Israel and Palestine: IFJ calls on UNESCO to protect journalists

Brussels, 13 October 2023  – Since the outbreak of the armed conflict between Hamas and Israel, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has been in constant dialogue with its Palestinian affiliate, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS), who organise journalists in the Gaza Strip, as well as being in contact Israeli journalists. The IFJ and its affiliates around the world call on Unesco to do its utmost to protect journalists and demand that the warring parties de-escalate the violence, which will only result in civilian casualties, particularly journalists.

Since 7 October 2023 and the first Hamas attack, thousands of Palestinian and Israeli civilians have been killed, including journalists and media workers. Among them, the IFJ counts many colleagues who have been killed, injured or kidnapped. On the night of 13 October 2023, the Israeli army asked more than one million Palestinians in the north of the Gaza Strip to move to the south of the territory in order to carry out military actions. The IFJ is concerned about the consequences for civilians and journalists.  The IFJ therefore calls on both warring parties to respect international humanitarian law and the United Nations Charter.

FMETU conducted a full day workshop to design their action plan for 2024 and 2025.

The Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions FMETU Sri Lanka conducted a full day workshop to design their action plan for the next two years 2024 and 2025.

The program was part of the International Federation of Journalists, IFJ-UTU project for 2023. Rainbow Institute Sri Lanka was delighted to collaborate in this important initiative to empower journalists’ island wide. The facilitators were Dileepa Samarasinghe and Mahishka Fernando.

16 participants have participated and they discussed the below tropics to find solutions their own way.


Key action areas – to be divided into plans for 2024 and 2025

Topics Sub-areas Expectations
1. Addressing issues, challenges and preparing structures ·       welfare schemes, salary schemes and professional rights


·       How to implement schemes

·       How can they pay the Rs1200 per year? Annual membership fee

2. Categories journalists and media workers (including women journalist, state media sector, provincial and young journalists) and design intervention to mobilize ·       collective bargaining agreements for state media journalists (ide

·       strengthen the FMETU affiliates  unions

·       Identify how to mobilize journalists from each area

·       How to  strengthen the FMETU affiliates  unions


3. Update/ improve the FMETU website and start an online news bulletin
4. Training (journalists to fit into the digital economy)  
5. Annual budget for the union Strategies to pay annual   membership fee How can they pay the Rs1200 per year?

World Day for Decent Work: “Young journalists deserve more protection”-says IFJ

 “Quality information depends on decent working conditions for all media workers and young journalists should be no exception,” says the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). On 7 October, the Federation will mark the World Day for Decent Work by launching a global survey to assess the needs of young media workers.

 In recent decades, precarious working conditions, including poor pay, lack of contracts, heavy workloads, and stress and job insecurity have blighted the news sector. Young workers have particularly suffered.

Switzerland: Shireen Abu Akleh’s death must be investigated – IFJ

“If the International Criminal Court does not investigate the death of Shireen Abu Akleh soon, it will lose all credibility among journalists and the Palestine people,” said IFJ vice-president Nasser Abu Baker. He was speaking to a packed meeting on 21 September at the United Nations Human Rights Council, organised by the IFJ on the anniversary of lodging a complaint with the Hague-based court.

Nearly 100 national representatives, including those from China, the USA, the UK, and the EU, heard contributions from lawyers and campaigners involved in the case.

Ilora Choudury, senior lead counsel for the International Center of Justice for Palestinians told the meeting about the troubling forensic evidence that has emerged since the killing. “The similarity between cases, the consistency, and the sheer volume all point to one thing – a formal, or informal policy to intentionally targeting journalists.”

Choudhury went on to say that had legal action been swifter, much suffering among journalists in Palestine might have been avoided – 102 have suffered serious injury as a result of the actions of the Israeli Defence Force.

IFJ treasurer, Jim Boumelha, who chaired the meeting said: “Journalists everywhere have been appalled by this killing and are looking to the ICC to take action. The IFJ will keep up the pressure until it does”.

A fuller report follows.

UN: ICC must investigate the killing of journalists in Palestine

The proposed new Bill to ‘Strengthen Online Security’ should be defeated.

The proposed new bill ‘The Strengthen Online Security’ Act is the latest law to be added to repressive laws like the Rehabilitation Act, Anti-Terrorism Act, Anti-Corruption Act, and Media Regulatory Commission Act.

The press statement issued by the Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions protesting against this Act The full statement is published below in its entirety.

Press Release

22nd September 2022

The proposed new Bill to ‘Strengthen Online  Security’ should be defeated.

After the appointment of Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe as the successor executive president, a new bill has been proposed called ‘Strengthening Internet Security’. ‘The ‘Strengthen Online  Security’ bill is the latest law to be added to repressive laws like the Rehabilitation Act, Anti-Terrorism Act, Anti-Corruption Act, and Media Regulatory Commission Act.

The last hope of the rulers was defined as new laws that intervened to protect the country’s democracy and citizen rights to control the people’s opposition that may grow against the government. Media organizations and intellectuals, leading mass organizations on behalf of the citizens, and the legal community with the former President of the Sri Lanka Bar Association Mr. Saliya Peiris say that the primary purpose of this new bill is to control ‘social media’.

 In view of the economic, social, and political crisis that is growing in the country, we strongly believe that this is another law for the purpose of crossing the basic right to information and social freedom of the people. We strongly believe that these laws are specifically for the control of ‘social media’, which is becoming a social power.

 It is the responsibility of every citizen to defeat the repressive decrees that the President, who does not have a clear mandate, trying to pass and implement the proposed ‘ Strengthen Online Security’ act at his discretion. Therefore, our Federation strongly expects the intervention of every citizen who agrees to protect the freedom of expression and speech in Sri Lanka.

 The Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions, in conjunction with the International Federation of Journalists, all media organizations strongly condemn the proposed draconian bill. The International Federation of Journalists is the most powerful media organization with a membership of over 600,000 journalists, comprising 167 media organizations in 146 countries.

 Thanking You,


Dharmasisr Lankapeli                                                                                         

General Secretary

FMETU-IFJ-UTU – 2023 – Planning Organizational Audit Workshop!

Planning discussion for the FMETU Organizational Audit Workshop, its Executive Committee, and key members representing various regions of Sri Lanka met on 15 August 2023 to discuss the plan for the implementation of the program.

FMETU looks forward to welcoming Ms. Jane Worthington of IFJ Asia Pacific Director, who is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka soon to facilitate the organization’s corporate audit.


IFJ’s monthly media bulletin for (SAMSN) August-2023

Sri Lankan project partners finalise union evaluation reports: 

The IFJ’s Sri Lankan affiliates, the Free Media Movement (FMM), the Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions (FMETU), and the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA) are all finalising their Union Capacity Audit reports. The institutional union strength assessments comprise one of several initial stages in the IFJ’s three-year intensive support program, which will aim to develop membership-driven national action plans. This work is supported by Union To Union (UTU).

(IFJ Bulatine Link)



Ms. Krishni Kanthasami Making A Mark in Sri Lankan Media!

In a country like Sri Lanka, journalism has always been a compelling and challenging field but had for years been dominated by men. In the 1950s, the first female journalists in Sri Lanka were employed by English-language publications.

If being a female journalist in Sri Lanka was hard enough on its own, then being a minority Tamil woman in the media was even harder. Krishni Kanthasamy Ifham can attest to this.

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