On the eve of a decisive trial, organizations call for justice for Brazilian photographer who lost his sight while covering a protest

first_imgNews Alarm after two journalists murdered in Brazil RSF begins research into mechanisms for protecting journalists in Latin America April 15, 2021 Find out more April 27, 2021 Find out more Organisation May 13, 2021 Find out more Reports BrazilAmericas Freedom of expressionJudicial harassmentViolence Follow the news on Brazil Receive email alerts News BrazilAmericas Freedom of expressionJudicial harassmentViolence 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies Open LetterThe case of photographer Alexandro Wagner Oliveira da Silveira, hit by a rubber bullet in his left eye during a protest in May 2000, is on the agenda at the Federal Supreme Court (STF) to be tried on August 14. The organizations that sign this open letter emphasize that this moment is crucial, since the Court represents the last chance to correct a serious injustice that marks one of the most emblematic episodes of violence against communicators in the context of protests in the country.On May 18, 2000, while doing the coverage of a protest, Silveira was shot in the face by a rubber bullet fired by a military police officer, which led to loss of vision in his left eye. Since then, he fights for accountability, asking the State of São Paulo to indemnify him for the damages caused to his vision.The case exhibits a history of injustices, because although the indemnity was granted in the first instance, the São Paulo Court of Justice (TJSP) reformed the decision and considered that the photographer was solely responsible for his injury, since he would have “remained in the place of turmoil”. The decision of the São Paulo Court confirms the violent conduct of the police in the State, thus encouraging the occurrence of new violations in the context of protests.The Federal Supreme Court judgment is relevant to the extent that the State’s responsibility for the injury suffered by Silveira will be discussed. When the police extrapolate their prerogatives and violently repress protesters and communicators, ignoring rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution, it is the duty of the Judiciary to ensure the guarantee of these rights, which includes the reparation of victims and the accountability of public security bodies.The right to protest must be guaranteed regardless of the agenda of the demonstrations and the political agreement of representatives of the State and members of the Justice System with its content. In addition, the presence of the press in protests, in a safe manner, must be guaranteed as an indispensable element for the full accomplissement of civil rights, such as freedom of press, right to information and right to protest, essential and non-negotiable rights in a truly democratic society.However, the decision of the TJSP, in addition to similar ones, fosters police violence, selective repression, harassment of communicators and the obscurity of police action, violating guarantees intrinsic to a democratic state. Thus, the omission of the justice system in the face of such violations cooperates for their maintenance and perpetuation in Brazil.In this sense, another emblematic case is the one of the photographer Sérgio Silva, who was also shot in the left eye, while covering the June 2013 demonstrations and still awaiting redress in the justice system. It is worth noting that what happened in Brazil has parallels in other countries in the region, in Chile more than 200 people were victims of serious eye trauma during the wave of protests that took over the country at the end of last year.In view of this, the undersigned organizations highlight the importance of  Alex da Silveira’s case for guaranteeing fundamental rights, such as right to protest, freedom of expression and freedom of press. It is up to the Federal Supreme Court to correct the serious injustices committed against the photographer so far, safeguarding the individual and collective rights at stake.Signatures:ARTIGO 19Associação Brasileira de Jornalismo Investigativo (Abraji)Associação para o Progresso das Comunicações (APC)Comitê para Proteção de Jornalistas (CPJ)Conectas Direitos HumanosDerechos Digitales, América LatinaGabinete de Assessoria Jurídica às Organizações Populares ( GAJOP)IFEXIFEX-ALCInstituto Brasileiro de Ciências Criminais (IBCCRIM)Instituto de Defesa do Direito de Defesa – IDDDInstituto Pro Bono (IPB)Instituto Terra, Trabalho e Cidadania (ITTC)Intervozes – Coletivo Brasil de Comunicação SocialNúcleo Especializado de Cidadania e Direitos Humanos da Defensoria Pública do Estado de São PauloRepórteres sem Fronteiras (RSF) Together with other civil society organizations, Reporters without Borders calls upon the Brazilian Supreme Court to indemnify Alex Silveira, hit by a rubber bullet fired by the Military Police during a rally in São Paulo, thus discouraging violations to press freedom and freedom of demonstration. Help by sharing this information to go further RSF_en News August 11, 2020 On the eve of a decisive trial, organizations call for justice for Brazilian photographer who lost his sight while covering a protestlast_img read more

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Republic of Congo: State TV urged to reinstate news anchor sidelined after coronavirus interview

first_img to go further Ailing magazine editor held illegally in Brazzaville for more than a month News Help by sharing this information Joint call for Brazzaville journalist’s release Follow the news on Congo-Brazzaville Like the Republic of Congo’s media regulator, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on state TV broadcaster Télé Congo to reinstate Rocil Otouna, who was discreetly sidelined as news anchor after putting some difficult questions about the coronavirus crisis to the justice minister in an interview two weeks ago. RSF_en News The Republic of Congo (also known as Congo-Brazzaville) is ranked 118th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index. Otouna has not been seen on the air since 30 April, when he asked the minister about the lack of information about coronavirus victims, including those currently ill and those who have recovered, and about contradictions between the government’s figures and those given by the president on both the caseload and the lockdown’s economic and social consequences. Receive email alerts Journalist Rocil Otouna, dismissed from the public TV station Télé-Congo. Facebook photo. center_img The communication ministry issued a statement denying reports in several media outlets, including privately-owned Vox TV, that Otouna was suspended as a result of the interview. But several sources confirmed to RSF that he was indeed suspended although the decision was given to him verbally, presumably in order to leave no written trace. On 3 May, World Press Freedom Day, a Télé Congo presenter asked Philippe Mvouo, the president of the Higher Council for Freedom of Communication (CSLC), the Republic of Congo’s media regulator, about Otouna’s reported suspension. Mvouo replied that the council would look into the case. After conducting an investigation and holding hearings, the CSLC confirmed that Otouna had indeed been suspended as a news anchor. The council recommended his immediate rehabilitation and accused the state TV oversight body of “interventionism,” “arbitrary measures” and “aggravated censorship.”“The information gathered by RSF supports the media regulator’s conclusions,” said Arnaud Froger, the head of RSF’s Africa desk. “This journalist was undeniably the subject of a sanction as a result of an interview with the justice minister about the Congolese government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.” Froger added: “The battle against the coronavirus will not be won by sidelining a journalist who voiced legitimate concerns. There are no bad questions. This journalist was not guilty of any misconduct and his suspension is completely unjustified. He must be rehabilitated and must resume his position without delay.”In its conclusions, the CSLC also called for an end to threats and intimidation against other journalists and said there was “no evidence that Vox TV participated in a campaign to smear or defame the communication ministry or undermine the government’s effort to combat Covid-19.” The communication ministry’s statement about the Otouna affair had criticized the campaign waged by Vox TV, one of the country’s most popular TV channels, in support of Otouna and had described its coverage of the case as “fantasy.” News News Congo-BrazzavilleAfrica Protecting journalistsMedia independence Covid19Freedom of expression Congo celebrates World Press Freedom Day by sentencing a journalist to six months in prison May 4, 2021 Find out more Organisation Congo-BrazzavilleAfrica Protecting journalistsMedia independence Covid19Freedom of expression March 31, 2021 Find out more May 14, 2020 – Updated on June 8, 2020 Republic of Congo: State TV urged to reinstate news anchor sidelined after coronavirus interview March 5, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

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RSF urges Iraq to reopen Al-Jazeera’s Baghdad bureau

first_img Timeline of violations against freedom of information in Iraq and Syria News Al-Jazeera was formally notified of the decision on 27 April but the CMC had already warned a month earlier that the Qatari broadcaster’s licence would be withdrawn for repeatedly violating regulations introduced in 2014 as part of Iraq’s efforts to combat Islamic State. “An arbitrary decision has been taken against Al-Jazeera’s Baghdad bureau,” said Alexandra El Khazen, the head of RSF’s Middle East desk. “We call on the authorities to rescind this decision on the grounds of media pluralism and media freedom, which are guaranteed by the constitution. The TV channel’s staff must be allowed to resume working.” Al-Jazeera Baghdad bureau chief Waleed Ibrahim Mahmood told RSF that the Iraqi authorities had taken a “very radical” decision against the Doha-based broadcaster because they did not like its programmes and editorial policies. He added that unidentified gunmen have also repeatedly threatened the Baghdad bureau. The Iraqi authorities accuse Al-Jazeera of inciting violence and sectarianism but Ziad Ajili, the head of Iraq’s Journalistic Freedoms Observatory (JFO), defends the professionalism of its reporting in Iraq. The Al-Jazeera Baghdad bureau has filed an appeal against the CMC’s decision and has passed on the details of the CMC’s complaints to its headquarters on Doha. All of the bureau’s activities are meanwhile suspended pending a possible reversal of the CMC’s decision. Along with nine other TV channels, Al-Jazeera was already banned in 2013 on similar grounds of inciting violence and sectarianism. It was the CMC that also took the decision to close down all of Cairo-based Al-Baghdadia TV’s bureaux in Iraq on 16 March. The CMC was created in 2003, in the immediate aftermath of the US-led military intervention, with the task of regulating the media. Its decisions have often been accused of lacking independence and violating media freedom. Iraq is ranked 158th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index. Receive email alerts Mounting deadly danger for journalists in Iraq RSF_en Follow the news on Iraq to go further IraqMiddle East – North Africa Freedom of expression Help by sharing this information IraqMiddle East – North Africa Freedom of expression May 11, 2015 Find out morecenter_img Organisation News Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Iraqi Communications and Media Commission (CMC) to immediately rescind its decision to suspend Al-Jazeera’s licence to operate in Iraq for a year, which has resulted in the closure of its Baghdad bureau. July 21, 2015 Find out more News RSF decries Iraq’s closure of Al-Baghdadia TV’s bureaux March 31, 2016 Find out more News May 9, 2016 – Updated on May 19, 2016 RSF urges Iraq to reopen Al-Jazeera’s Baghdad bureau Aljazeera Media Network – Logo last_img read more

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Closure of opposition newspaper Noviye Izvestia

first_img to go further BelarusEurope – Central Asia RSF_en “We welcome opening of criminal investigation in Lithuania in response to our complaint against Lukashenko” RSF says Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown News News Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Belarus BelarusEurope – Central Asia Organisation center_img News Reporters Without Borders has expressed its concern at the closure until April 2003 of opposition daily Noviye Izvestia.The organisation said it feared that it meant a further cutback in Russian opposition newspapers under the guise of financial difficulties.Oleg Mitvol, majority shareholder of the Noviye Izvestia (owning 76% of the paper) announced the suspension of the newspaper on 25 February.An editorial staff protest on 21 February prevented the newspaper from appearing the day after managing director and editor in chief Igor Golembiovsky was dismissed by Oleg Mitov from his position of managing director, officially over financial problems.Several articles had recently appeared in the newspaper criticising President Putin or saying that “people no longer have confidence in Putin”, including one on 20 February by journalist Vladimir Pribilovsky on the cult of Vladimir Putin.”Sidelining the editor in chief of Noviye Isvestia and the temporary shutdown of one of the only newspapers critical of the government – that denounces war in Chechnya and human rights violations – appears too useful to the Kremlin in the run-up to elections to be a coincidence”, said Reporters Without Borders General Secretary Robert Ménard.All this was taking place in a climate in which the Kremlin was re-taking control of opposition media, a policy orchestrated by Vladmir Putin since he took power. “It is very worrying to see the extent to which the liberal press is slowly but surely shrinking in Russia,” he added. Reporters Without Borders recalled that Noviye Izvestia was part of the media empire of the exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky whose main media holdings, known for their independent approach to news, were systematically taken over by the Kremlin since Vladimir Putin took power. In 1997 Boris Berezovsky handed over control of the majority of Noviye Izvestia’s shares to Oleg Mitvol. June 2, 2021 Find out more May 27, 2021 Find out more RSF at the Belarusian border: “The terrorist is the one who jails journalists and intimidates the public” February 26, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Closure of opposition newspaper Noviye Izvestia Receive email alerts News May 28, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

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Arrest of man suspected of ordering killing of journalist Mauro Marcano

first_img Help by sharing this information New wave of censorship targeting critical media outlets News to go further News Reporters Without Borders hailed the recent arrest of Ceferino García, presumed head of a drug cartel, who is suspected of ordering the killing of journalist Mauro Marcano, on 1st September 2004. The organisation called for the investigation to be given a fresh boost, two years after the journalist’s death. January 13, 2021 Find out more RSF_en Reporters Without Borders welcomed the arrest in Trinidad-and-Tobago of Ceferino García, suspected head of a drug cartel, alleged to have ordered the murder of Mauro Marcano, presenter on local Radio Maturín 1.080 AM and columnist on the daily El Oriental. The organisation however condemned delays in the investigation and the failure to bring anyone to trial two years after the 1st September 2004 murder in Maturín, Monagas state in north-east Venezuela.“The arrest of Ceferino García is clearly good news if his implication in Mauro Marcano’s murder is established and his evidence moves the investigation forward,” the press freedom organisation said. “However in two years, five other people strongly suspected of involvement in the killing have never been arrested. Neither has the investigation probed the links between drug-trafficking and certain police and military authorities in Monagas state revealed by Marcano. No conviction has ever been obtained. The arrest of Ceferino García is the chance for the justice system to reopen the investigation and put an end to two years of impunity”, it said.”The Venezuelan authorities should promptly seek the extradition of the alleged drug-trafficker from their Trinidadian counterparts”, it added.Marcano was shot dead in the car park at his home after being ambushed by two men. He had exposed collusion in an editorial for El Oriental, between General Alexis Maneiro Gómez, (then head of Regional Comando 7), and other officers, with Ceferino García, suspected head of the Cartel del Sol (Sun cartel), a Colombian gang active on the country’s east coast.Marcano believed he was in danger, family members said, and two weeks before his death he had shared his fears with Venezuelan vice-president, José Vicente Rangel, himself a former journalist. He even named the officers who he believed were working with the cartel: Gen. Alexis Maneiro Gómez, Col. Juan Fabricio Tirry, head of the mission to the defence ministry and José Manuel del Moral, former chief of police in Monagas state. None of these men have ever been summoned by investigators.Ceferino Garcia was arrested in Port of Spain (capital of Trinidad-and-Tobago) in the last week of August 2006. His name was on a list of people being sought by Venezuelan police for the past year. Also on the list were his son, Carlos Andrés García Martínez, as well as Edgardo José Salazar and Henry Mendoza, the two suspected hired killers and an intermediary, Douglas Rocca Cermeño. His brother, Hector Rocca Cermeño, who agreed to collaborate with the justice system, has said that Ceferino García personally planned the killing and set aside 36,000 euros for the job.A spokesman for the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) told Reporters Without Borders in May 2005 that blocks had been put on the Marcano case. At the same time the judicial commission of the TSJ announced the suspension of some 15 judges suspecting of conniving with drug-traffickers. August 25, 2020 Find out more Receive email alerts Coronavirus “information heroes” – journalism that saves lives VenezuelaAmericas News VenezuelaAmericas News Two journalists murdered just days apart in Venezuela Follow the news on Venezuela Organisation September 4, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Arrest of man suspected of ordering killing of journalist Mauro Marcano June 15, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

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Two community radio reporters could be tried for “disobeying the authorities”

first_imgNews RSF begins research into mechanisms for protecting journalists in Latin America A judge will decide on 11 January whether community radio reporters Elia Xiomara Hernández and Elba Yolibeth Rubio are to be tried on charges of disobeying the authorities and “taking part in demonstrations that obstruct public services.” That was the outcome of judicial proceedings in the southern town of Amapala in which their rights were not respected.Hernández and Rubio, who work for radio La Voz de Zacate Grande, were arrested on 15 December while covering a protest by a family being evicted from land it had occupied in the locality of Coyolito on the southern island of Zacate Grande.At the moment of their arrest, they produced documents showing that they are journalists. They were nonetheless held illegally for 36 hours without being told the charges and without being allowed to make any phone calls. They were hit and they were denied medical treatment. Their equipment was also confiscated. And they are currently prohibited from leaving the districts where they live.“We deplore the decision to prosecute two journalists who were just doing their job and committed no crime, and we urge the authorities to drop all the charges,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Covering a protest is not the same as participating in it. We also demand that they be compensated for the suffering resulting from this arbitrary arrest. And those responsible for the violence against them must be called to account.”All the legal procedures have been violated in this case. They were not taken before the judge, Eris Armando Hernández, until 24 hours had gone by since their arrest. This normally results in all charges being dropped. Also, the local judicial authorities cannot initiate prosecutions. That is the prosecutor-general’s prerogative.In a separate development, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued a ruling on 22 December requiring the Honduran government to protect journalist José Luis Galdámez, who has escaped several murder attempts and has received many death threats designed to make him abandon his work. Galdámez is the producer of “Tras la Verdad,” a programme on Radio Globo that has criticised President José Manuel Zelaya’s removal in a June 2009 coup. 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies Follow the news on Honduras HondurasAmericas HondurasAmericas May 13, 2021 Find out more RSF_en News RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace”center_img Receive email alerts Reports Help by sharing this information to go further April 27, 2021 Find out more Organisation December 27, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Two community radio reporters could be tried for “disobeying the authorities” News December 28, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

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RWB is creating a special page for tributes to the late James Foley

first_img Damascus TV presenter arrested under cyber-crime law August 22, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 RWB is creating a special page for tributes to the late James Foley Help by sharing this information Toll of ten years of civil war on journalists in Syria News RSF_en SyriaMiddle East – North Africa Reporters Without Borders is today creating a special page for tributes to the late James Foley, to keep alive the spirit of this talented and committed journalist. His horrific execution by Islamic State (ISIS) on 19 August has shocked the entire world. RWB is inviting his fellow reporters, other members of the media community and all citizens who are concerned about freedom to leave messages.Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said today: “To us, he was an extraordinary journalist, who abhorred violence and was motivated by the desire to highlight the plight of the victims of war. As an internationally renowned journalist, James’ work took him to Libya and Syria. While being held captive by the Islamic State, he remained impassive in the face of threats, clinging to the hope that he would eventually return home. Courageous and composed, he communicated his hope to his fellow prisoners.Under a campaign that was assisted by Reporters Without Borders, and with other photo journalists, James Foley helped raise funds to support the education of the three children left behind when his friend and journalist, Anton Hammerl, was killed in Libya in April 2011. RWB undertakes to wage an unrelenting battle for the safety of all those who, like Foley, expose the horrors of war.The tribute page can be accessed online in French and English at this address: http://jamesfoley.rsf.org/en News Receive email alerts Follow the news on Syriacenter_img SyriaMiddle East – North Africa Wave of Kurdish arrests of Syrian journalists Organisation February 3, 2021 Find out more to go further March 8, 2021 Find out more News News March 12, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

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“Huang Qi did what any Chinese citizen would have done in his place”

first_imgNews Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes ChinaAsia – Pacific After speaking yesterday with Zeng Li, the wife of imprisoned cyber-dissident Huang Qi, Reporters Without Borders today publishes a transcript of her comments, in which she describes his arrest as “unfair and unacceptable.” “Huang is the victim of the Chinese judicial system’s lack of independence,” Reporters Without Borders said. News Chronology 中国 – “黄琦所做的一切不过是任何在他位置上的中国公民都会做的事”无国界记者发表被囚禁三个月的网络异见者黄琦之妻的呼吁。 RSF_en “Huang Qi is a cyber-dissident and online journalist who has fought hard in recent years so that the inhabitants of Sichuan can have access to better information. He has exposed the injustices they have suffered, and none of his articles has been disputed by the authorities. During the earthquake, his work helped to improve the humanitarian situation. He did everything he could to get equipment where it was needed and to help transport relief aid. He did what any Chinese citizen would have done. China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison Various political leaders and the government have said on several occasions that the human rights situation would improve in China. But the authorities have not kept their promises and they maintain their repressive policies towards freedom of expression. And now they have taken Huang Qi’s freedom of expression away from him. It is absurd. After speaking yesterday with Zeng Li, the wife of imprisoned cyber-dissident Huang Qi, Reporters Without Borders today publishes a transcript of her comments, in which she appeals to the international community and describes his arrest as “unfair and unacceptable.”Huang has been held since 10 June in Chengdu, the capital of the western province of Sichuan, for posting articles on his website 64Tianwang (www.64tianwang.com) about the humanitarian situation in the province after the 12 May earthquake and how international aid was mismanaged by the local authorities.“Huang is the victim of the Chinese judicial system’s lack of independence,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The proceedings are not advancing and his family has no choice but to wait until the authorities deign to look at his case. His lawyer’s requests to see him are being denied, he has not been able to get any medical treatment although his health is deteriorating, and no date has been set for his trial. We support his wife’s appeal and we reiterate our call for his release.”Huang was charged three weeks ago, on 18 July, with “illegal possession of state secrets” but he will not be allowed his first meeting with his lawyer until 18 September.The following is a transcript of Zeng’s comments (to be heard in Chinese). April 27, 2021 Find out more 1999: Creation of the 64Tianwang website, with the original aim of posting information about people missing in Sichuan province. Huang Qi still has very violent headaches as a result of the mistreatment and torture he underwent the last time he was imprisoned. He is being held in the absence of any valid legal grounds and he is being treated in an inhumane manner that violates the basic principle of human dignity. Within Huang Qi’s family, we worry a lot about his health. Thanks to Reporters Without Borders, we hope this appeal will be heard and diplomatic means will be deployed to end this situation.” News News ChinaAsia – Pacific Organisation 2005 : Huang Qi is free20 May 2008: Huang posts an article on the 64Tianwang site criticising the Chinese media’s coverage of the earthquake: “The reports we are seeing are biased. In reality, it is very difficult for NGOs to deliver food aid. They are obliged to go through government channels. The government is using its propaganda to portray itself as a saviour to little avail. Few citizens trust the government because of the corruptions scandals that already occurred during similar disasters in the past.” 2000 – 2005: Huang is arrested on 3 June 2000 and is given a five-year prison sentence on a “subversion” charge for posting articles on his website about the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre that were written by exiled dissidents. He is tortured while held in Nanchong high security prison.2003: Reporters Without Borders and French journalist Patrick Poivre d’Arvor meet his wife and son in Chengdu (see “I know my husband is innocent” interview).2004 : Reporters Without Borders awards Huang its “Cyber-Freedom” prize for defending free expression and human rights online. 10 June 2008: Huang is arrested by three policemen in Chengdu and is held in the city’s main prison.10 July 2008: The police confirm to his family that the results of their investigation have been passed to the prosecutor’s office, which now has three months to reach a decision.18 July 2008: Huang is formally charged with “illegal possession of state secrets” (see the official document).18 September 2008: Huang will be allowed to see his lawyer, Mo Shaoping, for the first time. All of Mo’s requests to see him have until now been refused. to go further March 12, 2021 Find out more June 2, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts September 10, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 “Huang Qi did what any Chinese citizen would have done in his place” China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures Follow the news on China Huang Qi posted articles on his website that included statements by parents who lost their children when schools collapsed during the earthquake. This is what fueled the anger of the authorities and it was for this reason that he was arrested. He is charged with ‘illegal possession of state secrets.’ It is a totally unfair and unacceptable decision. Help by sharing this information last_img read more

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Authoritarianism prevents press freedom progress in much of Asia

first_img Receive email alerts October 20, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Authoritarianism prevents press freedom progress in much of Asia Asia – Pacific Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists News News to go further Asia – Pacific Help by sharing this information RSF_en June 2, 2021 Find out more Related documents Graph_Asie-2.xlsVND.MS-EXCEL – 136 KB June 7, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Asia – Pacific June 2, 2021 Find out more Mongolia : RSF urges presidential candidates to voice support for press freedom News Fiji falls furthest, but big advance by Maldives Political power grabs dealt press freedom a great disservice again this year. A military coup caused Fiji (152nd) to fall 73 places. Soldiers moved into Fijian news rooms for several weeks and censored articles before they were published, while foreign journalists were deported. In Thailand, the endless clashes between “yellow shirts” and “red shirts” had a very negative impact on the press’s ability to work. As a result, the kingdom is now 130th.The authoritarianism of existing governments, for example in Sri Lanka (162nd) and Malaysia (131st), prevented journalists from properly covering sensitive subjects such as corruption or human rights abuses. The Sri Lankan government had a journalist sentenced to 20 years in prison and forced dozens of others to flee the country. In Malaysia, the interior ministry imposed censorship or self-censorship by threatening media with the withdrawal of their licence or threatening journalists with a spell in prison.War and terrorism wrought havoc and exposed journalists to great danger. Afghanistan (149th) is sapped not only by Taliban violence and death threats, but also by unjustified arrests by the security forces. Despite having dynamic news media, Pakistan (159th) is crippled by murders of journalists and the aggressiveness of both the Taliban and sectors of the military. It shared (with Somalia) the world record for journalists killed during the period under review.The Asian countries that least respected press freedom were, predictably, North Korea, one of the “infernal trio” at the bottom of the rankings, Burma, which still suffers from prior censorship and imprisonment, and Laos, an unchanging dictatorship where no privately-owned media are permitted.The media in China (168th) are evolving rapidly along with the rest of the country but it continues to have a very poor ranking because of the frequency of imprisonment, especially in Tibet, Internet censorship and the nepotism of the central and provincial authorities. Similarly in Vietnam (166th), the ruling Communist Party targets journalists, bloggers and press freedom activists over what they write about its concessions to China.In the good news section, Maldives (51st) climbed 53 places thanks to a successful democratic transition while Bhutan (70th) rose another four places thanks to further efforts in favour of media diversity.Asia’s few democracies are well placed in the rankings. New Zealand (13th), Australia (16th) and Japan (17th) are all in the top 20. Respect for press freedom and the lack of targeted violence against journalists enable these three countries to be regional leaders.South Korea (69th) and Taiwan (59th) fell far this year. South Korea plummeted 22 places because of the arrests of several journalists and bloggers and the conservative government’s attempts to control critical media. The new ruling party in Taiwan tried to interfere in state and privately-owned media while violence by certain activists further undermined press freedom.Two Asian countries were included in the index for the first time: Papua New Guinea (56th), which obtained a very respectable ranking for a developing country, and the Sultanate of Brunei (155th), which came in the bottom third because of the absence of an independent press. China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison News Organisation last_img read more

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Reporters Without Borders writes to European Commissioner for Development Louis Michel before his trip to Cuba

first_imgNews March 22, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Reporters Without Borders writes to European Commissioner for Development Louis Michel before his trip to Cuba October 12, 2018 Find out more Dear Commissioner,You are going to visit Cuba from 24 to 27 March, when you will meet Vice-President Carlos Lage Dávila, foreign minister Felipe Pérez Roque, foreign investment and cooperation minister Marta Lomas Morales and national assembly president Ricardo Alarcón. You will also meet the archbishop of Havana, Cardinal Jaime Ortega. Reporters Without Borders would like to draw your attention to the fate of 21 journalists who were arrested in the March 2003 crackdown and who are still in prison. It is essential that the European Union should, whenever possible, reiterate its firm desire to see all of Cuba’s political prisoners released at once.The journalists still in prison are Víctor Rolando Arroyo Carmona, Pedro Argüelles Morán, Mijail Barzaga Lugo, Adolfo Fernández Saínz, Alfredo Felipe Fuentes, Miguel Galvan Gutiérrez, Julio César Gálvez Rodríguez, José Luis García Paneque, Ricardo González Alfonso, Alejandro González Raga, Ivan Hernández Carrillo, Normando Hernández González, Juan Carlos Herrera Acosta, Marío Enrique Mayo Hernández, José Ubaldo Izquíerdo Hernández, Héctor Maseda Gutiérrez, Pablo Pacheco Ávila, Fabio Prieto Llorente, Alfredo Manuel Pulido López, Omar Rodríguez Saludes and Omar Moisés Ruiz Hernández. In a travesty of justice, they were all summarily tried and sentenced in April 2003 to sentences ranging from 14 to 27 years in prison. Their crime was to have worked as journalists for news organizations that were not authorized by the government.Filthy cells, water not fit to drink, denial of visiting rights, mistreatment and lack of medical care although most of them are becoming more ill by the day – this is the price that these 21 men must pay for being “guilty” of trying to report the news freely and thinking differently from the government. These 21 journalists, Commissioner, will be in great danger if they kept in prison any longer.During a visit to the European Parliament on 8 March, foreign minister Pérez Roque said his country would be ready to undertake “clear gestures” if the European Union refrained from condemning Cuba during the next session of the European Commission on Human Rights in Geneva.We urge you, Commissioner, to remind Mr. Pérez Roque of his duty and to point out to him that the “clear gestures” to which he is committed by this request include the immediate and unconditional release of all the Cuban dissidents and, in particular, the 21 journalists who were unjustly imprisoned.Press freedom, Commissioner, is an integral part of the public freedoms that the European Union is confident of incarnating, protecting and defending. Cuba can make no demands of the European Union without complying with a fundamental condition, namely, ceasing to be the world’s second biggest prison for journalists.We look forward to this “firm gesture” towards the Cuban authorities from you.Sincerely,Robert MénardSecretary-GeneralFernando CastelloPresident RSF and Fundamedios welcome US asylum ruling in favor of Cuban journalist Serafin Moran Santiago News Receive email alerts to go further News CubaAmericas New press freedom predators elected to UN Human Rights Council Organisation RSF_en On the eve of his 24-27 March visit to Cuba, Reporters Without Borders asks European commissioner for development Louis Michel to call for the release of all the political prisoners, including the 21 journalists still held since March 2003. CubaAmericas May 6, 2020 Find out more Cuba and its Decree Law 370: annihilating freedom of expression on the Internet Help by sharing this information October 15, 2020 Find out more News Follow the news on Cubalast_img read more

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