The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has called for the international community to intervene to demand a full investigation to bring to justice those responsible for the biggest single massacre of working journalists in recent history.
The IFJ call came after at least twelve journalists were murdered when a political convoy of over 36 persons was ambushed and slaughtered by gunmen in the Maguindanao province of Southern Philippines.
“This is an event which shocks journalists around the world to the core,’ said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “We need a strong and urgent response from the Philippine government and the international community.”
The political convoy was led by Genalyn Tiamzon-Mangudadatu, who was on her way to file her husband’s nomination as a candidate for the forthcoming election for governor of Maguindanao province. Journalists were part of the convoy along with several members of her family.
The convoy was ambushed Monday morning by around 100 armed men, who took them to a remote location before shooting them all. Most were shot; some were beheaded and driven over by vehicles.
According to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) among the victims were at least 12 journalists, who were accompanying the political convoy to cover the political development.
“This is the darkest day in the history of journalism in the Philippines, which, outside of Iraq, has topped the tables of countries where journalists are most at risk in recent years,” IFJ said.
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The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide