Parties to the European Convention on Human Rights have an obligation to carry out effective investigations into attacks perpetrated against journalists. Alerts submitted on the Safety of Journalists Platform reflect concerns about the cases in which these obligations may not have been met.
24 cases of impunity for murders of journalists
“Journalists who investigate and report on corruption, abuse of power and human rights violations are still being killed in Europe today. Too often these crimes go unpunished.
The Safety of Journalists Platform has recorded 24 cases of impunity for murder of journalists across Council of Europe member states.
Each case tells a story of horror and injustice. It shows ineffective criminal investigations and prosecutions. It points at negligence, inadequate legal frameworks or corruption. It reveals flawed human rights protection, defective rule of law and mistrusted democracy.
Fighting impunity is at the heart of what the Council of Europe stands for. By ratifying the European Convention of Human Rights, member states have undertaken to bring criminals to justice, to conduct prompt and effective investigations. They have also agreed to ensure that journalists can exercise their profession without fear.
I therefore call upon member states to carry out investigations and prosecutions that bring the murderers of journalists to justice. I will work with member states, journalists and civil society to bring domestic laws and practices in compliance with obligations under the Convention.”
Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the Council of Europe
Dunja Mijatović, Commissioner for Human Rights
"In a democracy the citizens have "the right to know". Journalists’ duty is to seek the truth and to make sure that we are properly informed - more so in times where social media do not, or cannot differentiate between truth and lies. However, the context in which journalists and the media operate today is worrying. The number of journalists who are victims of harassment, physical attacks and violence has sharply increased. Furthermore, a large number of these crimes is perpetrated in a false atmosphere of impunity. This is why we, the Council of Europe, have the obligation to protect the "right to know" and ensure that journalists are able to work without restrictions nor fear for their lives."
Rik Daems, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe