MISA Malawi joins the rest of the world in commemorating International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists with a call for the government of Malawi to start investigating and prosecuting crimes against journalists and media workers.
In 2013, The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed November 2 as International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.
The 2021 International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists highlights the instrumental role of prosecutorial services, in investigating and prosecuting not only killings but also threats of violence against journalists.
MISA Malawi continues to register cases of clear-cut crimes against journalists but state agencies that are obliged to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators such as police have not acted on any of the incidents.
We believe that the government’s failure to arrest and prosecute those who commit crimes against journalists and media workers is a clear tolerance of impunity and disregard for the internationally and constitutionally recognized media freedom.
The situation is worrying, as journalists and media workers facilitate freedom of expression and access to information for all citizens, which are fundamental freedoms in a democracy.
MISA Malawi would like to urge the government to rise above rhetoric on media freedom, freedom of expression and access to information by implementing measures meant to end impunity for crimes against journalists.
We remind the government that in the 2013 resolution, United Nations member states, including Malawi, were urged to implement definite measures to counter the present culture of impunity for crimes against journalists.
We are worried that with the current impunity protecting perpetrators of crimes against journalists, politicians, public officers, corporate officials and the general public continue to threaten and attack journalists who are exposing wrongdoing and ensuring accountability.
Ending impunity for crimes against journalists will ensure that journalists are doing their job of gathering and disseminating information without fear and prevent human rights abuses, corruption and crimes which are detrimental to national development. Journalism is not a crime.