Asian Journalists Call for a Halt to Killing and Harassment of Filipino Journalists

A meeting of journalists' leaders representing 14 countries from the Asia-Pacific region led by IFJ President Christopher Warren in Colombo from 21-23 August 2004:

EXPRESSES grave concern about the mounting toll of journalists killed in the Philippines, with four journalists being killed this year. Nine were killed last year making it 13 in the past 12 months. The targeting of independent journalists, and the failure to bring the guilty to book stands as a shocking indictment of the authorities.

DEMANDS that the government prosecute suspects in the investigation of the murder of 55 journalists in the country since 1986, in order to send a strong and simple message to all -- that shooting journalists will not be tolerated and those who commit these crimes will be found and brought to justice.

CALLS upon the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) to send a safety mission to the Philippines in order to conduct an independent inquiry and enforce accountability so that those who target journalists cannot get away with impunity.

Delegates at the meeting declared that journalists must be allowed to fulfil their journalistic duty, free from fear of arrest or physical violence and the relevant authorities must recognise the important role that journalists play.

Colombo Sri Lanka, 23 August 2004

Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI) Indonesia

All India Newspaper Employees Federation

Association of Taiwan Journalists

Bangladesh Journalists Rights Forum

Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists

Federation of Media Employees' Trade Unions

Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ)

Hong Kong Journalists Association

Journalists Association of Korea

Korean Federation of Press Unions

Indian Journalists' Union

Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance

National Union of Journalists, India

National Union of Journalists (Malaysia)

National Union of Journalists, Nepal

National Union of Journalists of the Philippines

Nepal Press Union

Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists

Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association

Thai Journalists Association