U.N. Human Rights Council resolution defends the press

New York, September 27, 2012–The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes today’s passage of a Human Rights Council Resolution on the Safety of Journalists. The resolution represents a robust effort to secure action that will safeguard journalists and deliver justice if they are killed.

“We are encouraged by this resolution, which recognizes that the price of reporting is high and that an assault on a journalist is a violation of our collective right to be informed,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “On average, more than 30 journalists are murdered every year, and the murderers go unpunished in nearly nine of 10 cases. This promising resolution seeks to tackle impunity in the killing of journalists and to safeguard their ability to report without fear of physical or legal reprisal.”

More than 20 journalists have been killed while covering the conflict in Syria and four Somali journalists recently lost their lives within 24 hours, both glaring examples of the need for action to protect the press. CPJ research shows that it is overwhelmingly local journalists working on local stories who are targeted and censored, whether by violence, intimidation, or sophisticated online censorship tactics, or through laws meant to punish and silence critical information.

The resolution, passed today by the 47-member body, was introduced by Austria, Brazil, Morocco, Tunisia, and Switzerland.