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Home | Editorial | Ending impunity for crime against journalists

Ending impunity for crime against journalists

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Ending impunity for crime against journalists
 The safety of journalists is deteriorating across the globe. Journalists and media workers are victims of censorship, pressure, threats, physical abuse, violent attacks or mortal violence. Tackling this challenge successfully calls for political will and intensified cooperation.
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2nd November as the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’ in General Assembly Resolution A/RES/68/163. The Resolution urged Member States to implement definite measures countering the present culture of impunity. The date was chosen in commemoration of the assassination of two French journalists in Mali on 2nd November 2013.
This landmark resolution condemns all attacks and violence against journalists and media workers. It also urges Member States to do their utmost to prevent violence against journalists and media workers, to ensure accountability, bring to justice perpetrators of crimes against journalists and media workers, and ensure that victims have access to appropriate remedies. It further calls upon States to promote a safe and enabling environment for journalists to perform their work independently and without undue interference.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information and Culture here on Saturday called for ending of impunity against those committing crime against the journalists.The ministry releasing a statement said based on UNESCO’s recent report, Mexico was the worst country for journalists in 2016, which shows efforts for ending impunity against journalists didn’t go well.
The ministry also blamed the militants for most of violence against journalists in the country, saying government officials have also been accused of the violence toward journalists which require sincere steps by the government and international agencies.
The protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms is a priority of the Afghan government. Afghan government, in particular the Ministry of Information and Culture are needed to work hand-in-hand with UNESCO, and the leadership of the United Nation to successfully address a complex, sensitive and global challenge affecting most of the countries.
Meanwhile special attention and resources must go to women journalists and media workers. Women in Afghanistan, in particular in media face specific forms of threats, including sexual harassment and gender-based violence, both online and offline, with deep impact in terms of self-censorship and the ability of women journalists to carry out their chosen profession.
It is unacceptable that journalists and media workers are being kidnapped, tortured and killed and that perpetrators are not held accountable. Impunity shouldn’t be applied in such serious crimes.The only way is for all governments to make ending impunity an absolute priority. It means strengthening laws, training legislators and law enforcement agencies. It means ensuring quality journalist education and supporting media organizations, including measures that protect individual and freelance journalists.
Mass media activities and freedom of expression is Afghan government’s remarkable achievement in the past 16 years. Therefor strong action to protect journalists and media workers is a must. Afghans must all stand up today to protect such achievements. If we cannot protect them, then our democracies and societies are at grave risk. Journalists and media workers are the backbone of healthy society and functioning democracy, and they play a crucial role in ensuring good governance and the rule of law.

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