Lights out at Eiffel Tower for slain journalists

The Eiffel Tower’s lights were turned off for a minute at 6:30 pm today – the eve of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists – as a tribute to Saudi newspaper columnist Jamal Khashoggi and all other journalists whose murders have so far gone unpunished.

Son of assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, Andrew, was among those present in the symbolic tribute organised by international press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders (RSF) with the collaboration of the Paris city hall.

A minute of silence was observed by RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire and those who gathered at Place de Varsovie, the square opposite the Eiffel Tower.

Khashoggi, who was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October, is one of a total of 77 journalists and media workers who have been killed worldwide since the start of this year. Ninety percent of crimes of violence against journalists go unpunished, RSF said.

“Jamal Khashoggi’s barbaric murder shows that there are no longer any limits to the deliberate elimination of journalists,” Deloire said.

Deloire was accompanied by Fabiola Badawi, a former colleague of Khashoggi’s, and by Andrew Caruana Galizia, the son of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Maltese journalist who was killed on 16 October 2017 by a bomb placed under her car.

“A powerful gesture was needed to protest against this unbearable situation, and the one we chose was to extinguish the lights of one of the world’s most emblematic monuments. By plunging the Eiffel Tower into darkness, the colour of mourning, we pay tribute to our murdered colleagues, while the lights coming back on tells those who kill journalists that justice must sooner or later be done,” he added.

He was also accompanied by Christophe Boisbouvier, a Radio France Internationale journalist representing the Association of Friends of Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, the two Radio France Internationale journalists who were murdered in Mali exactly five years ago, on 2 November 2013.

After the Eiffel Tower’s lights were turned back on, those participating in the tribute brandished posters with the portraits of Khashoggi, Caruana Galizia, Dupont and Verlon, reading #NoImpunity.

                           
                               
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