Recent global events have highlighted the fact that journalists and media workers reporting on human rights issues are particularly vulnerable to threats and attacks, an independent United Nations expert said on Wednesday and called for greater protection for those who carry out such vital work.
“Because of the potential impact on society that journalists and media workers can have by disseminating information about human rights through a wide array of media, those individuals are often threatened, wounded and killed in an attempt to silence their voices,” stated Margaret Sekaggya, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.
“Their work is of extreme importance in holding Governments accountable. However, those same Governments often crack down on them, including through threats, harassment, arrests, detentions and in the worst of cases killings,” she added in the report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council, which is currently meeting in Geneva.
“States should publically recognise the role of these defenders and ensure prompt and impartial investigations and the prosecution of those responsible for violations against them,” she wrote.