To mark World Press Freedom Day on May, 3, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today said that journalism is under attack from 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 IFJ’s latest figures for 2015, 44 journalists have lost their lives since the beginning of the year. The IFJ denounces the sheer 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.
"In almost every corner of the world, journalists are targeted, brutalised and put to death,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “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.”
To celebrate World Press Freedom Day, the IFJ and its affiliates will raise their voices for press freedom and participate in a number of events around the globe.
In Riga, the IFJ will join UNESCO under the theme "Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality, and Safety in the Digital Age." It will run a special session on Regulation, Sustainable Self-regulation and Professional Standards.
The IFJ will also partner with media and academic organisations, European and global institutions and foundations to organise the European Gala Night for Freedom of Expression in Brussels on 3 May at the “Difference Day” event.