Archive for March 2003

(From 2002 until 2005, this mailing list was called the ECCR mailing list)
[Previous message][Next message][Back to index]

[eccr] IPI Criticises Countries Included in the ³Coalition of the Willing²

Thu Mar 27 19:05:35 GMT 2003

Press Release

Vienna, 19 March 2003

IPI Criticises Countries Included in the ³Coalition of the Willing²

The International Press Institute (IPI) condemns the inclusion of countries
deeply prejudicial to press freedom in the U.S.-led ³coalition of the
willing² for the impending war against Iraq.

According to media reports, State Department officials have identified 30
countries that have lent their support to the war in Iraq ­ a so-called
³coalition of the willing² whose sole criterion for inclusion was that the
country wanted to be publicly associated with the idea that Iraq is
immediately disarmed.

The list includes: Afghanistan, Albania, Australia, Azerbaijan, Colombia,
the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia,
Georgia, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, the
Netherlands, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, South
Korea, Spain, Turkey, Britain and Uzbekistan.

Based on the comments of State Department officials an additional 15
countries, while willing to lend their support to the conflict, wished to
remain anonymous.

Commenting on the list, Johann P. Fritz, Director of IPI, said, ³This is
more a list of the Rcoalition of the sinning¹ rather than of Rthe willing¹,
it contains many governments that have done their utmost to suppress and
stifle the independent media in their countries. They should not even be
mentioned in the same breath as the other democratic countries named on the
same list who continue to espouse the principles of a free press.

Moreover, at a time when the United States and Great Britain are promising
to introduce democracy to post-war Iraq, it is troubling to see them aligned
with so many authoritarian states.²

Speaking of Eritrea and Ethiopia, Fritz said, ³IPI¹s World Press Freedom
Review 2002 shows that both countries are ruled by totalitarian governments
who care little for human rights in general and press freedom in particular.
Last year, Eritrea rounded up 14 independent journalists who were simply
whisked off the streets and incarcerated in appalling conditions,
effectively closing down the country¹s independent media; while in Ethiopia,
the government¹s promise to promote an independent media has been rendered
meaningless by its arrest and detention of any journalists brave enough to
speak out.²

On Azerbaijan¹s approach to the media, ³the working conditions in this
country are nothing short of alarming. It is all too common for journalists
to face violence, arbitrary arrest and the political control of the courts.
Any attempt at political debate has been viciously stamped out,² Fritz

Elsewhere, Fritz pointed to the murder of 15 journalists in Colombia, making
it the most dangerous country in the world and the violent attacks on
journalists in Georgia and Uzbekistan. ³For the media in these countries the
high costs far outweigh the benefits of practicing journalism. The Georgian
and Uzbekistan governments, in particular, seem unconcerned by the violence
shown to journalists.²

Regarding the wider implications of such an alliance, Fritz said, ³This
coalition appears similar to that created in the War against Terrorism. By
lining up with such countries the United States and Great Britain are not
only damaging their own human rights¹ records but also explicitly condoning
the actions of these countries. It is extremely damaging for democratic
countries to be seen acting in concert with repressive regimes and it will
only serve to create the impression that Western countries are prepared to
jettison human rights when it is expedient to do so.²

For further information, please contact the IPI Secretariat: (+43 1) 512 90


IPI, the global network of editors, media executives and leading
journalists, is dedicated to the furtherance and safeguarding of press
freedom, the protection of freedom of opinion and expression, the promotion
of the free flow of news and information, and the improvement of the
practices of journalism.

International Press Institute (IPI)
Spiegelgasse 2/29
A-1010 Vienna
Tel:  + 431-512 90 11
Fax: + 431-512 90 14
E-mail: (ipi /at/

ECCR-Mailing list
To unsubscribe, send an email message to (majordomo /at/
with in the body of the message (NOT in the subject): unsubscribe eccr
ECCR - European Consortium for Communications Research
Secretariat: P.O. Box 106, B-1210 Brussels 21, Belgium
Tel.: +32-2-412 42 78/47
Fax.: +32-2-412 42 00
Email: (freenet002 /at/ or (Rico.Lie /at/

[Previous message][Next message][Back to index]