The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has sent a message of support to its Russian affiliate, the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) following its annual Memorial Day on 15 December which was dedicated to the memory of colleagues who have been killed in the line of duty.
The event, held in the Moscow Central House of Journalists, has been organised every December by the RUJ since the 90's to pay their respects to more than 300 media workers who have gone missing or been killed in Russia since 1991.
It was a very touching event as relatives and friends gathered together to celebrate the lives and work of the journalists, while also calling for an end to impunity for crimes against journalists in the country.
For this year's Memorial Day, the RUJ had the honour of inviting their foreign colleagues from Ukraine and Turkey to join them.
Oleg Nalivayko, Chairman of the Ukrainian Union of Journalists, Ercan Ipekci, Chairman of the Union of Journalists of Turkey, and Mustafa Keleli, Chairman of the Istanbul Union of Journalists, stressed the need to remember those who died for the freedom of speech and expressed their warmest sympathies and solidarity with their families.
Special solidarity letters from IFJ President, Jim Boumelha, and EFJ President, Mogens Bliher Bjerregaard, were read to the audience during the emotional event.
"Following the moving annual Memorial Day event in Moscow, we send our sympathies and solidarity to the families and colleagues of the many journalists in Russia who have lost their lives in the service of their profession," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. "We join with our colleagues in the RUJ to call for an end to impunity for crimes against journalists in Russia and for the perpetrators of theses horrific crimes to be punished for their appalling actions."
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The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries