URGENT: IFJ Philippines Appeal

Media suffered an unprecedented attack with the terrible tragedy that struck the Philippines on Monday 23 November 2009 . The news is unfolding on a daily basis, but the latest information today is that 30 journalists and media workers have been confirmed killed with an expectation that this will rise to at least 34, the total number of journalist and media workers reported to have set out on the convoy that was subsequently ambushed and massacred.

This is the biggest single atrocity against journalists in recent history.

The IFJ is working very closely to support our colleagues at the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) who immediately sent a mission to the scene of the massacre, arriving Wednesday. According to the NUJP 59 bodies have now been found in shallow graves, often beheaded and heavily mutilated.

Prior to this attack at least 75 journalists had been killed under the Arroyo government and only four cases have seen successful prosecutions. Outside of Iraq, the Philippines has become the most dangerous country for journalists this century.

A clear culture of impunity has been allowed to flourish under this government which must no longer be tolerated.

The IFJ is sending an international mission to Manila, 7 – 10 December, to support the NUJP, provide solidarity to journalists and the families of the victims, and to send the clearest message possible to the government that this is an outrage they will not be allowed to forget.

We need your help to reinforce this message, to demonstrate our sorrow, our anger, and our determination that such a crime will not go unpunished.

To do this the IFJ is calling on all affiliates to join a global day of solidarity on 9th December to coincide with the mission press conference on the 9th, the day before International Human Rights day.

Messages of solidarity and sympathy can be posted on this page.

Full details of the actions are enclosed in the attached documents.

Please join us !

Jim Boumelha                                               AIDAN WHITE

IFJ President                                     IFJ General Secretary

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