MEDIA RELEASE: 2 November 2022

ALLIANCE FOR JOURNALISTS’ FREEDOM SUPPORTS UNESCO’S CALL TO END IMPUNITY FOR CRIMES AGAINST JOURNALISTS

Almost nine out of 10 journalist murders are unsolved according to UNESCO report.

According to a report by UNESCO, almost nine out of 10 journalist murders worldwide remain unsolved, with their killers walking free.

The report, released on November 2nd to mark the International Day to end Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, calls on governments to ensure crimes against journalists are properly investigated and their perpetrators held to account.

UNESCO says impunity stands at 86%, falling 9% over the past decade, but still insufficient to stop continuing violence.

The AJF’s spokesman Professor Peter Greste believes the figure suggests that either governments do not care or are complicit in the killing of journalists: “one of the surest ways of shutting down dissent and criticism is to kill the messengers. We don’t always know why journalists are murdered, but the pattern of impunity is shockingly clear.”

According to UNESCO’s figures, in 2020-21, 117 journalists were killed around the world – more than two per week. Statistics compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists suggests that before the war in Ukraine, the world’s most dangerous place was Mexico where drug cartels and political violence have claimed the lives of 151 media workers in the 30 years the CPJ has been keeping records.

Prof Greste said, “it is impossible to quantify the chilling effect those killings have had on the work that journalists do around the world. It means countless stories go untold either because they died with the journalists themselves, or because their colleagues got the message and avoided reporting stories that might put them at risk.

“When that happens, everyone is poorer for it.”

MEDIA INQUIRIES: Professor Peter Greste: 0477856855 [email protected]

Photo credit: Getty