Media News - Thursday, June 21, 2012
An alarming number of journalists are killed each year and those responsible are rarely brought to justice, UN experts said on Wednesday. "Journalists who play a crucial role in ensuring a society that takes informed decisions, are killed at an alarming rate by state and non-state actors," said special rapporteur Christof Heyns in a report to the UN Human Rights Council. Sixty-five journalists were killed in the first five months of 2012 around the world, a 50 percent rise on 2011, according to Swiss news agency ATS. Of those, Syria saw at least 15 victims, Mexico seven and Somalia six. In his report Heyns, rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, called for a new specific declaration on the protection of journalists "that would emphasize the recognised obligations of states with regard to the protection of the right of life and safety of journalists". In their reports the experts also highlighted the associated problems of self-censorship owing to intimidation. One of the most immediate challenges is implementing international laws regarding the protection of journalists and making sure that these "are reflected in domestic laws and practices", said Frank La Rue, special rapporteur on freedom of expression. (Expatica)
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