Welcome to the bulletin for the first week of IFJ Asia-Pacific’s End Impunity Campaign.
On November 2, International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, the IFJ launched its annual #EndImpunity campaign. Week 1 of the campaign focused on calling the governments of India, Pakistan and the Philippines to account through a letter campaign, demanding that action be taken to end impunity for attacks against journalists. We encourage our regional affiliates and supporters to join in by sending their own letters, urging the leaders of their countries to genuinely commit to ending impunity and delivering justice to victims and their families. Templates are available here.
Along with letters, the IFJ Asia-Pacific took the campaign to social media, by encouraging our followers to share pictures of Asia-Pacific leaders with the hashtags #whatareyoudoing? and #EndImpunity. We encourage you to join in on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by sharing our images and campaign materials to put pressure on your leaders to take the issue more seriously.
Finally, we published our video on impunity in the Philippines, in which Jefry Tupa from the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) explained the culture of impunity in his country. Don’t forget to watch and share the video to support the campaign!
Our affiliates have also carried out a number of activities in solidarity with the End Impunity Campaign, and some have scheduled events in the near future. We encourage contributions from our affiliates and supporters to let others know what you are doing to promote the campaign. To contribute, email Alex Hearne at: [email protected].
On Monday, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) launched its own campaign to End Impunity for attacks against journalists. The PFUJ wrote a letter to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif urging him to resolve the injustices perpetrated against journalists in Pakistan, where as many as 115 journalists have been killed since 2005. The PFUJ and affiliated units also carried out different activities to mark the UN International Day to End Impunity, including discussion sessions in Lahore, a candlelight vigil to honour departed colleagues in Karachi, and similar functions in Peshawar, Quetta, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Multan, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Hyderabad, Bahawalpur and Abbottabad.
On October 28, The Timor Lorosa’e Journalists’ Association (TLJA) held a seminar on media law and the journalistic code of ethics in Dili, attended by many military, police and government officials.
The National Union of Journalists India (NUJ-I) has scheduled a massive Protest March outside Parliament in New Delhi on December 7 to demand the immediate enactment of the Journalists Protection Act to ensure the safety of journalists. The NUJ-I expects 2000 journalists from all over the country to join the demonstration, and released its first poster yesterday (see below). They have also planned to submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling for better legislative protection of journalists. Join the march and support the NUJ-I campaign to end impunity against journalists in India.
The Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI) in Indonesia is also running its own campaign during November, in solidarity with the IFJ. The AJI will hold a photo exhibition at the Media Festival in Jakarta on November 14 and 15 to highlight seven key impunity cases in Indonesia. Have a look at the exhibition and support the AJI’s campaign to lobby for an end to impunity under the Jokowi regime.
The Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) will launch the IFJ-AP missing journalist list, Without a Trace: Media workers missing in the Asia Pacific, on November 16.
If you are an affiliate or a supporter of the IFJ’s campaign in the Asia-Pacific region and are conducting your own activities to demand an end to impunity, let us know by emailing us at [email protected].
The Sri Lanka Young Working Journalist Association will hold a candle-light vigil on November 28 at Viharamahadivi Park in Colombo. The vigil will mark the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against journalists.
Week 2 of the IFJ Asia-Pacific campaign will feature the launch of Without a Trace: Media workers missing in the Asia-Pacific - an online database of 10 key cases of media workers who have disappeared and remain missing, on November 16. This will include the special launch event in Nepal (mentioned above). You can support the list by sharing images of the missing journalists along with the hashtag #IFJmissing.
Week 3 will focus on the Philippines, which remains one of the world’s worst impunity havens for attacks against media workers, following the 2009 Ampatuan massacre and the consistently high level of targeted killings since. We will also take a special focus on Bangladesh where horrific attacks by religious extremists on secular bloggers and journalists in 2015 require urgent action.
The campaign concludes on November 23, the 6th anniversary of the Ampatuan Massacre in the Philippines, when 32 journalists were among 58 people brutally killed while travelling in a political convoy in Maguindanao in Southern Philippines. The massacre remains the single deadliest attack on journalists in history, and to date not one conviction has been secured.
What can you do?
You can support our campaign by sending a letter to the target countries where journalist killings are continuing with impunity, using the templates available here.
You can also share our images and campaign materials on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, along with the hashtags #whatareyoudoing? and #EndImpunity. Follow us on twitter @ifjasiapacific and like us on Facebook.
Globally, you can also join the IFJ’s international campaign which is targeting Mexico, Yemen, the Philippines and Ukraine.