News / Africa

UN Hears Demands for Protection of Journalists

A panel of journalists and diplomats addresses a United Nations Security Council meeting on the protection of civilians in armed conflict and the protection of journalists, at U.N. headquarters in New York, July 17, 2013.
A panel of journalists and diplomats addresses a United Nations Security Council meeting on the protection of civilians in armed conflict and the protection of journalists, at U.N. headquarters in New York, July 17, 2013.
Larry Freund
Journalists and United Nations diplomats addressed the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday to demand increased protection for those in the journalism profession.

Jan Eliasson, the United Nations deputy secretary-general, detailed the dimensions of the problem. In the past decade, he said, more than 600 journalists have been killed exercising what he called their critical role in society.

Just 10 days ago, he added, a Somali television journalist was shot and killed on his way home.

“Every time a journalist is killed by extremists, drug cartels or even government forces there is one less voice to speak on behalf of the victims of conflict, crime and human rights abuses," said Eliasson. "Every journalist murdered or intimidated into silence is one less observer of efforts to uphold rights and ensure human dignity. The least we can do when a journalist is murdered is to ensure that the death is investigated swiftly and that justice is served."

Somali reporter Mustafa Haji Abdinur - one of several journalists who spoke to the Security Council - said he is described in his country as a “dead man walking.” Abdinur, who reports for the French news agency AFP, said he will never be discouraged. He said that even sitting in the Security Council in New York, however, was not without risk.

"In showing my face to you and the world, I increase the threat of becoming attacked when I go back home. But I am a journalist. They may call me ‘a dead man walking,’ but I report the news,” he said.

Richard Engel, the chief foreign correspondent for NBC television in the United States, urged the Security Council to focus on two campaigns: one for free speech for activists who use media, the other for a renewed commitment to defend dedicated and trained professionals who take risks to deliver the kind of information the council needs to make its decisions.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Rosemary DiCarlo, agreed. As she put it, journalists are literally the council’s eyes and ears in every corner of the world.

“Recognizing the value of the work of journalists reporting on conflict, this council has an obligation to help protect those who provide us with so much vital information. We thank journalists around the world who risk their lives to seek the truth and shine light on the darkness for the entire world to see. The Security Council could not do its job without you,” she said.

Another reporter appearing before the Security Council, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, said that for at least the past decade, there has been a systematic hunting down of journalists. Abdul-Ahad, who reports from his native Iraq for The Guardian newspaper, said there is a sense of immunity for killing a journalist.

“If you, ladies and gentlemen, can make an effort to recognize journalists as part of a humanitarian effort to tell a story. Many of you hate us, by the way, I know that," he said. "It’s a sign that we are doing our job properly.  But there has to be some sort of balance. Just let us be there, treat us as human beings. Just don’t kill us.”

In his remarks, Deputy Secretary General Eliasson said more than 90 percent of those who kill  journalists go unpunished.

You May Like

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid