PEC press release

The PEC welcomes a new resolution adopted by the General Assembly on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity and calls upon States to fully implement it.

Geneva/New York, 26 Nov (PEC) The Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) welcomes a new resolution adopted last week by the third committee of the General Assembly on the safety of journalists and  the issue of impunity. The resolution adopted by consensus was sponsored by 106 States, a record number.

It is the 11th resolution on the safety of journalists adopted since 2006 by the United Nations (5 by the General Assembly, 4 by the Human Rights Council, 2 by the Security Council). It demonstrates an improved awareness of the specific riks faced by journalists and a continuous commitment of the international community to strenghten the protection of media workers around the world.

However more than 80 States have not sponsored the text, among them China, Iran, Iraq, Russia, Turkey, Venezuela.

The resolution adopted is not binding and it lacks international mechanisms to fill the gaps in prevention, protection and prosecution in conflict zones and dangerous environments. Since january this year, more than 72 journalists have been killed, according to PEC figures. Even if this figure is decreasing, it’s still too much.

The PEC calls upon all Member States to fully implement the new UN resolution.

Internal turmoils

It is worth noting that in times of internal turmoils in many countries the text “calls upon all States to pay attention to the safety of journalists covering events in which persons are exercising their rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, taking into account their specific role, exposure and vulnerability”.

The PEC also welcomes the paragraph which “urges political leaders, public officials and/or authorities to refrain from denigrating, intimidating or threatening the media, including individual journalists and media workers, specifically women, which thereby undermines trust in the credibility of journalists as well as respect for the importance of independent journalism”.

As the previous texts, the new resolution “condemns all attacks and violence against journalists and media workers, such as torture, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrest and arbitrary detention, expulsion, intimidation, threats and online and offline harassment, including through attacks on, or the forced closure of, their offices and media outlets, in both conflict and non-conflict situations”.

The text “calls upon States to develop and implement effectively legal frameworks and measures for the protection of journalists and media workers and for combating impunity, taking into consideration the gender dimensions thereof, including, where appropriate, through the creation and strengthening of special investigative units or independent commissions, the appointment of a specialized prosecutor and the adoption of specific protocols and methods of investigation and prosecution”.

It “urges the immediate and unconditional release of journalists and media workers who have been arbitrarily arrested, arbitrarily detained or taken hostage or who have become victims of enforced disappearances”.

It also “urges Member States to do their utmost to prevent violence, threats and attacks targeting journalists and media workers, to ensure accountability through the conduct of impartial, speedy, thorough, independent and effective investigations into all alleged violence, threats and attacks against journalists and media workers, including sexual and gender-based violence against women journalists and media workers in armed conflict and non-conflict situations, falling within their jurisdiction, to bring perpetrators, including those who command, conspire to commit, aid and abet or cover up such crimes, to justice, and to ensure that victims and their families have access to appropriate remedies”.

The PEC will closely monitor the implementation by Member States of the new resolution adopted by the United Nations.

The Geneva-based NGO with UN Consultative status will publish its annual report in  mid-December.

Full text of the UN resolution, list of co-sponsors on: www.pressemblem.ch

Source : PEC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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