Pacific Journalists face threats: IFJ
IFJ joins Global Campaign against Impunity for journalist killings.
The International Federation of Journalists says the Pacific is lucky not to have the targeted killings of journalists but there is concern at the threats some of them face.
The IFJ has launched a 22-day campaign highlighting violence against journalists around the world.
Its acting director for the Asia Pacific, Jane Worthington, spoke with Koroi Hawkins.
JANE WORTHINGTON: The impunity campaign that IFJ is involved with is really a global campaign, where NGOs and media advocates around the world work together to bring attention to the issue of impunity, which is where crimes against journalists, threats and killings, go unpunished. But also it is to push governments to actually take up their responsibilities to ensure firstly that journalists are safe and secondly bring justice for journalist killings and attacks on journalists.
KOROI HAWKINS: Pakistan and the Philippines are highlighted at the start of the campaign, what is particularly bad or what is the situation in those countries?
JW: Both have high records of attacks on journalists, journalist killings, in fact Pakistan in the year to date is currently leading in terms of the number of journalists killed this year. 13 journalists and media workers have lost their lives in Pakistan and in terms of impunity, its rife really, there is no other way to describe it. In the case of Pakistan there have been nearly 60 journalists killed in the last six years. More than a hundred since 2000 and in only two cases has justice been delivered. In the Philippines it's a particularly pertinent case. I would say the situation in the Philippines actually, was the beginning of the, the fight against impunity. Because in 2009 , there, it was the focus of the Amputuan Massacre, where thirty two journalists lost their lives in a single incident they were assassinated en masse when they were covering a political rally. They were buried in mass graves, its five years actually this month since that massacre and five years on not a single perpetrator has been found guilty.
KH: And linking it to the Pacific, it's almost opposite end of the scale, how do you relate this campaign to the region in Oceania?
JW: Well, I mean fortunately the Pacific doesn't have the same level of targeted killing of journalists but impunity is an issue not just in terms of journalist killings it's also a threats against media workers which we do see a lot of in the Pacific. And if threats, equally if threats are not investigated then a culture of impunity can grow. It's a matter of investigating any threats to journalists because these sorts of threats will prevent inevitably a killing and we need to stop that.
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