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SPJ celebrates International Day To End Impunity For Crimes Against Journalists


Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, SPJ National President, ashanti.blaize@gmail.com
Zoλ Berg, SPJ Communications Specialist, 317-920-4785, zberg@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists joins other journalism and civic groups in celebrating Nov. 2 as International Day To End Impunity For Crimes Against Journalists.

“In line with the United Nations declaration for this day, we hope the observance of this day draws attention to the threats faced by journalists and communicators in the exercise of our profession,” said SPJ National President Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has recorded the deaths of 31 journalists so far this year. The group noted that since 1992 there have been 956 journalists killed, with more than 79% of those cases going unprosecuted.

While the day is designed to put pressure on governments to arrest and prosecute the killers of journalists, SPJ International Community Co-Chair Dan Kubiske noted that Nov. 2 is also the Mexican holiday of Day of the Dead. He said Mexican journalists are combining the call to end impunity with the Mexican festival of honoring dead family members and friends.

“We understand many journalism groups in Mexico will be dedicating Day of the Dead altars to journalists who have been killed in Mexico because of their profession,” said Kubiske. He said organizers of these events will be placing photos of slain journalists on the altars as a way to remember their sacrifice.

According to the CPJ Global Impunity Index, Mexico has 23 unsolved murders of journalists, putting it at No. 7 in the index ranking.

SPJ encourages journalists around the country to remember journalists who have been killed in action on Nov. 2. It also calls on the United States government to continue to pressure other countries to seek out, arrest and prosecute those who threaten and murder journalists.

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.


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