We, journalists seek the right to information and stand in solidarity with our colleagues in conflict areas
The violent conflict that re-entered our lives with renewed force following the general elections on 7th of June 2015 costing lives everyday.Through media blackouts and pressure on journalists, the authorities are trying to supress the facts about the conflict.
Our fellow journalists who live and/or work in the conflict areas face immense pressures. They are very often prevented doing their jobs, sometimes having guns pointed to their heads, sometimes having beaten and arrested. At present 30 journalists are in jail in Turkey. More recently a fellow journalist -cameraman for IMC tv station Refik Tekin- came under fire while filming a group of civilians collecting wounded and dead from the streets of Southeastern town, Cizre. He was shot, beaten up by members of security forces while wounded, and declared “a terrorist” by state owned Anatolian Agency. He is still in hospital.
We the journalists based outside the main conflict zone see it as one of our primary responsibilities to be in solidarity with our colleagues working under such pressure. We will not let them stand alone while they risk their lives daily by simply trying to do their job.
Following a formal visit to the conflict area by the representatives of our professional unions/associations, we are launching a “News Watch” initiative in solidarity with our fellow journalists. In groups, we will be taking turns, to go to the conflict areas and work side by side with local colleagues to defend both their right to work freely and safely and the publics’ right to know.
Every week another group of journalists will take over the “News Watch” in restricted areas, and will work hard to bring in much needed reliable news and analysis.
At this moment solidarity is the way to defend journalism and to defend publics’ right to information.
Journalists who wish to take part in the News Watch initiative, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org and suggest the dates you could travel.