Int’l Federation of Journalists to expel Russia after four countries walk out in protest

ifj initiates russia expulsion four nordic unions quitting

IFJ initiates Russia's expulsion due to four Nordic unions are to quit the ‘corruptive’ global journalists’ body/ Source: Detector Media 

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The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has yet to expel the Russian Union of Journalists, even though it has established regional branches in the occupied territories of Ukraine. The unions of the four countries, namely Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland, accused the IFJ of corruption and lack of transparency and would, in protest, quit the federation.

The Executive Committee of the IFJ has launched formal proceedings to expel the Russian Union of Journalists from the organization. It took place following the announcement of the unions of Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland about their withdrawal from the federation in protest of the Russian union’s corruption, lack of transparency, and intolerance, as reported by Detector Media, citing Reuters.

Hanne Aho, the head of the Finnish Journalists’ Union, stated that Nordic unions have been attempting for years to bring up issues within the IFJ. The Nordic unions accuse the IFJ of long-standing undemocratic practices and unethical financial management.

They have recently been dissatisfied that the IFJ has not taken action against the Russian Union of Journalists. Russia has established regional journalist associations in temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories.

In response, the IFJ announced that its executive committee had begun the formal process to suspend and expel the Russian Union of Journalists.

In addition, journalists’ unions in Scandinavian countries suspect the IFJ, which describes itself as the “global voice of journalists,” of corruption and wrongdoing, bribery, and nontransparent use of funds.

Mainly, they criticize the decision to hold the IFJ World Congress last year in autocratic Oman. It is a state with limited press freedom. This decision may have a financial component, according to the Finnish union.

According to Aho, government ministries, private companies, and the Omani Journalists’ Association contributed up to € 745,000 ($820,847) of the total € 778,000 ($857,206) in the congress budget, while the IFJ paid only € 33,000 ($36,361).

The IFJ explained that these amounts include Omani Journalists Association subsidies and that it is “a standard procedure that has been consistently applied during IFJ congresses for decades.”

The Nordic unions condemn the federation’s governing bodies’ low staff turnover. They also suspect that the organization’s internal elections involve undemocratic practices.

IFJ Deputy General Secretary, Jeremy Dear, described the four unions’ accusations as “false, defamatory, and damaging” to the organization.

The federation also stated that it audits its financial expenditures annually.

Following, Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began, the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU) submitted an urgent request demanding that the Russian Union of Journalists be expelled from the IFJ, citing Russian journalists’ involvement in propaganda activities.

russian union of journalists dependent russian dictatorial regime

The Russian Union of Journalists is a structure that is completely dependent on the Russian dictatorial regime/ Source: Detector Media

Furthermore, in May 2022, the association of Ukrainian media, journalists, and public organizations, “Mediarukh,” petitioned the IFJ to expel the Russian Union of Journalists from its ranks as the Russian union is a structure utterly dependent on the Russian dictatorial regime.

The IFJ condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine from the start and directed the resources of its Safety Fund to assist Ukrainian media workers.

The IFJ Congress in Oman in June 2022 passed a resolution condemning Russian disinformation on the war in Ukraine.

The Congress also expressed support and solidarity with the Russian Trade Union of Journalists and Media Workers. At the moment, it supports 15 people and three journalists currently imprisoned in Russia.

The chairman of the IMTUU, Serhiy Shturkhetskyy, explained to Detector Media at the time that it was the Executive Committee of the International Federation, not the Congress, that could expel the Russian union based on an ethics petition, but “in this instance, it takes more time.”

Read also:

Media must stop pretending Russia is credible after ECHR’s ruling on occupied Donbas

The French Branch of Russia Today announced closure due to frozen bank accounts

Four towers of Kremlin propaganda: Russia, Ukraine, South, West

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