Every week, two journalists are murdered in the world, more than 2,600 since 1990, according to figures from the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the world’s leading professional organization with more than 600,000 members. Today, more than 350 are imprisoned, including 160 in Turkey, and several hundred, many of them women, are harassed, abused and abused on a daily basis. They are murdered, jailed, harassed because they are journalists, because they want to fulfill their mission of informing, a pillar of any self-respecting democracy. It is often to avoid these extreme situations, which they know and experience daily, that some journalists decide to leave everything, to go into exile.
In 2002, a “House of Journalists” was opened in Paris to welcome and support journalists forced into exile because of their profession. Since then, it has welcomed and accompanied 384 journalists from 60 different countries, a third of whom are women. This initiative remains to date the only one of its kind in Europe.
In Belgium, we do not have complete figures on the presence of exiled journalists. But this presence is proven for more than thirty of them, asylum seekers or not. They come from 16 countries (in descending order): Burundi, Turkey, Somalia, Palestine, Iran, Colombia, Chile, Morocco, Tunisia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Rwanda, Sudan, Togo, Serbia.