INSI Welcomes African Journalists Federation
Brussels, 22 November - The International News Safety Institute welcomes the new Federation of African Journalists which was launched in Abuja, Nigeria on 14 November.
The Federation of African Journalists was launched at a congress in Abuja on the theme of "Building a Strong and United Voice for African Journalists" that included participants from 20 countries and leaders of sub-regional groups representing journalists from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean.
The Federation's first public statement was to issue a strong protest over African governments that jail journalists and encourage a culture of impunity by failing to investigate violent attacks on media staff.
"This is a most welcome development," said INSI Director Rodney Pinder.
This year has seen the highest death toll in Africa since 2000, 26 journalists have died - 13 in various accidents in Benin, Cameroon, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Ivory Coast - 9 journalists have been assassinated in Ghana, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Eritrea, and Democratic Republic of Congo - and 4 journalists have been killed in crossfire related to the ongoing conflict in Somalia.
INSI strongly supports the Federation's call on the African Union Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression in Africa to investigate the actions of governments including "Somalia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Niger, Gambia, Tunisia, Egypt, and Swaziland where there have been credible reports of serious violations of journalists' rights."
Since 2005, INSI has trained 174 journalists in Africa . This year, INSI trained 25 journalists in Somalia and will be going back to train 50 more before the end of the year. Other countries include Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Liberia, and Kenya. INSI also launched a survival guide for journalists covering Africa with the International Federation of Journalists.
"INSI works constantly to raise money to provide safety training for journalists in Africa and other danger zones," Pinder said. "But it has been demonstrated time and again that journalists can best strengthen their defences by forming mutual-help organisations like the FAJ. Congratulations to all involved."
INSI is a non-governmental organisation established on 3 May 2003 by a unique coalition of news organisations, journalist support groups and humanitarian campaigners concerned by the rising numbers of journalists killed around the world.
For further information about this news release and other INSI training please contact Project Manager Sarah de Jong, email firstname.lastname@example.org tel: +32 2 235 22 01