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Safety of journalists: Guterres (UN), “70 victims this year. End impunity for these crimes”. UNESCO, “indifference is the deadliest weapon”

“More than 70 journalists have been killed this year for simply fulfilling their vital role in society. Most of these crimes go unsolved. We must end the common culture of impunity and enable journalists to do their essential work”, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, raising the alarm on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. Guterres’ words are echoed by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom that today calls on governments “to ensure that crimes against media workers are not committed with impunity”. The Centre keeps a detailed account of the threats to journalists’ safety and murders that are still unsolved. Like those of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, still topping the list, and Azerbaijani Rafiq Tagi, or of Sunday World journalist Martin O’Hagan, who was killed in Northern Ireland in 2001. Also, full light has not yet been shed on the murder of Jan Kuciak, and on many cases in Turkey and Ukraine, Serbia and Montenegro. Nine out of ten killings of journalists go unpunished, according to the UNESCO observatory of killed journalists, and the figures are alarming: between 2006 and 2020, 1,200 journalists have been killed around the world. “Indifference is the deadliest weapon”, UNESCO wrote. A Conference will take place in Vienna on 3-4 November, jointly organised by UNESCO, the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs and the OHCHR, to mark the 10th anniversary of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists.

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