The Swiss government is facing calls from human rights and industry groups to help protect journalists around the world.This content was published on May 3, 2021 - 13:59
The Swiss section of Reporters without Borders and the syndicom trade union urged the government to demand the appointment of a special United Nations rapporteur on the safety of journalists.
Journalists’ ability to work free from violence, intimidation and harassment is essential to enable democratic, free and participative societies, but the resources were not sufficient said in a statementExternal link marking World Press Freedom Day on Monday.
More than 1,050 journalists were killed in the field last year and the perpetrators got away with the crime unpunished in nearly 90% of the cases, the non-governmental organisation said.
The statement added that journalists, also in Switzerland, were increasingly targeted by hate campaigns on social media.
Several Swiss journalism groups have raised the alarm bells about attacks on journalists by participants in demonstrations against the government's Covid restrictions, but also by police hampering the work of journalists at May 1 and women's marches.
Switzerland continued to drop in the latest international press freedom indexExternal link. It now is in 10th position, down two places from the previous year.
The reasons for the perceived deterioration include physical attacks by demonstrators against journalists, police interference and legal barriers against journalistic research, according to Reporters without BordersExternal link.
Norway, Finland and Denmark are at the top of the list of 132 countries.