AFEX Statement to mark the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists
On the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, the African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX) salutes all journalists, freedom of expression organisations, commentators, writers, civil society groups, the international community and other freedom of expression activists all over the continent for their efforts in creating a free and safe environment for journalists and media workers.
Journalists suffer all kinds of attacks in the discharge of their duties and some get killed in the process. States have a primary responsibility for guaranteeing the safety of journalists working within their territories. Regrettably, in many of the crimes committed against journalists, government officials or state security agencies are among the perpetrators. According to the latest United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Director-General’s Report on The Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity, at least 86 journalists have been killed in Africa since 2006.
As we celebrate this day, AFEX remembers all journalists, media professionals and other freedom of expression activists who lost their lives in their quest to promote and defend freedom of expression on the continent. We particularly remember the two French journalists who were killed in Mali on 2 November 2013, which led to the adoption of Resolution A/RES/68/163 by the United Nations General Assembly, at its 68th session in 2013, proclaiming 2 November as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.
AFEX uses the occasion to remind governments on their responsibility to guarantee the safety of journalists on the continent. AFEX, therefore, urges African Governments to:
- do their utmost best to prevent violence against journalists and media workers;
- ensure accountability by bringing to justice perpetrators of crimes against journalists and media workers;
- ensure that victims of impunity have access to appropriate remedies;
- reform or amend media laws that do not seek to promote freedom of expression and to protect journalists and to make them conform to international standards and
- foster unity and co-operation among journalists, media workers and governments with the view to strengthening peace, democracy and development.
AFEX is a continental network of the most prominent African freedom of expression organisations who are also members of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), the global network of free expression organisations. The network is currently made up of nine organisations based in West, East, Central and Southern Africa. AFEX works to increase the effectiveness of its members and to enhance the impact of their work in addressing freedom of expression challenges in Africa.
Learn more about AFEX and its members by visiting www.africafex.org
Please address all queries to:
Venancious Ngmenkom Tuor
The AFEX Co-ordinator
Media Foundation for West Africa, Accra, Ghana
Mobile: +233 268 110 356 / +233 204 433 699
Emails: [email protected]