International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) has commended the United Nations (UN) resolution to make the International Day to End Impunity (IDEI), an official UN day to be commemorated each year on November 2. IFEX also welcomed the news that the third committee of the UN General Assembly has passed, by consensus, a resolution on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity.
The UN resolution endorsing November 2 as the IDEI, reiterated that: “impunity for attacks against journalists constitutes one of the main challenges to strengthening the protection of journalists.”
The resolution which was endorsed on November 26, 2013, states that it “condemns unequivocally all attacks and violence against journalists and media workers, such as torture, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention, as well as intimidation and harassment in both conflict and non-conflict situations”.
The UN resolution therefore made a challenging call to member states requesting that they “do their utmost to prevent violence against journalists and media workers, to ensure accountability through the conduct of impartial, speedy and effective investigations into all alleged violence against journalists and media workers falling within their jurisdiction, and to bring the perpetrators of such crimes to justice and to ensure that victims have access to appropriate remedies.”
According to IFEX: “there has never been a more dangerous time for journalists, they are being killed and imprisoned worldwide in record numbers. They face daily threats, attacks and intimidation from private individuals, non-state actors, and government officials who seek to silence them. The overwhelming majority of these crimes are committed with impunity.”
IFEX noted that the resolution will serve as a supportive tool for individual journalists working for the interest of the public adding that it will promote journalistic work void of fear of retribution and encourage delivery of due justice on those seeking to silence such journalists.
It applaud the UN resolution viewing it as “success in defending and promoting freedom of expression as a fundamental human right, which is its critical priority.”
In recognition of its effort, IFEX declared that “IFEX members’ ongoing efforts to end impunity, their annual participation in the International Day to End Impunity campaign and their support for this resolution undoubtedly contributed to today’s decision.”
IFEX is a global network of 88 independent non-governmental organizations working at the local, national, regional, and international level to defend and promote the right of freedom of expression.