The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is called upon to step up the fight against impunity and to urge states to investigate fully, promptly and independently all attacks on journalists.
This call was made by the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion during an informal Arria meeting on the protection of reporters. The meeting also heard from a senior official of the Al Jazeera news network who said his colleague Shireen Abu Akleh was assassinated earlier this month in the West Bank city of Jenin “by an Israeli bullet and in cold blood while doing her job”.
The Council heard how media independence, freedom and pluralism in many countries declined with press freedom being cooled, even if journalists were not killed; the Council insisted on protecting journalism as a common good and a pillar of democracy.
“De The UN Security Council must unequivocally reaffirm its call on all states and indeed all parties to a conflict to enforce its obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law. Second, the Security Council must step up its fight against impunity. It should call on states to fully, promptly and independently investigate all attacks on journalists in accordance with international standards. Third, both states and the international community must invest in free, independent, pluralistic and diverse media. “UN missions must prioritize support for strengthening media freedom and security of journalists as part of the Sustainable Development Agenda,” says Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion Irene Khan.
Senior Research Fellow at Africa Asia Dialogue Thembisa Fakude shares his memories after the death of Shireen Abu Akleh:
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 28 journalists have been killed in the 2021 on duty and nearly two dozen this year already, many while reporting on the war in Ukraine. Council Resolution 2222 of May 2015 emphasizes the need to combat impunity for attacks, with efforts, through this informal session, drawing attention to the active responsibility of the Security Council to protect journalists by enforcing their own resolutions. As media have to deal with growing oppression in various theaters around the world as Jon Williams – a member of the CPJ’s Board of Directors explained.
“Scores more have faced shelling, shooting and detention as they try to shed a light on what is happening in Ukraine. Russian journalists arrested and threatened during Moscow’s attack on independent Russian media. Many have fled the country for as long as journalists have been searching for the truth, there are those who decide to silence them. Murder is the ultimate form of censorship. But it is not just drug cartels and terrorists who are targeting journalists around the world. Too often, those in power also try to silence reporters by putting them in jail. Last year closed with a record number of journalists imprisoned in China, which several journalists imprisoned for their coverage of the pandemic was the worst prison in the world. For the second year in a row, encouraged autocrats have a growing intolerance for independent reporting, and nowhere is this more true than in Afghanistan.
While the recent assassination of Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh also received a fair share of the spotlight at the meeting, Abderrahim Foukara of the Network Bureau of the Network pointed the finger at Israel for her death.
“Al Jazeera’s position is crystal clear – Shireen Abu Akleh as life matters, and so does a transparent and independent investigation into her murder and the serious violation of her funeral by the Israeli security forces. There are other crystal clear issues for Al Jazeera network. One, Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by an Israeli bullet and in cold blood while doing her job. Two, the network has the evidence and the witnesses to support that position. Three, Al Jazeera considers all possible legal options to ensure that justice is done so that Syrians who die do not end up under the carpet of impunity. Four, the responsibility for the murder of Shireen should be investigated as high as necessary in the commando chain in the Israeli army or any other security apparatus that may have been involved.
Called on the Council to shoulder its responsibility to protect journalists and to use their leverage to end the impunity of bad actors.
UN calls to strengthen the fight against attacks on journalists – SABC News
Source link UN calls to strengthen the fight against attacks on journalists – SABC News