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IPI launches worldwide campaign calling for justice for journalists

(IPI/IFEX) - The following is a 10 November 2008 press release by the International Press Institute (IPI):

Vienna, 10 November 2008
New IPI Campaign Calls for Justice for Journalists Worldwide

Justice remains elusive for journalists who report openly. Some face the ultimate sanction, murdered for what they have written. The perpetrators all too often remain at large. Others are subjected to harassment disguised as law enforcement and languish in prison, convicted of crimes such as insulting a nation's reputation or divulging state secrets.

IPI's Justice Denied Campaign seeks to change this reality. It highlights compelling stories of impunity and the imprisonment of journalists worldwide, ensuring that these stories remain visible, particularly amongst key decision makers.

"The stories told by IPI's Justice Denied Campaign are stark reminders of the dangers faced by journalists committed to informing the public," noted IPI Director David Dadge. "When a journalist is attacked or jailed, the loss goes beyond the personal, with entire communities losing access to information they sorely need. We trust these stories will offend peoples' innate sense of justice, but we also hope that this will prompt people to act," Dadge added.

The stories of impunity include a Turkish journalist likely murdered for daring to question fundamentalist views, a Mexican crime reporter who simply disappeared, one of many Sri Lankan journalists caught up in the brutality of their country's civil conflict, and an outspoken press freedom advocate shot dead for resisting restrictions on the press in The Gambia. The stories of imprisonment include a group of Cuban journalists arrested in a massive crackdown triggered by a petition for reforms, an Azeri singled out for continuous legal persecution for his writings, and two Iranian journalists facing serious charges, including the death penalty, after addressing the plight of the country's Kurdish community.

IPI encourages the media to support IPI's Justice Denied Campaign by publicizing these stories through their own outlets. The campaign's cases are presented on IPI's website, at http://www.freemedia.at/justicedenied , which includes background summaries, interviews with and commentaries from individuals familiar with the targeted journalists or the environment in which they operate, and relevant country reports. Some of the material is currently available in Spanish, Turkish, Farsi and Tigrinya. Serbian, Russian and Bengali translations will be added in the near future.

The campaign will be launched with a press conference, to be held at 11 a.m. (local time) on 12 November, at the Café Prückel, Stubenring 24, A-1010 Vienna.
Registration to attend the press conference is not required.

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