AJA expresses solidairty with Lebanon, rallies behind Lebanese journalists




SEOUL: Asia Journalist Association (AJA) has expressed its solidarity with the people of Lebanon and called for concerted efforts to rebuild the country through peace and reconciliation.

“We will not forget those who suffer from the disaster and will join forces with the Lebanese people,” AJA said in a statement on the August 4 disaster in Beirut.

Following is the full text of the statement.

“The cataclysmic explosions on Tuesday that rocked and ripped apart the port and city of Beirut have sent shock waves across the world and their echoes of Hiroshima are keenly felt in the Asian neighbourhood.

“The trails of devastation and death left by the big blast are nothing short of traumatic and, coming amid the Covid-19, have dealt Lebanon a double blow.

“In these moments of sorrow, suffering and soul-searching, we in the Asia Journalist Association (AJA) stand steadfastly by the people of Lebanon.

“We mourn those who lost their lives and pray for healing and recovery for those who have suffered injuries.

“AJA also rallies behind our fellow journalists in Lebanon in their coverage of the tragic explosions and their aftermath, guided by their professional standards, seeking to report objectively and upholding principles of peace journalism.

“In this emergency, we urge the international community to launch a concerted global support drive to help Lebanon in the urgent rescue and recovery operations.

“The Lebanese people are seething with anger and outrage at the authorities for not exercising due care and responsibility to avert the disaster. AJA calls on the government to take steps to prevent similar explosions, such as moving potential explosive material out of the city.

“Lebanon, a peace-loving and long-suffering country and an icon of freedom and culture in the Middle East, has gone through 15 years of war and strife (1975-1990) and deserves respite and time for economic recovery and restoration of political stability.

“AJA calls on all parties in Lebanon to give peace and reconciliation a chance, to resolve their conflicts through peaceful means and join hands in rebuilding their beautiful country.

“AJA and its members across the Asian continent will do our part to help in the healing process along our Lebanon brethren, not least through our support for practice of peace and development journalism.”

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