FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
STOP IMPUNITY AGAINST FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION PRACTIONERS
Africa Freedom of Information Centre condemns the impunity against freedom of expression practitioners in Africa and World over. Over the years we have witnessed increased attack on freedom of expression through killings, harassment and intimidation of journalists in particular. This is quite often perpetrated by state agencies and officials, militia groups, individuals connected to power and dealers whose interests are threatened by the work of journalists in their cardinal role of informing the public.
Over the past ten years, 827 journalists have been killed, more than 100 in Africa during the course of their duty. Thousands have been violently attacks, intimidated or equipment confiscated. Disturbingly, there has been systematic lack of political will to investigate and punish perpetrators. In Africa, only 4 out of 104 cases of the killings have been investigated and resolved.
Growing cases of harassment, intimidation, assault and killings of journalists by state agencies and its militia is a worrying trend especially in countries like The Gambia, Kenya, Angola, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leon, Niger and Guinea that are preparing for general elections between December 2016 and end of 2017.
Such incidences are contrary to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations, adopted in 1948, reads:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
And Article 9 (2) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights which states that,
“Every individual shall have the right to express and disseminate his opinions within the law.”
This video, “Stop Impunity Against Journalists” documents and highlights impunity against journalists in Africa.
AFIC urges all member states to the African Union to protect and ensure the safety of journalists and stop harassing, intimidating, assaulting and killing of journalists but respect and observe the Freedom of expression and the right to know which is a fundamental right protected by international law and national frameworks.