Journalists are targeted, imprisoned, killed sometimes in gruesome conditions
International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists in 2018
Statement by Mrs. Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
2 November 2018
Many thanks to UNESCO for organizing this event together with the group of friends for the protection of journalists. I also would like to thank the Secretary-General for his commitment to this cause. November 2nd has been chosen as the date for the International Day to end impunity for crimes against journalists because that day, in 2013, two French Journalists (Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon) working for RFI were killed in the exercise of their job, in Mali.
Since then, unfortunately, the challenge of ensuring the safety of journalists still remains to be addressed. Journalists are targeted, imprisoned, killed sometimes in gruesome conditions. In Syria, near Idlib, journalists and media workers are vulnerable and exposed to attacks, only because they tried to cover the conflict and shed light on the situation on the ground. It is also the case of the journalist who was killed in Libya that you will see in this documentary that is being shown today and I thank the producers for giving us the opportunity to watch it.
But crimes against journalists can also be committed in countries at peace as the recent shocking death of Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate general of Saudi Arabia in Turkey reminded us. As the Ministers of foreign Affairs of Germany, United Kingdom and France jointly said, nothing can justify this killing, in the same way as the threatening, attacking or killing of any journalist under any circumstances is unacceptable. In line with the Secretary-General, the High commissioner for Human rights, the 3 Ministers called for additional efforts that are necessary and expected, to establish the truth in a comprehensive, transparent and credible manner.
Because when freedom of expression is under attack, when impunity prevails, our societies are at risk. Defending freedom of expression and a free press are key priorities.
Each year, this International Day is an opportunity to recall that the protection of Journalists and the fight against impunity must remain a priority for the UN and for all its member states. It will remain a priority for France.