Welcome to the first edition of the International Federation of Journalists' (IFJ) Newsletter, featuring the latest news and updates on IFJ's work across the world. This Newsletter is also available in French and Spanish on the IFJ website www.ifj.org
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A Welcome From Our General Secretary                     

Welcome to the first edition of the IFJ's new Newsletter. We will be sending the Newsletter to our subscribers every two months to keep you up to date on the latest news, campaigns, projects and events that are being run at a global level and by our offices and affiliates across the world. 

Featuring as the main story in our first edition is the IFJ World Congress, held in sunny Dublin from 4-7 June. Nearly 300 delegates representing our affiliates around the globe gathered at Dublin Castle for the most important event in the IFJ calendar. You can check out all the videos, pictures, articles, resolutions and motions from the event in the report below.

Our top news story this month is an update on our response to the Egypt crisis and our Solidarity Mission to support journalists there, while we also have the latest Gender News and Safety updates, as well as information on the work being carried out across our regions.

This is the first edition of the Newsletter and we are continually looking for new ways to develop our communications, so we would appreciate your views on this publication and how we can continue to improve it. Please send any feedback to IFJ Communications Officer
 Andrew Kennedy.


Beth Costa, IFJ General Secretary.

Sun Shines In Dublin During Memorable World Congress Week

"Diversity and pluralism, which lie at the heart of the media, must be protected...."
President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, speaking at launch of IFJ World Congress 2013

President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, launched the 28th IFJ World Congress, held in the beautiful city of Dublin, Ireland at the start of June. 

Nearly 300 delegates representing our affiliates around the globe gathered at Dublin Castle for the Congress, with the highlights of the week including the mo
ving Freedom Walk through the streets of the city and the powerful speech made by President Higgins in his opening address to our delegates. Jim Boumelha was re-elected as President for a third term, while the IFJ also elected its Board for the next three years.


The week's events began on Monday, 3 June, with the historic meeting of the IFJ Gender Council which held its first democratic elections and set its priorities for the next three years. View the pictures. Later that day, there were readings, music, song and dance at the Sisters in Union event.View the pictures 
The Pre-Congress Conference on Tuesday, 4 June, involved presentations and discussion from leading journalists, trade union figures and IFJ members on issues including 'Tackling Precarious and Casual Employment' and 'Strenghtening Our Unions.'  View the pictures


President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, spoke of the need to protect media diversity and pluralism during his speech to IFJ delegates at the opening of Congress in the stunning setting of Dublin's Kilmainham Hospital on Wednesday evening, 6 June. View the pictures of the opening
On Thursday, 6 June, the Freedom Walk proved an emotional experience for everyone involved. Delegates walked together in silent solidarity, carrying 408 carnations, one for each journalist who has lost their life since the last Congress in Cadiz in 2010. View the pictures 

The Congress closed with a highlights video and a moving tribute from the hosts NUJ Ireland, whose General Secretary, Seamus Dooley, said: "What a week it's been. We've come together because we believe in freedom of expression and stand up for journalism, and long may we continue to do so."

You can check out the IFJ World Congress website for a full run-down on the Congress week.


IFJ Calls for Egyptian Media Protection Following Solidarity Mission

The IFJ continues to closely monitoring the volatile crisis in Egypt and its impact on the safety and freedoms of journalists in the country.  

Six journalists have now been killed during the political and social unrest in the country, with four of our colleagues losing their lives during the crackdown by security forces to clear the pro-Morsi sit-ins last Wednesday, 14 August, in Cairo.

Last week the IFJ issued a press release mourning the death of the four journalists (16.08.13) and calling on Egyptian authorities to order their security forces to respect the right of journalists to do their job freely and safely. 

The recent violence follows the killing of two journalists earlier in the summer. Salah Eddin Hassan was killed in a blast believed to have been caused by a home-made hand grenade during an anti-regime protest in the city of Port Said in north east Egypt on Friday, 28 June, and Ahmed Assem el-Senousy was shot by a sniper while covering clashes between security forces and pro-Morsi protestors at the Republican Guards' headquarters in Cairo on Monday 8 July.

There have also been reports of media stations being closed by Egyptian authorities, a step which the IFJ has strongly condemned (05.07.13), calling for the right to freedom of expression in the coutry to be respected and upheld. Amid growing concerns for the safety and protection of the media, the IFJ issued a statement (09.07.13) calling for all factions involved in the crisis to take immediate steps to ensure the safety and protection of journalists.


The statement was made following an IFJ Solidarity Mission to Egypt over the weekend of 6-7 July, arranged in cooperation with the Federation of Arab Journalists (FAJ). Led by IFJ General Secretary, Beth Costa, along with Mounia Belafia, Joint Chair of IFJ Gender Council and Younis Mjahed, Senior Vice-President of IFJ, the mission was organised to support journalists covering the current crisis and gather first-hand information about the problems they are facing. 

The mission heard accounts of journalists who have been forced into hiding, fearing for their lives after their names and addresses had been published in some media, exposing them to mob violence. To read the latest IFJ statements regarding developments in Egypt go out the IFJ website

IFJ Backs Petition Calling for Freedom of Movement of Palestinian Journalists

The IFJ is urging people across the world to take action by signing a global petition calling for the freedom of movement and safety of Palestinian journalists.

The global petition, which has been created by the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) with support from the IFJ and the Federation of Arab Journalists (FAJ), is calling on the UN General Assembly to assert the right to freedom of movement for Palestinian journalists" and to "address the harsh restrictions placed on them."

The petition, which will be sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, is part of the ‘Palestinian Journalists Freedom of Movement' campaign to end attacks against Palestinian journalists and defend their basic right to move freely both within and outside their land.

"We urge IFJ members, and members of the public across the world, to sign this petition and back this campaign. It is a simple, quick act of solidarity that will show great support for Palestinian journalists," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha.

To sign the 'Freedom of Movement for Palestinian Journalists' petition and show your support, click HERE

IFJ Launches New Safety Website
The IFJ has launched a website dedicated to the safety and protection of media. The website, launched on June 2, will provide a one stop portal for all IFJ activities to promote the safety of journalists and to combat the impunity for violence targeting media.

"The launch of the IFJ safety website marks a new chapter in our history, making it a vital tool for journalists and their unions to manage risk, raise awareness, provide safety training and advice, create a culture of safety and join the campaign to end impunity," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha.

The website provides information on the strategies, programmes and activities related to the safety and uman rights of journalists, including details on the IFJ International Safety Fund. There will be regular advice on safety for journalists who need to work or travel to regions affected by conflicts, political instability and outbreak of diseases as well as natural disasters.

The IFJ has over the years produced a wide range of tools designed to help journalists prepare for working in difficult environment and under their rights to life and physical security which are binding on governments.

To visit the website please click HERE 
or click on the Safety Website banner on the IFJ Global Home page. 

IFJ Elected to IFEX Council
The IFJ was elected to the IFEX Council at the organisation's General Meeting held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 17 and 18 June. IFEX is the largest global network of free expression organisations working at local, national, regional and international level to defend and promote freedom of expression as a fundamental human right.

The IFJ is one of 12 organisations that were voted on to the Council which acts on behalf of IFEX network members, oversees policy, and deals with all strategic and substantial matters facing IFEX. Council members serve on the Council for two-year terms. Read the full story here.

Gender Council Elects New Board 

The IFJ Gender Council elected a new board at the World Congress including Co-Chairs, Mindy Ran (NUJ, UK and Ireland) and Mounia Belafia (SNPM, Morocco), and  Vice-Chair Fatimah Abdulkareem (NUJ, Nigeria). The Council also elected members of its board representing all IFJ regions around the world. Read more

Women in Egypt

(8.7.2013) As the political unrest and anti-government protests escalate in Egypt, women, in particular journalists and activists, face a new wave of attacks for speaking out for their rights. The number of women protesters who were attacked or sexually assaulted has increased since the anti-government protests began at the end of June. It was reported that over 100 sexual assaults took place. The recent assaults on women activists in Egypt serve as a grave reminder of the horrific assault faced by the American journalist, Lara Logan, in 2011, and the danger women journalists face while covering volatile events like this.

The United Nations (UN) has condemned the targeting of women protesters and called for a halt to such attacks.
 Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the sexual violence targeting women protesters is ''appalling and at times seemingly organised''. To document the scale of the problem,  an online map tracking down cases of sexual harassment faced by women in Egypt was set up by a civil society group.
From the left: IFJ Gender Council members Fatimah Abdulkareem, Mindy Ran and Zulaina Lainez Otero are pictured on the roof of Liberty Hall in Dublin where they held their meeting during the World Congress         

Media Online Safety

The IFJ teamed up with former BBC war reporter, Alan Pearce, to help publicise his new book 'Deep web for Journalists' which was published on the eve of the World Congress. IFJ president, Jim Boumelha, contributed a foreword for the book and a special World Congress edition was released on the IFJ Congress and main IFJ websites.

Click on the book cover to read it:

Discussion on Human Rights in Djibouti

The IFJ took part in a roundtable discussion on the situation of human rights and press freedom in Djibouti which was hosted by the European Parliament in Brussels on 27 June.

Safety Fund at Congress 

For the first time, the IFJ commissioned promotional material to raise awareness of the International Safety Fund at the World Congress in Dublin. The proceeds of sales of caps, USBs and reporters jackets from the Safety Stand at Congress went to the Safety Fund.

Malian Journalists Trained in Safety & Election Reporting

The IFJ Africa Office has recently completed a program in Mali called ‘’Building a culture of safety and human rights for journalists in Mali”. Twenty-two journalists from Bamako, Tombouctou and Gao have been trained in safety and first aid. The training, which started on April 29 and ended on May 1, took place in Bamako, Mali's capital city.

The safety training, which last three days at a time, was organised to ensure that journalists in Mali have the skills required to protect themselves in dangerous situations. Participants explored topics such as the operational planning of a media mission, personal security, movements in conflict zones, ballistic threats, protection measures, knowledge of kidnaps and special risks, riots and public disorder. 

From 26 to 28 June, the second part of the program was held which involved election reporting training. Sixteen mid-career and senior level journalists took part in the training which was organised to provide training for journalists covering the electoral campaign in Mali. The program will be run until December with training covering areas such as trade union development and press freedom campaigns.

FAJ Granted Observer Status

The Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) has been granted Observer status at the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR). This will allow FAJ to regularly take part in ACHPR sessions.

The ACHPR has the mandate to promote and protect human and people's rights on the African continent as enshrined in the African Charter. In May 2011, the ACHPR adopted a resolution on the safety and protection of journalists.

Safety Training in Mali

IFJ Hails Release of Yemeni Journalist

The IFJ has hailed the release of Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye as a victory for press freedom and thanked the Yemen Journalists Syndicate (YJS) for its hard work and commitment in securing his freedom.

Shaye was released by the President of Yemen, Adb Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, on Tuesday 23 July after serving three years of a five year prison sentence. He had been pardoned by former Yemeni President, Ali Adballah Saleh, but was being kept behind bars at the behest of the US administration for alleged links with al Qaida.

"We welcome this great news that Abduleh Haider Shaye has been released after three long years behind bars and can now return to his family, loved ones and colleagues," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. "We congratulate the YJS on this momentous day and thank them and the Yemeni journalists who kept Shaye's case alive and ran a three year campaign demanding his release."

Safety Handbook Available

The IFJ Safety Handbook for journalists in the Arab World & Middle East is available for you to read online. Titled Front Line Journalism - Safety Handbook for Field Journalists (click the picture to download) and produced in Arabic, the handbook is part of the safety programme developed by the IFJ in cooperation with its affiliates in the region, supported by the European Commission and Norwegian government.

This regionally customised handbook aims to respond to the growing challenge of safety and the need to raise awareness among field journalists. Nonetheless practical safety training remains indispensable and a right all journalists reporting conflict should be entitled to. For more information visit: www.ifj-arabic.org

S. Asia Media Solidarity Network  

During 2013 the IFJ's South Asia Media Solidarity Network has successfully provided support to journalists' unions, media rights organisations and affiliated members of the IFJ and members of the South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) in the South Asian region.
The project has run a number of successful activities including Roundtables on gender equality and safety training workshops in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal, the setting up of a website to help establish a Digital Hub for SAMSN members, and and the establishment of a Regional Gender Network.

South East Asian Affiliates Form New Network

Journalists Unions and Associations in South East Asia, affiliated with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), have formed a new network aimed at tackling issues affecting journalists' safety, rights and freedoms in the region.

The ‘Southeast Asian Journalists' Unions Network,' formed during a meeting of the affiliates in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, aims to build strength between the unions and stand in solidarity on issues such as press freedom, labour rights and gender equality. Read the full story and the network's declaration of intent here

Members of the Southeast Asian Journalists' Unions Network


EFJ Takes Action Following Closure of Greek Broadcaster


The global journalist community was outraged following the sudden decision of the Greek government to shut down its public broadcaster ERT on 11 June, resulting in over 2700 media job losses. Following the announcement, the EFJ immediately launched a global solidarity action to support their Greek affiliates in Athens (PFJU, ESIEA & PEPU) and Thessaloniki (ESIEMTH).

A series of protests were staged across Europe calling on the government to reopen ERT. The EFJ affiliates also wrote to their governments calling for action to pressure the Greek government to revoke its decision. On 18 June, a court in Athens suspended the government's decision to close ERT but upheld the plan to replace ERT with a small broadcaster following a series of protests and public outrage.

In a letter sent to the Greek Prime Minister Antonios Samaras, the EFJ condemned unreservedly the closure of ERT and asked its affiliates to ‘stand shoulder to shoulder’ with colleagues in Greece in the fight for the reopening of ERT. To see solidarity actions launched by the EFJ affiliates and civil society organisations worldwide, visit the EFJ website.


EFJ Responds to Violence Against Turkish Journalists

The targeting of journalists in Turkey has led to international outcry on top of the high number (61) of journalists currently in prison. The EFJ and its international group, the IFJ, have launched solidarity actions calling on national governments, European institutions and civil society organisations to join the protest for press freedom and democracy in Turkey. Many EFJ affiliates, the Global Unions, and the International Trade Union Confederation, have responded to the call and organized solidarity actions to support journalists in Turkey.
In a conference speaking up for media freedom, hosted by the European Commission in Brussels on 20 June, the EFJ told policy makers to act on Turkey. The delegates, including Ercan Ipecki, the President of the Turkish Journalists’ Union (TGS) and former EFJ Vice President Philippe Leruth, staged a silent protest when the Turkish Ministry of Justice, Mr Kenan Özdemir, spoke during the conference.

You can find out about the solidarity actions launched by the EFJ affiliates and CSOs here


The EFJ and the IFJ expressed their outrage at the heavy sentences handed out to 21 journalists (06.08.13) involved in the Ergenekon trial held at a special trial hearing in Istanbul in early August, stating that the decision is a direct attack on press freedom in the country. 

EFJ Observer, Patrick Kamenka, attended the trial and gave an indepth account of the events that took place, stating: "This Monday was a dark day for democracy in Turkey and freedom of speech." Read his account here 

IFJ Calls For Action Following Latest Journalist Murder in Honduras

The IFJ has strongly condemned the murder of well-known TV journalist Anibal Barrow whose remains were found in northern Honduras in early Jul. His killing means that 28 journalists have now been murdered in Honduras since 2010, making it one of the most dangerous countries in the world for the media.

On Wednesday, 10 July, Honduran authorities confirmed that the remains discovered in a neighbourhood in the city of Villanueva were those of Barrow, a highly respected journalist in the country. Barrow, 58, a popular morning news anchor on Globo TV, one of Honduras's largest broadcasters, was abducted by armed men in San Pedro Sula on June 24.

IFJ regional group, La Federación de Periodistas de América Latina y el Caribe (Fepalc), also condemned the killing and urged Honduran authorities to do more about media safety.

"We call on the authorities in Honduras to step up their efforts to protect the safety of journalists there and put an end to impunity and violence against journalists in the country," said said IFJ Vice PresidentCelso Schröder. 

Paraguay's SPP Attacks "Gag Law"

According to a 2012-13 report prepared by Vicente Páez, the General Secretary of the Journalists' Union of Paraguay (SPP), 90% of the radio and television media in the country is concentrated in just 10% of license holders.
The SPP has attacked the government's "gag law" as unconstitutional and is demanding that communities have the right to have their own media, saying that the law is to the detriment of the rights and liberties of the general public, particularly journalists. The SPP is also fighting for decent working conditions and wage increases in Paraguay. 

28-30 October 2013, Istanbul

9-10 November 2013, Brussels

21-23 November 2013, Kiev

23 November 2013, Global

2-4 December 2013, Bangkok

16-20 December 2013, Geneva
IFRRO World Congress

IFJ Excom Meeting

Regional Conference on Safety, Press Freedom and Building Strong Journalists' Unions in the Eastern European Region

 International Day to End Impunity

Global Forum on Media and Gender 

WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights
For more information, please contact IFJ Campaigns and Communications Officer Andrew Kennedy. You can also visit the IFJ website.
Copyright © 2013 International Federation of Journalists, All rights reserved.
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