IFEX Members Call for Protection to Women Journalists and Activists
40 IFEX members are marking the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women” on 25 November, with a joint call for action.
The joint action calls attention to the many women journalists who are targeted. They face a range of violations, including death threats, abduction, physical attacks, including assaults, flogging and killings, as well as sexual, verbal and judicial harassment.
This year, several women have been murdered or threatened with death for speaking out against corruption and violations of human rights. Two of these women were Natalya Estemirova and Zarema Sadulayeva.
According to IFEX (International Freedom of Expression eXchange: The global network for free expression) members, Natalya Estemirova, who worked for the human rights group Memorial and wrote for “Novaya Gazeta”, was abducted at her home in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, on 15 July 2009. Her bullet-riddled body was later found in neighbouring Ingushetia. Estemirova was one of the only sources of credible information for rights groups and journalists outside the region.
The 40 IFEX members are seeking justice for the murders of these women journalists and to protect those who are threatened. The joint action urges national governments, police agencies and employers to protect women journalists, human rights defenders, writers and bloggers and invest in gender-related education programmes, among several other recommendations.