IFJ Accuses Governments

IFJ Accuses Governments of "Hypocrisy and Neglect" Over Press Freedom (IFJ, 29/4): «Governments guilty of "censorship, hypocrisy, and neglect" are putting press freedom to the sword world-wide, says the International Federation of Journalists(IFJ) in its statement to mark World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd.

«"Governments around the world are failing to defend press freedom and the rights of journalists," says Jim Boumelha, IFJ President, "and in the process they endanger civil liberties and democracy."

«In the name of security and counter-terrorism journalists have become the targets of police and state authorities. "Even democratic states are putting in place laws that constrain the exercise of journalism," says Boumelha. "Snooping on investigative reporters and forcing journalists to reveal sources of information is increasing. As a result, media work in an intimidating atmosphere in which censorship, direct and indirect is becoming routine."

«The IFJ says that its decision not to attend press freedom celebrations this weekend organised by UNESCO with the Government of Qatar reflects this concern because the event is held in a country which supports an international media freedom centre, but which refuses to allow local journalists to form their own independent union or association.

«The IFJ has written to UNESCO expressing concern over the event in Doha, which it says highlights the hypocrisy of governments that preach democracy abroad, but deny fundamental rights at home.»


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