The safety of journalists: an urgent concern - May 02 2018

The safety of journalists: an urgent concern  

The safety of journalists has become an increasingly urgent issue because the scale of violence against journalists, including murders, attacks leading to serious injuries and cases of intimidation, has grown significantly over recent years with far-reaching effects.

Other means of suppressing independent news media, for example through arbitrary arrests and prosecutions, oppressive political and commercial pressures, and suffocating forms of official regulation, have also become commonplace for journalists working within the region. Those actions also give rise to fear and insecurity among journalists and other members of the media and have a chilling effect on freedom of expression within whole societies. 

The universal right of freedom of opinion and expression includes the right both to impart, seek and to receive information. Violence, harassment and intimidation directed against journalists represent an attack on democracy itself. They have the effect of stifling freedom of the media and freedom of expression, depriving people of the ability to make informed decisions about issues that affect their lives. 

The safety of the media is a precondition for free media, as journalists cannot write or report freely and independently without safe working conditions.