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The conference organized by the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) on “Promoting the Safety of Journalists and the Campaign against Impunity in Africa” kicked off today in Addis Ababa Ethiopia with the support of IPDC and UNESCO as co-organizers and in liaison with other agencies such as the UN Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA).

Attended by journalists’ union leaders and the leaders of the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) the conference deliberated on the Safety of journalists and the issue of Impunity, and the solutions to mitigate the threats and save the lives of working journalists.

On this occasion the FAJ launched its new website: www.africanjournalists.org .The conference took place at the eve of the Africa Senior Media Dialogue (ASMD) organized on 16-17 November in Addis Ababa with main African media stakeholders to engage the African Union on “The Role of the Media in Africa’s Development, Women’s Empowerment, and its Support for Agenda 2063”

 “We believe that the African Court and regional courts can make an impact by their rulings to mitigate the level of Impunity on crimes against journalists. Our call to the African Union is to adopt a binding instrument allowing national and regional courts to fight impunity for crimes perpetrated against journalists in their work” said Abdulwaheed Odusile, President of FAJ.

In Africa, eight journalists were killed in 2016 and none of those cases has been investigated and brought to justice. According to UNESCO, «from 2006 to 2016, no less than 930 journalists were killed. In more than nine out of ten cases, the perpetrators are never brought to justice». Following the killing on 2nd November 2013 of our two French journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon in Northern Mali, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.

The FAJ encourages the justice systems of African countries to investigate and bring to justice attacks on journalists and the media for exercising their work. The Federation has engaged the African Union since 2010 to adopt a binding instrument to protect the safety of journalists and to end impunity for crimes against journalists. By so doing the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights (AfCHPR) and regional courts will feel empowered and capacitated to take up cases when attacks against local journalists cannot get redress.

The outcome of the conference will be reported into the Africa Senior Media Dialogue. The FAJ with the support of UNESCO and other stakeholders intends to strengthen the engagements with the African Union Commission and its organs for adoption and implementation of mechanisms to address the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity, in order to allow journalists to operate safely for development in Africa.

For more information, contact FAJ Secretariat: admin@africanjournalists.org

The FAJ represents 50,000 journalists in Africa