There must be no hiding place for those who attack journalists or undermine media freedom. That’s the strong message from journalists unions across the world to mark the World Press Freedom Day tomorrow, as the International Federation of Journalists vowed to step up the pressure on world leaders to act in defence of press freedom.
The call follows the publication of a shocking new survey published by the IFJ to mark this day and which shows the extent of press freedom violations in many parts of the globe.
The survey - to be published on World Press Freedom Day - documents cases of killings, attacks, censorship, hate speech and intimidation of journalists in Africa, Latin America and Europe. It also highlights success stories where journalists have resisted such threats and shows how campaigning journalists unions are at the forefront of the fight for media freedom around the world.
The survey forms part of a comprehensive campaign by the IFJ – which represents 600,000 journalists in 140 countries around the world – to make those responsible for attacks on journalists and media freedom accountable for their crimes. It echoes the concerns raised in a series of IFJ video interviews with journalists from Africa,Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Europe over growing threats to media freedom in every continent.
And it reiterates IFJ President Jim Boumelha’s call that “there must be no hiding place for those who attack journalists or undermine media freedom” as he pledged the IFJ’s ”unwavering commitment to pursue by all means at our disposal all those who intimidate, threaten or attack our colleagues, our rights and our freedoms.”
As part of the commitment leaders, activists and unions will take part in numerous World Press Freedom Day initiatives.
In Casablanca the IFJ, alongside human rights councils, broadcasters, academics and journalists unions from across the Arab world, will be spearheading a campaign to establish a regional mechanism to support media freedom as part of a major event promoting access to information and freedom of expression.
In Helsinki, IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger will tell UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day gathering that it must act to tackle the impunity which leads to fear and self-censorship among journalists across the world.
In Brussels, the European Federation of Journalists will denounce the media freedom crackdown in Turkey during a day of events as well as the growing phenomenon of self-censorship in European journalism to mark World Press Freedom Day.
In South Asia, the IFJ Asia Pacific and SAMSN will be launching their annual South Asia Press Freedom Report, The Road to Resilience. The report documents the challenges and the changing media landscape, whilst also championing the success stories. This year, in addition to the country reports, the report includes reports on impunity, gender and the media, and capsule reports from Chhattisgarh, India, Kabul and Kunduz, Afghanistan as well as a report from Bangladesh on the attacks on bloggers. The report will be launched in New Delhi.
For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 16
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 139 countries