UN experts call for greater protection of journalistsSource: Tanjug
NEW YORK -- 65 journalists were killed in the first five months of 2012 around the world and those responsible are rarely brought to justice, a UN rapporteur has said.
56 journalists were killed in the first five months of 2012 around the world, a 50 percent rise on 2011, according to Swiss news agency ATS.
Of those, Syria saw at least 15 victims, Mexico seven and Somalia six.
In his report Heyns, rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, called for a new specific declaration on the protection of journalists "that would emphasize the recognised obligations of states with regard to the protection of the right of life and safety of journalists," AFP has reported.
UNHRC Special Rapportuer on Freedom of Expression Frank La Rue said that “impunity is a problem all around in terms of humanized violations, but for journalists there is a more emphatic focus with a lack of interest from states and justice systems to investigate violence."
According to him, “journalists put themselves in danger by investigating governments, large companies, organized crime or money laundering”.
In their reports the experts also highlighted the associated problems of self-censorship owing to intimidation, AFP says.
“One of the most immediate challenges is implementing international laws regarding the protection of journalists and making sure that these "are reflected in domestic laws and practices," said La Rue.
"What we are asking for in the report is that (in) countries that are not in an armed conflict situation, but that are in a situation of extreme violence because they are combating organized crime that harasses journalism from different angles and that there should be a mechanism of protection," he concluded.