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Over 30 journalists killed in targeted attacks so far this year: UN

A photojournalist at work during a protest against harassment, killings and other attacks on journalists while on duty on September 8, 2016. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG
A photojournalist at work during a protest against harassment, killings and other attacks on journalists while on duty on September 8, 2016. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG 

Two United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteurs on Wednesday warned that the world is witnessing a downward spiral of attacks on journalists, saying that so far this year more than 30 journalists had lost their lives to targeted attacks globally.

Speaking ahead of the November 2 International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, the Special Rapporteurs on arbitrary, summary and extrajudicial executions, Agnes Callamard, and on freedom of expression, David Kaye, called on States to take actions in this regard.

"In addition to taking individual lives and depriving family members of their loved ones, these attacks aim to destroy the public watchdog role of journalism that is essential to democratic society," they said in a statement issued Wednesday.

According to them, the attacks on journalism are widespread and deplorable.

"When authorities fail to follow up such attacks with independent and impartial investigations that can bring perpetrators to justice, the killers and their allies achieve their objectives," they said.

The attacks need to stop, they said, adding that so too does the public demonization of reporting and specific media outlets and reporters by political leaders at the highest levels.

"Our societies cannot afford to continue this downward spiral of attacks against journalists. We urge all States - in word and action - to devote resources to reverse this trend," they noted.

A United Nations General Assembly resolution in 2013 designated November 2 the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.

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