Safety of Journalists > Blog > ​Ninth Issue of IFJ Focus on Safety- July 2015

​Ninth Issue of IFJ Focus on Safety- July 2015

05 August 2015

Welcome to the ninth issue of the IFJ Focus on Safety, a monthly blog which provides highlights, news and in-depth analysis of safety-related events of concerns to journalists.

The blog is part of the IFJ strategy to promote the safety of journalists and to combat the issue of impunity.

Please check out the IFJ International Code of Practice for the Safe Conduct of Journalism at the end of this issue.

We value your feedback and would like to hear about your safety experience on the field as well as any stories you would like to share with members of the IFJ family, the global journalists’ community.

The present issue covers the following:

IFJ Backs Call for Federal Law to Investigate Killing of Journalist in Russia

On the second anniversary of the murder of Dagestani journalist Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), together with other media freedom organisations, has signed a joint letter this week calling for the investigation into his murder to be urgently raised from the regional level to the federal level.

Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev, deputy editor of independent newspaper Novoye Delo and a reporter for online news portal Caucasian Knot, was shot dead on 9 July 2013 as he left for work in Dagestan, a region of the Russian Federation. Two years after his killing, neither the perpetrators nor instigators have been brought to justice. A first appeal was made last November to the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation to raise the case to the federal level but, there has been no official response.

Read more here:

IFJ Slams China over Attacks on Online Media Platform

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) criticises the actions of Xiong Aichun, the Chairperson of the China Federation of Literacy and Arts Circle, in an incident with an online media platform, where the company’s property was destroyed. Following the incident, the online platform also experienced a cyber-attack. The IFJ said that the two incidents highlight challenges for freedom of expression in China, which needs to be supported by the government.

Read more here:

IFJ Urges US President to Demand Release of Jailed Journalists in Ethiopia

In a letter addressed to the President of the United States Barak Obama, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) asked him to support its demand for the release of all imprisoned journalists and bloggers in Ethiopia ahead of his visit to the country.

President Obama visited Ethiopia on 27- 28 July to meet with Ethiopian government and African Union leaders. Ahead of the visit, the Ethiopian government to release six journalists, some jailed since June 2011.

Read more here

Concerns over Disappearance of Three Spanish Journalists in Syria

The International Federation of Journalists and its European organisation the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined their Spanish affiliates to voice concerns over the missing of three Spanish freelance journalists in the northern city of Aleppo, Syria.

Press photographer Jose Manuel Lopez, 44, has contributed to Spanish newspaper Expreso and French newspaper Le Monde and has received many distinctions for his work. Antonio Pampliega, 33, contributed to AFP's coverage of the civil war in Syria as well as to El Pais. Angel Sastre, 35, has worked for several media including Cuatro, Onda Cero and Spanish newspaper La Razón.

Read more here

IFJ and EFJ Make Joint Submissions to the Council of Europe on Violence against Journalists in Turkey and Macedonia

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European organisation the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) referred two cases to the Council of Europe’s Platform for the promotion of journalism and the safety of journalists. One case concerned attacks and intimidation against journalists covering workers’ strikes in Turkey. The other was about an incident in which a Macedonian journalist was assaulted by the country’s deputy Prime Minister. For details click here:

Journalists Killed in July 2015

The IFJ recorded four media killings in July. The victims were Joel Aquiles Torres (Honduras), Raghavenda Dubey (India), Jala al-Abadi (Iraq) and Thaer al-Ajlani (Syria). For details, please consult the IFJ Safety website here

IFJ International Code of Practice for the Safe Conduct of Journalism

The dangers to journalists and media staff working in dangerous situations and conflict zones are the subject of extensive record. The IFJ has recorded the deaths of more than 1000 journalists and media staff over the past ten years.

Many journalists are killed, injured or harassed in war zones, either targeted by one side or another or caught in the crossfire of violence. Others are victims of premeditated assault and intimidation either by criminals, terrorists or by agencies of the state — the police, the military or the security forces — acting secretly and illegally.

Very often there is little that journalists or media organisations can do to avoid casualties. There will, inevitably, be accidents, no matter how much care is taken to provide protection and there is little one can do when those targeting media use ruthless and brutal methods to crush journalistic inquiry.

However, there are steps that journalists and media organisations should take to minimise the risks to staff. In particular, the following are vital considerations in providing protection:

Adequate preparation, training and social protection.It is essential that journalists and media staff be in a state of readiness when difficulties arise. There should be a framework for providing individuals with health care and social protection.

Media professionals must be informed and inform themselvesabout the political, physical, and social terrain in which they are working. They must not contribute to the uncertainty and insecurity of their conditions through ignorance or reckless behaviour.

Media organisations must guard against risk-taking for competitive advantage, and should promote co-operation among journalists whenever conditions exist which are potentially hazardous.

Governments must remove obstacles to journalism.They must not restrict unnecessarily the freedom of movement of journalists or compromise the right of news media to gather, produce and disseminate information in secure and safe conditions.

People Must Keep Their Hands Off Media.Everyone should respect the physical integrity of journalists and media staff at work. Physical interference with filming or other journalistic work must be prohibited.

With these considerations in mind, the IFJ calls on journalists groups, media organisations and all relevant public authorities to respect the following International Code of Practice for the Safe Conduct of Journalism:

1. Journalists and other media staff shall be properly equipped for all assignments including through the provision of first-aid materials, communication tools, adequate transport facilities and, where necessary, protective clothing;

2. Media organisations and, where appropriate, state authorities shall provide risk awareness training for those journalists and media workers who are likely to be involved in assignments where dangerous conditions prevail or may be reasonably expected;

3. Public authorities shall inform their personnel of the need to respect the rights of journalists and shall instruct them to respect the physical integrity of journalists and media staff while at work;

4. Media organisations shall provide social protection for all staff engaged in journalistic activity outside the normal place of work, including life insurance;

5. Media organisations shall provide, free of charge, medical treatment and health care, including costs of recuperation and convalescence, for journalists and media workers who are the victims of injury or illness as a result of their work outside the normal place of work;

6. Media organisations shall protect freelance or part-time employees. They must receive, on an equal basis, the same social protection and access to training and equipment as that made available to fully employed staff.