World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Press Freedom Report Condemning "War On Terrorism"

PRESS RELEASE - INTERNATIONAL
3 May 2005

IFJ launches press freedom report condemning "war on terrorism"

SOURCE: International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Brussels

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is an IFJ media release:

Press Freedom in Danger Say Journalists as Civil Liberties Report Condemns War on Terrorism

A new report on the impact of the war on terrorism on civil liberties should set alarm bells ringing around the world of journalism, says the International Federation of Journalists today.

The IFJ, the world's largest journalists' group has chosen World Press Freedom Day 2005 to launch its 56-page assessment of how civil liberties and free expression are being sacrificed by democratic states in the name of security.

"The response by governments to the threat of terrorism is out of all proportion," says the report. "The war on terrorism amounts to a devastating challenge to the global culture of human rights and civil liberties established almost 60 years ago."

The report, produced jointly by the IFJ and the civil liberties group Statewatch, says:

a.. Media and independent journalism suffer in a "pervasive atmosphere of paranoia" which is leading to dangerous levels of self-censorship

b.. Dissent inside and outside media is being restricted

c.. Fundamental rights to a fair trial are routinely violated

d.. Governments are covertly creating massive databanks for surveillance of their citizens

e.. New international rules are being agreed in a secret process of "policy laundering"

The report, which includes an analysis of current policy developments as well as a survey of some 20 selected countries, concludes that around half of the minimum standards set out in the Universal Declaration of on Human Rights are being undermined by the war on terrorism.

"An atmosphere of fear and uncertainty is being created and civil liberties are being torn to shreds, even in states with a reputation for tolerance and pluralism," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary at the launch of the report today. "World Press Freedom Day is the right moment to demand a return to transparency, open government and free expression for all."

"Everyone agrees with steps taken to ensure public safety against terrorist attacks," said Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director. "But a lot of the measures brought in have little or nothing to do with combating terrorism. This report is an alarm call to democracies - in the name of the "politics of fear" we are in great danger of sleepwalking into a surveillance society and that democratic values we have taken for granted are being sacrificed in the 'war on terrorism'".

The report, which says governments are increasingly working together through international fora such as G8 to circumvent national resistance to attacks on civil liberties documents show increased police powers and data collection and surveillance "on an unprecedented and global scale have granted extensive new powers to the state."

The authors claim these powers undermine democratic standards, "because they are introduced in covert processes which are largely secret and outside the orbit of parliamentary accountability. At the same time they are leading to the creation of a surveillance society in which the citizen is increasingly accountable to the authorities and the state." The report dubs this process "policy laundering."

A first draft of the conclusions of the report were dealt with at an international conference held in Bilbao, Spain, last month where participants called for the creation of a broad coalition of interest groups - including journalists, trade union and human rights campaigners - to campaign against further attacks on civil liberties and democratic rights.

The report and the recommendations of the Bilbao conference will be considered by the global leadership of the IFJ which meets in Rome next month.

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries

For further information, contact the IFJ, International Press Centre, Residence Palace, Block C, 155 Rue de la Loi, B-1040 Brussels, Belgium, tel: +322 235 2200 or +322 235 2207, fax: +322 235 2219, e-mail: robert.shaw@ifj.org, Internet: http://www.ifj.org/


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO:

Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC