In protest of countries where journalists have been the victims of unpunished crimes and to mark International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on Monday (2 November), media rights defender Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has renamed a street in Paris, France after slain American-Bangladesh blogger Avijit Roy.
In a comment in Facebook last evening Avijit Roy’s wife Rafida Ahmed Bonya also a survivor of brutal attack thanked RSF for this honor and stated that the honor goes to all the writers/bloggers/publishers/journalists hacked, tortured or killed for expressing their free thoughts.
RSF has renamed 12 Parisian streets after journalists who have been murdered, tortured or disappeared in recent times. The renamed streets are those with embassies of countries where journalists have been the victims of unpunished crimes, a statement issued on by Benjamin Ismaïl, Head of Asia Desk, RSF.
The embassy addresses have been changed to draw attention to the failure of these countries to take action and to remind them of their obligation to do whatever is needed to bring those responsible for these crimes to justice.
RSF is using these 12 emblematic cases to highlight the fact that crimes of violence against journalists usually go unpunished because official investigations are inadequate or non-existent and because governments are apathetic. More than 90 percent of crimes against journalist are never solved.
Five new names were added to the list in 2015. They include Tunisian journalists Sofiane Chourabi and Nadhir Ktari, who went missing in Libya in September 2014, and Radio France Internationale journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, who were murdered in Kidal, in northern Mali, on 2 November 2013.
Six weeks after their murder, the UN General Assembly created International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists and decided that it should me marked on the anniversary of their deaths.
“The cases of impunity that we are presenting are terrible symbols of passivity or deliberate inaction on the part of certain governments,” RSF’s secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.
“This International Day is an occasion for paying homage to the victims and for reminding governments of their obligation to protect journalists and to combat impunity. Those who target journalists will one day be held to account for their actions.”
In order to combat impunity, Reporters Without Borders is calling for the appointment of a special adviser to the UN secretary-general on the safety of journalists.
Saleem Samad, is an Ashoka Fellow (USA) an award winning investigator journalist, micro-blogger and correspondent for international media rights defender Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Tweet: @saleemsamad email: email@example.com