Injuries to Canadian Media Staff in Afghanistan Attack Reveal “Perilous Reality” of Embedded Journalism Warns IFJ

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today said the injuries sustained by two journalists embedded with Canadian troops in Afghanistan were a further indication of the dangers facing media staff in conflict zones – even for those travelling under the protection of armed forces.

“This attack shows the perilous reality of embedded journalism,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “Media staff covering conflict are always at risk and when they are travelling with armed combatants, that risk becomes ever-more real.”

On Wednesday, cameraman Charles Dubois and journalist Patrice Roy, who work for Radio-Canada Television, were injured when a roadside bomb hit the vehicle they were travelling in. Two Canadian soldiers and an interpreter died in the attack. Dubois suffered a severe leg injury and Roy was treated for shock.

In December 2006, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1738, a measure championed by the IFJ and its member unions that protects journalists in conflict zones and says killing them can be considered a war crime.

The IFJ believes that safety should be the top concern when journalists are given assignments in conflict areas. It has called on all employers to provide safety training to employees working in dangerous environments. The IFJ is a founding member of the International News Safety Institute (INSI), an organisation of media organisations, press freedom groups, unions and humanitarian campaigners dedicated to the safety of journalists and media staff. INSI has provided safety training to hundreds of journalists all over the world.

“We wish Charles and Patrice a quick recovery and remind all media organisations that safety should be of paramount importance when they send their employees into conflict zones,” White said.

For more information contact the IFJ at 32 2 235 2207

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 114 countries worldwide