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Diplomatic sanctions on nations abusing journalists urged

London―Countries that abuse journalists should pay a “diplomatic price,” British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told a conference on media freedom on July 11, adding that liberal democracies must also “practice what we preach.”

In Manila, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Friday he had ordered a special investigating team to look into the killing on Wednesday of radio commentator Eduardo Dizon, who was gunned down by men on a motorbike while on his way home in Kidapawan City, Cotabato.

“As chair of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security, I have given instructions for the creation of a special investigating team, which will surely include the NBI [National Bureau of Investigation], to conduct an inquiry into the killing of Eduardo Dizon and to file appropriate charges against the perpetrators,” Guevarra told newsmen.

Kidapawan City Police Chief Maria Joyce Birrey said a special task group had been created to investigate Dizon’s killing. 

“We are currently reviewing the CCTV footage that captured the crime,” Birrey told Radio Station DXND.

Hunt, who is battling Boris Johnson to become Britain’s next leader, raised the murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the jailing of activists in China and Vietnam and the murder of reporters in Mexico.

“If we act together we can shine a spotlight on abuses and impose a diplomatic price on those who would harm journalists or lock them up for doing their jobs,” he said.

The London conference, co-hosted with Canada, brings together 60 ministers and around 1,500 journalists, activists and academics from 100 different countries.

The hosts are hoping for pledges about action to protect press freedom and cooperation between states on responding to specific cases.

Britain and Canada want to create a group of “like-minded countries to lobby in unison where media freedom comes under attack,” Hunt told a press conference. With PNA

Topics: Jeremy Hunt , Menardo Guevarra , Eduardo Dizon , Maria Joyce Birrey
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