Spindelegger: "Threatening and abducting journalists in Libya is unacceptable"
Vienna, 25 August 2011 – Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger expressed his deep concern over reports that troops loyal to Gaddafi are using abductions of foreign journalists as a last means of exerting pressure. "The threats against and abductions of journalists must come to an end. These clearly constitute war crimes", stressed Spindelegger. It had just been announced that the four Italian journalists abducted near Zawiyah were liberated.
According to UN reports, attacks against journalists are on the rise worldwide. The increase in the number of targeted killings of journalists was cited as a particular cause of concern. According to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Media Freedom, 94 percent of all cases of attacks remain unsolved. The protection of journalists represents a priority of the Austrian membership in the UN Human Rights Council. "There is currently a protection gap. Austria works together with the civil society on specific measures to improve the protection of journalists. Austria will introduce its own initiative in the Human Rights Council on this issue", announced Spindelegger. The focus of the Austrian initiative in the Human Rights Council will be on the struggle against impunity and the prevention of future attacks.
For more information, contact:
Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213