UNESCO Iraq Office and Iraqi stakeholders celebrate International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

Baghdad: UNESCO Iraq office, in collaboration with the Iraqi Communication and Media Commission and the Ministry of Interior organized an online discussion in Baghdad on the issue of impunity. The meeting shed light on the mechanisms of journalists’ safety and prosecution to bring justice to murdered journalists and review the challenges and achievements of the fight against impunity in Iraq.

UNESCO hosted the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI) event, which was attended by members of the Iraqi National Committee of Safety of Journalists and Issue of Impunity.

The Ministry of Interior referred to the training sessions held by UNESCO in the last three months on the safety of journalists and issue of impunity and its impact over the investigation system and judiciary follow up.

The online meeting was chaired by Dhea Subhee, UNESCO CI Officer, who was supported by the Head of Information and Communication Monitoring Department Hussain Zamel, Special Investigation Unit of Journalists cases in MoI Raad Hamdan, Ministry of Justice Director-General Kamel Ameen, Representative of Iraqi Journalists Syndicate Hassan Abodi and media outlets.

In the past fourteen years (2006-2019), close to 1,200 journalists around the world have been killed for reporting news and bringing information to the public. On average, this constitutes one death every four days. In nine out of ten cases the killers go unpunished. Impunity leads to more killings and is often a symptom of worsening conflict and the breakdown of law and judicial systems. UNESCO is concerned that impunity damages societies as a whole by covering up serious human rights abuses, corruption, and crime. Governments, civil society, the media, and everyone concerned to uphold the rule of law are being asked to join in the global efforts to end impunity.

It is in recognition of the far-reaching consequences of impunity, especially of crimes against journalists, that the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution A / RES / 68/163 at its 68th session in 2013 which proclaimed 2 November as the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’ (IDEI). The Resolution urged Member States to implement definite measures countering the present culture of impunity. The date was chosen in commemoration of the assassination of two French journalists in Mali on 2 November 2013.

 

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