Journalists from all over the world today expressed outrage and condemnation over killings of their Russian colleagues and the dark shadow of government intimidation cast over the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ).
“There is a process of intimidation in Russia that is unacceptable,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “We must say loudly and clearly that we stand with our Russian colleagues and when we go home we must still stand shoulder to shoulder with the Russian Union of Journalists.”
Delegates at the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) World Congress vowed to fight attempts to evict the Russian Union from their premises, which was announced on the day the gathering of 500 international journalists started in Moscow for their World Congress.
Impunity in the killing of journalists and the intense pressure the government has put on the media, on unions and on individual journalists must be fought by unions, not just in Russia but all over the world, said the IFJ.
The IFJ passed a unanimous resolution that demands an immediate end to all manipulation of journalism by narrow private and political interests and called for the development of a national media culture that will respect the democratic rights and liberties of all Russians.
The problems for journalists in Russia have been complicated by the “intimidation and provocative action” of the authorities, says the IFJ, who are seeking to evict the Russian Union from the headquarters they have occupied in Moscow for 27 years.
The Congress demanded that the Russian Agency of State Property withdraws immediately the threat to evict the Union from their premises and supports the Russian Union of Journalists in its insistence that its rights of occupation are clearly set out in Government decrees and should be respected.
The IFJ unions are calling for an end to all manipulation of journalism by narrow private and political interests and for the development of a national media culture that will respect the democratic rights and liberties of all Russians.
General Secretary White said the IFJ would launch a worldwide campaign to expose the attacks on press freedom and it will be a major focus for the newly elected executive committee.
“We are not purely campaigning,” White said. “We will take this forward.”
For more information contact the IFJ at 7 916 582 2625
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries worldwide