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UN experts urge swift action to protect journalists in Mexico.

| GENEVA, May 15 (KUNA) -- International and eminent experts have called for halt of killings of human rights activists and journalists in Mexico.

"The killings and threats repeatedly suffered by rights defenders and journalists in Mexico must stop immediately," urged a group of four experts from the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

They called in a press release on the Government to move ahead with the swift promulgation and effective implementation of the "Law for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists." Highlighting the immediacy of the threats facing defenders and journalists, the experts also urged the government to implement existing protection mechanisms as a matter of urgency, in order to avoid further attacks and loss of life and to complement the new provisions when they come into effect.

The bill, which has been approved by both chambers of the Federal Congress, seeks to guarantee and safeguard the life, integrity and security of human rights defenders and journalists by creating a mechanism with the authority to implement measures to protect those at risk, as well as at preventing such risks from arising in the future.

"Human rights defenders in Mexico desperately need the State's effective protection now," said Margaret Sekaggya, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. "They continue to suffer killings, attacks, harassment, threats, stigmatization and other serious human rights violations." "The State has to implement, as a matter of priority, a global protection policy for human rights defenders. The lack of appropriate and effective systems for implementing specialized protection measures are related to the situation of defenselessness in which many human rights defenders find themselves, which has caused the death of many of them in recent years," stressed Santiago A. Canton, the Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of the Rapporteurship of Human Rights Defenders.

"We have to break the cycle of impunity in Mexico, which is becoming an increasingly violent place for journalists," said Frank La Rue, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. "The recent killing of four press workers in Veracruz underscores the dire need for concrete steps to be taken to guarantee the safety of journalists and put an end to impunity." Catalina Botero, Special Rapporteur for freedom of expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, stressed that "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." The four experts commended the Federal Congress for approving the Bill, pointing out that it would provide added impetus and sustainability to existing protection frameworks, while also strengthening these frameworks. (end) ta.rk KUNA 151122 May 12NNNN

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Publication:Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
Geographic Code:1MEX
Date:May 15, 2012
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