UN Calls For Protection of Journalists World Wide

Philadelphia and New York, USA

In his message to mark International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, Secretary General Antonio Guterres says the United Nations General Assembly, Security Council and Human Rights Council have all condemned attacks against journalists and is calling for ensuring their safety.

UN Sec Gen Antonio Guterres
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

In a press statement copied to West African Journal Magazine on Wednesday, the U.N head averred that “In just the past few weeks, a renowned investigative journalist was murdered by a bomb that booby-trapped her car; another was dismembered in the course of researching her story; and a photojournalist was found dead after being forced to leave his home at gunpoint.”

He recounted statistics which indicate that from 2006 to 2016, 930 journalists and media workers were killed. “Thousands of others routinely face sexual harassment, intimidation, detention and ill treatment. Rampant impunity then compounds the crimes.  In nine out of ten cases, the perpetrators are never brought to justice, ‘ Secretary Guterres said.

It is in recognition of the far-reaching consequences of impunity, especially of crimes against journalists, the UN General Assembly  IN 2013 adopted Resolution A/RES/68/163 (link is external) at its 68th session in 2013 which proclaimed 2 November as the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’ (IDEI).

That resolution urged all UN Member States to implement definite measures to counter the present culture of impunity. November 2 commemorates the date in 2013 when  two French journalists in Mali were assassinated.

According to Secretary General Guterres, “When journalists are targeted, societies as a whole also pay the price.  The kind of news that gets silenced – corruption, conflicts of interest, illegal trafficking — is exactly the kind of information the public needs to know.”

UN Security Council
UN Security Council Meeting

He disclosed that the United Nations system has also endorsed a Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, adding that “We are committed to helping to create the environment journalists need to perform their vital work.  I am mobilizing a network of focal points from throughout the UN system to propose specific steps to intensify our efforts to enhance the safety of journalists and media workers.”

In solidarity with journalists on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, the UN Secretary General called ” for justice — in memory of all journalists who have been killed, and in recognition of the importance of free and independent media in advancing development and peace,” the press statement said.

Committee To Protect Journalists
Committee To Protect Journalists (CPJ)


In a report entitled CPJ’s 2017 Global Impunity Index which highlights countries where journalists are slain and the killers go free, published at the end of October this year, the Committee To Protect Journalists (CPJ) listed the African nations of Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria.

SOMALIA: Journalists killed with complete impunity in past decade: 26

Getting away with murder: Militant groups like al-Shabaab, government officials.

Targeted for murder: Local journalists covering politics, culture, and war.

Progress: None since early 2016, when military courts sentenced suspects in connection to six murders.

SOUTH SUDAN: Journalists killed with complete impunity in past decade: 5.

Getting away with murder: Unknown.

Targeted for murder: Local journalists covering politics and war.

Progress: None.

NIGERIA: Journalists killed with complete impunity in past decade: 5.

Getting away with murder: Extremist group Boko Haram, unknown assailants.

Targeted for murder: Local journalists covering war, politics, and human rights.

Progress: None.


Video: Courtesy of CPJ

Reporting by Emmanuel Abalo

Philadelphia, PA USA

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West African Journal Magazine

The West African Journal was a major magazine publication in the United States with a focus on the Mano River region and West Africa sub-region during the civil crises in Liberia and neighboring countries during the decades of the 1990s. This was the period when many citizens and others in the sub-region were fleeing their homeland due to conflicts, and the magazine was a reliable source of information covering developments in the region and in the Diaspora.  However, the magazine suspended publication several years ago but is now back. It is, therefore, delightful that The West African Journal has been reactivated. The print edition of the magazine, to be published monthly and distributed in the United States, West Africa, and other parts of the world, will provide analysis of the major events of the period under review. Due to challenges relating to availability of reading materials in the sub-region, a few hundred copies of every edition of the magazine will be distributed free of charge to libraries and reading rooms at schools and institutions of higher learning in the sub-West Africa sub-region. The Journal covers government/politics, economics/international trade/investment and partnerships, women's issues, showcase of tourism and historic attractions in West Africa in particular, and Africa in general, as well as cover the Diaspora, entrepreneurship, among others. The Journal also taps into growing interest in the Unites States regarding resource-rich Africa as the next frontier for global economic progress amid an increasing global competition for access to the continent’s abundant natural resources. The magazine will regularly cover bilateral and multilateral partnerships between the US/multinational agencies and Africa/individual African countries. More importantly, in considering the danger of Climate Change and Global Warming, The Journal serves as a strong and unrelenting advocate to create international awareness regarding Climate Change, especially how West African countries and the African Continent as a whole are being negatively impacted. Through its environmental coverage, The Journal promotes education and awareness for people to be empowered. Our experienced team of editors, reporters and feature writers are excited to bring the stories that impact politics, finance, economy, arts, health, education, climate change, women and youth issues in Africa today. Contact The West African Journal is registered and published in Washington, D.C., U.S.A. Plans are underway to open a bureau office in Liberia, from which operations in other West African countries will be coordinated. Our journalists, who bring decades of high engagement of news and reportage, include former BBC veteran correspondent Isaac D.E. Bantu, former Daily Observer Features Editor and publisher of the West African Journal Joe S. Kappia, and Pana Press Editor Tepitapia K. Sannah, and respected Photo journalist and editor Gregory Stemn. These experienced and internationally-respected journalists ensure a high standard of professional journalism. Information and inquiries for The West African Journal should be directed to the following: Editor-in-Chief; Email: WestAfricanJournalMagazine@gmail.com Isaac D.E. Bantu: Publishing Partner; Email: WestAfricanJournalMagazine@gmail.com Mailing Address: P.O. Box 55053, Washington, D.C. 20040-5053 USA Thank you. Managing Editor