- Two Spanish and Irish journalists were attacked and killed last Monday 26 April while on duty in Eastern Burkina Faso
- Last Thursday 29 April journalist Robert Kagolo was shot dead in Uganda by Local Defense Unit as he returned from burial
The Congress of African Journalists (CAJ) calls for an end to crimes against journalists in Africa as UNESCO celebrates the World Press Freedom Day in Windhoek the capital of Namibia.
The celebration of this year marks the Windhoek Declaration + 30 with the theme: “Information as a public good.”
Alexandre Niyungeko, President of CAJ, said safety of journalists has remained a daunting challenge over the last three decades. He said Female journalists have remained vulnerable to gender-based violence, sexual and verbal harassment, as well as online abuse.
“On this commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day in Africa, four journalists were killed last week in Burkina Faso and Uganda. We call on respective Governments to investigate the killings and to bring the culprits to book, in order to end the impunity for crimes perpetrated against journalists in the course of their work.”
Thirty years after the Windhoek Declaration of 3 May 1991, the World Press Freedom Day 2021 will end on an updated Windhoek Delaration+30 taking into account the challenges that journalists face.
In some countries, human rights and media defense lawyers have been threatened and deterred from defending cases of crimes against media professionals.
“We call on the African Union, African institutions, and Governments to embrace ‘Information as Public Good’ in order to protect journalists and empower the media in their mission of reporting for development,” he said.
In Uganda, the Press Index report by Human Rights Network for Journalists (HRNJ-Uganda) indicates that the Police and Army as top violators and abusers of rights of Journalists.
In line with today’s theme, CAJ says that Information and media are public good therefore, journalists and all media professionals seeking information for the public should be protected and allowed to do their work freely.
CAJ condemns all attacks on journalists and the media and encourages all justice systems in Africa to investigate and punish all attacks on journalists and the media for exercising their work
CAJ also calls on media enterprises and governments to put in place measures to mitigate the effects of Covid 19 on journalists as part of sustaining support for press freedom.