RSF blacks out Eiffel Tower for slain journalists, a month after Khashoggi death

At the request of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the Eiffel Tower’s lights were turned off for a minute at 6:30 p.m. today on the eve of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists to pay tribute to Saudi newspaper columnist Jamal Khashoggi and all the other journalists in the world whose murders have so far gone unpunished.

While the lights were extinguished, a minute of silence was observed by RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire and all those gathered with him on Place de Varsovie, the square located opposite the Eiffel Tower, on the other bank of the River Seine.

It was thanks to the support of the Paris city hall that this symbolic tribute was made possible on the eve of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, which is observed annually on November 2.

Khashoggi, who was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 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.

“Jamal Khashoggi’s barbaric murder shows that there are no longer any limits to the deliberate elimination of journalists,” Deloire told the journalists gathered with him on Place de Varsovie.

“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 blackness, 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 rendered.”

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.

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, with the hashtag #NoImpunity.

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Updated on 07.11.2018