IFJ and EFJ backed their affiliate the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) in Brussels during the projection of the 15' documentary 'The Word and the Bullet', a tribute to the memory of the 16 journalists murdered for their journalist activity on the Northern Caucasus region of Dagestan (Russian Federation) within the last 20 years.
The short film, which condemns the impunity of these killings and urges the local authorities to investigate the crimes and punish the perpetrators, was followed by a debate held by the EFJ’s General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez, the IFJ Assistant of the General Secretary Oliver Money-Kyrle, the IFJ Human Rights and Safety officer, the Vice President of the EFJ and Secretary of the RUJ Nadezhda Azhgikhina, the Chair of Dagestan Journalists Union Ali Kamalov and the film director and RUJ safety expert Svetlana Svistunova.
"Dagestan is one of the most dangerous places for journalists and it is in Europe," reminded Nadezhda Azhgikhina, who also highlighted the need of sharing information and developing more exchanges among local journalists to fight impunity.
"I am here to tell about our pain after the killing of these Dagestani colleagues," added the chair of Dagestan Journos Union Ali Kamalov, who also condemned the lack of freedom of expression sufferend by reporters and the Dagestani society, where instability and civil unrest have seen dozens of journalists and activists killed over the years.
Ricardo Gutiérrez, EFJ's General Secretary, provided with some figures about impunity in Europe. "On average, one journalist is killed each week. 94% of the journalists are local and most of the cases remain unsolved," he said, while Ernest Sagaga described the online platform for media protection, recently launched by the Council of Europe to combat these attacks, as "a good iniciative."
The event was hosted by the European Endowment Democracy foundation.
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