On November 23, 2009, 58 people, including 30 journalists were kidnapped and brutally killed while they were travelling in a convoy with the supporters of a local politician. It happened in the southern Maguindanao province, in the Philippines. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) it is the single deadliest event for journalists in history.
In memory of the Maguindanao massacre, this year on November 23, human rights groups and freedom of expression advocates have joined forces for the second International Day to End Impunity, an annual reminder of the dangers still facing journalists today.
Murder: the ultimate form of censorship
As part of that effort Global Voices Advocacy is joining CPJ's Speak Justice: Voices against Impunity.
The online campaign, which starts today, aims to raise awareness against impunity for those responsible of murdering journalists.
Worldwide, a CPJ report has shown that since 1992, more than 660 journalists have been murdered “in direct retaliation against their work.” Most of them were killed while covering issues of vital importance to their communities.
The research has also shown a clear pattern of impunity among perpetrators, with only 1 in 10 behind bars.
CPJ's María Salazar-Ferro, the campaign coordinator, explains that as a consequence, most journalists living in countries where the murder of their colleagues remains unpunished, tend to self censor: “They avoid dangerous beats, and ignore risky stories.”
Leaving stories unreported means depriving communities of the right to information and leaving those in power unchallenged. Impunity ultimately affects everyone.
To demand justice for journalists killed for uncovering the truth and to empower those still risking their lives to do their job, the campaign wishes to break the cycle of fear and silence, ”from the ground up, one voice at a time.”
To find out more about the campaign, visit the site here and take action today!