IFJ Announces Opening of Moscow Solidarity Centre at Russian Congress

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today announced at the congress of its member union in Russia, the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ), its decision to open a solidarity centre in Moscow.

The announcement was made by IFJ President, Jim Boumelha, to the 450 delegates from across the 77 unions of journalists in Russia, organised within the RUJ.  It was welcomed by the Russian journalists' community as a major achievement for their union.

"The opening of the IFJ solidarity centre in Moscow will help the RUJ consolidate its work throughout its regions and in the surrounding countries," said Boumelha, "it will help the IFJ and RUJ establish a programme of work which will strengthen trade unionism and the defence of independent journalism."

The 10th congress, held at Kolonny Zal in Moscow, a major official venue in Russia, marks a turning point for the development of the RUJ. Delegates took seminal decisions on the orientation of their union, including a back-to-basics programme of trade union work, a focus on safety of journalists and defence of social and professional rights.

The IFJ and RUJ agreed a detailed memorandum of understanding, which was presented by the RUJ leadership to congress, defining the core activities that will be carried out by the centre, focusing principally on safety of journalists including safety training of journalists, post-traumatic aid, legal support, support for families, the fight against impunity, professional and working rights of journalists and media freedom. The agreement was fully endorsed by delegates.
The congress also endorsed a series of reports of the work of the RUJ which made the union the authoritative voice of journalists in Russia. Vsevolod Bogdanov was overwhelmingly elected to continue as its president as well as a secretariat of 16 national secretaries.

"Cooperation with the IFJ is crucial for the development of the RUJ. The opening of the IFJ solidarity centre will help the RUJ position itself within the media landscape in Russia as the indisputable representative of Russian journalists," said president-elect Bogdanov.

"This is the beginning of a new era for Russian journalists throughout the Russian federation who are now better prepared to fight for independent and good quality journalism."

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries