A journalist got into a scuffle between the police and the opposition at the rally to demand the Parliament's resignation. November 17, 2012. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the "Caucasian Knot"

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)

31. Internews

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

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