The European Union and EU Delegations drew attention to the widespread dangers faced by journalists and how often perpetrators of crimes and violence against journalists remain unpunished, marking the 2 November International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI).
In a statement on the day, Federica Mogherini, the High Representative and Vice President of the EU stated that “journalists and media actors across the globe hold states, government officials, corporations and society at large accountable for their actions. But far too many among them face threats and attacks simply for carrying out their work, while the perpetrators of these attacks often act with total impunity.”
According to UNESCO, impunity for crimes against journalists is a key challenge: from the 1010 killings recorded in the past 12 years, 115 only were followed by a judicial procedure that led to the conviction of perpetrators.
EU Delegations around the world and many EU actors shared advocacy messages, often joining the global UNESCO campaign #TruthNeverDies. In Lebanon, where the regional UNESCO conference took place, the Ambassador of the European Union in Lebanon, Christina Lassen, published a joint op-ed with its longstanding CSO partner the Samir Kassir Foundation Attacks against free press are part of a global trend, requiring a global fight.
Ahead of the Day, Media4Democracy prepared, in cooperation with DEVCO and EEAS, an information note and a social media kit for EU Delegations, summarizing global trends and providing recommendations on how to raise awareness and advocate for the protection of journalists.
Media4Democracy, with its partner Free Press Unlimited, will issue the handbook Protecting the Safety of Journalists, Protecting Freedom of Expression. This handbook will provide tools and hands-on examples to support EU Delegations to protect journalists and implement the EU Human Rights Guidelines on Freedom of Expression Online and Offline, outlining possible actions for EU Delegations, either in an emergency context or as part of mid- and long-term policy and programming.