According to a report by UNESCO close to 930 journalists have been killed in the past 11 years for reporting the news and bringing information to the public. On average, this constitutes one death on every four days.
Impunity leads to more killings and is often a symptom of worsening conflict and the breakdown of law and judicial systems.
2nd November was chosen in commemoration of the assassination of two French journalists in Mali on November 2nd 2013.
It is pertinent to note that 9 in every 10 cases of killed journalists remain unresolved, 93% of killed journalists are local only about 7% are foreign correspondents. In this year’s day celebration the Director General of UNESCO received a report which includes recent information regarding the current state of judiciary investigations and killings committed between 2006 and 2015.
Significantly, sixteen points in the Jakarta Declaration on Press Freedom deal with safety of journalists. The Declaration which was adopted by 1500 participants at the Global celebration of the 2017 World Press Freedom Day in Jakarta, Indonesia on 1-4 May 2017. The Declaration condemns all forms of violence, aggression and intimidation against journalists and recognising in particular the specific threats faced by women journalists, including sexual harassment.
This resolution condemns all attacks and violence against journalists and media workers. It also urges all member states to do their utmost best to prevent violence against journalists and other media workers to ensure accountability and bring to justice perpetrators of crimes and ensure that victims have access to appropriate remedies. It further calls on all to promote safe and enabling environment for journalists to perform their work independently without any undue interference.
Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) joins the international community to celebrate this day and calls on Governments, Civil Society Organisations, the Media and everyone concerned to uphold the rule of law and join in the global efforts to end impunity against journalist in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.