The General Secretaries of the International Federation of Journalists and of the Federation of Arab Journalists (FAJ) met in Brussels on 23 October to discuss the follow-up of the Rabat Declaration issued by the two Federations last March in Morocco. One of the main outcomes of the meeting was to schedule a joint mission to Iraq in January.
The Iraqi journalistic scene is very fragmented at the moment and several organisations and networks of journalists have been put in place in the aftermath of the regime’s fall. The working conditions in general are extremely poor and Iraqi media professionals are in need of training and better working equipment and material.
“We are extremely concerned about the lack of serious effort and commitment of the international community vis-à-vis the precarious situation of our Iraqi colleagues,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “The large-scale lack of solidarity is striking and must be addressed immediately”.
The mission, which will be composed of a delegation of six IFJ and FAJ representatives, will meet with Iraqi media professionals, UN agencies and civil society representatives and will try to facilitate the creation of a platform for dialogue among these groups.
“The creation of an Iraqi journalists’ national body, encompassing all ethnic and cultural groups and dedicated to the defence of press freedom and journalists’ rights would be a valuable fresh start for the profession in Iraq,” said White.
The IFJ and FAJ representatives are planning to meet with journalists in Baghdad, Basra, Moussoul and Erbil.
Further information: + 32 2 235 22 00
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries