In his goodwill message, Guterres noted that a free press remained vital to functioning democracy, exposing wrongdoing, navigating the complex world and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He said more than 70 journalists have been killed this year simply for fulfilling this role in society. “Most of these crimes go unsolved,” he added.
He also noted that a record number of journalists are incarcerated today, while threats of imprisonment, violence and death keep growing.
“As we mark its 10th anniversary, I call on governments and the international community to take the necessary steps to protect our journalists. We must end a common culture of impunity and enable journalists to do their essential work.”
According to the International Press Institute (IPI), in 2021 alone, 45 journalists were killed across the world, 28 slain in retaliation for their work, three killed while covering armed conflicts, one assassinated in line of duty, two died while covering civil unrest, and 11 deaths are under investigation.
The top four nations with the most killings of media practitioners in the year under review were Mexico (seven), Afghanistan (six), India (six) and Democratic Republic of Congo (three).
Meanwhile, UNAMA said Wednesday that human rights abuses of more than 200 reporters in Afghanistan have been recorded since August 2021.
“Record high numbers include arbitrary arrest, ill-treatment, threats and intimidation,” UNAMA tweeted adding that “media in Afghanistan is in peril”.