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NUJ holds candle-lit vigils for Jamal Khashoggi

1 November 2018

A silent, candle-lit vigil was held by the NUJ outside the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, London, on the eve of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

“This vigil is to mark the contribution to journalism and principled values of Jamal Khashoggi and to protest to the Saudi authorities, implicated in his murder, of our deep shock and anger at his violent killing. The current spectacle of world leaders targeting journalists and their work is something that should unite us in outrage.
"Media workers being used as pawns in geo-political game-playing or exploited as political leverage is disgraceful and unacceptable.The global journalistic community today faces an international climate that is ever more febrile and increasingly fraught with danger. According to the grim tally kept by the International Federation of Journalists 74 journalists and media staff have been killed to date this year - in the past six years that rises to more than 600 lives lost. Nine in ten of those cases remain unpunished. Killers of journalists who have paid the ultimate price for their work are walking around freely.
“On the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, we will remember our murdered colleagues and their commitment to media freedom, their integrity and collective legacy. We will be demanding an end to impunity and for all governments be committed to ensuring safety and justice for journalists. That is also why we are working with the International Federation of Journalists to campaign for a UN Convention for the Protection of Journalists. 
"Without safety, without consequences for threats attacks and crimes against journalists, a climate of fear, intimidation, censorship and self-censorship is perpetuated that undermines press freedom and the public’s right to know. We must work collectively to turn that fear into anger and action, as a lasting testament and tribute to Jamal and to every single journalist targeted and killed.”

Saudi Arabian embassy dublin
Dublin vigil                   ©Derek Speirs

The NUJ also held a similar vigil at the Saudi embassy in Dublin.

Séamus Dooley said: "Today only one out of 10 killings of journalists is resolved. In Ireland we still await a conviction for the murder of Sunday World journalist Martin O’Hagan. Those behind the murder of Veronica Guerin have escaped conviction for her killing.

"In mourning Jamal we are also shining a light on the manner in which governments throughout the world have failed to protect journalists and journalism."

Video of vigil in the Irish Times

The International Federation of Journalists’ (IFJ) #endimpunity campaign 2018 aims to hold governments and de facto governments accountable for their impunity records and to denounce crimes targeting journalists that remain unpunished. Murder is the highest form of these crimes but all attacks targeting journalists that remain unpunished must be exposed and acted on. In the past 6 years, more than 600 journalists have been killed and so far in 2018, at least 74. Today only one out of 10 killings of journalists are resolved. The NUJ is supporting the IFJ proposal for an International Convention on the Safety and Independence of Journalists and other Media professionals.

Tags: , international, ifj, jamal khashoggi, vigil, International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, UN Convention for the Protection of Journalists