End impunity campaign
© International Federation of Journalists
26 October 2015
The International Federation of Journalists global campaign to End Impunity and hold world governments and de facto authorities accountable for crimes targeting journalists.
The campaign runs every year from 2 November, the UN day against impunity for crime targeting journalists, to 23 November. The UN Day to end impunity was adopted on 18 December 2013 to be marked 2 November, the anniversary of the killings of two RFI reporters, Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, murdered in Kidal, Mali in 2013.
It comes ahead of 23 November, which commemorates the 2009 Maguindanao massacre in the Philippines when at least 32 journalists lost their lives in the single deadliest attack on media. All attacks targeting journalists that remain unpunished must be denounced.
The 2015 campaign had a specific emphasis on four countries:
In Mexico: 50 journalists and press workers have lost their lives in the course of their profession since 2010 in Mexico. According to the Mexican 'National Human Rights Commission' (CNDH) around 89 per cent of cases of aggression are not solved.
In Yemen: IFJ has also recorded 15 journalists killed in Yemen since 2011, ten of whom have died in 2015. In addition, 14 reporters remain captive as a consequence of the fighting between the Houthis, the Saudi led-coalition and al-Qaida. None of the perpetrators of the killings has been brought to justice.
In the Philippines: the IFJ regrets that not a single person has been convicted for their involvement since the 2009 Ampatuan Massacre of 32 journalists in the Philippines. Forty media workers were killed since 2009, including 7 in 2015, which makes the country the deadliest for journalists in South Asia.
In Ukraine: Fifteen years after the body of Ukrainian journalist Georgy Gongadze was found beheaded in the forest outside Kiev, a recent report on the violations against journalists in the country records 8 killings, 125 intimidations, 322 assaults, 162 attempts of censorship and 196 cases of impeding activities since the beginning of 2014. If 54 investigations were launched, only three cases passed to court.
Jim Boumelha, IFJ president, said:
"Today only one out of 10 killings in the media is investigated. We urge all our affiliates to get involved in our campaign to denounce impunity, support our actions and run their own activities to show solidarity to those who struggle for telling the truth and their loved ones.
"Impunity not only endangers journalists. It imperils democracy and the right for the public to know. It is more than time for bringing those who kill the messengers to justice and we must relentlessly hold governments accountable for this."
What you can do to help:
- Take a workplace picture or selfie with the poster and tweet it to us at @IFJGlobal and @NUJofficial hashtag: #endimpunity. See some of the tweets already sent.
- Tweet the governments and leaders in the countries where journalists don't get justice
- Hold a minute's silence in or outside of your workplace
- Organise a collection at your next union meeting, in the newsroom or work office to raise money for the IFJ safety fund
- Contact your MP via the They Work For You website and ask them to sign EDM 630: END IMPUNITY FOR CRIMES TARGETING JOURNALISTS
- Add the campaign images to Facebook as your Cover Photo and Twitter as your Header photo. You can save the English language image for Facebook on the right.
- Facebook and Twitter images in three language languages (EN, FR, ES) can be downloaded from the IFJ website.
IFJ safety fund donations -
Donations can be sent to the IFJ International Safety Fund on the following account:
The Safety Fund
a/c BE64 2100 7857 0052
Swift Code: GEBABEBB
BNP PARIBAS FORTIS BANK, Rond Point Schuman 10, 1040 Brussels.
Online secure donations can also be made through PayPal on the IFJ safety website.
There can be no press freedom where journalists work in fear.
Download the End Impunity poster (pictured above).
The TUC executive committee pledge support for the End Impunity campaign, November 2015. In the picture starting from the left: Paul Nowak - assistant general secretary of the TUC, Kay Carberry CBE - assistant general secretary of the TUC, Frances O’Grady - general secretary of the TUC, Liz Snape MBE - assistant general secretary of UNISON and current president of the TUC, Sheila Bearcroft MBE - GMB, Dave Ward - general secretary of the CWU, Mary Bousted - general secretary of ATL, Gail Cartmail - assistant general secretary of Unite and Simon Weller - national organiser at Aslef.
Watch the 2014 IFJ video explaining the campaign:
According to IFJ statistics, 118 journalists lost their lives when carrying out their duties in 2014.
In 2013, the IFJ published letters calling for an end to impunity and put a specific emphasis on three countries:
In Iraq, at least 300 journalists have been killed since the US invasion in 2003. While the levels of killings have receded in recent years from their peak in mid 2000s and the country has gradually returned to normality under the control of the central government, not a single case of journalists' killings has been investigated to identify and punish the killers.
In Russia, it is estimated that at least 124 journalists and media workers have died in work related killings since 1991. While the authorities initiated investigations in some cases, these have been few and far between and led to even fewer convictions of journalists' killers.
In Pakistan, the highest journalists' death tolls were recorded for two years running in 2010 and 2011, with 16 and 11 killed respectively. While the authorities initiated investigations in some cases, there have been no arrests or prosecutions against the perpetrators of these crimes.
Specific cases of killed journalists which remain unsolved in the countries in 2013 included the cases of Pakistani reporter Wali Khan Babar, who was killed in 2011 in a seemingly targeted attack by a political group, leading Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was killed in 2007, and former president of the Iraqi Journalists' Syndicate Shihab al-Timimi, who was gunned down in 2008.
The campaign was agreed by the IFJ world congress in Dublin in June 2013 and called for the IFJ to mobilise support against the impunity for violence targeting journalists.
We want the End Impunity campaign to make a lasting difference in addressing the issue of impunity for killings of journalists around the world.
IFJ world congress: Silent march honours killed journalists