Today, on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, we express our respect and support for all media workers. Journalism is a form of freedom of expression, which is a fundamental right.

Journalists inform the public and give it access to a wide range of viewpoints. Only independent and diverse media can help provide citizens with the information they need to hold their governments to account. Free media are essential to the proper functioning of a society, guaranteeing transparency and democratic development.

Therefore, it is essential that governments around the world promote and create a safe and conducive environment for journalists to carry out their work independently without undue pressure.

Independent journalism supports the ambitions of the Kyrgyz Republic to develop and strengthen its democracy and economy. Freedom of the media and its right to freedom of expression are protected by the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic. We call on the Kyrgyz government to protect and promote this fundamental human right.

In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2 November as the “International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists” in General Assembly resolution A/RES/68/163. The resolution condemns all attacks and violence against journalists and media workers. It also urges Member States to do their utmost to prevent violence against journalists and media professionals, ensure accountability, bring to justice those responsible for crimes against journalists and media professionals media and ensure that victims have access to appropriate remedies. It further calls on States to promote a safe and conducive environment for journalists.

This joint statement is issued by the Embassies of the United Kingdom, United States, Germany and France in Kyrgyzstan.