The United Nations(UN) has designated this day, November 2, as an International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. The designation is fitting to sound the alarm over the number of journalists killed - 930 in the past 11 years, and those censored for reporting the news.
If the number of murdered journalists is not sickening enough, then, more appalling are the statistics released by UNESCO that show a journalist dies every four-days and the stark reality that in nine-out-of-10 cases, the killers of the journalists go unpunished because of impunity.
UNESCO points to the fact that impunity "leads to more killings and is often a symptom of worsening conflict and the breakdown of law and judicial systems." In a released statement on its website commemorating today's designation as International Day to End Impunity against Journalists, UNESCO observed that "impunity damages whole societies by covering up serious human rights abuses, corruption and crime"
Today's designation was approved by the UN General Assembly at its 68th Session in 2013 to call upon UN Member States to implement definite measures to counter the present culture of impunity. November 2 was chosen in commemoration of the assassination of French journalists - Ghislaine Dupont, 57 and Claude Verlon, 55, who were kidnapped and murdered in the northern town of Kidal, Mali, on November 2, 2013.
Yet, in spite of the designation and the sounding of the alarm, as recent as October 16, this year, Maltese journalist - Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, was assassinated via a car bomb close to her home in Malta. She had fearlessly pursued corruption within her Malta. Will anyone ever be brought to justice for her killing?
If UNESCO's figures of impunity and of the failings of prosecutions of journalists' killers stand, then it appears likely that another journalist death will go unprosecuted.
However, this International Day to End the Impunity for Crimes against Journalists 2017, must stand for and demand prosecutions for the death and censorships of all journalists and of all those who work to inform the public of vile undertakings across the globe.