Formation of the Federation of Asia Pacific Journalists (FAPaJ)
In a historic moment for journalists and media workers in the Asia-Pacific region, IFJ delegates formed a new regional group, the Federation of Asia-Pacific Journalists (FAPaJ), on May 31, during the IFJ’s triennial World Congress in Muscat, Oman.
The FAPaJ becomes the fourth IFJ regional group after the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) and the Federación de Periodistas de América Latina y el Caribe (FEPALC). FAPaJ comprises representatives from five sub-regions of the Asia-Pacific: Pacific, Western Asia, Eastern Asia, Southern Asia and Central Asia.
Sabina Inderjit, General-Secretary of the India Journalists Union (IJU) and IFJ Vice President, was elected as the first FAPaJ president. Salem Al Jahwari was elected as FAPaJ Vice President unopposed, with Mousa Abdul Nour, Ali Youssef, and Mohammad Al Hammadi elected for Western Asia, Leigh Tonkin for the Pacific, Jonathan De Santos and Chin Sung Chew for Eastern Asia and Badri Sigdel for South Asia, as sub-regional members of the FAPaJ Executive Committee.
As there were no delegates present for Central Asia, no representative was elected for this sub-region. Two positions remain vacant until the next congress due to limited nominations.
The new federation adopted several resolutions, including voting unanimously to condemn the increasing assaults on the press in countries in the region including Afghanistan, Nepal, India, Myanmar and Hong Kong, and calling for increased monitoring of the arrests and trials of journalists and other press freedom violations.
The FAPaJ committed to protect the right to free speech, to strengthen free expression online and fight against laws which lead to internet shutdowns. Delegates also moved to condemn the killing of Palestinian journalist Shiren Abu Aqla, who was killed while covering Israeli army raids in the city of Jenin.
The IFJ has a strong history of international journalist federations across the world. The Asia Pacific region was the missing piece. We hope the Federation of Asia Pacific Journalists (FAPaJ) will be a strong platform for journalists and media workers in this diverse and important region.
Federation of Asia Pacific Journalists Executive Committee:
President: Sabina Inderjit - Indian Journalists Union (IJU)
Vice-President: Salem Al Jahwari - Oman Journalists Association (OJA)
FAPaJ Executive Committee Members:
- Moussa Abdul Nour - Syrian Journalists Union (SJU)
- Ali Youssef - Ordre des Redacteurs de La Presse Libanaise (ORLB)
- Mohammad Al Hammadi - UAE Journalists Association (UAEJA)
- Leigh Tonkin - Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) - Australia
- Jonathan De Santos - National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)
- Badri Sigdel - Nepal Press Union (NPU)
FAPaJ Reserve Member:
- Chin Sung Chew - National Union of Journalists Peninsular Malaysia (NUJM)