Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (2 November) on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists:
In many countries, journalists are severely obstructed in their work, and their valuable efforts to uncover the truth are discredited. Unfortunately, this trend continues to grow.
Legal systems must protect publishers and representatives of the press, so that these can practise their profession independently and without fear. Journalists need this freedom, and they need security. Because a diverse, free and independent press provides the foundation for every democratic society; as the fourth estate, it holds government officials, businesses and society around the world to account. We cannot do without this corrective force.
Today, the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, is dedicated to all journalists who are exposed to threats and considerable danger, who are kidnapped, tortured or arbitrarily arrested. We also pay tribute to all those who have lost their lives doing this important work.
These crimes must be investigated and criminally prosecuted.
Attacks against journalists are attacks on the freedom of expression and information of democratic societies. The perpetrators must not go unpunished.
The International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists takes place every year on 2 November. The German Government works both at national level and in multilateral forums to promote free and independent reporting, not least through the International Partnership on Information and Democracy launched by Reporters Without Borders, and is actively engaged in fostering the protection of journalists through initiatives such as the Global Campaign for Media Freedom.