Congo-Kinshasa: Workshop On the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists in Goma

press release

The Strategic Communications and Public Information Division Goma in collaboration with other Partners has organized a workshop to commemorate the International Day to end Impunity for crimes against Journalist on 2 November 2018.

The Workshop Participants reflected about the security of Journalists in North Kivu by OMEC, the updates and legal framework on the security of Journalists and the presentation of security of Journalists by Human Rights council adopted in 2014 by MONUSCO Human Rights Section

In his opening remarks during the workshop at the William Elachi Press Center,

Amadou Ba said that Since 2006, UNESCO has condemned the murders of 1010 Journalists and media professionals simply because they were trying to inform the public and keep them informed.

Many perished accidentally in the conflicts they so bravely covered but too many have been murdered just because they wanted to make the truth known and have been silenced. Of all these only 10% of these cases are reported and less than one in 10 of these crimes are properly investigated.

This day Amadou stressed should be remembered, was instituted in 2013 by the General Assembly of the United Nations, at its 68th session, following the assassination in Kidal in Mali, of the two French Journalists Ghislaine DUPONT and Claude VERLON.

This historic resolution condemns all attacks and violence against Journalists and media workers and it also urges Member States to do their utmost to prevent, report, bring to justice the perpetrators of crimes against Journalists and media workers, and to ensure that victims have appropriate remedy.

The Resolution further calls on States to promote a safe and conducive environment in which journalists can carry out their work independently and without undue interference.

The Acting Head of Office for MONUSCO North Kivu Julius Fondong on his part said that Journalists are often the first to pay when freedoms are violated. The press he added has thus become the permanent defendant in many countries and It is in recognition of the profound consequences of impunity, especially crimes against Journalists, that the United Nations has declared November 2 as International Day Against Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.

"This day is therefore of great importance for United Nations agencies, governments, the media and civil society, as well as for potential new actors in an area where, so far, there has been no opportunity to deal with problems in a synergistic way' he went on.

Julius Fundong used the occasion to pay homage in the memory of all women and media men who died in the exercise of their noble profession both in Africa and more particularly in North Kivu and elsewhere in the world.

"Attacks against Journalists constitute a violation of human rights and undermine freedom of information and expression in all societies he said"

The representative of the Observatory of Media and Communication (OMEC) Benx Kalondji Painted a very negative balance-sheet on Journalists activities in North Kivu with statistics of incidents and arrests of Journalists who were exercising their duty.

This was followed by the presentation of the legal framework on the safety of Journalists in the DRC and the question of impunity in Congolese law by Judge Bitakala Uleya.

and the presentation of security of Journalists by Human Rights council adopted in 2014 presented by MONUSCO Human Rights Section by Timothe Katumba.

It should however be recalled that on this special day November 02 the International day of impunity for crimes committed against Journalists, the Media Men and Women also remembered late colleagues Serge Maheshe and Didace Namujimbo as well as Chamwami Shalubuto and all those who lost their lives in the exercise of this noble profession.

A profession as mentioned by the UN Secretary-General in his message of commemoration of this day says that "Just for this year 2018, at least 88 women and men journalists have been killed".

While Thousands of others have been attacked, harassed, detained or imprisoned for spurious reasons, in violation of legality.

The Workshop ended with a question and answered session

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