National Press Club

Press Club welcomes statements urging end to impunity in the murder of journalists

November 3, 2014 | By Rachel Oswald |

The National Press Club on Nov. 3 warmly welcomed recent calls by the White House and the United Nations to end the widespread impunity that has been the response to the murder of hundreds of journalists around the world.

Since 1992, 632 journalists have been murdered with complete impunity, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. Murder constitutes nearly 70 percent of work-related deaths for journalists, with local reporters making up 96 percent of those deaths, CPJ said.

Nov. 2 marked the first International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists -- an event that the White House used to salute "the priceless contributions by journalists to the freedom and security of us all" and to "demand accountability" against those that have attacked reporters.

David Kaye, U.N. special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of freedom of opinion and expression, observed that "we are in the midst of a very serious crisis. It's not just one attack here and another there; dozens of journalists have been killed and hundreds detained or threatened in recent years. And yet the perpetrators are virtually never held accountable."

"We sincerely appreciate the steps taken by the White House and U.N. General Assembly to spotlight the egregious lack of justice that has become common in the deaths of so many brave reporters around the globe," said NPC President Myron Belkind. "But words alone will not be enough to end this culture of impunity. They must be backed up with concrete actions toward the national governments that fail to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the deaths of journalists."

Among the worst offenders in the failure to bring the killers of journalists to account are Iraq, Syria, Somalia, and the Philippines.