Human Rights Commissioner: Democracies must do more to protect journalists

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Source: N1

Impunity for crimes against journalists must not be accepted as a "status quo" in democratic societies and that the fight for free journalists must become everyone's concern, Council of Europe's Human Rights Commissioner Dunja Mijatovic said after the presentation of the book titled "A Mission to Inform: Journalists at Risk Speak Out," organized by the Council of Europe.

Mijatovic said that the number of journalists killed for their reporting has been growing rapidly over the last ten years, which is a global problem with long-term consequences.

Demanding from European countries to be proactive in the application and sharing of good practices in order to protect journalists, Mijatovic noted that without free journalists, citizens are denied the right to receive information and that democracy cannot function well.

“The fight for safe and free journalists must be everyone's concern, not just journalists’,” said Mijatovic, adding that she would advocate and work on “Europe being a slightly safer place for journalists.”

She pointed out that the widespread impunity for crimes against journalists is even more worrying, which shows the inability of the state to condemn “those who want to kill the truth.”

Despite media freedom being guaranteed by many regulations, Mijatovic concluded she did not see the real desire and willingness of political leaders to protect it.