Lieutenant General Joseph Shikongo has vowed that the Namibian Police will ensure and uphold the safeguarding and protection of journalists in the country.

The Inspector General was speaking at the Training of Trainers Workshop on Freedom of Expression and the Safety of Journalists in Windhoek.

"As the Inspector General, I am here today to make a pledge that we will continue ensuring the safe guarding and protection of journalists and the freedom of expression by the public."

According to UNESCO's Chief of the Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists, Guilherme Canela, over 100 journalists have been killed globally, of which 86 percent end up as acts of impunity against journalists. The Inspector General said this does not apply to Namibia.

"He spoke about the use of force on journalists, stating that over 100 journalists were killed over a period of time, of which 86 percent were an act of impunity against journalists. Today I am here to assure you that the Namibian Police is not among the 86 percent. Over the past 33 years, no journalist in Namibia has lost a life because of the negligence of law enforcement."

He noted that the police play a crucial role in ensuring that journalists do their jobs safely and peacefully. 

"Despite this, I must caution that freedom of expression should also be accompanied by responsible reporting. The media must realise that where their freedom or rights end, the freedom or rights of others start."

The five-day training is held in partnership with UNESCO and is being attended by members of the police force.



July Nafuka