Human Rights Council
Item 4 – Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention
The year 2014 has been the second deadliest year for journalists during the past decade: 138 media workers were killed in the line of duty in 32 countries. The most dangerous countries in 2014 were Syria (19 killed), Gaza (16), Pakistan (12), Iraq (10), Ukraine (9), Mexico (8), Afghanistan (7), Honduras (6), Somalia (5), Brazil (5), and Central African Republic (4).
Middle East was on the top of the list, with 52 journalists killed, followed by Asia with 32, Latin America with 29, Sub-Saharan Africa with 15 and Europe 10.
The situation is deteriorating rather than improving. As of today, 33 journalists have already been killed in 2015, which represents a significant increase compared to the same period of last year, with 12 more killed in only 2 months and a half.
Among them are the victims of the attack against Charlie Hebdo in France. The Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) was horrified by the attack that resulted in a dozen deaths at the headquarters of the French weekly. It condemned a despicable attack against freedom of expression with no justification, targeting in particular four well-known cartoonists, symbols of tolerance.
The PEC honors the struggle and battle for the freedom of expression of all cartoonists around the world.
The PEC expresses its deep concern that these attacks and others by extremists could have a chilling effect on the free press around the world.
These attacks against freedom of expression require the Human Rights Council to react firmly and to send a very strong message to all criminals that there would be zero tolerance and no impunity for perpetrators of such crimes. No concession must be made to those assailants on freedom of expression.
I thank you for your attention.
18 March 2015