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Namibia must uphold protection of human rights and freedom: Kandjii-Murangi

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Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Itah Kandjii-Murangi said Namibia as a global village needs to jointly strengthen, support and uphold the protection of human rights and freedom, including media freedom.Kandjii-Murangi, who made …

Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Itah Kandjii-Murangi said Namibia as a global village needs to jointly strengthen, support and uphold the protection of human rights and freedom, including media freedom.

Kandjii-Murangi, who made the remarks at the World Press Freedom Day academic conference here on Thursday, added that journalists throughout the world face safety threats.

“Journalist are faced with online and offline safety threats, as well as diverse types of attacks and in the worst cases, killings. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) research has shown that during the past decade the world has lost many journalists who have perished in the line of duty,” she said.

The conference which started on Thursday and ends Monday, is organised by the University of Namibia in conjunction with UNESCO. It is being held under the theme ‘Information as Public Good’.

The minister said the media is crucial in ensuring that information as a public good is easily accessible to the people, for them to make informed decisions.

“We have seen how journalists have put their lives at risk to keep communities and the world informed for example during the COVID-19 pandemic,” she cited.

UNESCO Chief of Section, Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists, Guilherme Canela de Souza Godoi said according to UNESCO research, nearly 900 journalists were killed during the past decade.

He said journalists throughout the world face safety threats and the situation has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as new safety risks have emerged.

Canela De Souza Godoi said attacks against journalists hamper freedom and expression, noting the issue requires urgent and concerted action.

“Academic research into the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity is needed to better understand how prevention of attacks, protection of journalists and prosecution of crimes can be more effective.”

The conference is an opportunity for researchers to connect with decision-makers and media practitioners in order to bridge the gap between academic research, the experience of journalists on the ground, and policy makers, with the aim of supporting joint efforts to protect journalists and journalism.

Source: Namibia Press Agency