02 November 2017, 11:28
60 signatures put in support of journalists
On November 2, 2017, on the 'International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists', a statement was issued by the international non-governmental organization Free Press Unlimited, which is fighting for the independent media's activities in countries with limited freedom of the press. Sixty representatives of the media, nonprofit organizations, associations, and broadcasting networks from more than 20 countries, put their signatures under the statement of the Free Press Unlimited. The "Caucasian Knot" has also signed the appeal. Our journalists have been repeatedly attacked, two of them died, and one of the "Caucasian Knot" correspondents, Zhalaudi Geriev, is imprisoned in Chechnya on fabricated criminal charges.
We speak up to end violence against journalists
On the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for violence against journalists (2 November 2017), we, as media and publishers, journalists and media professionals and other members of the media community feel it is time to raise our voice and start speaking up about the violence against our profession.
Across the globe, journalism has become very dangerous and it is time for us to use our audiences and platforms to get the world to listen and change the horrible statistics:
• Every five days a journalist is killed.
• Imprisonments of journalists are at a record high.
• Journalists around the world deal with harassment and intimidation on a regular basis.
• Local journalists are most at risk but the violence against them is seldom reported on.
And the list of violent acts against your colleagues because of their reporting continues. This is unacceptable!
Journalism makes a difference! Journalism is a pillar of democracy; it assists in social accountability and stimulates public debate. Journalism provides space for dissenting opinions and is a medicine against censorship. Safety of journalists is a precondition for good journalism that serves the societies and audiences. Without safety for journalists the public would be deprived of reliable information.
The public and the government should protect journalists and media workers. But, in spite of all the international declarations and resolutions about the obligation of states to protect journalists not much has changed in the last decade. The violence against the profession continues. And on top of that we see a rise in attacks on the media by political leaders who do not respect the critical function of journalism, unless it serves their interests.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
It is time for us to take matters into our own hands. Now more than ever.
We believe solidarity within the media community can prove crucial in fighting the impunity that has prevailed for too long.
This is why we hereby pledge to engage our audiences and ask them to help put pressure on institutions, media actors, governments, publishing houses and others that demonize journalists and legitimize harm against them.
We do so by committing to:
• speak out on the importance of the protection of our profession;
• tell the stories of the violence experienced by our colleagues across the globe;
• point out how attacks against journalists affect society at large in our coverage;
• highlight governments’ obligation to ensure journalists are able to work freely and without fear of repercussion;
• and continue to do so when the institutions fail to prosecute the perpetrators of the violence against our colleagues;
• cover the causal links between violence against journalists and the impunity behind the great majority of the attacks;
• hold governments and institutions accountable, when they fail to prosecute the perpetrators of the violence against our colleagues.
Organizations and networks:
1. Free Press Unlimited
2. ACOS Alliance
3. Alliance of broadcasters, Georgia
4. Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ)
5. Article 19
6. Association of Journalists at the International Criminal Court (AJICC-AJCPI)
7. Awene Press & Publishing Co., Kurdistan region of Iraq
8. Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC)
9. Bytes For All, Pakistan
10. Carlos Cardenas, Chairman of the Board of Directors of TV Cultura, Peru
11. Caucasian Knot, Russian Federation
12. Committee to Protect Journalists
13. Dave Callaway, President WAN-IFRA’s World Editors Forum
14. De Balie (Debate Centre), the Netherlands
15. De Humo TV, Nicaragua
16. Digital Rights Foundation, Pakistan
17. Dutch Commission for Journalistic Source Protection, the Netherlands
18. European Journalism Centre (EJC)
19. European Radio for Belarus
20. Fédération des Radios de Proximité du Congo (FRPC)
21. Fidan Ekiz, journalist
22. Foreign Press Association of the Netherlands
23. Freedom Forum, Nepal
24. Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa (FLIP), Colombia
25. Genootschap van Hoofdredacteuren (Dutch Society of editors-in-Chief), the Netherlands
26. Global Forum for Media Development
27. Hromadske TV, Ukraine
28. Huub Jaspers, editor-in-chief Argos, VPRO Broadcasting
29. International Media Support
30. International Press Institute (IPI)
32. Iraq Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI)
33. Iraqi Journalists Rights Defense Association (IJRDA)
34. Jeremy Druker, Executive Director and Editor in Chief Transitions (TOL)
35. JAM News, Georgia
36. Journalism department of Tbilisi state university, Georgia
37. Journaliste En Danger (JED), DRC
38. KBR, Indonesia
39. Meydan TV, Azerbaijan
40. Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten (Dutch Association of Journalists), the Netherlands
41. Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ)
42. Newsgain, Denmark
43. Nómada.gt, Guatemala
44. Novaya Gazeta, Russian Federation
45. Okke Ornstein, journalist
46. OneWorld Magazine, the Netherlands
47. Pakistan Press Foundation
48. Radio La Benevolencija, the Netherlands
49. Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF)
50. RNW media, the Netherlands
51. Ronald Gijsbertsen
52. Sanne Terlingen, journalist
53. Susan Angle, Media4Democracy
54. Teun Gautier, De Coöperatie, the Netherlands
55. Tempo Media Group, Indonesia
56. The Zimbabwean
57. Tok TV, Georgia
58. Tribal News Network, Pakistan
59. Uganda Media Development Foundation
60. Vereniging van Onderzoeksjournalisten (Association of Investigative Journalists), the Netherlands
61. VPRO Broadcasting, the Netherlands
62. Ziarul de Garda, Moldova
The text of the statement provided by the Free Press Unlimited