The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
The Secretary-General remains deeply concerned about attacks against journalists and media workers around the world, including in conflict zones. He condemns all attacks and killings of journalists and calls for concerted efforts to tackle widespread impunity for such crimes.
In 2018‑2019, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) documented 67 killings of journalists in countries experiencing armed conflict, among which 23 were directly involved in covering the conflict. Apart from fatal attacks, journalists covering conflicts face a range of other threats including violence leading to injuries, arbitrary detention, denial of visas and restrictions to movement in, across or out of conflict zones.
The fundamental role of journalists in ensuring access to reliable information is essential to achieving durable peace, sustainable development and human rights. The Secretary-General recalls that civilians, including civilian journalists engaged in professional missions in areas of armed conflict, must be respected and protected under international humanitarian law. He calls on all parties to conflict, and the international community as a whole, to protect journalists and enable conditions for the exercise of their profession.