IFJ denounces war on journalism ahead of press freedom day
1 May 2015
To mark World Press Freedom Day on Sunday 3 May, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said that journalism is under attack on several fronts across the globe in 2015, including acts of intimidation through repressive press laws, arbitrary detention as well as killings which the IFJ urges the international community to take seriously and press governments to investigate promptly.
According to the IFJ’s latest figures for 2015, 44 journalists have lost their lives since the beginning of the year. The IFJ denounces the targeting of journalists across the globe that is making this period the most dangerous in the past decades.
The IFJ cites among others the Charlie Hebdo Paris attack in which 10 journalists were gunned down in January, the recent slaughter of 5 journalists in Libya and five more slain in Yemen as well as the targeting of their colleagues in the Philippines, Colombia and Guatemala.
The Federation also highlighted the on-going crackdown on journalists such as in China where at least 43 journalists are behind bars, the recent muzzling of Burundi’s media, as well as state control of media in many parts of the world that makes the exercise of the profession even more challenging.
Jim Boumelha, IFJ president, said:
"In almost every corner of the world, journalists are targeted, brutalised and put to death. In the first 3 months of 2015 we have met the third of last years’ total death, not to mention harassment, intimidation and imprisonments of our colleagues.
"It is our mission to document, expose, lobby and campaign to stop attacks against journalists.
"We must also denounce the shameful failure of governments to prosecute the killers of journalists. These deaths are more than just statistics; they are colleagues and friends who have dedicated their lives to pay the ultimate prize for their work as journalists for the right of their citizens to know. On Sunday, the whole world should remember them."