University leads call for the protection and safety of journalists across the world

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The Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM) at the University of Sheffield yesterday led a call for the increased safety and protection of journalists across the world.

Centre for the Freedom of the Media

The following statement was issued at the Safety of Journalists Symposium at BBC Broadcasting House in London, co-hosted by BBC Global News and CFOM in cooperation with the BBC College of Journalism.

More than 50 symposium participants supported the statement and called for increased safety and protection of journalists:

“We have gathered to protest at the increasing attacks on journalism around the world and the damage to free speech that can result from the rise in violence and intimidation against the media.

"UNESCO has just published detailed evidence which shows that journalism has become increasingly dangerous in many parts of the world. Only last week the acclaimed Associated Press photo-journalist Anja Niedringhaus of AP was killed in Afghanistan.

"In too many countries journalists are facing serious intimidation and violence, which in turns leads to disturbing patterns of censorship and self-censorship. We stand against these abuses and today we call on the governments concerned to investigate each one of those crimes promptly and effectively so as to bring those responsible to justice. We will now observe a minute’s silence to illustrate the silencing of journalists and of free speech.

"Today also marks 100 days since the arrest and detention in Egypt of three respected and highly professional Al Jazeera journalists, Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed. No credible evidence has been produced to justify their imprisonment and prosecution. A number of other journalists have also been held in Egypt for extended periods without adequate access to justice.

"We call for the release of all those individuals and the freeing of more than 200 other journalists around the world who are now held behind bars only because they were doing their jobs. Journalism is not a crime; it is essential for a free and open society."

For the full statement and a list of signatories, visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/statements/safety-of-journalists-symposium.html

Additional information

The University of Sheffield

With nearly 25,000 of the brightest students from 117 countries coming to learn alongside 1,209 of the world’s best academics, it is clear why the University of Sheffield is one of the UK’s leading universities. Staff and students at Sheffield are committed to helping discover and understand the causes of things - and propose solutions that have the power to transform the world we live in.

A member of the Russell Group, the University of Sheffield has a reputation for world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines. The University of Sheffield has been named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards 2011 for its exceptional performance in research, teaching, access and business performance.

In addition, the University has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes (1998, 2000, 2002, 2007), recognising the outstanding contribution by universities and colleges to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

One of the markers of a leading university is the quality of its alumni and Sheffield boasts five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students. Its alumni have gone on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, Boots, AstraZeneca, GSK, Siemens, Yorkshire Water and many more household names, as well as UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

The University has well-established partnerships with a number of universities and major corporations, both in the UK and abroad. The White Rose University Consortium (White Rose) a strategic partnership between three of the UK's leading research universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York. Since its creation in 1997 White Rose has secured more than £100M into the Universities.

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