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  • IFJ suspends Russian union

    The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today suspended the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) from membership following a vote of the Federation’s global Executive Committee.

    The RUJ’s mem­ber­ship was sus­pend­ed, with imme­di­ate effect, after the Exec­u­tive endorsed a “pro­vi­sion­al deci­sion to expel”, the max­i­mum sanc­tion under the Executive’s pow­ers for act­ing “in a man­ner con­trary to the prin­ci­ples or objects…..of the Fed­er­a­tion”.

    The deci­sion was tak­en fol­low­ing an inves­ti­ga­tion in to the con­duct of the RUJ since Russia’s inva­sion of Ukraine and the for­ma­tion of RUJ branch­es in annexed Ukrain­ian ter­ri­to­ries – a step the union refused to recon­sid­er.

    Under IFJ rules, only the Federation’s glob­al Con­gress can take a final deci­sion to expel an affil­i­ate but under Rule 16 “a pro­vi­sion­al deci­sion to expel a mem­ber may be made by the Exec­u­tive Com­mit­tee after a prop­er inves­ti­ga­tion of the cir­cum­stances and pro­vid­ed two-thirds of com­mit­tee mem­bers present vote to do so. Any such deci­sion shall be noti­fied imme­di­ate­ly to the mem­ber in ques­tion. The mem­ber may appeal against the deci­sion to the next Con­gress, which shall con­firm or reverse the deci­sion, but in the mean­time the mem­ber shall be sus­pend­ed from mem­ber­ship”.

    The sus­pen­sion was con­firmed to the RUJ.

    IFJ Pres­i­dent Dominique Pradal­ié said: “The IFJ is an orga­ni­za­tion built on inter­na­tion­al sol­i­dar­i­ty, on prin­ci­ples of coop­er­a­tion between mem­ber unions and respect for the rights of all jour­nal­ists. The Russ­ian Union of Jour­nal­ists’ actions in estab­lish­ing four branch­es in the annexed Ukrain­ian ter­ri­to­ries have clear­ly shat­tered this sol­i­dar­i­ty and sown divi­sions among sis­ter unions.

    “There are those who say we should have act­ed faster. For us, it is also impor­tant that we act­ed strict­ly accord­ing to our rules and con­sti­tu­tion which ensures no affil­i­ate is sub­ject to arbi­trary abus­es of pow­er. We have had a com­plaint, it has been inves­ti­gat­ed and, based on the facts, we have act­ed by exclud­ing the RUJ.

    It is urgent we now find ways to con­tin­ue to sup­port those inde­pen­dent jour­nal­ists inside and out­side Rus­sia who are at risk or need assis­tance, con­tin­ue to deliv­er sol­i­dar­i­ty to our two Ukrain­ian affil­i­ates and to engage with the four affil­i­ates who announced they would resign their IFJ mem­ber­ship and those who have been crit­i­cal to ensure we focus our efforts on build­ing the strongest pos­si­ble voice for jour­nal­ists and media free­dom.”

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