On 8 September, the International Day of Solidarity of Journalists is marked all around the world. The holiday was established in 1958 in Bucharest during the Fourth Congress of the International Organization of Journalists.
The date coincides with the tragic events that took place in Germany on 8 September 1943, when a Czechoslovak journalist and writer Julius Fucik was executed. He became famous after he had written a book called “A report with a loop on the neck” while being in prison in Prague. He was imprisoned because of his anti-fascist views. Julius Fucik was posthumously awarded the International Peace Prize, and his book was translated into 70 languages.
On the International Day of Journalist Solidarity, conferences and congresses of media representatives from different countries are held. Participants share their experiences and ideas, including in matters relating to the protection of rights in the performance of official duties.
Events dedicated to the International Day of Solidarity of Journalists are also held in the Donetsk People’s Republic. As part of such events, colleagues pay tribute to the media professionals who died in the performance of their professional duties as a result of aggression from the Ukrainian side, recall the names of people who sacrificed their lives to convey the true situation in Donbass and the war crimes of the armed formations of Ukraine.
According to the international humanitarian law, media professionals engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict shall be considered as civilians and shall be respected and protected as such. Nevertheless, journalists covering the course of military action are increasingly becoming victims of armed aggression by Ukraine. Since 2014, in the territory of the Donbass, 17 media workers have been killed due to the actions of the Ukrainian security forces, including Russian journalists Anton Voloshin, Igor Kornelyuk, Andrey Stenin, Anatoly Klyan, Italian news photographer Andrea Rokelli and others. Representatives of the Ukrainian media are also attacked in case of expressing views contradicting the position of the regime that seized power in Ukraine as a result of the 2014 coup d’état. This indicates the purposeful actions of official Kiev to conceal the truth, suppress crimes and create an information blockade.
Respect for freedom of speech, freedom of opinion and expression, as well as freedom of the media is of particular importance in conditions of armed conflict in the territory of Donbass. After all, the recording and publication of reliable information contributes to a more objective and balanced assessment of the events by residents of Ukraine and the international community, which means they help restore justice, bring those responsible to account and establish peace in Donbass.