Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, issued the following statement today (2 November) on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists:
Independent and critical journalism is a cornerstone of any democratic society.
We are profoundly concerned that ever more journalists all over the world are being arrested, detained, tortured, abused or killed, either arbitrarily or as deliberate targets, especially when they try to reveal abuses in society or human rights violations.
The figures published by UNESCO are alarming. Between 2006 and 2017, over 1000 journalists were killed. In the meantime, more journalists die outside conflict areas than in them.
All of these cases must be investigated so that those responsible can be held to account and journalists can work without fear.
We firmly believe that attacks against journalists do not only target individuals, but also represent an attack on the freedom of expression and information of democratic societies. Respect for freedom of expression, information and the press is also of the utmost importance at international level. We regard the protection of journalists and the fight against impunity as an important topic and are working hard on this in multilateral forums and at European level. We will also address these issues during our membership of the UN Security Council.
The International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists takes place every year on 2 November. Launched by the United Nations in 2013 in honour of the journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, who were killed in Mali, it calls on all UN Member States to introduce concrete measures to counter the continued widespread culture of impunity .