International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists: Joint statement by the High Representative Josep Borrell and Vice-President Věra Jourová

November 2, 2023
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On the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on 2 November, and in the year that marks the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, High Representative Josep Borrell and Vice-President Věra Jourová issued the following statement:

“In these difficult times, marred by wars, conflict and terrorist acts, we recall and praise the essential role played by journalists and media workers in fighting for the truth and for human rights. Journalists contribute to counter disinformation and hate speech and to keep checks and balances on governments and public institutions. They shed light on war crimes and human rights violations, sometimes at the risk of their own lives.

We firmly condemn the killings, physical attacks, arbitrary detentions, online and offline intimidation, harassment, and surveillance, that journalists at times face while exercising their profession. Media worldwide continue to be raided or closed, and journalists are increasingly targeted by legislation that curtails freedom of expression, and by abusive litigation, thus limiting pluralism, editorial independence, and infringing freedom of expression.

There can be no impunity for human rights violations and abuses against journalists. We call to establish national frameworks for the safety of journalists, that include awareness raising, prevention, protection, and prosecution elements, with an attention to include specific measures for women journalists and those belonging to minority groups.

The EU remains committed to support independent journalists and media workers everywhere. We will continue to mobilise all the diplomatic tools at our disposal to raise attention to individual cases of journalists in detention or at risk. We have also established ProtectDefenders.eu to provide journalists at high risk with physical and digital protection, legal support, and relocation.

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Countries covered:

  • Algeria
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Palestine *
  • Syria *
  • Tunisia
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