UNESCO Report Condemns Impunity in Killings of Journalist in Nigeria, Globally

Media Rights Agenda
By Media Rights Agenda October 31, 2014 16:06 Updated

UNESCO Report Condemns Impunity in Killings of Journalist in Nigeria, Globally

The United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has released its biennial report on the Safety of Journalists and Danger of Impunity which analysed and condemned the 593 killings of journalists globally and in Nigeria between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2013.

The report was submitted to the Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication’s (IPDC) in accordance with its decision on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity at its 28th Session in March 2014.

According to the report, 2012 constitutes the deadliest year for journalists since the report was first compiled in 2008 with 123 killings. In 2013, the overall number of killings was 91 deaths which according to the UNESCO report is a decrease by a quarter compared to 2012. However, this figure still represents the second highest number of killed journalists since the report was first presented.

The report states that: “The vast majority of the 593 journalists killed over this period have been local (around 94 percent). Approximately 94 percent of all killed journalists are men. Nevertheless women journalists face specific risks in their work including sexual attacks and harassment which is not reflected in the statistics of fatal attacks.”

Overall, the Arab States region registered the highest number of killings of journalists at 190 deaths (32 percent) of the total. Asia and the Pacific region accounted for 179 deaths (30 percent), Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region for 123 deaths (21 percent), African region for 76 deaths (13 percent), and Europe and the North America region for 25 deaths (4 percent). The report noted that the number of killings which took place in the Africa region has remained static with the exception of the 2012 and 2013 which had seen an increase.

Since UNESCO began requesting information for the Director General’s reports to IPDC, covering the period of killings from 2006 onwards and up until the end of 2013, 35 out of 62 countries where killing(s) of journalist(s) had taken place, responded to the Director-General’s requests for information.

 In terms of the numbers of journalists killed, the Director-General cumulatively received information on 209 out of 593 cases of the killings of journalists over the period from 2006 to 2013. Out of the total of 593 cases, the received information showed that 38 cases were resolved, representing 6.4 percent of the total. Of the remainder, 171 cases or 28.8 percent were still ongoing in various stages of judicial inquiry, and no information was received concerning 384 cases or 64.8 percent of the cases.

For Nigeria, UNESCO publication reported that the following journalists were killed and the status of judicial inquiry and investigation of their deaths was not available since Nigeria had not acknowledged or responded to the UNESCO’s official request to provide information concerning the status of the investigation. They are:

Godwin Agbroko

22-Dec-06

Paul Abayomi Ogundeji

17-Aug-08

Bayo Ohu

20-Sep-09

Zakariya Isa

22-Oct-11

Nansok Sallah

18-Jan-12

Enenche Akogwu

20-Jan-12

Ikechukwu Udendu

12-Jan-13

Broken down by region, two out of 76 cases which took place in Africa were resolved (representing a rate of 2.6 percent); two out of 190 cases (1 percent) were resolved in the Arab States region; 12 out of 179 cases (6.7 percent) were resolved in the Asia and the Pacific region; ten out of 25 (40 percent) cases were resolved in Europe; and 12 out of 123 cases (9.8 percent) were resolved in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to promote freedom of expression and press freedom. The constitution of the organization explicitly includes a mission “to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image”. Fulfillment of this has included a long-standing commitment to foster the safety of journalists in the exercise of their work, as a prerequisite of a free, pluralistic and independent media. UNESCO has led, within the UN system, the implementation of a comprehensive UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity which aims at protection and promotion of safety of journalists, both for preventing violence and for fighting impunity for crimes against journalists.

Media Rights Agenda
By Media Rights Agenda October 31, 2014 16:06 Updated
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