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JOURNALISTS JOIN FIGHT TO DEFEND RUSSIAN COLLEAGUES

Journalists from all over the world who gathered in Russia last week expressed outrage at the killings of their Russian colleagues and at recent government attempts to evict the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) from their Moscow headquarters, reports the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

At IFJ's World Congress held 28 May to 2 June in Moscow, delegates unanimously passed a resolution that also demanded an immediate end to impunity and all pressure on the media by narrow private and political interests, and called for the development of a national media culture that would "respect the democratic rights and liberties of all Russians" - with unions in Russia and all over the world playing a major role.

IFJ promised to launch a worldwide campaign to expose the attacks on press freedom in Russia, which will be a major focus for the newly elected executive committee led by Jim Boumelha of the National Union of Great Britain and Ireland.

IFJ also unveiled a new database on the 200 deaths and disappearances of journalists in Russia since 1993. Based on the work of Russia's two media monitors, the Glasnost Defense Foundation and the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations, and prompted by last year's murder of Anna Politkovskaya, the database details when, where and how journalists and media workers have died or disappeared. Click here to access the database: http://www.ifj.org/docs/Journalists-in-Russia.xls

For the full IFJ resolution, see: http://tinyurl.com/2w23oj

(5 June 2007)

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