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miércoles, 20 de junio de 2012

Día Mundial del Refugiado 2012 Los periodistas : refugiados particularmente vulnerables

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Reporteros sin Fronteras
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20 de junio de 2012


Con ocasión del Día Mundial del Refugiado, Reporteros sin Fronteras alerta a António Guterres, Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados, sobre la necesidad de proteger mejor a los periodistas en el exilio, asimismo, actualiza su guía para ayudarlos en sus gestiones.
En 2011 cerca de ochenta periodistas huyeron de su país y de la suerte que les reservaban los dirigentes de regímenes enemigos de la libertad de información. La hemorragia continúa en 2012 y decenas de profesionales de los medios de comunicación sirios, iraníes, somalíes, eritreos han debido optar por el exilio en el último semestre.
Frente a las amenazas de detención arbitraria, agresiones, hostigamiento e, incluso asesinato, estos hombres y mujeres tomaron la decisión de dejar atrás a su familia, amigos y colegas, en busca de una mayor seguridad.
Por falta de medios o porque debieron irse de forma urgente, estos periodistas fracasan con más frecuencia en países vecinos al suyo. Si bien las fronteras de esos Estados son permeables para las personas que buscan refugio, lo son aún más para los agentes de los gobiernos de los que huyen. Así, la seguridad de los periodistas en el exilio en esos “primeros países de refugio” no está garantizada.
El 30 de mayo de 2012 Reporteros sin Fronteras envió una carta a António Guterres, Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados, con el fin de alertarle sobre esta situación de los periodistas que se encuentran en el exilio en países como Turquía, Uganda o Kenia. La organización publica hoy esta carta y las recomendaciones que contiene.
Reporteros sin Fronteras pide a António Guterres que intervenga para que se cree en cada representación del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas (ACNUR) un mecanismo de alerta específico y que exista un responsable encargado de tratar los casos de periodistas y otros defensores de los derechos humanos en el exilio, con el fin de que se identifique y se trate sus expedientes más rápido. La organización también pide al Alto Comisionado que actúe para que estas personas particularmente amenazadas tengan un mejor acceso a medidas de protección individuales adecuadas, así como al proceso de reinstalación de urgencia y al mecanismo de evacuación temporal a países seguros que pertenezcan a la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU).
Finalmente, con la convicción de que también concierne a terceros países miembros de las Naciones Unidas obrar a favor de la protección de periodistas empujados al exilio debido a su actividad profesional, Reporteros sin Fronteras pide a António Guterres que reconozca públicamente que el proceso tradicional de protección de la ONU para el tratamiento de las peticiones de defensores de los derechos humanos que continúan amenazados en los primeros países de refugio es inadecuado y que ordene a los Estados miembros que reaccionen.
En vísperas del 20 de junio de 2012, Día Mundial del Refugiado, Reporteros sin Fronteras también publica una actualización de su Guía para los Periodistas en el Exilio, publicada inicialmente en 2009.
Este fascículo de una treintena de páginas, destinado a los profesionales de los medios de comunicación, aborda los procesos de petición protección ante el ACNUR, así como de petición de asilo en Europa y Norteamérica. Los periodistas en el exilio encontrarán en él información, consejos y contactos que los orientarán y los apoyarán a lo largo de este proceso largo y difícil, punto de partida de una nueva vida.
Copia de la carta de Reporteros sin Fronteras a António Gutiérrez, Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados, del 30 de mayo 2012 (en inglés)
Mr. António Guterres United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR PO Box 2500 CH-1211 Geneva 2 Switzerland
Paris, 30 May 2012
Urgent: Situation of asylum-seeking journalists in transit countries
Dear High Commissioner,
Reporters Without Borders, the leading international NGO defending freedom of information, is extremely concerned about the situation of journalists who apply to UNHCR for protection in the first country they reach after fleeing their own country.
By providing information about the situation of their fellow citizens, by interviewing government opponents, and by drawing attention to human rights violations, corruption and misrule, journalists attract the hostility of regimes and influential groups that do not tolerate freely reported news and information.
Because of their work, journalists are exposed to serious reprisals. Many are forced to flee abroad to escape physical violence, threats, arrests and arbitrary jail sentences. Journalists are easy to identify because they sign articles, appear on TV and speak on the radio. When they flee to a nearby country and register with UNHCR, they continue to be at the mercy of the regimes they are trying to escape because their names, faces and voices are known.
This was seen when Eritrean journalist Jamal Osman Hamad was arrested in Khartoum on 24 October 2011, less than a week after Eritrean President Issaias Afeworki visited his Sudanese counterpart, and 300 Eritrean citizens were deported to their country of origin without UNHCR being able to examine their cases.
Our concern increased when Rwandan journalist Charles Ingabire was gunned down in Kampala on 30 November 2011 in very unclear circumstances. Reporters Without Borders is convinced that an act of political revenge cannot be ruled out.
It is clear that the Rwandan, Eritrean, Ethiopian and Iranian governments, like Somalia’s Al-Shabaab and Latin America’s drug traffickers, have an ability to do harm that reaches well beyond their own borders.
It must however be recognized that, as things stand, there is no adequate mechanism for protecting asylum-seeking journalists (and other news providers), who are all, by the nature of their work, also human rights defenders. Reporters Without Borders would therefore to like propose that local UNHCR offices adopt the following dedicated procedures for the protection of journalists.
Reporters Without Borders asks UNHCR to establish an alert mechanism with a designated referral officer within each of its local offices so that cases of persons who are in particular danger can be identified and handled more quickly. As Reporters Without Borders is in regular contact with journalists who have decided to flee abroad to safeguard their safety and freedom, and as it systematically conducts an investigation whenever it is contacted by a journalist seeking its protection, it is in a position to act as guarantor of the identity and background of journalists who approach UNHCR protection officers.
Adequate safety measures must also be adopted for refugee journalists (and other human rights defenders) including a programme of urban shelters (away from the regular refugee camps), safehouses, and emergency alert and protection mechanisms. Reporters Without Borders has been helping refugee journalists for more than 20 years but, although we are in constant contact with them and give them advice and guidance, we do not have the human and financial resources to enable them to meet their daily needs, including their security needs. It is vital that journalists should have greater access to the emergency resettlement process and to the UN’s mechanism for temporary evacuation to a safe third country. UNHCR should work to obtain greater participation in these programmes by countries that can offer safe refuge.
Reporters Without Borders also urges the United Nations to publicly acknowledge that its traditional protection procedure is not appropriate for threatened journalists and to ask member states to help to make up for the shortcomings. This would enable UNHCR to overcome the culpable inaction of certain western government that use the overall quota as an excuse for doing nothing, although more than 260 journalists have been killed in connection with their work in the past five years and 154 are currently detained.
Our organization very much hopes that you will come out in favour of specific and more personalized treatment of resettlement requests by journalists and human rights defenders who are threatened in transit countries. We also hope that our recommendations will help to bring about a more general overhaul of UNHCR procedures.
We stand ready to provide you with any additional information and to meet with you to discuss these recommendations further. Sincerely,
Olivier Basille Director General
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World Refugee Day

Refugee journalists are particularly vulnerable and need better protection

On the eve of World Refugee Day, Reporters Without Borders is alerting United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres to the need to provide refugee journalists with better protection and is publishing an updated version of its guide for journalists who are forced to flee into exile.
Around 80 journalists fled abroad in 2011 to escape the fate reserved for them by governments hostile to freedom of information. The exodus is continuing this year. Dozens of Syrian, Iranian, Somali and Eritrean journalists have had to flee their countries in the past six months.
Faced by the probability of imminent arrest, physical violence, harassment or even murder, these men and women have had to abandon family, friends and colleagues in a quest for greater security.
Because of a lack of funds or because they departed in haste, they often end up being stranded in neighbouring countries that are accessible to refugees but also to the agents of the governments they are fleeing. As a result, their safety is far from being assured in these countries of initial refuge.
Reporters Without Borders wrote to UN High Commissioner for Refugees Guterres on 30 May alerting him to the situation of refugee journalists in countries such as Turkey, Uganda and Kenya. Today, we are releasing the letter and the recommendations it contains.
We call on UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, to establish an alert mechanism with a designated referral officer within each of its local offices so that cases involving refugee journalists and human rights activists can be identified and handled more quickly because they are particularly exposed to danger.
We also urge the High Commissioner to ensure that refugee journalists and human rights activists get better access to appropriate individual protection, to the emergency resettlement process and to the UN’s mechanism for temporary evacuation to a safe third country.
Finally, Reporters Without Borders is convinced that UN member states have a duty to help protect journalists who are forced to flee into exile because of their work. It therefore urges Guterres to publicly acknowledge that the UN’s traditional protection procedure is not appropriate for refugee journalists and human rights activists, who continue to be in danger in countries of initial refuge, and to urge member states to take the necessary action.
The latest version of the Guide for journalists who flee into exile, which Reporters Without Borders first published in 2009, contains some 30 pages of advice for refugee journalists about UNHCR protection procedures and seeking asylum in Europe and North America. Journalists who have had to flee their country will find information, tips and contacts that will help to guide and assist them during the long and difficult process of starting a new life.
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Journée mondiale des réfugiés

Les journalistes : des réfugiés particulièrement vulnérables

A l’occasion de la journée mondiale des réfugiés, Reporters sans frontières alerte Antonio Guterres, Haut Commissaire des Nations unies pour les réfugiés sur la nécessité de mieux protéger les journalistes en exil et met à jour son guide destiné à les aider dans leurs démarches.
En 2011, près de quatre-vingts journalistes ont fui leur pays et le sort que leur réservaient les dirigeants de régimes ennemis de la liberté de l’information. L’hémorragie continue en 2012 et des dizaines de professionnels des médias syriens, iraniens, somaliens, érythréens ont pris le chemin de l’exil au cours du dernier semestre.
Face aux promesses de détention arbitraire, d’agressions, de harcèlement ou même d’assassinat, ces hommes et ces femmes se sont résolus à laisser derrière eux famille, amis et collègues en quête de plus de sécurité.
Faute de moyens ou parce qu’ils doivent partir en urgence, ils échouent le plus souvent dans des pays voisins du leur. Si elles sont perméables aux personnes en quête de refuge, les frontières de ces Etats le sont plus encore aux agents des gouvernements qu’elles fuient. La sécurité des journalistes en exil dans ces pays de « premier refuge » n’est donc pas garantie.
Le 30 mai 2012, Reporters sans frontières a adressé un courrier à M. António Guterres, Haut Commissaire pour les réfugiés de Nations unies afin de l’alerter sur la situation des journalistes en exil dans des pays tels que la Turquie, l’Ouganda ou le Kenya. L’organisation publie aujourd’hui cette lettre et les recommandations qu’elle contient.
Reporters sans frontières demande à M. Guterres d’œuvrer à ce qu’un mécanisme d’alerte spécifique et qu’un référent chargé de traiter des dossiers des journalistes et autres défenseurs de droits de l’homme en exil soient institués au sein de chaque représentation du Haut Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés, afin de permettre une identification et un traitement plus rapide de leurs dossiers. L’organisation prie également le Haut Commissaire de permettre un meilleur accès de ces personnes particulièrement menacées à des mesures de protection individuelles adéquates ainsi qu’à la procédure de réinstallation d’urgence et au mécanisme d’évacuation temporaire dans des pays sûrs des Nations unies.
Enfin, convaincue qu’il appartient également aux Etats tiers membres des Nations unies d’œuvrer à la protection des journalistes contraints à l’exil en raison de leurs activités, Reporters sans frontières demande à M. Guterres de reconnaître publiquement l’inadéquation du processus traditionnel de protection onusienne pour le traitement des demandes des défenseurs des droits de l’homme qui demeurent menacés dans les pays de premier refuge et d’enjoindre les Etats membres à réagir.
En cette veille du 20 juin 2012, journée mondiale des réfugiés, Reporters sans frontières publie également une mise à jour de son Guide pour les journalistes en exil, initialement publié en 2009.
Ce fascicule d’une trentaine de pages destiné aux professionnels des médias traite des procédures de demande de protection auprès du UNHCR, mais également de demande d’asile en Europe et en Amérique du Nord. Les journalistes en exil y trouveront des informations, des conseils et des contacts à même des les orienter et de les soutenir tout au long de ce processus long et difficile, point de départ d’une nouvelle vie.

Martial Tourneur
Bureau Assistance / Assistance desk
Reporters sans frontières / Reporters Without Borders
47, rue Vivienne
75002 Paris, France

Tel : +33 (0) 1 44 83 60 56
Fax : +33 (0) 1 45 23 11 51
Email : assistance@rsf.org

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