Following a call given by the Indian Journalists Union (IJU), thousands of journalists across the country on Wednesday observed the ‘International Day against Impunity on crimes against Journalists’, by observing two minutes silence to commemorate the memory of journalists killed in the line of duty.
The United Nations has designated 2 November as the International Day for safety journalists and against impunity on crimes against them, and the Press Council of India (PCI) in a resolution in July 2015 decided to observe the same in the country. It called upon the News Rooms and News Bureaus in all the media organisations to observe two minutes silence in memory of the journalists killed in the line of their duty.
S N Sinha, President, Amar Devulapalli, Secretary-General of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) and Sabina Inderjit, Vice-President, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in a statement expressed grave concern over increasing attacks on journalists in the country.
Four journalists lost their lives this year so far and eight were killed last year. The number of journalists killed in the last two and a half decades crossed 100. However in about 94 percent of cases relating to the murder of journalists, cases were either pending in courts or the culprits were acquitted for lack of evidence. We strongly believe that democracy has no meaning if the journalists are killed with impunity for discharging their democratic duty of informing the people and exercising the freedom of expression on behalf of the people. We demand that a separate law should be enacted for the safety of journalists and for stringent and deterrent punishment to their killers and attackers in the country.IJU statement
The IJU leaders called on the organisations of working journalists and editors to mobilise the support of all democratic sections of the society to achieve a strong legal frame work for the safety of journalists as recommended by the United Nations.