BRUSSELS, Oct 31 (KUNA) -- The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Thursday announced it will launch a three-week campaign to expose the staggering levels of impunity for crimes against journalists and the lack of international action to stem the rising tide of threats to journalists worldwide.
The campaign will kick off on November 2 marking International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists and run until November 23, the anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre in the Philippines where at least 32 media workers were killed in 2009, said the IFJ in a statement.
The IFJ campaign will focus on five countries - Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Somalia, Ukraine - where the level of impunity for abusing, jailing, attacking and killing journalists has been high.
It will take into account the levels of violence against journalists in these countries and the systematic failure of the authorities to fight impunity, according to the statement.
The IFJ noted that in Palestine the situation is particularly tense for journalists with media professionals being a target for the Israeli authorities. In the last decade, 31 journalists were killed including three foreigners in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Among them, 28 were killed by the Israeli forces, two by gunmen in Gaza and one by Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. None of the killers in these 31 murders have been punished, said the Brussels-based IFJ.
The Federation, which represents over 600,000 journalists in 146 countries, has recorded 1,064 killings of media professionals in the past 10 years. Yet, only one murder in every ten is punished.
Meanwhile, the European Union today reiterated its commitment to combat impunity for crimes against journalists and to continue using all appropriate means possible to respect and protect freedom of expression and to ensure the safety of journalists and media workers.
"Freedom of expression, in all its forms, is the very essence of democracy. Only with a thriving, free and independent media landscape, we can hold governments, businesses and society at large accountable," said EU High Representative Federica Mogherini in a declaration.
In 2018 alone, 94 journalists and media staff were killed in work-related incidents, she regretted on behalf of the 28-member Union. (end)