IFJ Asia-Pacific launches campaign against impunity for journalist attacks

On 2nd November, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Asia Pacific, in association with its affiliates, will launch a 22-day End Impunity Campaign for attacks on journalists and media workers.

In the Asia-Pacific last year, a journalist was killed at the rate of one every ten days. Already in 2014, 33 journalists and media workers have lost their lives including 13 killed in Pakistan alone, according to the IFJ’s killed list.

The IFJ Asia-Pacific will this year focus its efforts on Pakistan and the Philippines where impunity for journalists killings is rife and governments and authorities have failed to secure justice for journalist attacks and killings in most cases. It also launches its “22 Days – 22 Stories” campaign to highlight individual cases, stories and information on impunity in the region.

The IFJ campaign launches today on November 2, the inaugural UN International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.

Also today, the IFJ joins its affiliates, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) to support a “Pakistan National Day of Action Against Impunity” and together with the South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) has issued a letter to Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, calling on him to acknowledge the day and make efforts to address Pakistan’s culture of impunity. See release here.

Throughout the “22 Days – 22 Stories” campaign, the IFJ will also call those in power to account on social media, using the hashtag #whatareyoudoing? Using the names of leaders of countries where impunity is rife to call them to respond or action on the issue of impunity. See photos here.

Globally, the IFJ calls on all those who care about impunity for journalist killings to join our photo campaign on social media for #whatareyoudoing? by taking a photograph of yourself and sharing it on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or using it as your avatar/profile pic for November. Use the tag @ifjasiapacific and send photographs to ifj(at)ifj-asia(dot)org.

The campaign culminates on 23 November, the 5th anniversary of the Ampatuan Massacre in the Philippines. Five years on from the biggest massacre of journalists in history, the National Union of Journalists Philippines (NUJP) will conduct a major campaign to call for justice into the massacre – which is yet to secure a single conviction.

The IFJ and South East Asian Journalist Unions (SEAJU) will also conduct a mission to the Philippines and produce a report into the massacre, the protracted legal process and also investigate the efforts by both the government and relevant authorities. Individuals can support the NUJP by changing Facebook profiles to black on November 23 and sharing stories about the injustice of Ampatuan while also calling the Philippines government to account.

IFJ Asia-Pacific Acting Director, Jane Worthington, said: “This campaign is reminding the world that journalists do matter. They have families who love them, they are mums and dads, ordinary people; all carrying out the important and increasingly dangerous duty to keep society informed. But for every reporter threatened, for every life extinguished, democracy also suffers the ultimate price.”

The IFJ Asia-Pacific campaign will be looking to feature stories from around the region dealing with impunity every day through the campaign. If you have a story you want us to feature share with us on Facebook and events with us at ifj(at)ifj-asia(dot)org.

Reported incidents of violations of Freedom of Expression in Sri Lanka in September 2014

1. Literary Award for best novel taken away after extremists’ protest http://srilankabrief.org/2014/09/religious-extremists-threatened-not-to-select-mage-adaraneeya-yakshni-my-beloved-demoness-for-best-novel-award-2014/

2. Panel of Judges of Literary Award for Golden Book branded as ‘dollar crows, peace crows’ http://srilankabrief.org/2014/09/religious-extremists-threatened-not-to-select-mage-adaraneeya-yakshni-my-beloved-demoness-for-best-novel- award-2014/

3. Military blocks a journalist covering post-riot Althgama

4. Tamil Journalist escapes murder attempt in the North
http://tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=37389

5. Jaffna press freedom activist questioned and intimidated
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=37400

6. Journalist attacked after Uva Provincial Council Elections http://srilankabrief.org/2014/09/sri-lanka-journalists-assaulted-in-north-and-south/#more-20280

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