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"Global Day of Action" marked to express solidarity to end impunity in the Philippines

Freedom Forum-Nepal and the Central Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Tribhuvan University (TU) jointly organized several programs to mark the "Global Day of Action", commemorating the biggest atrocity perpetrated against journalists and calling for the Philippines government to take concrete actions to put the culture of impunity to end.

In the southern Philippines on 23 November 2009, some 32 journalists and media were brutally murdered in a macabre massacre of 58 people in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and many other free expression international organizations had decided to mark the day as the "Global Day of Action" to protest the world’s single biggest atrocity perpetrated against journalists.

Journalists across the globe joined the campaign to leverage media workers in the Philippines, who are firmly committed and have waged struggle for the justice and protection.

In this connection, Freedom Forum and Central Department jointly organized a "Condolence Meet" to pay tribute to the murdered journalists in the Philippines last year.

Speaking at the program, Prabalraj Pokhrel, Head of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication said the impunity was something to hinder press freedom globally and called for coordinated efforts to put the culture of impunity to end.

He expressed condolence to the slain journalists and extended solidarity for the cause of freedom of press in the Philippines.

Chiranjivi Khanal, Faculty Member of the Department, asserted that anti-press incidents is on the rise in Nepal, adding "Frequent assault on media sector has aggravated the trend of self-censorship and the state has to come up with definite set of actions to safeguard Nepali media sector'.

He added, "Journalists also should not be deviated from the fairness doctrine so as to keep the journalism sector more responsible and professional,"

"Press Freedom is not only the matter of national border," Freedom Forum's secretary Sanath Acharya explained, "rather it is the matter of global concern in modern democracies."

"Many crimes are committed against Nepali press sector, however, the State has yet to demonstrate true commitment to prosecute the perpetrators of those crimes," Acharya told.

Marking the Global Day of Action and joining the cause against impunity in the Philippines, the two organizer dispatched a letter to the President and Government of the Philippines requesting to bring the perpetrators and instigators of the November 23 atrocity to account, without further delay, and to act now to end the culture of impunity that has plagued the Philippines for so long.