Guest Contributor | Feb 27, 2024 | 0
Information Ministry celebrates International Day to end impunity crimes against journalists
The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) recently joined other journalism and civic organisations in celebrating 2 November as International Day To End Impunity For Crimes Against Journalists, under the theme “Violence Against Journalists, Election Integrity, and the Role of Public Leadership.”
According to MICT Deputy Minister, Emma Theofelus, this year’s theme allows the ministry to raise awareness about the dangers of impunity for crimes against journalists while also paying tribute to those journalists who have lost their lives while diligently fulfilling their duty to provide information to the public.
She emphasized that Namibia has maintained an exemplary track record since attaining independence in 1990, with no journalists falling victim to violence or imprisonment for simply carrying out their professional responsibilities.
She added that this demonstrates the government’s commitment to ensuring a safe and enabling environment for all journalists, as stated in the Windhoek +30 Declaration.
“Journalism is a public good which must be protected. As a country that values and respects the ethos of media freedom, this day reminds us to speak out against any form of injustice against journalists globally. Any threats against journalists constitute severe encroachments on the freedom of expression and the press and a direct contravention of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These crimes create a climate of fear for media practitioners, hampering the free circulation of information to all citizens,” Theofelus stated.
According to her, the government reiterates its commitment to freedom of expression and media freedom and calls on other countries to follow suit and heed this appeal to build essential foundations of democracy.
“Namibia has made remarkable progress in promoting media freedom and consistently maintained the top spot in Africa and 22nd globally in the Reporters Without Borders’ 2023 Press Freedom Index.”
“Ending impunity for crimes against journalists should be prioritized as it lies at the heart of ensuring the full exercise of the right to freedom of expression, facilitating open, free, and dynamic exchanges of ideas and information for all people,” she concluded.