Press Blog - People's Tribunal on Murder of Journalists delivers judgment in The Hague

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Closing hearing

Dear journalists,

The Tribunal is culminating with a closing hearing today in the Hague, where the final judgment is being presented by a 9-member Panel of Judges. We need your help now more than ever.

Thank you for continuing to play a major role by writing about #ThePeoplesTribunal and by testifying at the hearings so far. Thanks to you, the A Safer World For The Truth initiative has been written about over 280 times, raising awareness in more than 38 countries. 

Please support the cause by covering the Tribunal, spreading awareness, and helping us use this momentum of international urgency. We need a safer world for the truth.

Together, we can pave the way for a solid UN plan of action for the safety of journalists, to be announced on 2-3 November 2022

People's Tribunal on the Murder of Journalists in The Hague
LIVE: Watch the livestream here for the presentation of the judgment in the Hague

Today's Programme:

13:00 Walk-in

13:30 Welcoming remarks by the organising coalition

13:45 Delivery of judgment

15:00 Coffee and tea

15:30 Commemoration ceremony

16:15 Intermission

16:30 Panel discussion 

Members of the press are invited to submit questions to the panel

17:30 Reception

Still no justice
Impunity for crimes against journalists is an alarming trend worldwide. Dom Philips, Shireen Abu Akleh and Brent Renaud are but some names. Many others were killed in 2022 for doing their work - reporting the truth.

This is why the A Safer World For The Truth consortium, an initiative by leading press freedom organisations Free Press Unlimited, Committee to Protect Journalists, and Reporters Without Borders, set up the People's Tribunal on the Murder of Journalists.

The Tribunal is a grassroots initiative created to document a worldwide pattern of impunity. We want to show that these are not just isolated attacks on individual journalists, but that these cases demonstrate a systematic pattern of attacks aimed at silencing journalists who pose as a threat to politicians and criminal organisations who think they can get away with murder.


"I continue to look to the international community and now turn to the People’s Tribunal to give our loved ones and our families the justice they deserve."

Ahimsa Wickrematunge, daughter of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge, the Sri Lanka Case Hearing.

 

 

Lasantha Wickrematunge
Sri Lanka Case Hearing – Lasantha Wickrematunge: Lasantha was a leading independent journalist covering the Sri Lankan civil war and founder of the English-language weekly called the Sunday Leader, which he ran until his murder in 2009.
Nabil Al Sharbaji
Syria Case Hearing – Nabil Al-Sharbaji:Nabil Al-Sharbaji was a young journalist covering the demonstrations in #Damascus. He later co-founded Enab Baladi to cover stories on human rights and politics. He was murdered in a military prison in 2015.
Miguel Ángel López Velasco
Mexico Case Hearing- Miguel Ángel López Velasco - Miguel was a veteran Mexican journalist for the Notiver newspaper in Veracruz, Mexico, where he wrote a column about crime, law and security in his locality. He, his wife and son were murdered.

Impact highlights of the hearings so far 

  1. Mexico case hearing - As a result of the Tribunal, a legal organisation has stepped forward to pick up the legal representation of the family. Therefore, it looks like the formal investigation will make progress in the coming months. More here.

  2. Sri Lanka case hearing - We received a public statement from 54 public figures in Sri Lanka and 11 organizations that publicly opposed the Rajapaksa government and spoke out about the crimes against journalists. More here.

  3. Syria case hearing - In Syria, we are looking at ways to use the evidence collected at the Tribunal to start a case against the Syrian government and hold those responsible outside a People's Tribunal - in a formal court. More here.
“I decided to participate in the Tribunal because I am worried about the attacks by states on our democratic rights. Wherever journalists are being murdered while reporting, it is a sign that statehood is being used to protect the interests of the few.”
Matthew Caruana Galizia, , former journalist and Director of the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation. Son of Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia who was murdered in 2017.
Matthew Caruana Galizia
“Investigative journalism is seen as the most effective tool to combat corruption.To do this job, my close friends sacrificed their well-being, or even to be alive. I feel the urge to remind their stories to the rest of the world."
Pavla Holcova, investigative journalist, friend and former colleague of renowned Slovakian investigative Jan Kuciak. He and his fiancé were murdered in 2018.
Pavla Holcova
“I am participating in the People’s Tribunal to reveal the truth about how journalists are targeted by illegitimate governments who have so much to hide. The world needs to know the real facts and needs to act decisively to protect the free press.”
Hatice Cengiz Turkish academic and writer lost the love of her life 4 years ago. His name was Jamal Khashoggi, he was a journalist and editor at the Washington Post, murdered in 2018.
Hatice Cengiz

Watch our 'Killing The Truth' short-documentary here

Syria hearing

Why start a People's Tribunal?

The People's Tribunal is a symbolic event organized in the format of a court, with an independently selected panel of judges, a prosecution team, and witnesses.

During the Tribunal, we present and process evidence that show that murders of journalists were committed intentionally, that they were not investigated, and mostly also, what the impact of impunity for murders of journalists has been, not only on these journalists and their family, friends and colleagues, but also on press freedom globally and the access to independent information.
End Impunity

In the press

The Sri Lanka hearing gained a lot of attention from the Sri Lankan press. We received a public statement from 54 public figures in Sri Lanka and 11 organizations that publicly endorsed it.

We hope that towards the judgment on the Sri Lanka case hearing we can add to the pressure on the president and that it will lead to justice because the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge is one of the biggest crimes committed in terms of press freedom in Sri Lanka.
Digital Monument

Monument

We created a Digital Monument to honor all the journalists who have been murdered in connection to their work.

The data used in this Monument is drawn from a database of attacks on the press compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Due to the time needed to verify each new case, it is possible that recent events have not yet been added to the Monument.

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Safer World For The Truth