Briefer on Human Rights in the Context of Protests for Journalists
01 May 2023
Journalists play a key role in monitoring protests. They have the right to observe, and by extension monitor, protests, whether violent or not, and to record reactions to protests by officials or other actors. This right is derived from the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, as guaranteed under international human rights law. Yet, in many countries, journalists have become frequent targets of stigmatization, intimidation and attacks as a result of their legitimate activities during protests. Journalists further face undue restrictions and prohibitions on the dissemination of information, among several other challenges.
The present briefer, prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and published in 2023, focuses on the various challenges faced by journalists when covering protests, including the increased attacks on journalists during protests by State and non-State actors, the intersectional discriminatory attacks on women journalists, increased online threats, digital surveillance and internet shutdowns. It also presents the duties and responsibilities of law enforcement officials, including in relation to the use of force during protests, as well as safety measures for journalists during protests and good journalistic practices.