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JED announces launch of "Rapid Alert Network" to prevent attacks on press freedom

(JED/IFEX) - 10 October 2011 - At a round-table meeting between media experts and public figures organised by Journaliste en Danger (JED) and held in Kinshasa from 5 to 7 October 2011, provincial government delegates responsible for security issues, representatives of professional media organisations and members of JED decided to put in place a Rapid Alert Network, aimed at preventing serious attacks on press freedom and the physical integrity of journalists, particularly in the sensitive period leading up the elections of 28 November 2011.

Participants at the round-table also agreed to put in place a permanent working group that brings together JED, the authorities responsible for questions of law and security and the regulatory media bodies to quickly address questions regarding the protection of journalists, journalists' access to sources and cases of media slip-ups or excesses.

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In order to prevent risks of serious attacks on press freedom and the physical integrity of journalists, and to encourage the media to be more responsible in exercising its role, round-table participants agreed to:

- Defend and promote press freedom and consistently aim to secure the physical safety of journalists and media professionals in their capacity as such;

- Create a Rapid Alert Network for the prevention, management and follow-up of cases of attacks on press freedom and on journalists' rights, and of media slip-ups, that will consist of JED correspondents, members of the National Congolese Press Union (UNPC), the Audio-visual and Communication Council (CSAC) and ministries in charge of security matters;

- Encourage press bodies to elaborate an internal security plan and to inform their journalists of rules and practical security recommendations regarding what they should or should not do to ensure their safety;

- Develop more information sessions on increasing journalists' capacities and informing media professionals of their rights and duties, and the laws regulating information in the country.

Please note this is an abridged translation.

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