The Hague ‘people’s tribunal’ urges justice for slain journalists in Mexico, Sri Lanka, Syria

The International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, on March 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
The International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, on March 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

A series of civil society-led hearings culminated today in The Hague with a call for an “independent and comprehensive” review of how to protect media workers in an age of increasing authoritarianism.

Launched by a coalition of press freedom organizations in November last year, this “People’s Tribunal” heard evidence and analysis about the killing of journalists in Mexico, Sri Lanka and Syria.

While it has no legal powers to convict anyone, the tribunal aims to raise awareness, pressure governments, and gather evidence through what it calls its form of “grassroots justice.”

The tribunal’s leaders say Mexico, Sri Lanka, and Syria each failed to protect the lives of journalists — whose cases were examined in the hearings — and “demonstrated the lack of a wider will” to bring journalists’ killers to justice.

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