Thursday, 10 December 2009

December 10, Human Rights Day

"Recognition of human dignity of all people is the foundation of
justice and peace in the world."

I'm posting a copy of the open letter of the German Federation
of Journalists to the Ambassador of the Philippines to Germany
on the Ampatuan/Maguindanao massacre on November 23, 2009.

Letter of International Federation of Journalists (Germany)
to Philippine Ambassador
Today at 02:55
9 December 2009

RE: Massacre in the Philippines

Your Excellency,

The German Journalists Union (DJU in ver.di) respectfully requests
your cooperation in ensuring the Government of the Philippines is
aware of the global outrage about the massacre of a confirmed
59 people in Maguindanao Province, Mindanao, on November 23.

We urge you to use your authority and position to impress upon
your Government that the global community is demanding immediate and
credible action to ensure that all parties responsible for this atrocity
are held accountable to the full limit of the law.

We are informed by the International Federation of Journalists and its
affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines that
at least 30 journalists and media workers were among those murdered.
At the time of writing, another four media personnel are unaccounted for.

This is the worst mass killing of journalists and media workers ever

Journalists and the international media community are grieving and
distraught at the failure of the Government of the Philippines to
uphold its responsibility to protect our colleagues and to end
the long-running culture of impunity for the murders of journalists
in the Philippines.

During President Arroyo’s tenure, at least 75 journalists have been
killed in the Philippines. Almost all have been killed in relation
to their professional work. At last count, only four convictions had
been secured for these killings. Outside of Iraq, the Philippines has
become the most dangerous country for journalists this century.

The Government of the Philippines is obliged under United Nations
Security Council Resolution 1738 (2006) to actively protect
journalists and media workers reporting in conflict zones within
their national borders, in accordance with their status as
civilians under international law.

We call on you to ensure your Government and police and security
forces act on their responsibility to bring the perpetrators and
masterminds of the November 23 atrocity to account, without delay,
and to act now to end the culture of impunity that has plagued the
Philippines for so long.

Respectfully Yours,

Ulrike Maercks-Franzen
General Secretary of
German Journalists Union dju in ver.di

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