Reporters Without Borders is launching #FightImpunity, an international campaign in English, Spanish and French for the second “International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists” on 2 November.

Its aim is to put pressure on governments to bring those responsible for crimes of violence against journalists to justice.

Around 800 journalists have been killed in connection with their work in the past decade. More than 90 percent of crimes against journalists are never solved and therefore never punished. This level of impunity just encourages those who commit these crimes.

Using the examples of fifteen cases of impunity for torture, disappearances and murders of journalists, the campaign highlights the failings of police and judicial systems around the world.

The cases include those of Mexican journalist María Esther Aguilar Casimbe, who disappeared aged 33 in November 2009 while covering crime and police matters; Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad, found dead in May 2011 while investigating links between Al-Qaeda and the Pakistani army; and French journalist Guy-André Kieffer, who went missing in Côte d’Ivoire in 2004 while researching shady practices in the production and export of cocoa.

The resources deployed by the relevant authorities to solve these cases, and many others, were either non-existent or hopelessly inadequate.

The campaign is using a website, http://fightimpunity.org/, and a hashtag, #FightImpunity. Because crimes against journalists concern everyone, the website offers Internet users the possibility of taking personal action by sending an email or tweet to the heads of state or government of the countries involved.

Using an interactive mechanism, the general public can send emails with specific details about individual cases to demand that justice be rendered.

The UN General Assembly designated 2 November as “International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists” as a tribute to Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, two French journalists working for Radio France Internationale who were murdered in Mali on 2 November 2012.

 

Co-sponsored by some 50 countries including France and adopted by the human rights committee, the resolution creating this International Day urges UN member states to “do their utmost to prevent violence against journalists and media workers,” conduct “speedy and effective” investigations into all cases of violence against journalists and bring the perpetrators to justice.