Statement by the SG Thomas E. Garrett on International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists
Attacks on journalists undermine fundamental human rights and democracy. As stated in the Warsaw Declaration, the founding document of the Community of Democracies listing 19 universal principles and signed by 106 countries, the right of the press to collect and disseminate information, news and opinions should only be subject to restrictions necessary in a democratic society and prescribed by law.
The International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists highlights the grim reality in which media workers operate in 2018 – where independent investigative journalism has become a life-threatening occupation and conviction rate for attacks against media workers remains at a critically low level.
All governments but particularly democratic governments must uphold their obligations to protect the freedom of the press and free access to information via pluralistic and independent media. This is a bedrock principle of democracy. Commemorating today’s International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, I call on political leaders across the world to make journalists’ safety a priority and ensure that the perpetrators of crimes against media professionals are held accountable.