The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, has called on the Nigerian Government to uphold the Rule of Law and join the global effort to end all forms of impunity for crimes against journalists.
The Chairperson of the Cross River State chapter of NAWOJ, Comrade Umo Basi-Edet made the call in a statement to mark the 2021 International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists in Calabar, the capital of the State.
Basi-Edet said the UNESCO observatory of killed journalists revealed that between 2006 and 2020, more than 1,200 journalists were killed around the world, with close to 9 out of 10 cases of these killings remaining judicially unresolved.
“Impunity leads to more killings and is often a symptom of worsening conflict and the breakdown of law and judicial systems,” she said.
The Chairperson stated that “NAWOJ is concerned over the increasing level of impunity for crimes against journalists not only in the state, but across the country as several journalists get manhandled, abused, harassed, maimed or killed in the course of their duties.
All hands on deck
She urged governments at the federal, state and local council levels, civil societies, the media, and everyone to uphold the rule of law and join the global efforts to end impunity.
Basi-Edet reasoned that impunity was not without severe consequences, stating “it is in recognition of the far-reaching consequences of impunity, especially of crimes against journalists that the UNESCO Resolution urged member states to implement definite measures countering the present culture of impunity.
“New data showed that the level of impunity for crimes against journalists was extremely high globally at about 87 percent rate, which is higher than in previous years.
It shows that threats of violence against the media especially journalists are on the rise,” she lamented.
She urged that it was therefore imperative for everyone to stand with the journalists today and end impunity for crimes against journalists to guarantee freedom of expression and access to information for all citizens.
NAWOJ Seeks End to Violence against Media and Journalists