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Day Of Solidarity With Journalists In Iraq Held

Iraqi journalist Atwar Bahjat was killed in Samarra in February (AFP) PRAGUE, June 15, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The world's largest federation of media unions  has declared June 15 a global day of solidarity with journalists working in Iraq.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), together with
regional journalism organizations, has organized demonstrations in
Iraq for today to highlight the growing number of journalists killed in

IFJ General Secretary Aidan White told RFE/RL that the past three years in Iraq have been the deadliest ever for journalists.

is unquestionably the most dangerous and difficult period experienced
by any group of journalists in modern history," he said. "We have a
situation where more than 130 journalists and media staff have been
killed in the last three years, journalists are regularly targeted,
they've been taken hostage, they're subject to political pressure,
there's never really been anything like it."

The IFJ said the
event has three main goals: providing humanitarian support to Iraqi
journalists and their families, creating an international group to
protect journalists in Iraq, and urging the international community to
provide more assistance for Iraqi journalists.

White said
more than 100 national associations and unions of journalists have
signed an appeal for support for Iraqi journalists, and money has been
donated to an international humanitarian appeal fund for the victims
of violence in Iraq.

Two local media unions, the Iraqi Syndicate
of Journalists and the Kurdish Association of Journalists, have joined
with the IFJ to organize today's demonstrations.

World Press Freedom Day

World Press Freedom Day
NOT REALLY SO FUNNY: The Paris-based World Association of Newspapers asked French cartoonist Michel Cambon to produce a series of cartoons on the theme of jailed journalists to mark World Press Freedom Day (May 3). Below, RFE/RL reproduces several of Cambon's cartoons.





RFE/RL's Press Freedom Day stories:

Iraq: Covering The Most Dangerous Beat On Earth

Afghanistan: Women In Journalism Battle Restrictions, Threats

Iran: State Maintains Tight Control Over Information

CIS: Press Freedom In Former Soviet Union Under Assault

Central Asia: Bureaucratic Obstacles Hinder Journalists

Central Asia: Governments Wary Of Independent Media

Central Asia: Journalists Still Face Harassment, Threats


To view an archive of RFE/RL's coverage of media-related stories, click here.


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