IFJ Names Worst Jailers of Journalists for World Press Freedom Day 2013

To mark World Press Freedom Day tomorrow, Friday 3 May 2013, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has written to the Brussels embassies of the four countries in the world with the highest numbers of imprisoned journalists to demand their release.


Signed by IFJ President Jim Boumelha, the letters have been sent to the embassies of China, Iran, Turkey and Eritrea, to express the IFJ’s concern about the lack of press freedom in these countries, where journalists are routinely detained in  violation of  their fundamental freedoms and human rights.


“The only thing they (the journalists) are guilty of is fulfilling their professional duty as journalists to inform the public,” said the letters.  


“We urge your Government to end this climate of fear and intimidation facing journalists and to release from jail dozens of journalists, writers and trade unionists.”


As a sign of unity and solidarity, the IFJ is also calling on its affiliates to send similar letters to the embassies of the same countries in their regions.


To print off a copy of the letters, go to: http://www.ifj.org/en/pages/world-press-freedom-day-2013


This year the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is marking World Press Freedom Day by focusing on the issue of 'Journalist Safety and Journalists Imprisoned around the World. This reflects the on-going concern over the numbers of our colleagues who continue to languish in prisons in many countries as a result of their profession.


In Iran, according to IFJ affiliate, the Association of Iranian Journalists (AoIJ), at least 24 journalists are currently in prison on charges of allegedly violating Iranian laws.


In Turkey, IFJ affiliate, the Turkish Union of Journalists, estimates that at least 66 journalists are currently in prison, awaiting trial on charges of allegedly isolating the Turkish penal code or anti-terror laws. IFJ’s European organisation, the European Federation of Journalists, is running a campaign with the Turkish Union of Journalists to ‘Set Journalists Free in Turkey’:http://europe.ifj.org/en/pages/turkey-campaign-set-journalists-free


In Eritrea, according to reliable sources, at least 18 journalists have been detained without charges since the authorities imposed a ban on independent media in September 2001.


And in China, it was reported in 2012 that potentially over 30 journalists were imprisoned, awaiting trial on charges of allegedly violating the Chinese penal code or anti-terror laws.


To find out what events are planned by our affiliates for World Press Freedom Day 2013, visit our web page: http://www.ifj.org/en/pages/world-press-freedom-day-2013


For more information, please contact IFJ on + 221 33 867 95 86/87
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries