Delegates at the African Investigative Journalists Conference (AIJC) 2022, in a declaration adopted at the conference, have called on African Governments and Authorities to make it a top priority to act and commit the political will necessary to combat impunity for crimes against journalists.
The delegates also reiterated that combating impunity should not be limited to killings only but other attacks as well.
In the declaration adopted at the conference, it was stated that “too often governments claim to stand for press freedom, yet their allocation of resources to investigations of attacks on the media remains lacking.
“Empty words will not fill the open wounds of a journalist beaten on the job or the empty seat at the kitchen table of a reporter gunned down in reprisal for their investigations. Attacks on the press are never justified, but when they happen there must be justice.”
Impunity prevails in far too many cases where journalists are attacked for their work. When no one is held accountable for violence against the press, it sends a chilling message to others that may seek to bluntly censor reporting and deny the public access to information.
The declaration which identified the increase in the attack against journalists as alarming noted that Africa’s media have come to know impunity as the norm, not the exception.