African Governments Have the Duty to Guarantee the Safety of Journalists, FAJ says

 

The

Federation of African Journalists (FAJ), the African regional group of the

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) declared today that African

Governments have the duty to guarantee the safety of journalists.

 

Attending

the 19th Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African

Union (AU), the delegation of FAJ has intensified the campaign for the adoption

of a binding resolution on the safety and protection of journalists in Africa.

 

The

FAJ delegation is made up of the President, Omar Faruk Osman, the Vice

President Foster Dongozi, and the Africa Director for the International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Gabriel Baglo. They represent journalists’

unions and associations on the Africa to engage the Heads of State and

Government.

 

“We

have been actively lobbying African Union member states, the African Union

Commission and other strategic partners for the adoption of a resolution on the

safety and protection of African journalists at the ongoing 19th African Union Summit,” said FAJ President, Omar Faruk Osman who is currently in

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

 

“The safety of journalists is a more pertinent subject

today than ever before; the number of journalists killed, assaulted and

intimidated has been increasing year after year in the continent,” he added.

 

“Many

African journalists are assaulted or killed in the course of their work.

African leaders must adopt binding resolution on the safety and protection of

African journalists”, said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Africa Office Director who is

also currently in Addis Ababa.

 

Osman

stated that FAJ would use its networking and advocacy programme to make gains

in coming up with a binding resolution on the safety and protection of African

journalists.

 

"The

objective of our participation at the AU summit is also to work with the member

states, AU Commission, Peace and Security Council and Permanent Representatives

on the issue of the safety and security of African journalists, particularly

the adoption of a legally binding resolution on the need to protect African

journalists when conducting their work," he explained.

 

In

addition, the delegation engaged members of the African Commission on Human and

People's Rights (ACHPR), whose mandate is to promote and protect human and

people's rights on the African continent as enshrined in the African Charter.

In May 2011, the ACHPR adopted a resolution on the safety and protection of

journalists, which has already been endorsed by the AU.

 

In

2006, the United Nations Security Council adopted the Resolution 1738, which

condemns attacks against journalists in conflict situations while UNESCO has a Resolution

condemning violence against journalists.

 

 

In

September 2010, FAJ launched in collaboration with the African Union Commission

in Addis Ababa a campaign for African leaders to lend their support to the

campaign on the safety and protection of African journalists.  .

 

The

lobbying and advocacy work is being done ahead of a planned Pan-African

Conference on the safety of journalists and the campaign against impunity to be

held in September 2012 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

 

Over

the last three years, Somalia has been the deadliest country for journalists to

work in with 34 journalists having been assassinated. Since the beginning of

this year, six Somali journalists have already been killed while one journalist

was killed in Nigeria.

 

 

 For more information contact

the IFJ: 221 33 867 95 86/87

The IFJ represents more than

600.000 journalists in 134 countries