IFJ 2001: 15. Defence of Press Freedom

Proposed: NUJ Great Britain and Ireland and Cyprus Union of Journalists The 24th IFJ Congress, meeting in Seoul on June 11th to June 15th, 2001 Recognising the courage and sacrifice of thousands of journalists, writers and media staff in defense of press freedom, Disturbed by the increase of cases in which governments crack down on legitimate journalism by spurious allegations of espionage, Noting that the television team of the UK Channel Four’s Insight News was arrested last August and charged in Liberia with espionage and faced jail sentences up to ten years, Further noting the arrest in the Northern Part of Cyprus of Shener Levent, Editor-in-Chief, and two journalists of the Daily Turkish Cypriot newspaper Avrupa, charged with espionage by the Turkish army and the Turkish Cypriot administration under its control and treason, Deploring the sentence of seven years jail of Miroslav Filipovic, a leading investigative journalist correspondent of the Serbian daily Danas, on spying charges and spreading false information, Declares that these cases were about government seeking to scapegoat journalists for their problems and then using absurd legal devices to stifle debate and intimidate other journalists. Congress calls on the Executive Committee to build a vigorous worldwide campaign to fight censors and tyrants who abuse journalists’ rights. Such a campaign should include the publication of an annual report listing the violations of journalists’ rights wherever they occur.