —about corruption, conflicts of interest, illicit trafficking— are exactly the kind of information that the public needs to know. In some cases, the authorities are simply not interested in investigating the case, and in others they deliberately seek to conceal the truth by prohibiting investigations into it.
On this day, it’s important to call for justice and for the fundamental right of freedom of expression, to remember all those journalists who have lost their lives for doing their job, and to recognize the importance of free and independent media to promote development and peace.
Ideas must be fought with ideas, not by killing journalists.