Widespread Violations of Journalists' Rights, Says IFJ

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today sounded the alarm at the widespread violation of journalists' rights to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

"Journalists are witnessing the steady erosion of the respect for their rights, in particular the most basic ones such as the right to life and to press freedom," said Paco Audije, IFJ Deputy General Secretary. "Each year, the IFJ records unacceptably high numbers of journalists from around the world who are killed, detained and intimidated for the lawful exercise of their profession."

The IFJ is further deeply disturbed by frequent incidents where journalists who cover armed conflict and other dangerous situations are victims of deliberate attacks, in violation of provisions under international law banning such acts.

The International Federation of Journalist is calling, in particular, for the strict compliance with - and enforcement of- the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1738 which urges all parties to armed conflicts to respect the rights of journalists, media professional and associated personnel.

"This 60th anniversary should serve as wake-up call for all concerned to respect journalists' rights to work in safe conditions and to access information without undue interference," added Audije.

On this anniversary, the IFJ wants to underscore its commitment to recognition of journalists' rights to personal safety by joining its affiliate members from countries such as the Philippines and Mexico, some of the most dangerous places for the exercise of journalism in 2008, to demand protection for journalists. 

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines is marking the anniversary by holding a candle-lighting ceremony in memory of slain journalists. In the city of Mexico, IFJ affiliate the Sindicato Nacional de Redactores de la Prensa and other journalists' organizations have called for demonstrations to condemn the continued killings of journalists.

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