This year the International Federation of Journalists marked World
Press Freedom Day by focusing on the issue of 'Journalists Safety and Journalists Imprisoned around the World'.
This reflects the on-going concern over the numbers of our colleagues who continue to languish in prisons in many countries as a result of their profession.
To mark this important day, the IFJ organised a series of activities:
Monday, 29 April
A short video was unveiled featuring the IFJ global actions to fight for press freedom.
Tuesday, 30 April
The IFJ delivered petition letters to the embassies in Brussels of the four countries with the highest number of imprisoned journalists: China, Iran, Turkey and Eritrea.
Signed by IFJ President, Jim Boumelha, the letters express the IFJ's concern about the lack of press freedom in theses countries, where journalists are routinely detained in violation of their fundamental freedoms and human rights.
As a sign of unity and solidarity among our affiliates, we ask that you print off a copy of a letter of your choice, add in your details in the spaces provided and hand it to the embassy of one of these countries in your country or region.
IFJ affiliates in Africa and Europe have already backed the campaign. The Eastern Africa Journalists Assocaiton (EAJA) sent a letter to the Eritrean Embassy in Ethiopia, while the the Swedish Union of Journalists sent letters to the Eritrean, Iranian, Turkish and Chinese Embassies in Stockholm.
the petition letters for China, Iran, Turkey, or Eritrea)
Thursday, 2 May
A safety handbook, Front Line Journalism -Safety Handbook for Field Journalists, was launched by the IFJ. The handbook is in Arabic and as part of the safety programme developed by the IFJ in cooperation with its affiliates in the Arab World and the Middle East (AWME). For more information, please see detailed activities in the AWME section.
Friday, 3 May
Celso Schroder, the President of FEPALC, the Latin American group of the IFJ spoke at the UNESCO conference in San José, Costa Rica on "Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in all Media". The UNESCO/ Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize will be presented during this occasion.
The IFJ also organised a safety workshop in cooperation with the regional affiliate, the National Union of Journalists of Costa Rica. The workshop "Safety training: physical and mental training of journalists" was led by Celso Schröder, President of the Federation of Latin American and Caribbean Journalists (FEPALC), who has been intensively reporting the risks faced by journalists in the region.
See draft agenda HERE.
Twitter Hashtag #IFJWPFD
Please use the hashtag #IFJWPFD to update your activities and mention @IFJGLOBAL on your social media sites. The IFJ will be updating its Twitter feed daily.
Around the world, IFJ affiliates held events to highlight a range of pressing issues in their communities, countries and regions during this annual celebration of press freedom. Click to check it out now.
Time & Date: 3 May
Location: NIrobi, Kenya & Daka
The Media Council of Kenya hosted a meeting with the IFJ African regional office on journalist safety. Mr. Gabriel Ayite Baglo, the regional secretary, attended the meeting and carried out a presenation on Safety and Protection of Journalists in Africa.
A simultaneous meeting was also organised in Dakar with UNESCO regional office on journalist safety. The Secretary General of the Journalists' Union of Senegal (SYNPICS), together with two journalists, spoke at the UNESCO meeting on violence against journalists from their own experiences.
Contact: Sadibou MARONG, Program Officer of IFJ Africa Regional Office
Event: Launch of the State of Press Freedom Report, Somalia
Date & Time: 3 May
Organised by: National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)
NUSOJ organised an activity that gathered all union members, media stakeholders and civil society organisations to commemorate World Press Freedom Day.
Nigeria Union of Journalists - Three days of activities:
Event: Workshop on Safety of Journalists
Date: 2 May
Location: Amaechi Hall, Rockview Hotel Royale, Abuja
This event was organised to teach journalists in the country about safety. Discussions included 'Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media,' and 'The Role of Ethics in Combating Impunity and Promoting the Safety of Journalists.'
Event: World Press Freedom Day Celebration
Date: 3 May
Location: Zuma Hall, Rockview Hotel Royale, Aubuja
The event celebrated this important day and involved a number of speeches and presentations.
Event: Peace walk
Date: 4 May
Location: From the Old Parade Ground to the Radio House
Event: Celebration of World Press Freedom Day
Date and time: 3 May at 3pm
Organisers: Union des Journalistes independants du Togo (UJIT)
Location: Lome, The Press House
The progamme for the event involved an address by the Secretary General of UJIT, a message from the Minister of Communications, a message from the president of the High Authority for Audiovisual and Communication, and a presentation of the report on the state of press freedom in Togo.
Event: World Press Freedom Day Activities
Date: 3 May
Organisers: Union of Angolan Journalists
The activities organised included a declaration on the state of press freedom in Angola, a panel discussion on the Freedom of Expression in Social Media, and a final report on the monitoring of the media before, during and after the electoral procedure in Angola in August 2012.
Speaking without risk: the safe exercise of freedom of expression in all media
Time & Date: 3 May
Organised by: The National Union of Journalists of Mozambique
The National Union of Journalists of Mozambique, in coordination with the partners, held a discussion of reflection on the role of the media in the process of consolidation of democracy and good governance. The focus was on journalism ethics and challenges facing journalists.
Arab World & the Middle East
Thursday, 2 May, Brussels
Safety Handbook: Front Line Journalism -Safety Handbook for Field Journalists.
To celebrate 20 years of World Press Freedom Day in the Arab World and the Middle East, the IFJ launched its Safety Handbook titled: Front Line Journalism - Safety Handbook for Field Journalists (Download). Produced in Arabic, the handbook is part of the safety programme developed by the IFJ in cooperation with its affiliates in the region "Building a Culture of Safety in the Arab World and the Middle East", supported by the European Commission and Norwegian government.
Safety is one of the biggest challenges journalists have been facing in the region, in the battle for media freedom, and hundreds have paid with their lives for their stories, crossing red lines at home or reporting from war zones abroad. Often safety training is what makes the difference between life and death, and many casualties could have been avoided with safety training that helps journalists manage the risks and minimize the dangers.
With its Safety Trainers Network, a pool of Arabic speaking trainers, the IFJ has trained over 800 journalists, including up to a third of women journalists, in the region since 2010 It has engaged strongly in this area in partnership with its affiliates in the Arab World and the Middle East, civil society organisations, media employers and UNESCO.
This regionally customised handbook aims to respond to the growing challenge of
safety and the need to raise awareness among field journalists. Nonetheless
practical safety training remains indispensable and a right all journalists
reporting conflict should be entitled to.
For more information visit: www.ifj-arabic.org
National Union of Journalists (SNJT), Tunisia
The SNJT published an annual report on press freedom in Tunisia in a press conference. A march was also organised by the union SNJT to protest for an independent and free press in Tunisia.
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) organised Thanksgiving
Services and a Public Lecture in observance of this year's World Press Freedom
Day. SLAJ was observing this day to magnify its significance in bringing
attention to the plight journalists go through while carrying out their trade
and to underline the need for media freedom and the general freedom of
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Report on Women Safety Training in the Philippines
Time & Date: 3 May
The Journalists' Union of Philippines published its report on Women Safety Training to mark World Press Freedom Day and highlight the safety of women journalists.
The workshop was organised by the union on World Women's Day and 24 female journalists took part, mostly from Mindanao, the southern island in the Philippines notorious for private armies, warlords and killings, including journalists.
Event: Lecture on Freedom of Speech and Expression and the Rule of Law
Time & Date: 4.30pm, 3 May Location: Hotel Janaki, Fife Road, Colombo 05 Organised by: Free Media Movement (FMM), Sri Lanka & UNDP, Nepal
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AJP & EFJ (Belgium)
Event: Spotlight on Press Freedom
Time & Date: Friday, 11.30 am, 26 April 2013
Location: La Maison des Journalistes (Journalists' House), 21, rue de la Senne, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgique
The Association of Professional Journalists in Belgium (AJP) and the European Federation of Journalists organised a press conference highlighting the state of press freedom in Turkey. Mehmet Koksal, the journalist and coordinator of the EFJ campaign on Set Journalists Free in Turkey, together with MEPs Jean-Claude Defossé (Ecolo), Fatoumata Sidibé (FDF) and André du Bus (CDHI) reported their experiences as observers during the KCK trial in Istanbul. So far, at least 44 journalists have been put in prisons and accused of engaging in terrorist activities.
For more information about the on-going campaign on Set Journalists Free, please visit HERE.
Turkish Journalists' Union (TGS)
The Journalists' Union of Turkey (TGS - Türkiye Gazeteciler Sendikası) flew 66 kites made out of pictures of the imprisoned journalists in Turkey in front of the Justice Palace in Istanbul, Turkey. (see more photos)
NUJ (UK & Ireland)
Event: Solidarity with Turkish Journalists
Time & Date: 6pm - 8.30pm, Thursday, 2 May 2013
Location: NUJ's head office - Headland House, 308 - 312 Gray's Inn Road, Kings Cross, London WC1
The National Union of Journalists (UK & Ireland) organised a public meeting for world press freedom to show the extent of the attacks on freedom of expression and the right to report in Turkey. The IFJ President, Jim Boumelha and Mehmet Kosal, coordinator of the EFJ's Set Journalists Free in Turkey spoke at this meeting.
For further information, please visit NUJ site.
Event: Digitale Quellen: Wer schützt die (Presse-) Freiheit im Internet?/ Digital sources: who protects press freedom on the Internet?
Time & Date: 2 May
Location: Haus der Presse, Markgrafenstrasse 15, 10969 Berlin
Protection of sources has always been at the heart of journalism. But in a digital age, it is not enough to lock away notepads and address books to protect our sources. What happens if a journalist's smartphone gets lost in hot spots like Syria, it may impact on the lives of dozen others. The meeting discussed how journalists can protect their sources in the digital age.
Event: Debate on objectivity in journalism
Time & Date: 6pm, 3 May
Location: Bremer Presse-Club (Waldemar-Koch-Haus, Schnoor 27/28)
The union held a debate focusing on Article 5 Equality Opportunity of the German Constitution and how journalistic objectivity can be influenced by the social and economic background of individual journalists.
Event: Editorial Independent vs Shareholders' Interests
Time & Date: 2 May
The SNJ-CGT called on the French President, Mr. François Hollande, to realise his promise to ensure the independence and pluralism of media in France. (read more)
Union of Cyprus Journalists, Cyprus
Time & Date:3 May
The Union of Cyprus Journalists issued a press release and submitted a petition to the Government and to the House of Representatives on the impact of the crisis on journalism.
They called on the Government to support journalists in the fight to keep their jobs and maintain descent working conditions. They also shared solidarity with journalists jailed in Turkey, calling for the released of these journalists and respect for press freedom.
Journalists' Union of Italy
Time & Date: 3 May 2, 13
The FNSI took part in a public demonstration in Perugia with its specialist organisation, the reporters the National Italian Union of Chroniclers (UNCI). It was meeting of journalists, representatives of institutions and civil society to put the spotlight on the need to respect the culture of the media and journalists. In particular, through a panel discussion and subsequent debate, they paid public tribute to journalists - Italians and others - kidnapped, threatened or fallen at the hands of hostile groups on the war fronts, or recipients of serious intimidation and threats to their person or their property. A special session of the meeting was devoted to Domenico Quirico, the Stampa correspondent in Syria, whose has been missing for over 20 days now..
The FNSI website (www.fnsi.it) home page opens with a yellow ribbon symbolising hope and expectation of a return to freedom.
This symbol has also been adopted by the newspaper La Stampa, and many other newspapers and online sites.
Freedom needs security
Journalists in Austria highlighted the need to reinforce free access to information and protection of information. (read more)
Journalists' Union of Portugal
The union issued a statement stressing the importance of the World Press Freedom Day referring to the many problems that confronted Portuguese journalists today and warning of the dangers to democracy and pluralism (read more)
The Swedish Union of Journalists, Sweden
Time & Date: 3 May
The Swedish Union of Journalists teamed up with other organisations interested in press freedom to sign an op-ed article that will be published in one of Sweden's top daily newspapers on 3 May. They also sent the four letters prepared by IFJ to the embassies of Turkey, China, Iran and Eritrea in Stockholm.
Trade Union of Macedonian Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM)
To mark the day, the SSNM initiated a protest against proposed new media law by the Government to control the internet, print and electronic media. The union asked all online media darken their website as a symbolic act to warn of the proposed new law.
Human Rights Conference (focusing on the press freedom)
Time & Date: 3 May
The Association of Peruvian Journalists organised a series of activities to mark the day. The union organised a Human Rights conference focusing on press freedom and live broadcast the conference on the National Radio Network. Journalists across the region held a one minute of silence at 12.00 to honour those journalists who were killed carrying out their duty.
Journalism, Freedom of Expression
and Human Rights Report
Time & Date: 6 May
Location: Santiago de Veraguas
The Panama Journalists' Union published its annual report documenting the state of journalism and freedom of expression in the country in a press conference. Following the launch, a panel discussion was held in the Conference Room of the University Regional Centre.
Event: Freedom of Expression and Media (Panel Discussion)
Time & Date: 7pm, 3 May
Location: Confederation of the Working Class (CCT), Haedo 965 e / Montevideo and Colon, Asuncion
Organised by: the Journalists Union of Paraguay (SPP)