Eight prosecutors call for 'action against impunity' for crimes targeting journalists

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Eight prosecutors call for “action against impunity” for crimes against journalists

A Turkish policewoman in front of an image of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi painted near the premises of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where he was murdered and dismembered on October 2, 2018.

Gathered by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), eight prosecutors from as many countries called on their colleagues on Wednesday to “act against impunity” for crimes against journalists – 50 of whom have already been killed in 2022 – . not sanctioned in 9 out of 10 cases, according to UNESCO.

This appeal comes on the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, established by the UN in memory of two French RFI reporters, Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, murdered on November 2, 2013 in Mali.

It was launched by RSF to let prosecutors facing difficult situations know that they are not alone, and victims that they can obtain justice, the NGO explained in a press release. /p>

We are appalled that more than 1,000 journalists and media workers have been murdered worldwide since 2010 and 118 have disappeared since 2016, according to RSF, say the first signatories of the text, eight prosecutors working in particular in Mexico, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo-Brazzaville, the United Kingdom or Serbia.

For the year 2022 alone, 50 have already been killed because of, or in the exercise of their mission of information, continue these actors of justice, including the prosecutor who leads the charge on the the assassination of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak in Slovakia, Matus Harkabus, the former Attorney General of Brazil, Raquel Dodge, and the current Attorney General of Gambia, Hussein Thomasi.

However, according to UNESCO, almost 90% of crimes against journalists unfortunately remain unpunished, they are indignant, citing the case of Mexico, where 88% of murders of journalists remain with impunity total, or the Philippines, where those primarily responsible for the massacre of 32 journalists in 2009 are still at large.

Similarly, those behind the assassinations of Norbert Zongo in of Anna Politkovskaïa in Russia in 2006, of Gauri Lankesh in India in 2017, among many others, remain unpunished due to faulty casualness or even camouflage on the part of the authorities, add the signatories.

To change the situation, they invite the profession to respect like them a dozen commitments, such as resisting pressure of all kinds, carrying out impartial investigations or collaborate with their international counterparts.

They hope to raise awareness on an international scale, according to RSF.

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