Brussels, November 3, 2011
Dear IFJ Members,
We are writing to inform you that the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is taking part in the International Day against Impunity for crime targeting journalists which will be held on 23 November 2011. This initiative was adopted by the last IFEX General Meeting in Beirut on the proposition of our regional group in Asia Pacific, the IFJ Asia Pacific.
The date was chosen to mark the second anniversary of the Maguindano massacre in the Philippine which claimed 32 lives of journalists and many more innocent civilians in November 2009.
The IFJ is committed to making this anniversary a day to remember all journalists killed because they believed in the purpose and mission of journalism, to raise awareness about the scandal of impunity and the failure of governments to bring the killers to justice and to pledge to do more to find ways of making journalism safer.
This global event provides us with an opportunity to denounce the prevailing culture of impunity for crime committed against journalists in many countries of the world and call for its end.
We appeal to all affiliates to consider organising at least one activity on the day, highlighting the pressing issues to do with impunity in their own countries. This can be issuing a press release on the subject, writing a letter to Presidents or Prime Minister about unresolved cases of journalists’ murders in their countries, or a publishing an article or comment in the newspaper.
Other useful methods of marking the day would be to send letters to embassies of the most dangerous countries for journalists, including The Philippines, Somalia, Mexico and Pakistan urging the authorities of these countries to show real determination to prevent and punish violence against journalists.
The Secretariat in Brussels is preparing a web page to showcase these activities and we request that you kindly send us information about the activities you plan for the Day, including written material and images.
The IFJ will be able to help affiliates who need support with costs for printing material or hiring a room for the event. Please send your request to the IFJ General Secretary as early as possible.
Jim Boumelha, IFJ President
Beth Costa, IFJ General secretary