TOM – The Ossigeno’s Monitor on safety for journalists – 17 OCTOBER 2022

TOM – The Ossigeno’s Monitor reports of news of particular interest on the activities of institutions and associations committed to defending the freedom of the press and the safety of journalists– 17 OCTOBER 2022

17 October 2022 – Here is a brief review of some topics highlighted recently by NGO and international organisations for media freedom and safety of journalists. 

UNITED NATIONS – A new resolution on the safety of journalists was adopted by consensus at the UN Human Rights Council on 6 October 2022. The resolution introduces new commitments on strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs), expressing concern about the rise of these lawsuits to exercise pressure, intimidate or exhaust the resources and morale of journalists, and calling on governments to take appropriate measures. The resolution welcomes the work of UNESCO for the Safety of journalists and specially the Windhoek+30 Declaration. Read more.

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS. The Committee to Protect Journalists has warned against the development of high-tech “zero-click” spyware like the Pegasus program, which may lead to a crisis of journalism and compromise the future of press freedom on a global scale. In a recently published report, CPJ reported that the mere fear of surveillance has already had a chilling effect on journalists and media operators’ ability to report the news. Read more. 

THE INTERNATIONAL FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION EXCHANGE (IFEX). On the anniversary of the assassination of investigative journalist and anti-corruption campaigner Daphne Caruana Galizia, IFEX lamented the lack of implementation of the recommendations made by the Public Inquiry into Caruana Galizia’s assassination, and the exclusion of structured public consultations on proposed legal amendments relating to the safety of journalists and SLAPPs. Justice is still to be achieved. Read more.

THE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF JOURNALISTS (IFJ). IFJ President Dominique Pradalié joined the activists on 8 October 2022 around the Palace of Westminster to oppose the extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. During the manifestation, Predaliè warned that “if Assange goes to jail, there is not a journalist on earth who will be safe” and urged the British government to bring this persecution to an end. Approximately 7,000 people joined hands to form a chair around the Houses of Parliament in support of Julian Assange. Read more.

UNESCO. To commemorate both the 2022 International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists and the 10-year Anniversary of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, UNESCO will organize a two-day high-level conference on 3-4 November 2022 in Vienna, Austria. The first day will be a pre-conference during which Non-State Actors will convene to share lessons and best practices in the implementation of the UN Plan and discuss strategies of tackling emerging issues. The second day will be a Ministerial conference during which political commitment towards the implementation for the UN Plan will be renewed. Read more. 

OSCE MEDIA FREEDOM REPRESENTATIVE. OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Teresa Ribeiro expressed concerns on the dire situation of prominent journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov, who were awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize last year. Ribeiro underlines that their cases illustrate that not even a Nobel Peace Prize can protect from attacks and illegitimate persecution of journalists and independent media. There is an imminent need to further step up to enhance media freedom and the safety of journalists as there cannot be security without media freedom. Read more. 

COUNCIL OF EUROPE. The Council of Europe held a two-day regional conference “Media in times of war” in Tbilisi, Georgia on 12-13 October 2022. The aim of the conference was to provide media representatives from Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Azerbaijan and Armenia with a platform to discuss common media challenges in times of war and ways to overcome them. Since February 2022, public authorities, journalists and media operators in the region experienced new challenges and acceleration of existing trends, such as countering disinformation, fighting the growth and uncontrollability of hate speech, challenges to the safety of journalists, expanding restrictions, spreading propaganda, as well as difficulties in war coverage.  Read more. 

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