Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

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


IFJ Demands Justice For Philippines Massacre

IFJ International Mission Demands Justice For Philippines Massacre

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called for urgent action to provide legal support for the families of victims of the massacre in Maguindano province in Mindanao, the Philippines, on November 23.

The call comes as the preliminary report of an IFJ international mission currently in Manila raises concerns over the commitment and capacity of Philippine authorities to guarantee a full and independent prosecution of the killers of 31 journalists and media workers and at least 26 other victims of the massacre.

“The international community must heed the urgent appeal for help from journalists in the Philippines and across the world to take all necessary measures to pressure the Philippine Government into action and support the victims of this atrocity,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha.

The report of the mission, conducted at the request of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), an IFJ affiliate, further calls for urgent counselling and humanitarian support to the families of the victims, including at least 75 children who have lost a parent. In many cases the victim was the sole breadwinner for families now facing an uncertain future.

Thirdly, the report underlines the need for the protection of witnesses and a comprehensive safety program for journalists in Mindanao as tension rises further ahead of national elections in May 2010.

“Our Philippine colleagues have suffered not only a brutal and ruthless assault on their profession and livelihood, but also incomparable personal losses,” said Mike Dobbie, an IFJ representative on the mission.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“Today we pay tribute to their extraordinary courage and determination to tell the world their story and, in the face of enormous personal risks, to make sure the perpetrators are brought to justice.”

The mission report has been produced following four intensive days of meetings with the families of those killed, witnesses, the local media community, lawyers and government officials in Manila and General Santos City.

The mission team comprises representatives from leading journalists’ rights and press freedom organisations including the IFJ, the Southeast Asia Press Alliance (SEAPA), the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Indonesia’s Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), Australia’s Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance, the Thai Journalists’ Association (TJA), International News Safety Institute (INSI), International Media Support (IMS), the Institute for Studies on the Free Flow of Information (ISAI) and Union Network International (UNI).

The mission is an expression of global solidarity with journalist colleagues in the Philippines. It is being hosted by the NUJP, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) and the Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists (FFFJ).

“This massacre coming at the very beginning of the 2010 election process, has dealt a cruel blow to democracy and free media in the Philippines,” the report said.

IFJ affiliates and partners around the world are joining an International Day of Solidarity today, December 9, to pressure their home governments and the Government of the Philippines to assure justice for the victims of November 23 and to end to the long-running culture of impunity for the murders of journalists in the Philippines.


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
World Headlines

UN News: Aid Access Is Key Priority

Among the key issues facing diplomats is securing the release of a reported 199 Israeli hostages, seized during the Hamas raid. “History is watching,” says Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths. “This war was started by taking those hostages. Of course, there's a history between Palestinian people and the Israeli people, and I'm not denying any of that. But that act alone lit a fire, which can only be put out with the release of those hostages.” More

Save The Children: Four Earthquakes In a Week Leave Thousands Homeless

Families in western Afghanistan are reeling after a fourth earthquake hit Herat Province, crumbling buildings and forcing people to flee once again, with thousands now living in tents exposed to fierce winds and dust storms. The latest 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit 30 km outside of Herat on Sunday, shattering communities still reeling from strong and shallow aftershocks. More


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.