End Impunity

End Impunity

The UN and experts discuss the protection of journalists and open democratic associations.

November 2nd was the third International Day To End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. Established by the United Nations General Assembly, it was passed due to more the deaths of more than 800 journalists around the world who have been killed over the past decade.

The origin of this issue began in 2013, around the commemoration of the murders of two French journalists who were abducted and killed in Mali after an interview with a political local leader.

Journalism can be a life-threatening occupation. The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) states that impunity leads to killings and damages societies as it covers up human rights abuses, corruption and crime. In 2014, UNESCO Director-General condemned the killings of 87 journalists, media workers and social journalists.

The United Nations General Assembly established the International Day to End Impunity in order to condemn all attacks and violence against media workers and journalists. It also urges member states to prevent any type of harm or violence to journalists and will ensure accountability on bringing justice to perpetrators.

Those member states involve more than 90 states. Austria, Brazil, France, Greece, Morocco, Qatar and Tunisia were the architects of the resolutions.

On October 27th, the UN held a panel of discussions including experts and journalists who seek to end the killings.The event was hosted by the Permanent Mission of Greece to the UN along with UNESCO.

“Let’s not forget that every case of a journalist or media worker harassed, injured, arbitrarily detained or killed is an assault to freedom of expression and a threat to the foundations of open and democratic society,” Ambassador Catherine Boura of Greece said. “It is our priority to secure a safe environment which will guarantee freedom of speech and expression as well as access to information for all.”

Several participants were there are from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the Syrian Center for Media and the Freedom of Expression Representatives from France and Lithuania.

In 2015, 115 journalists were killed and murdered, like Kenji Goto, a 47-year old reporter who was killed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Prior to his death, there was an online petition demanding the Japanese government to do more to save Goto.

Another headline incident was the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris that targeted and killed 10 media workers and injured 11 others.The attack occurred at the beginning of 2015; two Islamic brothers claiming to be affiliated with Al-Qaeda and ISIS forced their way into the offices of a French satirical weekly newspaper.This led to the "Je Suis Charlie" assemblage, where countless people marched through France and many others gathered globally, supporting the Charlie Hebdo news group and unifying self-expression.

Professional journalists have a code of ethics; to strive and ensure the free exchange of information is accurate and current. Over the past decade internationally, journalists are kidnapped, tortured, intimidated, and harassed. Women face sexual harassment and gender-bias violence. This violates human rights, rights for access to public information and freedom of press.

Having this summit and establishing an official day to reorganize and make strides to remove impunity is a big deal. Many deaths are unsolved murders or killings from crossfire or combat.

The UN conducted collaborate elucidation, evaluating to find adequate maneuvering and monitoring as it is critical to protect journalists all over. The necessities are hotlines, budget planning and plans for emergency situations if journalists need to be evacuated. Each year there is another collective data report on impunity, and it will be discussed next year November 2nd, urging leaders and governments to prevent violence against journalists and news workers.

Cover Image Credit: END IMPUNITY//Behance

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.

We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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A Florida House Committee Is Undermining Your Vote On Amendment 4

Before felons can regain their right to vote, they must pay court fines, fees, and take care of any other "financial obligations." Essentially, this is a poll tax.


Amendment 4, also known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, was added to the Constitution of Florida after being passed this last midterm election on November 6, 2018.

Amendment 4 restored the voting rights of Floridians with prior felony convictions after all terms of their sentence have been met, including parole and probation. This amendment only applies to felons who have not been convicted of murder or sexual offenses.

On January 8, 2019, an estimated 1.4 million ex-felons regained their right to vote. This is monumental. Prior to this amendment, Florida was one of four states that used felony disenfranchisement. Amendment 4 gives voice, and rightfully so, to felons who have served their time. Amendment 4 is also putting to rest, finally, years and years of disenfranchisement and suppression.

Now, only two months after its passage, the House Criminal Justice Committee is trying to water down this piece of legislation. This is a direct violation of the will of the 64% of Floridians who voted for the legislation as is. This amendment was not to be "clarified," as Governor DeSantis put it, but rather to be self-implementing.

However, the House Criminal Justice Committee proposed a bill that would tack on some extra qualifiers in order for felons to be enfranchised. The bill will require court fines, fees, and other "financial obligations" (in addition to fees administered in a judge's sentence) to be paid in full before a felon's voting rights are restored. This seems awfully similar to a poll tax to me. Obviously, this is going to affect people without a lot of resources rather than white-collar criminals who can afford a $500,000 bond.

This new qualifier will prevent felons from voting based on the money that can be coughed up as if they don't have to worry about their finances long after they leave prison.

Some may argue that these felons shouldn't have committed a crime in the first place. However, I would argue that holding a felon's vote hostage on the basis of money is unconstitutional.

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