As the ultimate form of censorship, every five days a journalist is killed for bringing information to the public.
UNESCO’s Audrey Azoulay today condemned the killing of journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous peoples expert Bruno Araujo Pereira, who went missing in the Javari Valley in the western Brazilian state of Amazonas June 5.
“I condemn the killing of Dom Phillips and Bruno Araujo Pereira,” said Azoulay, the Director-General of UNESCO. “Far too many journalists today are targeted or even killed for the work they do to shine a light on the environmental issues that concern us all. I call on the authorities to investigate and prosecute those responsible for this ruthless crime.”
Phillips, a freelance British journalist specializing in environmental affairs, worked for international media including The Guardian, Financial Times, Washington Post, and New York Times. He was returning from a work trip with Pereira, a Brazilian expert on isolated tribes in the Amazon, when they went missing. They had reportedly received threats the day before leaving.
Last year, UNESCO published a policy brief on the safety of foreign correspondents to raise attention to the specific risks and threats they face.
UNESCO promotes the safety of journalists through global awareness-raising, capacity building and by coordinating the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.
Attacks on media professionals are often perpetrated in non-conflict situations by organized crime groups, militia, security personnel, and even local police, making local journalists among the most vulnerable. These attacks include murder, abductions, harassment, intimidation, illegal arrest, and arbitrary detention.