The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), and its affiliate, the Iraqi Journalists’ Syndicate (IJS), have denounced the ongoing attacks against journalists in Iraq and issued a series of recommendations to improve the safety and rights of journalists in the country.
The recommendations were made at the conference 'Iraq Media: Ten Years On - Journalists Rights, Safety and Legal Reform,' held in Istanbul, 28-29 April, to mark the 10th anniversary of the occupation of Iraq. The conference was organised in coperation with the IFJ, Iraqi Journalists' Syndicate and UNESCO.
"Our affiliate in Iraq, the IJS, and its members have shown an extraordinary tenacity in standing up, for over a decade, to some of the toughest challenges encountered by journalists,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “They ranged from sectarian deadly attacks, making the grim toll of killed journalists in Iraq the worst in the world, to their courageous fight for a free and independent media.
“Ten years on, collective action by journalists delivers every day on many fronts, from the campaign for a strong professional culture, to building quality in media, defending public values and campaigning on self-regulation.
“Despite the still uncertain political landscape, this has placed Iraqi journalists in a key position to gather the widest coalition to help build the new democratic Iraq and look forward to the next 10 years."
Participants, including journalists, media editors, members of the Iraqi parliament, the Ministry of Human Rights and the Iraqi High Commission of Human Rights, the Federation of Arab Journalists and the Centre of Law and Democracy, debated the reforms needed to tackle issues such as impunity, journalist safety and journalists professional and social rights in Iraq.
In a joint statement, the representatives involved remembered the 380 journalists and media workers who have lost their lives in Iraq in the last ten years, denounced the ongoing attacks and violence against Iraqi journalists and expressed their deep concern at the failure to bring killers of journalists to justice.
To view the recommendations in full go to: http://www.ifj-arabic.org/dfiles/attach_files/2013-05-3-03-50-37_Recommendations%20Iraq-Istanbul%2010%20Years%20On%20EN.pdf
As the meeting was held in Istanbul, the Iraqi participants expressed their solidarity with Turkish journalists in prison and called on Turkish authorities to release them immediately and unconditionally.
For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries