Journalists killed for doing their job ‘outrageous’, should not become ‘new normal’, says UN Chief

The United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Gueterres Friday, in a video message for The International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, marked annually on November 2, said that the killing of journalists around the world for doing their job is “outrageous” and should not become the “new normal”, PTI reported.

According to the UN, in this year, at least 88 journalists have been killed, while in over a decade, some 1,010 journalists have been killed for reporting the news, and in nine out of 10 cases, the perpetrators are never brought to justice.

Many thousands more have been “attacked, harassed, detained or imprisoned on spurious charges, without due process,” Guterres said.

He paid tribute to the reporters in the field “who do their jobs every day despite intimidation and threats.”

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Moreover, he called on the international community “to protect journalists and create the conditions they need to do their work.”

To mark the International Day, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is launching an initiative to fuel awareness on the issue of journalists killed on the job called, “Truth Never Dies”.

It encourages people to share stories by and about fallen journalists to keep their legacies alive and to push for investigations into their deaths to be continued.

“The truth never dies. And neither must our commitment to the fundamental right to freedom of expression, the UN chief said, highlighting that when journalists are attacked “societies as a whole pay a price.”

A study on global trends in media published by the UNESCO in 2017 highlights that impunity for crimes against journalists remains the norm, and trends in kidnappings, disappearances and torture have shown substantial increases since 2012.

The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in September, calling on the international community to promote strategies that protect journalists and bring perpetrators of violence against the media to justice.

The latest incident against a scribe was the killing of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi last month.

ALSO READ: UN experts note ‘toxic nature of political incitement against journalists’, demand transparent investigation into Khashoggi’s killing

Khashoggi entered the building on October 2 to obtain documentation certifying he had divorced his ex-wife. He was not seen since.

Saudi Arabia has admitted that the Saudi critic died in a fight inside its Istanbul consulate – after weeks of consistent denials that it had anything to do with his disappearance.

Turkish media have reported Khashoggi was killed and dismembered based on recordings from the consulate. They say he died at the hands of a 15-member assassination squad from Saudi Arabia.

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