Joint Press Release
North American Journalists and Media Workers Join
Global Campaign to 'Stop the Killings of Journalists in Iraq'
WASHINGTON, DC, and LOS ANGELES, CA (June 15, 2006)—Calling for an end to violence against media workers and for action to protect the rights of journalists and media workers in Iraq, unions representing broadcast and print journalists and media workers in the United States and Canada are joining together today with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) to mark Iraqi National Press Day as a Global Day of Solidarity.
As part of this international appeal, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America (TNG-CWA), and TNG Canada are calling on all governments involved in Iraq to work to eradicate the atmosphere of danger and peril that surrounds journalists in Iraq, regardless of nationality.
"Journalists and media workers in Iraq are putting their lives and their well-being on the line every day to safeguard a critical element of our democracy—a free and independent media," said Linda Foley, president of TNG-CWA. "We call for enhanced security and protection for media personnel and their organizations, and urge all groups to reject the indiscriminate and targeted attacks on journalists and media workers that have resulted in a horrifying number of deaths." Foley also called on the U.S. government to set in motion a full, independent investigation into the deaths of media workers in Iraq, particularly those involving U.S. personnel.
John P. Connolly, AFTRA National President, pledged continued support for U.S. and international media workers and the Iraqi media community in their very dangerous but very important work. "There cannot be true democracy without a free and independent media that is able to report the truth and sustain the trust of the people, both in the United States and in Iraq. There must be more action taken at every level of government to protect the rights—and lives—of journalists and media workers," he said. Connolly joined Foley in renewing the call for a full investigation of media worker deaths in the Iraq conflict, pointing out that "there is a certain rude irony in the U.S. government's stated war aim of bringing democracy and press freedoms to Iraq while jailing U.S. journalists at home."
Arnold Amber, director, TNG Canada, explained that the killing of media workers in Iraq has surpassed every other modern conflict, with no fewer than 129 reporters, broadcasters and media staff killed since 2003, 100 of whom are Iraqi colleagues. "This senseless toll is simply beyond reckoning. These killings must stop, and that means there must be an end to this war," he said.
The unions have signed onto IFJ's statement and campaign of global solidarity to stop the killings of journalists and media workers in Iraq.
The IFJ is encouraging all media organizations and staff to support its humanitarian appeal that benefits journalists who are victims of violence, and their families. More information is available at www.ifj.org.
International Federation of Journalists Statement
Stop the Killings Now!
A Global Appeal on Iraq National Press Day
Today, on the occasion of Iraqi National Press Day, we, the leaders of journalists across the world, salute the courage, dignity and commitment of journalists and media staff in Iraq. Since the invasion of the country in 2003 no less than 129 reporters, broadcasters and media support staff have been killed, often in horrifying circumstances and many in acts of targeted violence. More than 100 of the victims are Iraqi colleagues.
It is an unprecedented level of pain and suffering that reinforces an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty at all levels of society and undermines efforts to build faith in democracy and peace-building.
We condemn all those who use indiscriminate violence to achieve their ends and who are responsible for creating the chaos and insecurity which threatens to overwhelm the country and which makes the exercise of free journalism impossible.
Today, on Iraqi national Press day we call for an end to violence, for the restoration of conditions for peace and dialogue and for more action to protect the rights journalists and media staff.
In particular, we call upon the newly-appointed Iraqi Government to provide enhanced security and protection for media personnel and for media organisations and we urge all political groups to declare publicly their opposition to all forms of indiscriminate violence and targeted attacks on media.
We insist that Governments engaged in military operations within the country move quickly to create the conditions for peace, remove all obstacles to the exercise of journalism and to investigate fully all cases of violence against media in which their personnel have been involved.
We pledge ourselves to the task of providing support and solidarity with journalists in Iraq. We urge all journalists and media staff to support the international appeal for humanitarian assistance to help the victims of violence and their families.
Today, and every day, we continue to support the Iraqi media community and their appeals for a fresh start for journalism in Iraq and a development process that will create a confident, independent and professional environment within which journalism can flourish in safety.
Christopher Warren; President, International Federation of Journalists; Shihab al Tamimy; President, Iraqi Journalists’ Syndicate; Farhad Awni; President, Kurdistan Journalists' Union; Armand Shkullaku, APJ – Albania; Ylli Rakipi, LAJ – Albania; Kamel Amarni, SNJ -Algeria; Ismael Mateus, SDA –Angola; José Leopoldo Insurralde, FATPREN - Argentina; Astghik Arsen Gevorkian, UAJ – Armenia; Alan Kennedy, MEAA-Australia; Franz C. Bauer, GDJPSJ- Austria ; Mushfiq Aleskerly, JuHI - Azerbaijan; Isa Al Shaiji, BJA -Bahrain; Zhanna Litvina, BAJ- Belarus; Luc Standaert, AGJPB/AVBB - Belgium; Wilfrid Hervé Adoun, UPMB - Benin ; Miljenko Karacic, ACJ - Bosnia-Herzegovina; Branislav Bozic, AJRS- Bosnia-Herzegovina; Branko Peric, IUJRS - Bosnia-Herzegovina; Sergio Murillo De Andrade, FENAJ - Brasil; Milen Valkov, BJU - Bulgaria; Nickolay Varadinov, UJBP -Bulgaria; Jean-Claude Meda, AJB - Burkina Faso; Um Sarin, CAPJ –Cambodia ; Om Chandara, LCJ - Cambodia; Jean Marc Soboth, SNJC – Cameroun; Brian Payne, CEP - Canada; Chantale Larouche, FNC - Canada; Arnold Amber, TNG -Canada; Paulo Jorge Fortes Lima, ADJ - Cape Verde; Domingo Vargas Cornejo, FENATRAMCO -Chile; Sergio Fernández, SNP - Costa Rica; Dragutin Lucic Luce, CJA – Croatia; Jasmina Popovic, TUCJ- Croatia; Kemal Darbaz, UPW - Cyprus ; Andreas Kannaouros, UCP – Cyprus; Miroslav Jelinek, SNCR - Czech Republic; Benjamin Yogolelo, SNPP- DR Congo; Mogens Blicher Bjerregard, DJ -Denmark; Angel Rafael Feliz; SNTP - Dominican Republic; Otelio Ote, SJTL - Virgílio Da Silva Guterres, TLJA-East Timor; Timor Lorosae Journalists' Union-East Timor; Milagro Emely Pineda, SINPESS- El Salvador; Ebba Rääts, EUJ – Estonia; Kifle Mulat, EFPJA – Ethiopia; Pekka Laine, SJ - Finland; Ivan Andreevski, JAMS - Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; Alain Girard: SNJ - France ; Michel Diard: SNJ-CGT – France; Tristan Malle FO – France; Hervé Morland, CFDT-France; Madi M.K. Ceesa, GPU - Gambia; M. Basilashvili, CUJG - Georgia; Zviad Pochkhua, IAGJ - Georgia; Malte Hinz, DJU – Germany; Michael Konken, DJV – Germany; Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, GJA - Ghana ; Chris Morley, NUJ – Great Britain; Manolis Mathioudakis, UADN – Greece; Demetrios Glavas, PFJU – Greece; Ioannis Plachouris, PEPU – Greece; Fela Isabel Duarte, APH – Honduras; Guillermo Pagán Solorzano, SITINPRESS - Honduras; Ping-Ling Cheung, HKJA - Hong Kong; Eötvös Pál, MUOSZ –Hungary; Csaba Kósa, MUK – Hungary; Eva F. Kováts, HPU– Hungary; Robert Marshall, BI – Iceland; K.L. Kapur, AINEF – India; Suresh Akhouri, IJU - India; Heru Hendratmoko, AJI –Indonesia; Ali Mazrooee, Iran: Association of Iranian Journalists; Chris Morley, NUJ - Ireland; Arie Shaked, - NFIJ – Israel; Franco Siddi, NNSI – Italy; Amos Beonaho, UNJCI - Ivory Coast; Toyosaku Nitta, Nipporo - Japan; Kazuya Usai, MIMPOROREN - Japan ; Katsunori Miura, SHIMBUN ROREN – Japan; Tarek El-Momani, JPA - Jordan; Eric Orina, KUJ - Kenya; Chung, il-yong, JAK - Korea; Huang Lim Shin, NUMW/KFPU – Korea; Kuban Mambetaliev, PAJ – Kyrgyzstan; Ligita Azovska, LUJ - Latvia; Elisabeth Hoff, PUL – Liberia; Dainius Radzevicius, LJU - Lithuania; Roger Infalt, ALJ - Luxemburg:; Francis Rasoamaharo, ALJM - Madagascar; Norila Mohd Daud, MUJ - Malaysia; Ibrahim Famakan Coulibaly, UNAJOM – Mali; Rogaciano Méndez Gonzalez, SNRPTASC – Mexico; S. Batmunkh, CMJ - Mongolia; M'Jahed Younouss, SPM – Morocco; Bishnu Nisturi, FNJ – Nepal; Tej Prakash Pandit, NUJ – Nepal; Murari Kumar Sharma, NPU - Nepal; Thomas Bruning, NVJ – Netherlands; Trevor Atkinson, NZEPMU - New Zealand; Leyla Martinez Centeno, NTUJN – Nicaragua; Ado Wada, SAINFO - Niger ; Smart Adeyemi, NUJ – Nigeria; Ann-Magrit Austena, NJ – Norway; Mazhar Abbas, PFUJ - Pakistan; Naim Tobassi, PJS - Palestine; Jaimes Beitía, SPP - Panama; Miguel H. López, SPP – Paraguay; Roberto Mejia Alarcón, ANP-FNTCS – Peru; Inday Espina-Varona, NUJP – Philippines; Jerzy Domansky, SDRP - Poland; Krystyna Mokrosinska, SDP – Poland; Alfredo Maia, SJ – Portugal; Israel Rodriguez, NG - Puerto Rico; Cornelius Popa, SZR - Romania; Vsevolod Bogdanov, RUJ – Russia; Nadezda Gace, NUNS – Serbia; Nino Brajovic, UNS – Serbia; Vesna Pejovic, ITUJM - Serbia and Montenegro; Dragana Cabarkapa, JUS – Serbia; Zuzana Krutka, SSN - Slovakia; Abdallah Sall Alpha, SYNPICS – Senegal; Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, SLAJ - Sierra Leone; Gregor Repovz, SAJ – Slovenia; Iztok Jurancic, USJ – Slovenia; Mohamed Barre Haji, NUSOJ - Somalia; Phumela Zenzile, MWASA - South Africa; Fernando González Urbaneja, FAPE - Spain; Enrique Fossoul de la Sierra, FCTCCOO – Spain; Gurutz Gorraiz Armendariz, ELA IGEKO – Spain; Ranjith Chandrasekera, FMETU -Sri Lanka; Daya Perera, WLWJA - Sri Lanka; Victor Ivan, FMM - Sri Lanka; Agneta Lindblom-Hultén, SJF – Sweden; Stephan Ruppen, SSM – Switerland; Stephanie Vonarburg, CoMedia – Switzerland; Stefan Rohrbach, Antoine Gessler, Impressum – Switzerland; Jean Shih, ATJ - Taiwan; Godfrey Kambenga, TUJ - Tanzania; Veera Prateepchaikul, TJA – Thailand; Peter Sassou Dogbe, UJIT – Togo; Faouzi Bouzeyene, AJT - Tunisia; Lotfi Hajji, SJT – Tunisia; L. Dogan Tilic, CGD – Turkey; Behzat Erkoc, TGS – Turkey; Michael Wakabi, UJU – Uganda; Igor Lubchenko, NUJU – Ukraine; Sergey Huz, IMTUU – Ukraine; Mohamed Yosif, UAEJA - United Arab Emirates; Manuel Méndez, APU - Uruguay; John Connolly, AFTRA – USA; Gerard Colby, UAW – USA; Linda Foley, Newspaper Guild/CWA, USA; Gregorio Salazar, SNTP, Venezuela; Hafez Albukari, YJS – Yemen; Benjamin Mwanza, ZUJ – Zambia; Foster Dongozi, ZUJ – Zimbabwe.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists—affiliated with the AFL-CIO— is a diverse national union representing more than 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters and recording artists in 32 Locals throughout the country. AFTRA members work as actors, broadcast journalists, dancers, singers, announcers, hosts, comedians and disc jockeys in all aspects of the media industries including television and radio, sound recordings, commercials, industrial non-broadcast, interactive games and the Internet. For more information, visit www.aftra.com.
About The Newspaper Guild and CWA:
The Newspaper Guild is an affiliate of the Communications Workers of America, representing 35,000 media workers in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. CWA—the union for the Information Age—represents 700,000 workers in information industries. TNG-CWA works with the IFJ and the International Safety Institute to help prepare journalists and media workers for the dangers they face around the world. More information is available at www.cwa-union.org.