UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned of ‘a world of confusion and disinformation’ if journalists are not allowed to work freely.
He also said societies as a whole pay a price when journalists are targeted and their voices are muzzled.
“Without journalists able to do their jobs in safety, we face the prospect of a world of confusion and disinformation,” the UN chief warned in a statement released marking the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’, which falls on Nov 2.
Almost 90 percent of those responsible for the killing of 1,109 journalists around the world from 2006 to 2018 have not been convicted, according to a new Unesco report.
He said without the ability to protect journalists, their ability to remain informed and contribute to decision-making, is severely hampered.
Unesco, in a report said, it has so far recorded fewer killings in 2019 than at the same time last year, with 43 journalist killings condemned by the organisation’s director-general as of October 30, 2019 compared to 90 at the same date in 2018.
The new Unesco report titled ‘Intensified Attacks, New Defences’ has been published marking International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI).
It noted an 18 percent increase in killings of journalists in the past five years (2014-2018) compared to the previous five-year period.
According to the report, the Arab States constituted the deadliest part of the world for journalists (30% of global killings), followed by Latin America and the Caribbean region (26 %) and the Asia and Pacific States (24%).
The report shows that in the past two years (2017-2018), 55% of journalists’ killings took place in non-conflict zones.