JSC Regrets the Deterioration of Media Freedoms in the United States and Calls for the Protection of Journalists

2018-07-02 03:38


Five journalists killed in retaliation in Maryland
The Journalist Support Committee regrets the deterioration of freedoms in the United States and calls for the protection of journalists

The Journalist Support Committee has received with great regret the news of the attack on the Capital Gazette newspaper, Annapolis, Maryland, on Thursday, June 28, 2018. According to security sources, the crime was personally motivated. Where the criminal, Jarrod Warren Ramos, was identified by the police, had a long run with the newspaper. Ramos filed a lawsuit against the newspaper and one of its journalists in 2012 for allegedly defaming Mr. Ramos after the newspaper published an article about his criminal harassment against a woman who rejected his advances.

Police also reported that Ramos launched smoke bombs as he entered the newspaper building carrying a shotgun. 5 victims have been identified, namely:

  • Community reporter Wendy Winters
  • Sales assistant Rebecca Smith
  • Assistant editor and columnist Rob Hiaasen
  • Editorial page editor Gerald Fishman
  • Staff writer John McNamara

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the last attack on journalists in the United States was in 2015, when an angry journalist killed two former colleagues during a live broadcast. Overall, seven journalists have been killed in the United States since 1992.

Following this unfortunate incident, the Journalist Support Committee deplores this deliberate and planned attack against the newspaper and extends its warm condolences to the newspaper, the families of the victims, their fellow journalists and anyone affected by the incident.

The Committee calls for an end to the policy of incitement against the press conducted by President Trump who continues to attack the press by describing them as "Fake News" "misleading" and "lying", increasing hostility against journalists while threatening their security and safety in the United States in addition to making them targets for hate crimes and to galvanize public opinion against them. The Committee calls for the renunciation of hate speech against journalists, and to work in accordance with the first amendment of the United States' Constitution and the principle of freedom of expression guaranteed by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and finally Article 13 of The American Convention on Human Rights, the Charter of San José, Costa Rica, which rejects the imposition of any prior censorship on freedom of opinion and expression, or restricts the right to expression by indirect methods or means, such as the abuse of government or private controls over newsprint, radio broadcasting frequencies, or equipment used in the dissemination of information, or by any other means tending to impede the communication and circulation of ideas and opinions.

Journalist Support Committee - Switzerland
29 June 2018