Rights experts urge Mexico to end threats on journalists, rights advocates Sarah Posner at 7:48 AM ET
[JURIST] UN experts and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) [official website] on Monday urged [press release] an end to the threats and killings of human rights advocates and journalists in Mexico. The UN and IACHR called on the Mexican government to implement the "Law for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists" in order to avoid the imminent threats faced by these two groups in Mexico. Both chambers of Congress have already approved this bill in hopes of preventing future killings. The rights experts further contended that implementing this bill will assist the country in fighting crime. A spokesperson for the IACHR said:
safeguarding journalists and human rights defenders is not only compatible with the fight against crime, it is an essential element of this struggle. The Mexican authorities should take immediate measures to protect those journalists and human rights defenders that are being threatened, as well as to make definitive advances in the struggle against impunity for the crimes that have been committed against them.
Right now human rights defenders and journalists face killings, threats, attacks, harassment and stigmatization in Mexican society.
Earlier this month, Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) [official website] Irena Bokova urged [JURIST report] Mexican authorities to do everything in their power to solve the murders of three Mexican journalists discovered in Veracruz. In March, the Mexican Senate unanimously passed [JURIST report] a bill making it a federal crime to attack journalists. Passage of this law came days after UN Special Rapporteur Margaret Sekaggya released a report [JURIST report] of threats faced by human rights journalists and called for extra protection of them.
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