Journalists and media practitioners from all eight countries of
South Asia met at Kathmandu between July 21 and 23 for the eleventh annual
meeting of the South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN). The meeting took note
of the continuing deterioration in press freedom in the region and resolved that
as the key platform for collective union action in South Asia, SAMSN would continue
its campaign of advocacy on the many challenges faced by journalists in the
SAMSN seeks to be the common voice of journalists from South Asia.
It represents all regional affiliates of the International Federation of
Journalists (IFJ) in coalition with journalists' organisations and press
freedom partners working for a free and fair media founded on sound and ethical
annual meeting of SAMSN took serious note of the growing recourse to
extra-legal action by state and non-state actors intent on silencing
journalism. Of over six hundred journalists killed world over in the last
twelve years, one-sixth have been in Pakistan and one-fourth in South Asia.
Overt and covert threats of violence continue being used to silence journalists
engaged in reporting in the public interest.
countries that have just emerged from years of conflict, such as Sri Lanka and
Nepal, processes of national reconciliation have been halting and hesitant and
journalists who dare to speak up for justice and human rights face numerous
hazards. In the conflict-prone regions of India, journalists function under a
regime of extra-legal coercion where constitutional rights are violated on
almost a daily basis.
convergence of media investments with other political and other business
interests, threatens the free practice of journalism in all of South Asia. In
Bangladesh, the integration of the media industry with other lines of business
is compounded by political rivalries which deepen the polarisation among
journalists and undermine the possibility of collective action on issues of
reaffirms its commitment to partners in Bhutan and the Maldives as they seek to
establish themselves as viable collective bargaining agents, safeguarding journalists’
wages and working conditions.
endorses the efforts made by partner organisations to push back against the
threats they face. It resolves to use international covenants that national
governments in South Asia are party to, such as the U.N. human rights instruments
and the Convention to Eliminate all forms of Discrimination Against Women
(CEDAW), to improve freedom, diversity and choice for media practitioners and
welcomes the initiation of the U.N. Action Plan Against Impunity for attacks on
journalists in the partner countries of Nepal and Pakistan. It resolves to
evolve a common template for the monitoring of media rights in all countries of
South Asia. Factors and circumstances that militate against ethically sound
journalism are common to all eight countries and allow for a shared regional
will continue to engage in collective cross-border solidarity actions to uphold
the causes it is committed to. As part of building its campaign capacity, SAMSN
resolves to create an online resource or a digital hub which would host a broad
range of content relevant to its principal concerns.
endorses the charter of principles agreed in 2008 and authorises its steering
group members to function as focal points for in-country deliberations and
campaign planning upto its twelfth annual session, scheduled for 2014.
For further information
contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0918
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