When a crime takes place with impunity, justice is denied. A wrong is created that must be righted. When crimes against freedom of expression take place with impunity, not only is justice denied, not only has our right to freedom of expression been violated—our ability to uncover and speak out about violations of other human rights is fundamentally compromised.
The IFEX network's No Impunity campaign kicked off this past 2 November, the United Nations International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. Organisations and individuals around the world raised their voices on this critical issue. They held press conferences, organised workshops, launched exhibits, posted calls for change on social media under the #NoImpunity tag, and found all kinds of creative ways to use the campaign logo to spread the word that impunity will not be tolerated.
Our diverse, global network is now over one hundred organisations strong, each of us dedicated to defending and promoting the right to freedom of expression and information through our individual work.
Here's a few of the ways we took action this 2 November:
In Pakistan, IFEX members held a candle vigil for colleagues lost during their work whose cases remained unprosecuted, with posters printed from IFEX's impunity infographic.
The Center for Media Studies and Peace Building in Liberia held a symposium with government and security sector actors on 2 November on the problem of Impunity.
Mexico's CENCOS Director and newly-elected convenor of the IFEX Governing Council Omar Rábago shared a video address with the International Press Institute on the need to end impunity.
In Turkey, the Initiative for Freedom of Expression held a No Impunity forum with several panels at Istanbul Bilgi University on 9 November, timed to avoid a conflict with the general election on 1 November.
Human Rights Network for Journalists - Uganda tweeted throughout the day using the #NoImpunity hashtag, including this shot of their staff standing together against impunity.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights in Egypt tweeted cases of unpunished violations against free expression in Egypt, and released a press statement on impunity in the Arab-speaking world.
The National Union of Somali Journalists held a conference on impunity in Somalia in Galkayo, the second most dangerous city in the country for journalists, inviting families of murdered journalists to share their experience.
In Cambodia, the Center for Independent Media unveiled a museum exhibit on the history of impunity in Cambodia, 1993-2015, and produced a radio broadcast on the subject.
Journaliste en Danger held a conference for the release of their report on impunity, "L'information sous haute surveillance", on impunity's prevalence across the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The IFEX Latin American and Caribbean Alliance produced a display highlighting victims of Impunity in Latin America, which was presented at a high level meeting on impunity in San Jose, Costa Rica.
The Cambodian Center for Human Rights launched a powerful "Never Forget" photography exhibit, profiling 10 Cambodian victims of impunity, and held a panel discussion on 2 Nov.
This is just a snapshot of events from this year's No Impunity campaign launch. In the months and years ahead, we'll be shining a spotlight on the issue by publishing case profiles of high profile crimes in which we as a network are directly pursuing justice, and sharing interviews with experts and survivors of unpunished crimes against free expression that show the human cost of impunity.
The IFEX network today is the largest and strongest we've ever been. We'll be making 2016 our most effective year yet, and continue to inspire each other in our struggle against this global impediment to freedom of expression.
To join our community or get more involved, visit our evolving campaign hub, and share your thoughts with us on the campaign's Facebook page.