IPI stands in solidarity with Journalists in Ukraine
By Qasim Akinreti, Lagos
The International Press Institute ,IPI , has expressed solidarity with Journalists in Ukraine covering, the Russian invasion of the country .
According to a press statement from the IPI headquarters shared by Raheem Adedoyin , one of the African representatives of the global media organisation,he said ,” IPI is monitoring the situation closely and will use all available channels to condemn any attacks on the press and seek accountability for those responsible”.
The press statement further stated that the immediate physical safety of Ukrainian journalists, as well as all international journalists reporting from within the country, is of utmost concern to the global media pressure group.
IPI condemned in strong term the horrific Russian invasion of Ukraine and demands that the safety and the right to report of all journalists working in the country be immediately guaranteed.
The statement reads “Those working in current conflict zones and military correspondents on the frontlines are our immediate concern as they face serious threats to their safety. We remind Russia that journalists are never legitimate targets and that military operations must seek to limit the loss of life”.
IPI noted that the first casualty of war is truth. It is vital that the free flow of independent news and information is fully respected. It reminded Russia that in times of crisis such as this, the media plays a fundamental role in providing timely and accurate information about developments on the ground.
” The targeting of news organizations covering the conflict or any attempts by Russian forces to knock out key telecommunications or broadcasting infrastructure in Ukraine would be completely unacceptable”.
The entire world is watching Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. As events unfold in the coming hours and days, IPI calls on international bodies including the United Nation’s Human Rights Council, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the Council of Europe to closely monitor all forms of attacks on journalists and restrictions of the freedom of the press and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
IPI also call on the EU and its Member States to offer emergency visas, refugee status and humanitarian support to any journalists forced to flee Ukraine because of their profession.
IPI is setting up a monitoring team and will coordinate with national press freedom unions in Ukraine to ensure all attacks on the media and independent journalists are systematically recorded and responded to.
“We will also work with partner press freedom organizations in Europe to help provide emergency practical and emergency relocation support to any Ukrainian journalists forced to flee the country”, the statement added.
IPI also commends the courageous work of members and journalists reporting on the ground in extremely challenging conditions, including colleagues at the Kyiv Independent, who have been working tirelessly to cover developments, provide sober analysis and ensure the world knows what is happening. IPI stands side by side with them and all other journalists in Ukraine during this moment of crisis.
The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NSJU) has also issued a statement to the effect that “The safety of journalists at the forefront, the safety of media workers throughout our country, which is being attacked by Russian occupation forces, is our priority.”
It said it has set up a special team to monitor the situation and coordinate the actions of NSJU members in Ukraine.