Paris, France and Frankfurt, Germany,
3 September 2014
The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum today condemned the murder of Steven Sotloff and called for his killers to be brought to justice.
“We are appalled by the gruesome murder of Steven Sotloff, following the similar murder in August of James Foley,” said Larry Kilman, Secretary General of WAN-IFRA, the global association that represents 18,000 newspapers and news publishers world-wide.
“Despite statements made by their executioners, the murders are not an attack on the United States alone but on all citizens around the world who rely on independent journalists to provide critical news from war zones and shed light on atrocities. They are the eyes and ears of us all.
“Even among the growing number of attacks on journalists globally, the killings of Mr Foley and Mr Sotloff are particularly chilling. The international community must do its utmost to ensure that journalism and journalists are respected and the perpetrators of these crimes are brought to justice. Courageous men and women should not be attacked and killed merely for doing their jobs.’
A video purporting to show the beheading of Mr Sotloff, a free-lance journalist who wrote for Time magazine and other publications, was posted on the Internet and his family issued a statement on Tuesday saying they believed it was authentic and that he had been killed. A similar video showing the beheading of Mr Foley was posted two weeks ago.
An Islamic militant group that has taken control of broad areas of Syria and Iraq has claimed responsibility for the murders.
WAN-IFRA has recorded the deaths of at least 47 media professionals in Syria since the outbreak of fighting in 2011. According to reports, as many as 57 Syrian and foreign journalists are currently being held or are missing in the country, with armed groups from both sides of the conflict implicated.
For more information on WAN-IFRA’s press freedom activities, visit http://www.wan-ifra.org/press_freedom
WAN-IFRA, based in Paris, France, and Frankfurt, Germany, with subsidiaries in Singapore and India, is the global organisation of the world’s newspapers and news publishers. It represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. Its core mission is to defend and promote press freedom, quality journalism and editorial integrity and the development of prosperous businesses.
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