On the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists Worldwide 2023, the Network of Peace Journalists (NPJ) has called for the enactment of laws to protect journalists from impunity, torture, and physical attacks perpetrated by thugs and aggrieved groups.
Ibrahima Yakubu, the team leader of the NPJ, in a statement on Thursday, also called for the release of all journalists in captivity across the globe.
According to the NPJ, ending impunity for crimes against journalists is essential to ensuring freedom of expression and access to information for all citizens worldwide. Journalists across the world face numerous threats, including kidnapping, torture, physical attacks, and harassment, particularly in the digital sphere.
The NPJ stressed that cases of killed and missing journalists are becoming increasingly worrisome. The group highlighted the urgent need for the enactment of laws to protect journalists from all forms of threats and intimidation.
“Recently, a journalist was killed in Zamfara State, Nigeria, and over 20 journalists have been killed in Israel and Palestine this year,” the statement noted.
The NPJ called on all security agents worldwide to cease allowing themselves to be used to suppress, oppress, and intimidate journalists. The group also called on paramilitary forces to redouble their efforts in protecting citizens and journalists across the globe.
“Journalists play a crucial role in shedding light on the growth and shortcomings of a country and serve as the voice of the masses. They should be allowed to carry out their duties without fear of reprisal,” Yakubu said.
Impunity for crimes against journalists leads to more killings and is often a symptom of worsening conflict and the breakdown of law and judicial systems. Threats of violence and attacks against journalists create a climate of fear for media professionals, hindering the free circulation of information, opinions, and ideas for all citizens. Women journalists, in particular, are impacted by threats and attacks, especially those made online.
The NPJ expressed their gratitude to the Committee for the Protection of Journalists, the Press Council of Nigeria, and other human rights organizations for their commitment to protecting journalists.
While calling on citizens to be patriotic, the NPJ also urged everyone to refrain from promoting fake news.