International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists 2022:
November 2nd has been observed as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI) since 2013. The day came into existence when the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed a resolution in December 2013. The day draws attention to impunity, i.e., culprits going unpunished, to crimes against journalists. It took a couple of years of work and extensive lobbying from IFEX (formerly International Freedom of Expression Exchange) and others to get the Resolution for marking the day passed.
International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists 2022: Theme
The main event to celebrate the 2022 International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists is a High-Level Multi-Stakeholder Conference on the Safety of Journalists with the theme “Protecting Media to Protect Democracy” in Vienna, Austria. This year’s slogan is Knowing the “Truth is Protecting the Truth”.
International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists 2022: Significance
IDEI brings attention to crimes against media persons and how criminals often get away with such offences. To observe the day, states are urged to do their best to contain violence against journalists, to ensure accountability, and bring perpetrators to justice.
The day is significant as putting a stop to impunity for crimes against journalists is a pre-requisite to guaranteeing freedom of expression and upholding justice in society. Continued impunity would not only result in more killings. It is also a sign of heightening conflict and the breakdown of law and judicial systems.
International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists: History
The date for IDEI was chosen to commemorate the assassination of two journalists in Mali on November 2, 2013. Al Qaida claimed responsibility for the death and kidnapping of French media workers Claude Verlon and Ghislaine Dupont. The culprits remain unapprehended to this day. Official figures show a grim picture for other journalists as well. According to UNESCO’s observatory of killed journalists, between 2006 and 2020, over 1,200 journalists were killed for doing their job. In 90% of these cases, the killers went unpunished.
Observation of the day is especially important in India, where 2021 was one of the deadliest years for Indian journalists in the past decade. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, six journalists were killed in the country between 2021 and 2022.