ARTICLE 19 once again deplores the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, a violation of the founding principles of the United Nations. The mounting atrocities committed by the Russian Federation have created a human rights crisis in Ukraine. We welcome the Council reiterating its demand for an immediate end of military hostilities against Ukraine, as well as renewing support for the vital Commission of Inquiry.
During times of war, the right to freedom of expression and the safety of journalists and media workers is of paramount importance. They facilitate the free flow of information, combat disinformation, ensure accountability for grave human rights violations, and ultimately contribute to promoting peace.
The Russian Federation has launched abhorrent attacks against journalists who are documenting its crimes against international law, including by resorting to torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, kidnappings and murders. There have been at least ten recorded killings of journalists since the beginning of the invasion.
Let’s be clear: An effort to kill, wound or abduct a journalist is a war crime, and those responsible must be held accountable and brought to justice under international law.
ARTICLE 19 reiterates our full support for the Commission of Inquiry and urges it to conduct a comprehensive investigation into all murders and other ill-treatment of journalists, with a view to hold those responsible to account.
The UN Human Rights Council must stand ready to react firmly and flexibly against any future uncovered atrocities committed against civilians in Ukraine by the Russian Federation.