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Photo: Markéta Trnková (©MZV)
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MFA Statement on the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists

 

In 2013 the UN General Assembly proclaimed 2nd November as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. Today, we pay tribute to the journalists who have become victims of attacks and persecutions or have even lost their lives.

According to the UNESCO report, 80 journalists were killed only last year. For the first time, more journalists were murdered in countries not currently experiencing armed conflict than in the warzones.  Investigative journalism, in particular, has unfortunately become one of the most risky professions. In the times of fake news and disinformation campaigns, the importance of independent and professional journalism is increasing.

Journalists face intensive pressure in Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Turkey, Russia, Azerbaijan, Vietnam, Belarus, the Philippines and many other countries. The high number of attacks in all regions of the world prove the vital role of free media who defend basic democratic values and the rule of law. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs therefore regularly calls for proper investigation of these attacks and for full accountability of the perpetrators. The apparent unwillingness of many governments to clearly condemn the attacks against journalists, further aggravated by smear campaigns targeting media, contribute to the increasing vulnerability of journalists. It is unacceptable that 90% of cases of deadly attacks against journalists remain unresolved.

The Czech Republic is fully aware of the importance of independent media, as well as of our commitments to defend freedom of expression and safety of journalists. The MFA actively promotes these principles on international fora as well as bilaterally with individual countries. Through our transition cooperation projects we offer assistance to victims of persecution, help to improve legal environment and provide direct support to independent media. In 2018, we have granted support to independent media of up to 25 million CZK. 

The Czech Republic will continue to stand by journalists, who risk their lives in order to inform the public and hold the governments accountable for their actions.

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