International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

Volodymyr Ariev (Ukraine, EPP/CD), General Rapporteur on Media Freedom and Safety of Journalists, today made the following statement:

"Three years ago, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/68/163 which proclaimed 2nd November as the “International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists”, in commemoration of the same day in 2013 when French journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon were assassinated while reporting in Mali. Their murderers have yet to be found and brought to justice.

10 years ago, Anna Politkovskaya was shot dead in her apartment building in Moscow, having received numerous anonymous death threats as well as public accusations by political leaders for many years. The masterminds behind her killing still remain in impunity.

The three journalists are joined by a large number of journalists murdered with impunity in Europe and around the world. These brave journalists lost their lives for having informed the public about the actions of terrorists and other criminals. Not only democracy, but also humanity as such depends on this kind of information.

The Council of Europe was created in 1949 with the conviction that the pursuit of peace based upon justice and international co-operation is vital for the preservation of human society and civilisation. Europe faces war, terrorism and organised crime in many regions today. Therefore, journalists and media are essential for every European, who wishes to defend our democratic and humane societies.

Impunity is incompatible with the obligation of every member of the Council of Europe to accept the principles of the rule of law and the enjoyment by all persons within its jurisdiction of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and to collaborate sincerely and effectively in fulfilling these aims.

We, parliamentarians from all democratic countries in Europe, have to do our utmost in order to end impunity for crimes against journalists."