Ahead of International Day to End Impunity, OSCE media freedom representative calls on OSCE participating States to break the cycle of impunity
VIENNA, 30 October 2014 – In the run-up to the International Day to End Impunity, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today called on OSCE participating States to take real steps to track down and prosecute those who commit crimes against journalists.
“Attacks against journalists must be investigated quickly and thoroughly; there can be no exception to this basic rule,” Mijatović said. “The notion of impunity contributes to an atmosphere of intimidation throughout the OSCE region.”
In December 2013, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a landmark resolution on journalist safety and proclaimed 2 November as the International Day to End Impunity. It was the first time the General Assembly adopted a resolution directly addressing journalists’ safety and the issue of impunity.
“This date serves as an important reminder of the collaborative effort necessary to bring issues of criminal impunity to light,”Mijatović said. “Attacks on members of the media occur on a daily basis and many of the perpetrators and masterminds behind these attacks are never brought to justice.”
The list of killed journalists in the OSCE region whose murderers still are at large also serves as a grim reminder of impunity for these horrid crimes.
The list includes, among others, Slavko Ćuruvija (1999), Georgy Gongadze (2000), Martin O’Hagan (2001), Milan Pantic (2001), Veronika Cherkasova (2004), Dusko Jovanovic (2004), Paul Klebnikov (2004), Elmar Huseynov (2005), Anna Politkovskaya (2006), Alisher Saipov (2007), Hrant Dink (2007), Natalya Estemirova (2009), Khadzhimurad Kamalov (2011), and Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev (2013).
“Despite repeated assurances at the highest level from OSCE participating States, many cases of attacks on journalists remain unsolved,” Mijatović said. “The political will to confront the issue of impunity is simply too low, and in some cases non-existent. Stern rhetoric is not enough, concrete action is necessary to break the cycle of impunity”.
In 2013, the Representative launched a global campaign to end impunity with the Commission for the Investigation of Murders of Journalists in Serbia. For more on journalists’ safety, download the OSCE Safety of Journalists Guidebook and the leaflet ‘Safety of journalists - why it matters’.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more at www.osce.org/fom, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on www.facebook.com/osce.rfom.