Human Rights Council
Item 2 – General Debate on the oral update by the High Commissioner
The Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) commends the High Commissioner for his update.
The PEC regrets that freedom of expression has deteriorated in several countries since the previous session of the Human Rights Council in June.
Since January, at least 95 journalists were killed in 25 countries. Since the 32nd session, 21 journalists were murdered according to the PEC figures. We have not heard of other journalists such as Jean Bigirimana, missing in Burundi since 22 July.
The safety and protection of journalists continued to deteriorate in war-torn countries like Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. Terrorist groups and belligerents are targeting journalists to suppress any independent witness of massive violations of human rights.
In Pakistan, two journalists were killed, others injured in a suicide bomb attack at the civil hospital in Quetta. In Ukraine, a well-known journalist Pavel Sheremet died when the car he was driving exploded shortly after it started.
The Human Rights Council must do more to investigate all these cases in order to prosecute those responsible.
In Turkey, the PEC deeply regrets that dozens of journalists have been arbitrarily detained following the military failed coup at the end of July. The PEC strongly condemns these acts of intimidation and requests the international community to respond appropriately.
We sincerely hope that during this session, the Human Rights Council will take new measures to improve this worrying situation.
We need an independent mechanism to follow up.
Thank you Mr President
14 September 2016