Invasion in Ukraine: the safety of journalists must be protected

The IPI’s global network of editors, journalists and publishers today expresses its unwavering support and solidarity with our members and fellow journalists in Ukraine following Russia’s attack on the country. We demand that the safety of journalists and the right to cover developments independently and without fear of reprisal be protected.

IPI is monitoring the situation closely and will use all available channels to condemn any attack on the press and hold those responsible to account. The immediate physical safety of Ukrainian journalists, as well as all international journalists working from within the country, is of grave concern.

IPI is horrified by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and demands that the safety and right to report of all journalists working in the country be immediately guaranteed. Those working in current conflict zones and military correspondents on the front lines are our immediate concern as they face serious threats to their security. We remind Russia that journalists are never legitimate targets and that military operations must aim to limit human casualties.

As the first casualty of war is so often the truth, it is vital that the free flow of independent news and information is fully respected. In times of crisis like this, the media plays a fundamental role in providing timely and accurate information on developments on the ground. The targeting of news agencies covering the conflict or any attempt by Russian forces to destroy major telecommunications or broadcasting infrastructure in Ukraine would be totally unacceptable.

The whole world is watching Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. As events unfold in the hours and days to come, IPI calls on international bodies, including the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Council of Europe, to closely monitor all forms of attacks on journalists and restrictions on press freedom and to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. We also call on the EU and its Member States to offer emergency visas, refugee status and humanitarian aid to all journalists forced to flee Ukraine because of their profession.

The IPI is setting up a monitoring team and will coordinate with national press freedom unions in Ukraine to ensure that all attacks on independent media and journalists are systematically recorded and addressed. We will also work with partner press freedom organizations in Europe to help provide emergency practical assistance and emergency resettlement assistance to any Ukrainian journalists forced to flee the country.

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The IPI also salutes the courageous work of our members and journalists who report on the ground under extremely difficult conditions, including our colleagues from the Kyiv Independent, who have worked tirelessly to cover developments, provide sober analysis and make sure the world knows what’s going on. IPI stands with them and all other Ukrainian journalists at this time of crisis.

The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NSJU) published a declaration Thursday morning emphasizing: “The safety of journalists in the foreground, the safety of media workers throughout our country, which is under attack by the Russian occupation forces, is our priority.

He said he set up a special team to monitor the situation and coordinate the actions of NSJU members in Ukraine.

A hotline for journalists has been set up in Kyiv: 0442342096. Journalists concerned about their safety can contact the NSJU at: [email protected] and [email protected]

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