Another journalist killed in Ramadi, the 79th killed in the country since March 2003

first_imgNews RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” to go further RSF_en News News Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan IraqMiddle East – North Africa Organisation Follow the news on Iraq Reporters Without Borders today strongly condemned working conditions for journalists in Iraq after yet another journalist, Iraqi TV cameraman Mahmoud Zaal, working for the satellite station Baghdad TV, was killed on 24 January in a clash between US troops and armed men in Ramadi. It called on Iraqi and US authorities to investigate. Zaal was the 79th journalist to die in Iraq since fighting began in March 2003.The worldwide press freedom organisation said it was “becoming ever harder and more dangerous for journalists and media staff to work in Iraq and the toll is very worrying, with four media workers killed in less than a month. We urge US troops involved in this clash to make a thorough and speedy enquiry to determine whose gunfire killed the journalist. Zaal was caught in crossfire as he filmed an insurgent attack on two buildings occupied by US troops. Baghdad TV, owned by the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party, said it was looking into his death, as did the US army. Nagham Abou Zahra, a presenter on the Iraqi TV station Al Sharkiya, meanwhile jumped out of a second-floor window of her apartment building to escape a group of masked gunmen trying to kidnap her after breaking into her home. She survived the fall with many fractures. December 28, 2020 Find out more IraqMiddle East – North Africa January 26, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Another journalist killed in Ramadi, the 79th killed in the country since March 2003 February 15, 2021 Find out more Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” Receive email alerts News Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders today strongly condemned working conditions for journalists in Iraq after yet another journalist, Iraqi TV cameraman Mahmoud Zaal, working for the satellite station Baghdad TV, was killed on 24 January in a clash between US troops and armed men in Ramadi. It called on Iraqi and US authorities to investigate. Zaal was the 79th journalist to die in Iraq since fighting began in March 2003. December 16, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Judicial police director makes worrying statements about journalist Jacky Cantave’s abduction

first_img to go further HaïtiAmericas Violence against the press in Haiti: RSF and CPJ write to Minister of Justice October 11, 2019 Find out more Reporters Without Borders today voiced its deep concern about the statements made by Judicial Police Director Jeannot François at a press conference on 19 August in which he cast doubt on journalist Israël Jacky Cantave’s account of his recent kidnapping and suggested that it could have been fabricated. The organisation called on François to present evidence to back up this claim, which contradicts earlier police statements on the abduction. “Without supporting evidence, these statements are unacceptable”, Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said. “They make Israël Jacky Cantave out to be a liar, and his abductors could regard them as legitimizing a new attack.” A journalist with Radio Caraïbes FM, Cantave was kidnapped along with a friend, Frantz Ambroise, on 15 July.At his 19 August press conference, François said the initial results of the enquiry cast doubt on Cantave’s version and did not exclude the possibility that the entire affair was fabricated. The Judicial Police Central Directorate (DCPJ) is supposed to provide the public prosecutor’s office with a second report on the case shortly.François said three elements contradicted Cantave’s account. Firstly, the medical reports of three different doctors spoke only of light bruising and found “no trace of measurable injury which would prove that they had suffered ill-treatment”. Secondly, their vehicle had been in a collision, but only once, in the morning of 15 July, that is to say, prior to their abduction. Finally, a witness had testified to the presence of other persons in the vehicle at the time of the kidnapping, something Cantave and Ambroise had not mentioned.Cantave and his radio station rejected François’ claims and pointed out the contradictions with the judicial police’s earlier statements. The station’s director, Patrick Moussignac, said the police already had the medical reports at the time of the press conference of the week before, in which the police recognized that the two men had been subjected to physical abuse. Furthermore, both the report of Dr. Patrick René Pierre, the doctor who attended to Cantave and his friend at the time of their admission to hospital, and the report of the doctor chosen by the radio station spoke of “traumatisms” in the two men. The radio station’s doctor also mentioned a “cardiovascular impairment, probably stress-related”. The third medical report, that of a forensic doctor, has not been released. Cantave pointed out that the radio station had to insist repeatedly before its chosen doctor was allowed to examine the two men. Finally, as regards the impacts sustained by the vehicle and the number of occupants, Cantave stands by his version.After being reported missing in Port-au-Prince on 15 July, Cantave and Ambroise were found alive the next day in the Petite Place Cazeau area (north of the city centre). They said they had been followed and then intercepted by two vehicles after leaving the radio station on the evening of 15 July. They said they were then taken to an unidentified place where their abductors interrogated and hit them. Cantave’s friends and colleagues have linked the threats received by the journalist to his investigations in Cité Soleil and La Saline, two Port-au-Prince shanty towns where drug dealers and armed gangs hold sway. News News August 21, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Judicial police director makes worrying statements about journalist Jacky Cantave’s abduction Journalist shot dead amid anti-government protests in Haiti Receive email alerts Organisation center_img Help by sharing this information News November 14, 2019 Find out more News Follow the news on Haïti HaïtiAmericas RSF_en Another journalist murdered in Haiti June 11, 2019 Find out morelast_img read more

Open letter to IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn about loan to Sri Lanka

first_img News Sri Lanka: tamil reporter held on absurd terrorism charge July 29, 2020 Find out more Sri Lanka: RSF signs joint statement on attacks against human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists Organisation Sri Lanka: Journalist manhandled by notorious police inspector currently on trial Dear Managing Director Strauss-Kahn, News May 5, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Open letter to IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn about loan to Sri Lanka Reporters Without Borders would like to draw your attention to the lamentable state of press freedom in Sri Lanka at a time when the International Monetary Fund is considering a major loan for President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government. In return for granting this loan, we urge you to obtain specific undertakings from the government to respect press freedom and the rule of law.Sri Lankan officials insist that there are no delays in the loan application process and that the money will be used for development. At the same time, a government minister has said the armed forces will be used for these reconstruction programmes. We think the IMF should ask itself whether it is appropriate to accord Sri Lanka such a large loan as long as this government does not give firm undertakings to respect freedom of information.You must be aware that the Sri Lankan government’s crushing victory over the LTTE Tamil armed separatists, at a cost of thousands of civilian casualties, has been accompanied by a ruthless campaign against the press and critical voices. Of all the countries with a democratically elected government, Sri Lanka is the one that shows least respect for media freedom, as its ranking in the latest Reporters Without Borders press freedom index shows.As you know, Sri Lanka is spending as much as 1.6 billion dollars on defence in its 2009 budget, a 6.5 percent increase on the 2007 allocation, while neglecting social needs. Some army units are implicated in war crimes. Others are suspected of responsibility for many cases of violence against journalists and human rights activists.The war that has left thousands dead in the north of the country has been waged in the absence of any independent witnesses. Sri Lankan and foreign journalists have been kept away from the battlefield, for their safety according to the army, but above all so as not to “hamper” the military offensive. The authorities also restrict press access to the Jaffna peninsula and detention camps holding Tamils who have fled the north.The IMF has a duty to ensure that money lent to Sri Lanka is not used by the government or military to continue the crackdown on dissent.While Sri Lanka still has quality news media, their freedom to cover such important subjects as corruption within the military, civilian and military casualties in the north or reconstruction in the east is now greatly restricted. Many journalists, including defence specialists, have fled the country and some media that are government critics have decided to stop publishing.The World Bank has on several occasions stressed the key importance of press freedom for lasting social and economic development. Former World Bank president James D. Wolfensohn said: “Studies show that the higher the level of press freedom in a country the greater the control over corruption.”How can the IMF trust the current government when certain Tamil ministers who will have an important role to play in reconstruction are known to have been involved in human rights violations? The EPDP, a political party and paramilitary group led by social services minister Douglas Devananda, has for example been involved in many murders, including of journalists.How can you be sure that this aid will not be embezzled when Sri Lankan journalists with a track record of investigative reporting have been murdered, threatened or forced to flee the country? You could, for example, insist that the government obtain concrete results in the investigation into the January 2009 murder of Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunga, who was known for investigating corruption.How can you be sure that this loan will be used to help the war’s civilian victims if the media and even the humanitarian organisations have great difficulty in working freely in the refugee camps and Tamil areas? You could condition the loan on the ability of journalists to move about freely in Tamil areas.How can you count on the Sri Lankan government to guarantee good governance and the rule of law when government critics, including journalists, are gagged? You should ask President Rajapaksa’s government to obtain concrete results in the investigations into the many murders of journalists and physical attacks on news media that have taken place in recent months. If the perpetrators and instigators are not arrested, the climate of fear and self-censorship will continue to reign in the country’s media.The international community, including the IMF, is already pondering post-war scenarios but how are the north and east of the island to be rebuilt and how is hope to be restored to the Tamils if the government does not undertake to respect their most basic rights, including the right to free expression? There will be no process of reconciliation and reconstruction without press freedom. If the Tamils are deprived of the media that represent them freely, even if these media are sometimes guilty of excesses, future generations will take up arms again. It is vital that, as a conciliatory gesture, the Tamil journalists currently held, including J. S. Tissainayagam, are released. At the same time, as long as the Sinhalese and English-language media are forced to censor themselves and are prevented from proposing ways for achieving a lasting peace, the hatred between the communities will continue to deepen.Sri Lanka faces an enormous task. The regions with a Tamil majority have been ravaged by war and the civilian population is suffering. But there is no realistic hope of rebuilding the country unless the democratic system is consolidated.These questions continue to be unanswered. Granting a loan to Sri Lanka as things stand, without any guarantees, would probably just reinforce a government which, while democratically elected, is guilty of many human rights violations.We are aware that it is the IMF’s job to help Sri Lanka to recover from long decades of war, but we hope that your beliefs and convictions will lead you to make this aid conditional on the reinforcement of freedoms. We formally urge you to attach more conditions to this loan.Sincerely, News News Follow the news on Sri Lankacenter_img RSF_en Sri LankaAsia – Pacific Receive email alerts Paris, 5 May 2009 Sri LankaAsia – Pacific Mr. Dominique Strauss-KahnManaging DirectorInternational Monetary FundWashington DCUnited States Jean-François JulliardSecretary-General January 13, 2021 Find out more to go further Help by sharing this information July 15, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Asia Times reporter found dead in car 48 hours after going missing

first_img Pakistani journalist critical of the military wounded by gunfire May 31, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Asia Times reporter found dead in car 48 hours after going missing PakistanAsia – Pacific News RSF_en Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists June 2, 2021 Find out more Pakistani supreme court acquits main suspect in Daniel Pearl murder Help by sharing this information PakistanAsia – Pacific April 21, 2021 Find out more News News Organisation to go further Receive email alerts Follow the news on Pakistan Reporters Without Borders is appalled to learn that the body of Syed Saleem Shahzad, an Islamabad-based investigative journalist who had been missing for the past two days, was found today in his abandoned car 100 km north of Islamabad. The International Federation of Journalists and Reporters Without Borders had just sent a joint letter to President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani calling for immediate action to locate Shahzad, who wrote about Islamic militants and Al-Qaeda for the online newspaper Asia Today.“We are stunned by this news and we would like to express our full support for his family and colleagues,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-François Julliard said. “Shahzad was an experienced journalist who covered very sensitive subjects and it is highly likely that his reporting upset people within the government or armed forces.“We urge the Pakistani president and prime minister to firmly condemn this murder and to do everything possible to ensure that those responsible are identified and brought to justice without delay.”Colleagues told Reporters Without Borders that Shahzad was last seen at around 6 p.m. on 29 May when he left his F-8 Sector residence in Islamabad to go the Dunya TV studios for the recording of a current affairs programme. People who tried to call him found that his mobile phone had been switched off. His brother-in-law went to the Markaz district police station to report him missing at 2 a.m. on 30 May.Police today discovered his car parked next to a canal in Jhelum Sarai Alamgir, more than 100 km north of Islamabad. His body was found inside together his Asia Times press card and the press card of a journalist called Hamza Mudassar Ameer of the Al Quds media centre.Shahzad’s latest article for Asia Times was about a Taliban-led attack on Mehran naval base in Karachi on 22 May in which 11 soldiers and four attackers were killed. He said in his report that Al-Qaeda had established a “good network” within the Pakistani navy and that “there were negotiations between an Al-Qaeda operative in North Waziristan and naval officers.”Experienced journalists in Islamabad said they suspected that Shahzad was kidnapped and executed by the military intelligence agency known as the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Human Rights Watch also said it had learned from “credible sources” that Shahzad had been in ISI custody.Sources close to Shahzad said he had reported getting several warnings from the security agencies in the past in connection with his reporting. This would tend to support the theory that he was kidnapped and killed in connection with his coverage of the attack on the naval base.Shahzad’s murder brings to 16 the number of journalist killed since the start of 2010 in Pakistan, which is ranked 151st out of 178 countries in the 2010 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.When Prime Minister Gilani passed through Paris on 5 May, Reporters Without Borders handed him a report on press freedom violations in Pakistan and told him that the safety of journalists should be a priority for his government.———Mr Asif Ali ZardariPresidentIslamic Republic of PakistanMr Syed Yousuf Raza GilaniPrime MinisterIslamic Republic of Pakistan31 May 2011Dear Mr President and Mr Prime Minister, As leading international organisations representing journalists and press freedom defenders from around the world, we are writing to you with utmost urgency to impress upon you our alarm at the possible enforced disappearance of investigative journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad in Islamabad on May 29. We are extremely worried for the safety of Mr Shahzad. We appeal to you both to exert your authority as President and as Prime Minister to direct Pakistan’s security services and police to conduct an immediate and transparent investigation to ascertain Mr Shahzad’s whereabouts and to bring those responsible for his disappearance to account.Mr Shahzad is the Pakistan bureau chief for Asia Times Online, and is reported to have disappeared in the early evening of May 29, as he was leaving his F-8 Sector residence to participate in a talk show at Dunya TV. It is believed that he was abducted by intelligence agents from the F-6/2 area of Islamabad around 5.45 p.m, which is 4km away from his house. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), family members claimed that an unknown person contacted them by phone and said that Mr Shahzad would be released soon. We have strong reason to suspect that Mr Shahzad may have been arbitrarily arrested and disappeared by state agents in connection to his recent articles on the links between Al-Qaeda and Pakistan Navy officials. Mr Shahzad published the first of a two-part investigative series into alleged links between Al-Qaeda and Pakistani naval officials on Asia Times Online on May 27. News We note that Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports being informed by credible sources that Mr Shahzad is being held by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).Mr Shahzad was reportedly summoned to ISI headquarters on 17 October 2010 to discuss the sources and the content of an article published in Asia Times Online the day before that alleged Pakistan had quietly released Afghan Taliban commander Mullah Baradar, Mullah Omar’s deputy, to take part in talks through the Pakistan army. Mr Shahzad has previously raised concerns in an email to the HRW that he might be disappeared by the ISI. We urgently call on you to ensure the Government of Pakistan does its utmost to bring an end to a very worrying and critical trend of arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances that could turn into a broader crisis, especially if ISI is involved.We therefore urge the Government of Pakistan to deploy all necessary resources to find Mr Shahzad quickly, and to bring promptly to justice all individuals involved in his disappearance. .By acting quickly and firmly, you have an opportunity now to reverse Pakistan’s appalling track record in investigating abuses against journalists, including murder, abduction and assault. But action must be taken before the trail goes cold. The investigation should be transparent and the public should be kept informed, including in regard to any link between Mr Shahzad’s disappearance and the content of his May 27 article.We have seen too many cases in the past several years when action was not taken quickly while evidence remained intact, as in the murder of Musa Khan Kel in Swat in February 2009. Only with an immediate, transparent and well-resourced investigation into Mr Shahzad’s disappearance can we regard the State of Pakistan as committed to the rule of law and to ending once and for all the culture of impunity that has prevailed for too long when it comes to the use of violence against journalists working in the best interests of Pakistan’s people.Yours Respectfully,Jacqueline Park International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Benjamin Ismail Reporters Without Borders January 28, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Authorities say nothing as arbitrary arrests continue

first_img Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders is worried about the detention of reporter Ali Taha and cameraman Ali Ahmed by the Department of Internal Security since 2 January. The authorities have not said why they were arrested or where they are being held. News January 11, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Authorities say nothing as arbitrary arrests continue News SyriaMiddle East – North Africa Taha, who also works for Rotana, was arrested later the same day after responding to a summons. An experienced and respected reporter, Taha has worked for years for both Rotana and the magazine Saidati. RSF_en According to the information available, the security forces arrested Ahmed, who has worked for the TV station Rotana for the past 10 years, while he was filming near the Mausoleum to Sayda Zainab (granddaughter of the Prophet Mohammed and daughter of the Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb), located 10 km south of Damascus. Help by sharing this information The only positive development has been the 6 January release of Kareem Arbaji, a blogger who was arrested on 6 July 2007 and was sentenced last September to three years in prison under article 286 of the criminal code for “publishing mendacious reports liable to weaken the nation’s spirit.” Organisation March 8, 2021 Find out more “The continuing arbitrary arrests of journalists in Syria are disturbing,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The authorities provide no information about the legal grounds for these arrests and or the subsequent place of detention. This complete lack of transparency does not bode well.”center_img News He was freed five months before completing his sentence after Christian representatives in Syria addressed a request to the president’s office for his early release on the grounds that his father was in very poor health. to go further Wave of Kurdish arrests of Syrian journalists Toll of ten years of civil war on journalists in Syria February 3, 2021 Find out more Damascus TV presenter arrested under cyber-crime law Follow the news on Syria SyriaMiddle East – North Africa News Meanwhile, it is still not known why journalist Maan Aqil of the government daily Al-Thawra was arrested on 22 November or where he is being held. Reporters Without Borders issued a release about his arrest on 1 December. March 12, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Hunger-striking blogger hospitalized, Lebanese blogger denied entry

first_img Maikel Nabil Sanad, the jailed blogger who has been on hunger strike since 23 August, has been transferred to a prison infirmary after suffering serious heart problems, while Imad Bazzi (@TrellaLB), a Lebanese blogger and cyber-activist who had been in contact with Sanad, was denied entry at Cairo international airport on 5 September.Bazzi, who is the executive director of CyberACT and has written the blog since 1998, said he was questioned by three men in plain clothes at Cairo airport about his online activism before being put on the first plane back to Beirut.He told Reporters Without Borders: “I am convinced that I was deported because I visited Maikel Nabil Sanad two months ago. He has long been a good friend of mine. Several organizations have said I was on an official blacklist since then, on the orders of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, because of my activism on behalf of civil liberties and media freedom.”Sanad, who is still serving a three-year sentence in Cairo’s Al-Marg prison, was rushed to the prison’s hospital with heart problems on 1 September, two days after he stopped drinking liquids on the eighth day of his hunger strike. He says he plans to resume his hunger strike regardless of the outcome.Reporters Without Borders deplores the stubbornness of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. The situation of bloggers now is reminiscent of the repression that prevailed before Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow in February. Reporters Without Borders reiterates its appeal to the authorities to free Sanad at once and to stop obstructing the free movement of news and information professionals.—————————————-Unjustly detained blogger, on hunger strike, could die in prison 03.09.2011The international press freedom NGO Reporters Without Borders is very worried about the fate of the blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad and calls for his immediate and unconditional release in order to preserve the democratic nature of Egypt’s political transition. Freeing the first prisoner of conscience since the revolution would be a powerful symbolic gesture, one that the entire international community would see as a sign of a commitment to openness.Sanad, who began a hunger strike on 23 August, is now refusing to drink and already has heart problems. Detained since March, his physical condition is very alarming and needs urgent intervention.“While Sanad’s hunger strike is a personal decision, the authorities are responsible for the cause, an unjust and anti-democratic political imprisonment,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-François Julliard said. “If he does not resume drinking, he could very soon die in detention and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces would have to take full responsibility. Held for exercising his right to freedom of expression, Sanad must not become the symbol of a repressive and unjust post-Mubarak Egypt.”Aged 25, Sanad was arrested by military police on the night of 28 March and was tried by a military court, which sentenced him to three years in prison on 10 April on charges of insulting the armed forces, publishing false reports and disturbing public order.Neither his family nor his lawyer has been able to see him of late. He used to be allowed one visit a week that this has been reduced to two visits a month. September 8, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Hunger-striking blogger hospitalized, Lebanese blogger denied entry Organisation News Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein back home after four years in prison Less press freedom than ever in Egypt, 10 years after revolution EgyptMiddle East – North Africa News Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts to go furthercenter_img January 22, 2021 Find out more RSF_en News News Follow the news on Egypt February 1, 2021 Find out more February 6, 2021 Find out more EgyptMiddle East – North Africa Detained woman journalist pressured by interrogator, harassed by prison stafflast_img read more

Call to avoid media vengeance by civil war victors

first_img April 19, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Call to avoid media vengeance by civil war victors News Côte d’IvoireAfrica News RSF_en Threats against journalists in run-up to Côte d’Ivoire’s presidential election “The government must concern itself only with justice, not score-settling,” it said. If it was necessary to punish those, notably at RTI, who preached hatred, it would be “dangerous” to conduct a purge that would seem like revenge, it said. “The new authorities must avoid repeating the past mistake of trampling on the opposition media and tolerating the excesses of pro-government media outlets.” News October 29, 2020 Find out more RSF’s recommendations for protecting press freedom during Côte d’Ivoire’s elections Follow the news on Côte d’Ivoire Reportscenter_img November 27, 2020 Find out more Help by sharing this information Côte d’IvoireAfrica Pro-Gbagbo newspapers not yet back on saleLe Patriote was the first national daily to reappear, on 15 April, and others, including Fraternité Matin, pro-Ouattara papers Nord-Sud and Le Mandat and independent papers L’Intelligent d’Abidjan and L’Inter were back on sale three days later. However, the offices of the pro-Gbagbo dailies Notre Voie and Le Temps were ransacked, their equipment destroyed and the homes of some of their journalists visited by Ouattara supporters, and these papers have not yet reappeared. Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders warned today against “unacceptable and disgraceful” attempts by supporters of new President Alassane Ouattara to take physical revenge on several journalists who were close to ousted President Laurent Gbagbo and have been forced to go into hiding. “We are very concerned that the new government may not be able to control their supporters and we call on Mr Ouattara to publicly urge them to desist and to respect people with different views,” the media freedom organisation’s secretary-general, Jean-François Julliard, said. “He will be held responsible for their actions.”Manhunt victimsJournalists from all sides in the country’s four-month civil war have been threatened, harassed and prevented from doing their job, but for the past week Ouattara supporters have been hunting down pro-Gbagbo journalists. Reporters Without Borders learns that a hit-list of eight journalists to be killed is circulating in Abidjan, including staff of the government daily Fraternité Matin, Radio-Télévision Ivoirienne (RTI) and the pro-Gbagbo media. Some members of the pro-Gbagbo National Press Council (CNP) have also gone underground.New government wants to prosecute journalistsThe Ouattara government has said it will prosecute some journalists for their part in the Gbagbo regime’s propaganda operation. Reporters Without Borders approves of punishing those who seriously went beyond acceptable limits but is concerned about how those limits are defined. Nearly all media outlets behaved badly during and since last October and November’s election campaign, according to the press freedom organisation. The CNP, still chaired by Eugène Dié Kacou, has condemned abuses by each side and Reporters Without Borders, which criticised the behaviour during the campaign of Notre Voie (pro-Gbagbo), Le Nouveau Réveil (supporting ex-President Henri Konan Bédié) and Le Patriote (pro-Ouattara), said today that media outlets close to the new regime “must be subject as well to criticism and the law.” to go further Organisation The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa October 16, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Brazil: RSF to participate in IACHR hearing on Brazil’s free speech violations

first_img April 15, 2021 Find out more April 27, 2021 Find out more RSF is participating in the hearing as a member of a coalition* of Brazilian and international organizations promoting human rights and free speech. The hearing has been requested by RSF and its partner organizations since Jair Bolsonaro was installed as Brazil’s president in January 2019.With the assistance of his family and many members of his government, President Bolsonaro has constantly fuelled a climate of mistrust and confrontation towards journalists by means of incendiary statements against the media and incitements to hatred.This is the first time that the IACHR, which is an offshoot of the Organization of American States, has agreed to hold a public hearing on the situation of freedom of expression in Brazil.“The decision to hold this hearing is a highly symbolic recognition by the OAS of the profound degradation in freedom of expression in Brazil,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America bureau. “It offers a unique opportunity to draw attention to the way that attacks against human rights and press freedom have become systematic and institutionalized in Brazil under President Bolsonaro.”The IACHR is an independent entity that promotes human rights in the western hemisphere – visiting OAS member states for the purposes of observation, making recommendations and acting as an OAS consultative body. It holds public hearings several times a year in which the families of the victims of human rights violations, civil society representatives and government representatives take part. Brazil is ranked 105th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index. Follow the news on Brazil Reports Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has been invited to address a public hearing on the systematic, institutionalized and escalating attacks against free speech and press freedom in Brazil, which the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is holding in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, on 6 March. Receive email alerts News BrazilAmericas March 5, 2020 – Updated on October 8, 2020 Brazil: RSF to participate in IACHR hearing on Brazil’s free speech violations Organisation BrazilAmericas center_img to go further May 13, 2021 Find out more Alarm after two journalists murdered in Brazil RSF_en News 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies *The coalition’s members:Article 19 – BrazilAbraji – Associação Brasileira de Jornalismo InvestigativoAssociação Brasileira de Rádios Comunitárias (Abraço)Centro de Estudos da Mídia Alternativa Barão de ItararéCentro pela Justiça e o Direito Internacional (CEJIL)Confederação Nacional dos Trabalhadores em Estabelecimentos de Ensino (Contee)Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT)Coalizão Direitos na RedeDerechos DigitalesFederação Interestadual dos Trabalhadores e Pesquisadores em Serviços de Telecomunicações (Fitratelp)Federação Nacional dos Jornalistas (Fenaj)Fórum Nacional pela Democratização da Comunicação (FNDC)Instituto Vladimir HerzogIntervozes – Coletivo Brasil de Comunicação SocialReporters Without Borders (RSF)Movimento Artigo QuintoTerra de Direitos News RSF begins research into mechanisms for protecting journalists in Latin America Help by sharing this information last_img read more

Azerbaijani government tries to export intimidation to France

first_img June 8, 2021 Find out more AzerbaijanFranceEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses CorruptionJudicial harassmentPredatorsImprisonedFreedom of expressionCouncil of Europe AzerbaijanFranceEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses CorruptionJudicial harassmentPredatorsImprisonedFreedom of expressionCouncil of Europe News June 4, 2021 Find out more RSF calls for a fully transparent investigation after mine kills two journalists in Azerbaijan Credit: STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP Organisation Help by sharing this information June 7, 2021 Find out more to go further September 4, 2017 Azerbaijani government tries to export intimidation to France Follow the news on Europe – Central Asia Respect judicial independence in cases of two leading journalists in Serbia and Montenegro, RSF says Receive email alerts “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says News Reporters Without Borders (RSF) will testify for the defence in the Azerbaijani government’s lawsuit against French broadcast journalists Elise Lucet and Laurent Richard, which a court in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre will begin hearing tomorrow.The two journalists are accused of defaming the Azerbaijani government by referring to it as a “dictatorship” in 2015, when it received a visit from the French president.RSF regards the lawsuit as an act of intimidation highlighting the Azerbaijani government’s contempt for free speech. Not content with eradicating all pluralism at home, the regime is now targeting its critics abroad.Introducing a “Cash Investigation” programme about the background to the presidential trip on the France 2 TV channel in September 2015, Lucet described Azerbaijan as “one of the world’s harshest dictatorships.”In a radio programme, Richard referred to Azerbaijan as a “dictatorship” and its president as a “despot.” He was previously arrested at the end of his reporting trip to Azerbaijan in May 2014 and his equipment was seized.Trying to intimidate journalists in FranceThe head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk, Johann Bihr, Azerbaijani journalist Agil Khalil and husband-and-wife human rights defenders Leyla Yunus et Arif Yunus will all testify in defence of the two French journalists.Khalil fled to France in 2008 after escaping several murder attempts in Azerbaijan. Leyla and Arif Yunus fled to the Netherlands after being imprisoned for 18 months despite being in very poor health.“By suing two French journalists who just used their right to free speech, the Azerbaijani government is demonstrating its complete inability to tolerate criticism,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.“We must not let Baku export its censorship to France. We call on as many media outlets as possible to come and cover this attack on their freedoms by a foreign government. We will definitely be there to ensure that the world sees the true face of President Ilham Aliyev’s regime.”As far as RSF knows, this is the first time that a foreign government has brought a defamation suit against journalists before a French court. Lola Karimova, the Uzbek president’s daughter, was acting as a private individual when she sued the French news website Rue89 in 2011 for calling her a “dictator’s daughter” who was helping to “launder her country’s image.”The Aliyev regime’s true faceAzerbaijan is ranked 162nd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. For the past three years, its authorities have systematically eliminated what remained of media independence. In 2014, they throttled the newspaper Zerkalo economically and forcibly closed Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Baku bureau.Crippled by its financial director’s arrest in 2016, the last opposition newspaper, Azadlig, has stopped publishing, and its leading journalists have been forced to flee abroad.The Turan news agency, the country’s last independent media outlet, became the latest victim in August of this year. Its director has been jailed and its bank accounts have been frozen, forcing it to suspend all activities. Access to all the main independent news websites is blocked.At least 16 journalists, bloggers and media workers are currently imprisoned in connection with the provision of news and information – usually on trumped-up charges. This means that Azerbaijan is second only to Turkey in Europe in the number of media personnel detained. Beatings, blackmail and bribes are also used to silence the few remaining critics.Dozens of journalists have fled the country in recent years to escape the crackdown. By persecuting their relatives, the government even manages to put pressure on those, such as Ganimat Zahid and Emin Milli, who continue to work as journalists after fleeing abroad. The main media support NGOs were shut down in 2014.Aliyev, who succeeded his father as president in 2003, is on RSF’s list of press freedom predators. He was “reelected” with nearly 85% of the votes in a 2013 poll that was criticized by the OSCE. The results were “leaked” on the eve of the voting.A September 2016 referendum reinforced his powers and, on 21 February of this year, his wife was appointed first vice-president, becoming Azerbaijan second most important official. News News RSF_en last_img read more

Well-known Malaysian cartoonist facing further interrogation

first_imgNews RSF_en Organisation MalaysiaAsia – Pacific Condemning abuses Judicial harassmentFreedom of expression March 17, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Malaysia December 27, 2016 – Updated on August 23, 2019 Well-known Malaysian cartoonist facing further interrogation January 29, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information Malaysian cartoonist Zunar facing possible sedition charge again News to go further MalaysiaAsia – Pacific Condemning abuses Judicial harassmentFreedom of expression Receive email alerts News News Record fine for Malaysian news site over readers’ comments Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Malaysian authorities to drop all charges against Zulkifli Anwar Ulhaque, the cartoonist better known as Zunar, and to stop using the country’s Sedition Act to threaten and intimidate him and other journalists. Zunar has been arrested twice in recent weeks and faces further police interrogation on 30 December. His latest arrest was on 17 December, when police raided a fundraising event he had organized in Kuala Lumpur to compensate for the losses resulting from the seizure of 20 of his cartoons in November.The police seized more than 1,000 pounds in cash on 17 December. Zunar estimates his combined losses from the two seizures – the cash and the cartoons – at 20,000 dollars. He is well known for cartoons criticizing government corruption and abuse of authority.During the 17 December raid, the police also arrested two of Zunar’s assistants and two people who had come to give him support. Zunar said there were all taken to a police station where a formal investigation was opened for violating article 124 of the penal code (endangering parliamentary democracy).In an email sent to various organizations, Zunar said he was questioned for six hours and was then released on bail and told to report to the police again on 30 December for further questioning. According to Zunar, the police plan to ban all of his cartoon books.Zunar was previously arrested under the Sedition Act on 25 November in the northern city of George Town, where he was forced to cancel an exhibition of his cartoons at a literary festival and 20 cartoons were seized.“We call for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all charges against this cartoonist and we urge the Malaysian authorities to stop using the Sedition Act to intimidate and threaten journalists,” RSF editor-in-chief Virginie Dangles said. Zunar has been jailed twice under the Sedition Act, in September 2010 and February 2015, and was charged with another nine violations of the Sedition Act in April 2015 in connection with nine tweets critical of the government. According to his lawyer, he is facing up to 43 years in prison. Because of his cartoons, he has also been banned from leaving Malaysia since October.Malaysia is ranked 147th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index. February 22, 2021 Find out more New Malaysian ordinance threatens very concept of truthlast_img read more