#DM18: Delegates remember the 162 killed journalists
Remembering the fallen - © paul herrmann
20 April 2018
Delegates gathered together outside the conference hall to pay a silent tribute to the 162 journalists who have lost their lives this since the last DM two years ago.
DM guest speaker Anthony Bellanger, is general secretary of the International Federation of Journalists which represents 600,000 journalists in affiliated unions. It is the profession’s largest organisation for journalists. He said: "Just a three-hour flight from London in Turkey, 160 journalists are in prison in Turkey, the largest jail in the world for journalists.
“Another tragedy is also our murdered colleagues.
“In 2017, Mexico, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India were the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. Last year, the IFJ reported 82 journalists killed and nearly 2,500 since 1990. These statistics are unacceptable because behind these figures are women and men, mothers and fathers. Journalists killed precisely because they were journalists. Nothing else. Today, messengers are killed, but the message of freedom of expression will never be erased.”
The IFJ and the NUJ have been working together in Turkey to publicise the plight of the jailed journalists. Barry White reported on the Turkish trails for the European Federation of Journalists and Tim Dawson, NUJ president, who had put on training for journalists there, heard first-hand the stories from Turkish journalist trade union TGS about the intimidation of their colleagues. [More information on the NUJ’s campaign page]
Anthony Bellanger said: “For 111 years the NUJ has defended journalists, trade unionists, good journalism and you know that you must remain vigilant everywhere and all the time, even in the United Kingdom, or in my country, France.
“The situation in the world is complicated and the IFJ, through its 187 affiliates, works hard to ensure that fundamental freedoms, press freedom in particular, are respected where they still exist; and that they are developed where they are fought.”
Last year, the IFJ launched an International Convention on the Safety and Protection of Journalists for the United Nations which proposes that a group of experts will have the power to investigate the crimes committed against journalists, so that impunity ceases and the families of the victims can finally tell themselves that justice exists, in memory of our colleagues.
Anthony said he wanted to salute the commitment and solidarity shown by the NUJ, but particularly he wanted to pay tribute to Jim Boumelha, who had been IFJ President for nine years and was re-elected honorary treasurer at the Angers Congress in 2016.
“I know he doesn't like me to do this,” he said. “but I must honour Jim for his unlimited dedication to international solidarity, to the IFJ. He does not count his time and his energy to stop injustices in the world; all the injustices. Thank you again Jim.”