International Federation Of Journalists Condemns Plans Of Ukrainian Authorities To Provide Journalists With Arms

The International Federation of Journalists has strongly condemned plans of the Ukrainian authorities to give journalists covering political events, crimes and corruption the right to carry fire-arms with rubber bullets in reply to increasing attacks in that country on press people. The Federation described these plans as "mistaken and dangerous". In a statement circulated in Brussels, the federation notes that "citizens, including pressmen, should be protected by law enforcement bodies". "Issuing journalists with arms will increase risks for all reporters and media staff," it is stressed in the document. According to Federation Secretary-General Aiden White, "journalism should not turn into an armed struggle for the right to cover some or other events". "Journalists are not soldiers and not policemen, and so they cannot be made to arm themselves only because the government does not cope with the task of ensuring safe conditions for the work of the press," he emphasised.

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