Escalation in the number of attacks against journalists
The Centre for Defending Freedom of Journalists (CDFJ) in Jordan has called for a review of legislation that provides impunity to those who attack freedom of the press.
In a statement, the centre said: \"grave violations against journalists in recent years have began, taking the form of torture, inhumane acts, physical and verbal assaults.\" They believe that there was an escalation in the number of attacks against journalists during the recent Arab Spring, adding: \"the attacks did not come by accident but were the result of deliberate policies and methodology.\"
The chief executive of CDFJ said some of the attacks happened in front of security men with their knowledge. Nidal Mansour said: \"the attacks were committed by the thugs in front of the security men, and sometimes with their knowledge. They did not arrest any of them.\"
Mansour called on all non-governmental organisations on the global and regional levels to coordinate their efforts and exchange information with each other for the prosecution of offenders. He pointed out the cross-border nature of the offence, saying: \"the killing or torture of journalists is a crime in international law, and obliges states to prosecute perpetrators of such crimes regardless of where they occurred or the nationality of the perpetrators.\"
More than 600 journalists have been killed in the last ten years, according to a UNESCO report. Worryingly, only five percent of all cases of murder end with conviction of the perpetrators.
November 23 every year is marked as International Day to End Impunity. The date was chosen to commemorate the anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre, that took place in the Philippines in 2009 and claimed the lives of 58 people, including 32 journalists.