IDEI: International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

2 November 2020, the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI), is a day designated by United Nations to publicize the safety of journalist and danger of impunity against journalists. HWPL delivered a short video congratulatory speech to Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) to commemorate this day along with media personnel and journalists from seven countries including South Korea, the United Kingdom, Australia, Egypt, Nepal, Indonesia, and Pakistan who also participated in this event.

HWPL made a request hoping to protect the freedom of expression and safety of journalists stating, “In the midst of an invisible war, everyone who overcomes their own difficulties becomes a hero, and within the current COVID-19 crisis, there is also another invisible hero – they are journalists. Due to the pandemic, some journalists have lost their jobs and have even been deprived of the right to report facts – some were even persecuted and put to death. With no guarantee of safety, these journalists who stand with a noble sense of responsibility to find the truth and make it known to the world are true heroes.”

On this day, Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO remarked, “Journalists are essential in preserving the fundamental right to freedom of expression, guaranteed by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. When journalists are attacked with impunity, there is a breakdown in security and judicial systems for all.”

The main event commemorating IDEI 2020 is the joint session with UNESCO and the Dutch government titled, “Strengthening investigations and prosecutions to end impunity for crimes against journalists” to take place on 10 December 2020. Additionally, more than 18 countries also held events to celebrate this day and global citizens are participating in online campaigns with the hashtags #EndImpunity and #KeepTruthAlive.

According to a report by UNESCO, nearly 1,200 journalists have been killed for reporting the news and bringing information to the public in the past 14 years (2006-2019). On average, this constitutes one death every four days. In nine out of ten cases, the murderers go unpunished.

In 2013, the General Assembly of the United Nations, adopted Resolution A/RES/68/163 proclaiming 2 November as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. The resolution calls on Member States to implement concrete measures to eradicate the culture of impunity. The date that was chosen commemorates the murder of French journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon in Mali on 2 November 2013.

The International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), which is a global network of civil society organizations that defend and promote the right to freedom of expression, declared 23 November as the International Day to End Impunity in 2011. The anniversary was chosen to mark the 2009 Ampatuan massacre (also known as the Maguindanao massacre) – the single deadliest attack against journalists in recent history in which 57 individuals were murdered including 32 journalists and media workers.