On the 2023 International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, UNESCO’s theme is “Violence against journalists, the integrity of elections, and the role of public leadership" — and IFEX has something to say about that!
IFEX’s Regional Editors are marking IDEI 2023 by sharing recent stories and trends from their regions about: the dangers journalists incur in the course of their work; the shocking lack of accountability for perpetrators; how those dangers increase during elections; and steps being taken to counter those threats.
Going by this year’s high-stakes elections in Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone, during which media were caught in the fray of rising tensions prior to polling day, Africa Regional Editor Reyhana Masters finds this year’s IDEI theme apt. The notion of giving “visibility to the role of a safe and free press in ensuring the integrity of elections and our democratic systems” becomes increasingly significant with eight elections scheduled for the remainder of 2023.
Europe and Central Asia Regional Editor Cathal Sheerin also finds in the theme of this year’s IDEI an opportunity to investigate threat patterns present during elections. His brief covers recent developments in Poland, Slovakia and Turkey.
Americas Regional Editor Laura Vidal reveals the fragility of press freedom in times of elections in Latin America in her brief. As people went to the polls in Colombia, Ecuador, and Argentina, incidents revealed systemic violence against media professionals, and especially women, and shares some strategies for enhanced protective measures and legal reforms.
The fight against impunity continues in the Philippines and Pakistan. A year after the murder of a radio broadcaster in the Philippines and a Pakistani TV journalist in Kenya, their families and media groups continue to demand justice. In his brief, Asia and Pacific Regional Editor Mong Palatino also reports on the impact of AI, combatting election disinformation, and resisting the use of repressive laws against artists and writers.
And rounding out our suite of IDEI-focused briefs, Middle East & North Africa Editor Naseem Tarawnah looks at the upcoming presidential election in Egypt – one of the biggest jailers of journalists – and reports on Israel’s unprecedented targeting of Palestinian journalists and how impunity is fuelling violence against journalists in Sudan.