Free Expression Rapporteurs Issue Joint Declaration

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Catalina Botero,OAS Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, speaks at the press conference
held on June 25, 2012, at the IPI World Congress
PORT OF SPAIN, June 25, 2012 – The world’s four free expression rapporteurs today unveiled a
joint declaration calling for international mechanisms to address crimes against freedom of
expression.


UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression Frank La Rue, OSCE
Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović, OAS Special Rapporteur on Freedom of
Expression Catalina Botero and African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR)
Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information Pansy Tlakula released
the declaration during a press conference at the International Press Institute (IPI)’s 2012 World
Congress in Trinidad and Tobago.

The declaration urges governments to recognize the seriousness of crimes against journalists and
others who seek to share information; to fulfil obligations to prevent and prohibit such crimes, and
to protect journalists as well as their families; to conduct independent, speedy and effective
investigations into such crimes; and to provide redress for victims. It also encourages
representatives of civil society and other stakeholders to maintain an active role in the fight against
impunity.
Joined by Barbora Bukovska, senior director for law for Article 19, Toby Mendel, executive
director of the Centre for Law and Democracy, and Roland Bless, principal adviser in Mijatović’s

office, the quartet of rapporteurs emphasised that impunity remains a pervasive problem around the
globe.
“Impunity is winning,” La Rue told journalists covering the press conference.
Mendel praised the declaration, noting that past, similar declarations have often been very
important in convincing courts to adopt rulings protecting free expression rights.
Bukovska – responding to a question about impunity in Mexico, which has seen at least six
journalists murdered in the last two months, and where the government recently adopted laws to
protect journalists and human rights defenders and to bring crimes of violence against journalists
within federal jurisdiction – noted that such measures represent progress, but must be followed up
with support, including funds for implementation and training for journalists.
The declaration may also be viewed in French, Arabic, Russian and Spanish.
Read this article and the full text of the resolution in English on our website

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