This Week at Index: Crimes against journalists must be punished
01 Nov 2019

Friday 1 November 2019

Crimes against journalists must be punished

In the past 12 years, more than 1,000 journalists have been killed around the world for reporting the news. In nine out of 10 cases their killers have gone unpunished. November 2 is the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, and Index on Censorship is one of many voices calling on governments to ensure that such crimes do not go unpunished.
Earlier this week, the case of murdered Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was moved to the Council of Europe’s category of journalists killed with impunity. Hers is one of 35 open cases on that file – some dating back 20 years – and under the banner #TruthNeverDies, UNESCO is also urging us to share her story, and those of others still to receive justice.
Earlier this month Index called for the release of Tanzanian journalist Erick Kabendera, a former magazine contributor who is being held in prison on charges of money laundering and connections to organised crime.

And the magazine also recently reported on new calls to reopen the case of Northern Ireland journalist Martin O’Hagan, who was killed 18 years ago. The northern editor of the Sunday World, Richard Sullivan, expressed frustration that prosecutors dropped the case in 2013, saying reporters continued to receive regular death threats from paramilitaries.
More news and features from Index on Censorship

Getting the truth out – whatever the cost

As a journalist in Cameroon, Mimi Mefo had to choose between telling the news in the way the authorities wanted her to – and feeling her integrity would be compromised – or reporting what was happening and risking censure, intimidation and worse. She chose the latter – and paid the price – and she carries on fighting for a world where the press is free: “When I go to bed at night, I often sleep peacefully, because I know I am doing the right thing.”

Mefo, winner of Index’s 2019 Freedom of Expression Awards Fellow in the Journalism category, spoke as she gave the Carlos Cardoso Memorial Lecture at the African Investigative Journalism Conference at Wits University, in Johannesburg. Quoting Nelson Mandela she added: “A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference.”

Index on the road

Index staff and representatives will be out and about over the next week at various events around Europe.

This weekend, magazine editor Rachael Jolley and deputy editor Jemimah Steinfeld will head to Berlin for the 30th European Meeting of Cultural Journals, where commemorative events to mark 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall will take place as part of the event, which brings together journalists, researchers and other culture and media professionals. The conference will also look at the development of Europe over the last three decades since the revolutions.

CEO Jodie Ginsberg will be at The Barbican, London, speaking at the Battle of Ideas festival – two days of thought-provoking discussions on all manner of subjects with more than 450 speakers and more than 100 debates. Her talk, From domestics to banter: Is anything private anymore? is at 10am on Saturday 2 November in the Garden Room.

And finally Jessica Ní Mhainín, Policy Research and Advocacy Officer, will be at The World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg from November 6 to 8. The theme is “Is democracy in danger in the information age?” and it's a unique platform for political decision-makers and activists to debate solutions to key challenges for democracies worldwide.
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