MEDIA
04/01/2014 09:56 am ET

Resolution Adopted To Protect Journalists Covering Protests

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A major step has been taken towards the protection of journalists.

A resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council on Friday now acknowledges “the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of peaceful protests.” Reporters Without Borders announced Tuesday that it "recognizes and endorses" the duties of journalists covering protests and demonstrations and denounces any attacks against the journalists as they fulfill these duties.

There was a "a dramatic increase in violence and intimidation in 2013," Reporters Without Borders head of research and advocacy Lucie Morillon said.

The resolution, submitted by Turkey, Costa Rica and Switzerland, stresses the important role that journalists play at demonstrations in providing people with coverage, essential information and "documenting human rights violations or abuses committed in the context of peaceful protests.” The resolution urges states to pay close attention to journalists' safety and vulnerability while covering peaceful protests, and to ensure that the resolution is effective immediately.

“The international community must go further in the protection of journalists," Morillon added. "After taking a position on the issue of civilians and journalists in armed conflicts in 2006, the UN Security Council must now address the situation of journalists in unarmed conflicts, including protests, on the lines of the resolution on the safety of journalists that the General Assembly adopted in November 2013.”

On the same day the resolution was adopted, a young female journalist was shot and killed in Egypt while covering the demonstrations by Muslim Brotherhood members. 153 journalists were reportedly injured in Turkey alone covering anti-government protests from May to September 2013. At least 70 journalists were killed worldwide in 2013, 29 of whom died while covering the civil war in Syria. About 39 percent of all journalists killed were working in some sort of war zone.

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