Globally, only two out of ten perpetrators responsible for attacks and killings for journalists and media workers , while carrying out their work.
This was announced during a seminar organized by the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on November 2 ,2021 to commemorate International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists
The workshop, held at the Nairobi Grand Plaza Hotel in collaboration with UNESCO’s East Africa Office and the Kenya Media Council, said that the pressure on the police and security forces as well as the community is increasing and that there is no legal action against the perpetrators.
In his opening remarks, UNESCO Regional Director and representative for East Africa, Professor Hubert Gijzen, said “We’re extremely worried by the increasing trend of extra judicial killings of journalists. Such impunities have a chilling effect on our democracy. Let’s intensify joint action to defend media freedom, ensure safety of journalists, as part of defending our democracies”,
Director of Public Prosecution of Kenay Noordin Haji urged the media to remain professional while ensuring that their freedom of expression respects the dignity and privacy of others, does not propagate ethnic incitement or discrimination and reflects the interests of all.
“A notable trend on response is that while many journalists report cases to police, there is little effort to follow through the process in pursuit of justice either by victims to report or follow up coupled with weak support by duty bearers; employers, police and prosecutors”. Said Kenya Media council chairperson Maina Muiruri. He adds Violation against journalist have risen in the past three years. On October 2021, we documented 55 cases of violations, with security leading as the sources of the threats.
Speaking on the panel discussion on Status of the National Mechanism for Safety and Protection of Journalists: Analysis of Trends and gaps.
Tamerat Hailu, a member of the Ethiopian Media Council’s Executive Committee, said the war in the northern part of the country had been a challenge for media professionals for the past one year. Reminding that there were three journalists killed in connection with the war and the unrest in western Ethiopia, Tamerat said it was worrying that the perpetrators and their identities had not been investigated.
He said governments have a lot to do to stop attacks on journalists and bring those responsible to justice.
On the discussion Reporting from the frontline: Safety considerations Judie Kaberi Director of Kenya women journalist association said <Women should not shy away from tough assignments because that will repeal the gains made to improve women leadership in media. Media org. should acknowledge challenges they face because of their gender & purpose to protect them & equip them with safety tips>
Article 19 East Africa Executive Director Mugambi Kiai said on his part , <There is need to create an enabling environment for journalists and ensuring laws do not interfere with independence of media in Eastern Africa; panel discussion on the place of media regulatory bodies in protecting journalists and fighting against impunity.> We must have firm evidence to point out individuals who attack the media, He add .
The date was chosen in commemoration of the assassination of two French journalists in Mali on 2 November 2013. This landmark resolution condemns all attacks and violence against journalists and media workers.