Tuesday 23 November 2010

Massacre in Maguindanao: Families speak out a year after murder of 32 journalists and media staff

One year ago, on 23 November 2009, 32 journalists and media staff were massacred in Maguindanao province, on the southern island of Mindanao in the Philippines, by a private militia controlled by the local governor’s family.

It is believed to be the worst single massacre of journalists in history.

Press freedom campaign group Reporters Without Borders says: "The tragedy’s shocking nature did not reside solely in the record number of journalists killed but also in the criminal desire of the perpetrators to eliminate all the witnesses, down to the very last man and woman.

"The international community was stunned as the details of the massacre emerged. At first it was shocked by the scale of the death toll. Then it was appalled by the revelations about the criminal nature of the Ampatuan family.

"Now our common goal must be to press the authorities to allocate sufficient material and human resources to the trial of the main defendants, so that it can be completed within a reasonable time and conclude with the conviction of those responsible, both the perpetrators and the instigators.

"By commemorating the victims, every press freedom organisation can help to promote the deep-seated changes that the Philippines needs. Together, let’s say: 'Never again'.”

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