Forty-seven IFEX members condemn massacre of journalists, call for justice

Attn: Members of the Philippines government, judiciary, police and military

We, the undersigned 47 members of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) network join the people of the Philippines in condemning, in the strongest terms possible, the massacre of at least 57 Filipinos in the southern Philippines.

Any murder is reprehensible, but as freedom of expression and press freedom advocates, we are especially appalled by the most recent media reports that at least 28 of those killed in the province of Maguindanao on 23 November 2009 were journalists.

IFEX members monitor attacks on journalists and media on a daily basis, throughout the world. Our members call attention to various forms of violence and threats not just to journalists, but to the larger environments in which independent media must survive. And still, the massacre of journalists in Maguindanao staggers our community. It is a crime of such scale and horror that is incomparable to anything we have seen.

Read the rest of the statement on the IFEX website.

Philippine journalists 'live in danger'

Another report on local corruption or the conduct of a war, another dead journalist in the Philippines.

Family members, friends and witnesses flee for safety; no one dares to testify about what they saw - perhaps a motorbike licence plate and a glimpse of the men who shot the journalist in the head.

Local prosecutors are too close to the warlords or army commanders and decline to pursue the case.

And so the toll rises: 63 dead journalists in the past eight years.

Read the rest on BBC News.

Maguindanao massacre worst-ever for journalists

View Death by Democracy in a larger map

The massacre of journalists in Maguindanao Monday is the worst death toll for the press in recent history, an international media watchdog said yesterday. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said the killing "appears to be single deadliest event for the press since 1992, when CPJ began keeping detailed records on journalist deaths." "Even as we tally the dead in this horrific massacre, our initial research indicates that this is the deadliest single attack on the press ever documented by CPJ,” said executive director Joel Simon of the New York-based group. It was the CPJ that had earlier branded the Philippines the second most dangerous place for journalists in the world behind Iraq. Read the rest of the article on