Press freedom is weakened and democracy is threatened by impunity for journalists – Lawan
Former Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has said impunity for crimes against journalists threatens democracy and undermines freedom of the press.
Lawan made this known in a statement by his media adviser, Ezrel Tabiowo, on Thursday, to mark the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.
The lawmaker, who represents Yobe North Senatorial District in the National Assembly, underscored the crucial role played by journalists in promoting accountability and upholding democratic values.
Citing data by the United Nations Observatory of Killed Journalists, Lawan noted that journalists are endangered with over 1,600 killed around the world in the last 17 years.
He called on governments, institutions, and civil society organizations to work collectively to hold perpetrators accountable and ensure justice for attacks against journalists.
Lawan further advocated a national plan to establish protective measures that guarantee the safety of journalists and end impunity.
“I join the international community in marking the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists today.
“This day serves as a stark reminder of the perils faced by journalists worldwide and the urgent need to address the issue of impunity for crimes committed against them.
“This year, the annual commemoration is especially significant, as it highlights the crucial role journalists play in providing unbiased information, promoting accountability, and upholding democratic values, ” he said.
He frowned at the way journalists continue to face risks, including violence, intimidation, and even targeted killings, for reporting critical issues or exposing corruption.
“Impunity for crimes against journalists remains a grave concern.
“Lack of accountability perpetuates a climate of fear, silencing not only journalists but also those seeking the truth and defending human rights”, he said.
He called for renewed commitment to promoting press freedom and defending the rights of journalists worldwide.