ABOUT RUSSIAN UNION OF JOURNALISTS
The all-Russian public organization «Russian Union of Journalists» is the creative non-political public association. It is based on membership system and founded for protection of journalists’ of Russia interests. (p.1.1 of the Charter of Russian Union of Journalists)
"Correct journalistic practices are the most effective safeguard against Governmental restrictions and pressures… Any attempts to draw up standards and guidelines should come from journalists themselves… In all media the professional independence and journalistic and editorial freedom should be recognized." ( UNESCO’s Declaration of Sofia)
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its regional group, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), today condemned unreservedly the violence and arrests of journalists that took place during the crackdown on the Taksim Square protesters this weekend.
According to the TGS (Turkish Journalists Syndicate), at least four journalists have been arrested, photographers have had their pictures deleted, and cameramen have been targeted by tear gas and water cannon. In a more sinister move, four TV companies have been fined by the Radio and Television High Council over their reporting of the demonstrations while the Daily Taraf publication has also been banned.
Meanwhile Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to investigate social media and national media publishing photos on the demonstrations and the violence.
“The Turkish government must stop targeting and intimidating journalists and allow them to report protests without fear and censorship,” said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President. “We therefore call on the authorities to respect the right of journalists and its citizens to freedom of expression and peaceful demonstration.”
In a letter sent to journalists’ unions across the world, the IFJ and EFJ condemn unreservedly the brutal attacks on journalists and civilians during the recent crackdown. They urge national governments and European institutions to take immediate actions to stop the crackdown from escalating.
According to the TGS, journalists who were arrested include Ferhat Uludaglar, Gokhan Bicici and Ugur Can all of Dogan News Agency, and Okan Altunkara of IMC TV. The police forcibly deleted the images of photojournalist Cem Turkel of Aksam daily. Meanwhile Turkey has the largest number of journalists in jail, at least 60, and facing prosecution under one of the most draconian anti- terror legislation of in the world.
The IFJ affiliate in Portugal, the Sindicato Dos Jornalistas (SDJ) also accused Turkish Police of assaulting Portuguese journalist Paulo Moura . The union said that Moura was attacked in the Taksim Square despite the fact that he had identified himself to security forces as a journalist.
“The inescapable conclusion of the targeting of journalists, fining of media and public threats of investigations is that the authorities are using all the tools at their disposal to pressure media into censoring their coverage of the events in Taksim Square and Gezi Park,” added Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, EFJ President. “The true story behind the events in Turkey can only be revealed if the journalists are allowed to do their job.”
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today announced at the congress of its member union in Russia, the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ), its decision to open a solidarity centre in Moscow.
The announcement was made by IFJ President, Jim Boumelha, to the 450 delegates from across the 77 unions of journalists in Russia, organised within the RUJ. It was welcomed by the Russian journalists' community as a major achievement for their union.
"The opening of the IFJ solidarity centre in Moscow will help the RUJ consolidate its work throughout its regions and in the surrounding countries," said Boumelha, "it will help the IFJ and RUJ establish a programme of work which will strengthen trade unionism and the defence of independent journalism."
The 10th congress, held at Kolonny Zal in Moscow, a major official venue in Russia, marks a turning point for the development of the RUJ. Delegates took seminal decisions on the orientation of their union, including a back-to-basics programme of trade union work, a focus on safety of journalists and defence of social and professional rights.
The IFJ and RUJ agreed a detailed memorandum of understanding, which was presented by the RUJ leadership to congress, defining the core activities that will be carried out by the centre, focusing principally on safety of journalists including safety training of journalists, post-traumatic aid, legal support, support for families, the fight against impunity, professional and working rights of journalists and media freedom. The agreement was fully endorsed by delegates.
The congress also endorsed a series of reports of the work of the RUJ which made the union the authoritative voice of journalists in Russia. Vsevolod Bogdanov was overwhelmingly elected to continue as its president as well as a secretariat of 16 national secretaries.
"Cooperation with the IFJ is crucial for the development of the RUJ. The opening of the IFJ solidarity centre will help the RUJ position itself within the media landscape in Russia as the indisputable representative of Russian journalists," said president-elect Bogdanov.
"This is the beginning of a new era for Russian journalists throughout the Russian federation who are now better prepared to fight for independent and good quality journalism."
For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ Executive Commitee on it's last meeting in Brussels (23-24 March, 2013) has adopted the Memorandum of Understanding between IFJ and RUJ on establishment of IFJ Regional Center - The Moscow International Centre for Journalism.
The Russian Union of Journalists calls media community to make a legal refutation to the project amendments in Civil Code relating to the media, that restricting speech freedom. This was announced on Wednesday at Public Chamber (PC) project hearing by RUJ Secretary Alexander Kopeika.
Earlier it was announced that at the beginning of September PC members prepared a report in which offered to delete from the draft law «About the amendments the first, second, third and fourth Civil Code parts, as well as to some legislative acts of the Russian Federation» articles relating to media, which was passed by State Duma in the first reading on 26 April 2012. PC members think that amendments can negatively affect to the media.
In particular, PC members believe that the article «Private life protection» directly contradicts the media law, gives privileges to the officials to classify any information and offend legitimate journalist’s rights to seek, receive and distribute information. As was noted in PC some of the draft law parts can be a cause of arrest and circulation destruction. In conclusion was noticed that the rule formulation also allows free interpretation, which obliges to deny defamatory information that was available on the internet — PC members expressed concern that the media will be responsible for all «reprint» on the internet material with such information.
«This draft law project turns all our ideas about the speech freedom, professional journalists’ activities, which is limited in recent years… It is enough to remember a libel draft law and many others laws which limit the speech freedom…We don’t only need to deny draft law’s postulates in competent legal way, we must stay all the journalistic family together and says our powerful protest. At least we must show our solidarity in this issue», — Kopeika said.
He noticed that RUJ fully support PC conclusion and calls journalists to act.
PC Chairman in media support area and newspaper «Moskovsky Komsomolets» chief editor Pavel Gusev noticed that PC conclusion was sent to State Duma, but in new draft law version for the second reading all the controversial statements were stayed.
«According to Russian law we have right to make an examination, so without our expertise this law can’t be considered in State Duma, that’s why we will insist on getting reflection on our point of view and that this amendment will lead to the speech freedom violation», — Gusev said.
This draft law proposes amendments and new edition presentation more than 600 articles to Civil Code, including media activity.A number of articles devoted to the protection of private life of a citizen, protection of honor, dignity and business reputation. Some formulations limit journalists’ abilities in publishing information about individuals, including on the Internet. Draft law provides for the media sanctions such as media devices confiscation and destruction, edition circulation and refuse in providing information.
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