IFJ Conference Outlines Key Reforms for a Democratic Iraqi Media

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.

02 May 2013
World Press Freedom Day
IFJ Names Worst Jailers of Journalists for World Press Freedom Day 2013

IFJ Conference Outlines Key Reforms for a Democratic Iraqi Media

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.

IFJ Names Worst Jailers of Journalists for World Press Freedom Day 2013

To mark World Press Freedom Day tomorrow, Friday 3 May 2013, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has written to the Brussels embassies of the four countries in the world with the highest numbers of imprisoned journalists to demand their release.

Signed by IFJ President Jim Boumelha, the letters have been sent to the embassies of China, Iran, Turkey and Eritrea, to express the IFJ’s concern about the lack of press freedom in these countries, where journalists are routinely detained in  violation of  their fundamental freedoms and human rights.

“The only thing they (the journalists) are guilty of is fulfilling their professional duty as journalists to inform the public,” said the letters.

“We urge your Government to end this climate of fear and intimidation facing journalists and to release from jail dozens of journalists, writers and trade unionists.”

As a sign of unity and solidarity, the IFJ is also calling on its affiliates to send similar letters to the embassies of the same countries in their regions.

To print off a copy of the letters, go to: http://www.ifj.org/en/pages/world-press-freedom-day-2013

This year the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is marking World Press Freedom Day by focusing on the issue of ‘Journalist Safety and Journalists Imprisoned around the World. This reflects the on-going concern over the numbers of our colleagues who continue to languish in prisons in many countries as a result of their profession.

In Iran, according to IFJ affiliate, the Association of Iranian Journalists (AoIJ), at least 24 journalists are currently in prison on charges of allegedly violating Iranian laws.

In Turkey, IFJ affiliate, the Turkish Union of Journalists, estimates that at least 66 journalists are currently in prison, awaiting trial on charges of allegedly isolating the Turkish penal code or anti-terror laws. IFJ’s European organisation, the European Federation of Journalists, is running a campaign with the Turkish Union of Journalists to ‘Set Journalists Free in Turkey’:http://europe.ifj.org/en/pages/turkey-campaign-set-journalists-free

In Eritrea, according to reliable sources, at least 18 journalists have been detained without charges since the authorities imposed a ban on independent media in September 2001.

And in China, it was reported in 2012 that potentially over 30 journalists were imprisoned, awaiting trial on charges of allegedly violating the Chinese penal code or anti-terror laws.

To find out what events are planned by our affiliates for World Press Freedom Day 2013, visit our web page:http://www.ifj.org/en/pages/world-press-freedom-day-2013