CANADA – Supreme Court rules against VICE reporter in trial on source protection

first_imgThe Canadian Supreme Court’s decision, which was published on November 30, upholds the rulings of two lower courts in a legal battle that dates back to 2015, when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) obtained a production order compelling VICE and Makuch to hand over all communications with Farah Shirdon, a Canadian citizen and alleged Islamic State fighter. It is now up to the RCMP to uphold the production order, and thereafter up to VICE and Makuch to choose how to respond.  On eve of the G20 Riyadh summit, RSF calls for public support to secure the release of jailed journalists in Saudi Arabia CanadaAmericas Protecting sources January 15, 2021 Find out more to go further RSF_en Help by sharing this information Organisation CanadaAmericas Protecting sources “Compelling a journalist to hand over their communications with a source for the purpose of a police investigation directly undermines the independence journalists must enjoy in order to fulfill their news gathering role,” said Margaux Ewen, RSF’s North America Director.“The fact that this production order has been upheld by Canada’s highest court today is an alarming development. The chilling effect of this decision could critically harm journalists’ ability to gather and report the news in Canada. Today’s Supreme Court ruling was not just a loss for VICE and Ben Makuch, but for all journalists and media organizations working in Canada.” News Follow the news on Canada “This is a dark day for press freedom, which is a basic tenet of democracy,” a spokesperson for VICE said. “While we’ve lost this battle, nothing can shake our belief that a free press is instrumental to a truthful understanding of the world in which we live.” This Supreme Court decision comes at a time when journalistic source protection has been increasingly under threat. Despite the adoption of a federal “shield law” protecting confidential sources —which does not apply in the VICE case— in October 2017, a Quebec Superior Court in March ordered Marie-Maude Denis, an investigative reporter for Radio-Canada, to reveal her sources in a Quebec City corruption case. The court applied the shield law, but ultimately ruled that the public’s interest in the outcome of the trial outweighed that of journalistic source protection. Radio-Canada is currently fighting the order to compel Denis’ testimony, and the Supreme Court announced on August 9 that it will hear this case. Newscenter_img Canada ranks 18th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index. News News Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is alarmed by the Canadian Supreme Court’s decision today that upholds a lower court’s ruling compelling VICE reporter Ben Makuch to hand over all his communications with his source, an alleged Islamic State fighter to Canadian police. A coalition of 12 press freedom and civil liberties groupsfrom around the world, including RSF, intervened in the case when it was heard before the Supreme Court of Canada on May 23. The coalition argued that the protection of confidential journalistic material from compelled disclosure is a fundamental condition of freedom of the press. Without it, the vital watchdog role journalists play in a democratic society is undermined, as sources risk being deterred from sharing information of public interest with members of the press. “We must impose democratic obligations on the leading digital players” *CORRECTION: An earlier version of this statement inaccurately referred to this case as involving confidential sources in its title. This has since been updated.  Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” Receive email alerts November 19, 2020 Find out more November 30, 2018 CANADA – Supreme Court rules against VICE reporter in trial on source protection Image credit: VICE November 11, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

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Liu Xiaobo videos

first_img-Interview with Liu Xiaobo, translated into English, on France 24:Liu Xiaobo, Chinese dissident and Peace Nobel Price 2010envoyé par france24. – L’info internationale vidéo. RSF_en Organisation -Interview with Liu Xiaobo in 2008, before his arrest, on the subject of press and publishing freedom: January 1, 2002 – Updated on January 25, 2016 Liu Xiaobo videos News -Liu Xiaobo and his family:center_img -Reporters Without Borders gathering for Liu Xiaobo’s release, the 4th of November 2010 in Paris: -Interview With Liu Xiaobo: -Video about Liu Xiaobo’s participation in the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement in 1989: -Cartoon on Liu Xiaobo made by the Hong Kong Next media group : Help by sharing this informationlast_img read more

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Editor beaten unconscious amid growing government hostility towards independent press

first_img February 13, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Editor beaten unconscious amid growing government hostility towards independent press Covid-19 in Africa: RSF joins a coalition of civil society organizations to demand the release of imprisoned journalists on the continent RSF_en Reports Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders voiced concern today about a physical attack on Jean-Bosco Gasasira, the managing editor of the independent fortnightly Umuvugizi, who was beaten unconscious on 9 February in Kigali. It followed months of verbal hostility from the Rwandan government towards the more outspoken, privately-owned media.“When we condemned the threats being made against Gasasira, the intelligence services accused him of seeking cheap publicity,” the press freedom organisation said. “When we asked the Rwandan government to put an end to the hostility towards the more critical media, it responded that we were misinformed.” Reporters Without Borders added: “Now that an editor has just emerged from a coma caused by a beating, strong measures must be taken as a matter of urgency. This must start with a gesture from President Paul Kagame, who must finally learn to listen to the independent press instead of treating it as an enemy.”Gasasira was attacked and beaten senseless by unidentified assailants late on the afternoon of 9 February and was admitted to King Faisal hospital in a critical condition. He finally recovered consciousness today. After visiting him in hospital, information minister Laurent Nkusi announced that the police were investigating and had arrested a suspect. However, the person detained insists he had no role in the attack and was just one of several people who stopped to help the victim.Gasasira had received repeated telephone threats since last August, while his movements have been monitored by military intelligence agents. “I get calls from private numbers in which I am threatened with being beaten to death,” he told Reporters Without Borders before the attack.He refused to reveal to the authorities information about Bonaventure Bizumuremyi, the editor of the privately-owned weekly Umuco, who went into hiding after he, too, was seriously threatened. The intelligence services responded to the accusations by accusing Umuco and other privately-owned newspapers of seeking “cheap popularity.”Umuvugizi was also criticised by the Rwandan authorities for accusing economy and finance minister James Musoni of favouritism, an accusation that was also made by Umuco and another independent newspaper, the fortnightly Umuseso.Last year was marked by a considerable degree of hostility between the government and a sector of the independent press. It began with a physical attack on Bizumuremyi by four unidentified assailants with the aim for forcing him to stop carrying reports critical of the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (FPR).The start of 2007 has seen a further increase in tension. At a news conference on 22 January, President Kagame turned on Umuseso reporter Emmanuel Niyonteze when he asked him about his rapprochement with Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo. Since then Niyonteze has been receiving anonymous threats.The governmental press has also been displaying hostility towards some news media, especially the US public radio station Voice of America (VOA). During a news conference on 2 February, Franck Ndamage, a journalist with the state-owned weekly Imvaho Nshya, even called for VOA’s closure for alleged bias in favour of the Rwandan opposition.After expelling Sonia Rolley, the correspondent of the French public radio station, Radio France Internationale (RFI), without any explanation in June 2006, the government ordered the closure of RFI’s local FM relay station in November after breaking off diplomatic relations with France. RwandaAfrica to go further News BBC Africa’s “disproportionate and dangerous” dismissal of a journalist Help by sharing this information center_img February 13, 2020 Find out more The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa Follow the news on Rwanda News November 27, 2020 Find out more April 6, 2020 Find out more RwandaAfrica Organisation Newslast_img read more

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A journalist charged with “damaging the monarchic regime”

first_img April 15, 2021 Find out more June 8, 2021 Find out more Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa Help by sharing this information News RSF_en Organisation Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa Follow the news on Morocco / Western Sahara Reporters Without Borders has condemned the use of a journalist as a “scapegoat” in a political row after Abdelaziz Koukas, managing editor of the Arabic-language weekly Al Ousbouia Al Jadida, was charged with “damaging the monarchic regime”. Koukas will go on trial on 28 June 2005 and faces a heavy sentence.The weekly published an interview on 2 June with Nadia Yassine the unofficial spokesperson of the Al Adl Wal Ihssane (Justice and Charity) party in which she said the monarchy did not suit Morocco and that the regime was on the point of collapse.The following day, Koukas and the journalists who carried out the interview, were summoned to the general directorate for national security in Rabat to be questioned about the reasons for the interview. The authorities criticised the journalists for not countering what Yassine had said and accused them of producing propaganda for her party.”We condemn the use of this journalist as a scapegoat in a case pitting the authorities against the spokesperson of a political party” said Reporters Without Borders. “The authorities are trying to intimidate and discipline the media so that they only quote politicians approved by the state.””We call for charges against Koukas to be dropped and we repeat our appeal to the Moroccan authorities to decriminalise press offences,” the organisation added.”What surprises me most is that I am the main accused in this case, while Nadia Yassine is only charged with participating in the offence”, Koukas told Reporters Without Borders.Under Article 41 of the Moroccan press code any insult to the royal family is punishable by a prison sentence of three to five years and a fine of 10,000 to 100,000 dirhams (900 to 9,000 euros). “This sentence is applicable when the publication of a newspaper or writing damages the Islamic religion, the monarchic regime or territorial integrity (…) The court can, in the same judicial ruling, ban the newspaper or writing.”Journalists on various papers who picked up Yassine’s comments were also summoned by judicial police, but Koukas is the only one to have been charged. Newscenter_img News RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance to go further Receive email alerts June 23, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 A journalist charged with “damaging the monarchic regime” April 28, 2021 Find out more NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say Hunger strike is last resort for some imprisoned Moroccan journalists Newslast_img read more

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Frontier Post journalist threatened by Afghan commander

first_img June 2, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Pakistan PakistanAsia – Pacific to go further Pakistani journalist critical of the military wounded by gunfire PakistanAsia – Pacific News Organisation News Receive email alerts February 24, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Frontier Post journalist threatened by Afghan commandercenter_img Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) expressed concern today about threats to journalist Syed Anwar, of the English-language daily The Frontier Post, by henchmen of an Afghan military commander and called on Pakistani authorities to ensure his safety.Two secret service officials from the eastern Afghan border province of Nangarhar threatened him with “terrible personal consequences” after he reported in the Peshawar daily on 15 and 16 February that Hazrat Ali, the province’s military chief, had been arrested by US forces for drug-smuggling, kidnapping and supporting members of Al-Qaeda in their escape from the Tora Bora mountains.Reporters Without Borders urged Pakistani Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali to guarantee the safety of all journalists covering Afghan affairs, especially those on the Frontier Post, where Anwar, an Afghan, heads the Afghan affairs desk.The two secret service men, one of them called Abdul Rehmen, went to the newspaper’s offices in Peshawar to deliver their threat. They also warned that they could ban all Pakistani journalists from Afghanistan’s three eastern provinces. Anwar says he has feared for his life since their visit.The authorities in Jalalabad banned the sale of The Frontier Post in Nangarhar province on 18 February. Help by sharing this information News News January 28, 2021 Find out more Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists Pakistani supreme court acquits main suspect in Daniel Pearl murder April 21, 2021 Find out more RSF_en last_img read more

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South Korea

first_img While the world’s eyes were riveted on Pyongyang during the transfer of power in North Korea, South Korea clamped down even more on online content related to its neighbor, which continues to expand its Net presence for propaganda purposes. Censorship is also focused on political opinions expressed online – a critical topic in this electoral year. The National Security Law must be reformed without delay. Content removals soaringUnder the conservative government of Lee Myung Bak, who has been in power since 2009, the number of content removal requests issued by the Korean Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) has been soaring. According to the blog NorthKoreaTech, they rose from about 1,500 per year before 2009 to 80,449 in 2010. The procedure lacks transparency due to the typically unclear way in which the Commission functions. Similarly, the number of investigations climbed from 58 before 2009 to 91 in 2010. There were already 150 cases as of August 2011. According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, 122 pro-North Korean websites were investigated between August 2010 and September 2011. It is estimated that 78 of them have been shut down.North Korean censorship North Korean information censorship, which has been intensifying, has taken on a special meaning in the context of the recent transition of power in Pyonyang. Social networks are the new battlefield between the two Koreas which, in the absence of a peace treaty, are officially still at war.In late 2011, the KCSC, whose job is to regulate Internet content, was instructed to set the standards for Facebook and Twitter users and smartphone owners. These users will be required to delete any “harmful or illegal” content related to pornography, gambling, drug use, or disseminating false information, libelous statements, or pro-North Korean comments. The Commission’s President told Agence France-Presse: “We also target posts and sites that support North Korea or praise its leaders, because their number has been rapidly increasing this year.” More than a reaction to many dramatic current events, this measure is in keeping with the North Korean regime’s Internet charm offensive. The regime began using social networks in 2010 to more effectively wage its propaganda war. However, the vast majority of the population does not even know the Web exists (see the North Korea chapter of the 2011 “Enemies of the Internet” report). The Internet website uriminzokkiri.com symbolizes the country’s official presence on the Web. However, in late 2011, it began posting anti-South Korean and anti-U.S. visuals, urging its supporters to circulate them on the social networks (see the North Korean chapter of the 2012 “Enemies of the Internet” report).South Korea’s counterattack has not been restricted to online initiatives, but includes the arrest and intimidation of pro-North netizens, thanks to the legal means provided for under the 1948 National Security Law.The most recent example of the obsolete and arbitrary nature of this Law and its application is Park Jeong-geun, who was arrested in January 2011 for retweeting messages such as “Long live Kim Jong-il,” and now faces up to seven years in prison. The young man claims that these were just sarcastic messages meant to poke fun at North Korean leaders. Another South Korean, Kim Myung-soo, who was arrested in 2007 and later released on bail, is still fighting the charge of “aiding the enemy” by selling “pro-North Korean” books online. The army is also investigating some 70 officers who allegedly subscribed to a pro-North Korean community website. The Defense Ministry claims that seven or eight of them engaged in “questionable” conduct by posting messages on this site and plans to investigate them more thoroughly. The others may have joined out of mere curiosity.Politics and the Internet: “A complicated relationship”A KCSC member who was testing the limits of censorship was himself censored. He was using his blog to instruct Internet users on the type of content targeted by censors. Pressured by other KCSC members and the threat of seeing his blog shut down, he was forced to remove what was deemed to be “sensitive” content.Political comments are considered highly sensitive and are closely monitored in South Korea. On January 13, 2012, the National Electoral Commission lifted the ban on using Twitter and social networks to discuss politics. This ban had been judged “unconstitutional.” Two elections are scheduled in 2012. Over 100 people are charged with violating election laws. One of the country’s most influential political commentators, Kim Eo-jun, editor of the online newspaper Ddanzi Ilbo, along with several others, are currently involved in legal proceedings for spreading false news about Na Kyung-won, the Grand National Party’s (GNP) losing candidate in the 2011 Seoul municipal elections.. In his podcast ”I’m a Ggomsu” (“I’m a cheater”) – one of the most popular of its kind in the world, followed by millions of people – he and other commentators criticize and ridicule GNP figures, including President Lee Myung-bak. On the other hand, the popular blogger “Minerva”, whose real name is Park Dae-sung, has filed lawsuits against the State, whom he is suing for damages related to his incarceration in 2009 for criticizing the government’s economic policy (see the South Korea chapter of the 2011 “Enemies of the Internet” report).In May 2011, Frank La Rue, the United Nations’ special rapporteur for the protection of free expression, called South Korean Internet regulations a “subject of great concern.”The National Security Law in particular, which is now too outdated to deal with the extent to which South Korean has evolved since then and embraced democratic ideals, should be revised or abolished as soon as possible so that the most connected country in the world can stop engaging in outdated and ineffective censorship and allow its citizens to form their own opinions about the futility of North Korean propaganda and freely criticize their political leaders online. News Organisation to go further RSF_en South KoreaAsia – Pacific On eve of the G20 Riyadh summit, RSF calls for public support to secure the release of jailed journalists in Saudi Arabia News Follow the news on South Korea RSF calls for the release of South Korean journalist jailed for defamation March 12, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 South Korea November 11, 2020 Find out more News Receive email alerts South KoreaAsia – Pacific Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” Help by sharing this information News November 19, 2020 Find out more August 18, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

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“The press is already in full election campaign”: Reporters Without Borders alerts President Gbagbo

first_img Côte d’IvoireAfrica December 8, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 “The press is already in full election campaign”: Reporters Without Borders alerts President Gbagbo News Follow the news on Côte d’Ivoire Diverse but poor quality mediaThe variety of publications in Abidjan is striking but their quality is very uneven. Newspapers tend to run sensationalist stories and often announce “investigations” or “special reports” with little substance. For example, the 11 November issue of the weekly Le Temps Hebdo announced that its next issue would contain an “explosive report” entitled: “Côte d’Ivoire presidential election – What France is preparing for election day. How Paris intends to give power to Ouattara. The fate reserved for Laurent Gbagbo and Konan Bédié.” But the report turned out to contain no credible information.Ivorian officials complained about the media’s poor quality to Reporters Without Borders. “I prefer a press that is mediocre as a result of its own shortcomings rather than outside control,” President Gbagbo told Reporters Without Borders. Communication minister Ibrahim Sy Savané said: “Press freedom is being defended at the expense of quality.”Recognising that the economic environment for the press is difficult, the communication minister welcomed the adoption of a collective agreement that is supposed to help journalists and ensure that a media assistance fund is operational. But the media had a completely different view of this development. Several of them said they had not yet received any state assistance and did not think the collective agreement was workable. Print runs are relatively low – the total number of newspapers being sold nowadays is about the same as the print run of the state-owned Fraternité Matin alone 10 or 15 years ago – and distribution within the country is problematic.Reporters Without Borders was disappointed to confirm in Abidjan that the Press Freedom, Ethics and Conduct Observatory (OLPED) – a unique and interesting experiment in self-regulation – is no longer functioning.Media already in campaign modeUsually described by observers as “poor” or “second-rate,” the Ivorian press is above all partisan. The so-called “blue” press (the dailies Notre Voie and Le Temps and the weekly Le Temps Hebdo) support President Gbagbo and the ruling Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), while the “green” press (the daily Le Nouveau Réveil and the weekly Le Repère) backs former President Henri Konan Bédié and the opposition Côte d’Ivoire Democratic Party (PDCI). The daily Nord-Sud is owned by the allies of Prime Minister Guillaume Soro of the former rebel New Forces (FN) while the daily Le Patriote supports former Prime Minister Alassane Dramane Ouattara and the opposition Rally of the Republicans (RDR). As 2009 draws to an end, the print media are already getting vicious. Shortly after Nord-Sud described Bédié as a “stray dog,” Le Nouveau Réveil responded with the headline “Presidential election: Soro talks crap after his visit to China,” for which it was sanctioned by the National Press Council. While Reporters Without Borders was in Abidjan, Notre Voie had the headline “Bédié sows hate and demagoguery” on 11 November, two days after Le Patriote referred to Gbagbo as the “king of false promises” and accused the FPI of “underhand dealing.”As regards broadcasting, the Ivorian Civil Society Convention (CSCI), an NGO alliance, issued a statement on 1 December condemning the “complete lack of balance in the distribution of air-time among parties and politicians and civil society (…) during the pre-electoral period.” It said the ruling FPI and other pro-Gbagbo organisations were getting “better coverage” on the state-owned TV station RTI. The opposition’s activities “are not sufficiently covered,” said CSCI national coordinator Patrick N’Gouan. The opposition PDCI previously denounced the state media’s takeover by ruling party hacks while the opposition RDR demanded “equal treatment” for candidates. From RTI airtime reports provided by the National Council for Audiovisual Communication (CNCA), Reporters Without Borders was able to establish that in September, for example, the ruling FPI got more coverage than the PDCI and the RDR combined. Another hour or so of airtime was given to movements that support political parties, of which almost all were movements calling for Gbagbo’s reelection such as the Movement of Côte d’Ivoire Teachers who Love Gbagbo Laurent (MICIAGLA), the I Love Gbagbo Movement (MJG), the Fromager Youth Movement for a Gbagbo Victory (MJFV) and Elect Gbagbo in the First Round (GEPTO).Northern media and liberalisation of broadcastingSeveral of the people Reporters Without Borders met referred to the fact that RTI does not cover all of Côte d’Ivoire and that “pirate” radio and TV stations belonging to the former rebels have emerged in the north. On 1 December, the CNCA announced decision No. 2009-07 “putting an immediate stop to all unauthorised television broadcasting in the centre, north and west” and requiring radio stations in these regions “to regularize their legal status within 30 days.” The former rebels immediately rejected the CNCA decision and said their stations would keep broadcasting.When Reporters Without Borders asked President Gbagbo about opening up television to the private sector, he undertook to do it if reelected. “Yes, we will do it, I can assure you, but not now because it is not the right time. First of all, we have to proceed to elections calmly. Opening up television is not possible at the moment because it would definitely lead to excesses on the air. This is too delicate a period. But afterwards, yes, we will do it.”———-The Reporters Without Borders delegation met President Laurent Gbagbo and communication minister Ibrahim Sy Savané; members of the National Council for Audiovisual Communication (CNCA) and National Press council (CNP); the chairman of the board of RadioTélévision Ivoirienne (RTI); the management and staff of Fraternité Matin, Notre Voie, Nord-Sud, Le Patriote, Le Nouveau Réveil, L’Intelligent d’Abidjan and the Olympe press group (Soir Info, L’Inter and Star Magazine); and the campaign staff of the ruling Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) and the Rally of the Republicans (RDR), the party of former Prime Minister Alassane Dramane Ouattara.The meeting with the campaign staff of the Côte d’Ivoire Democratic Party (PDCI) of former President Henri Konan Bédié (now an opposition candidate) was postponed. Reporters Without Borders also met with the spokesman of the Truth for Guy-André Kieffer Collective, the head of the Journalists for Transparent Elections Observatory (OIJET), the head of the political section of the European Commission delegation, and two representatives of the Ivorian Civil Society Convention (CSCI). RSF_en The Ivorian press is already in full election campaign although the presidential election initially scheduled for 29 November has been postponed (without a new date so far being set), Reporters Without Borders found during a visit to Côte d’Ivoire last month that included meetings with President Laurent Gbagbo and the staff of many newspapers.Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-François Julliard and Africa desk officer Ambroise Pierre visited Abidjan from 9 to 11 November to evaluate the current media situation and recommend measures to guarantee press freedom ahead of the elections.They urged media executives and journalists to behave professionally and encouraged regulatory bodies to respect diverse political views. They also announced that Reporters Without Borders would monitor the media’s performance during the election campaign, both quantitatively (distribution of airtime) and qualitatively (coverage of each candidate).“The date of the presidential election may have been postponed but the press is already in election campaign mode,” Reporters Without Borders said. “In the run-up to an electoral period that will be delicate and decisive, we urge the media to show more respect for journalistic ethics and to defend editorial independence.” The press freedom organisation added: “We have not forgotten the excesses of the past – including verbal abuse and calls for the ransacking of premises – in both the print media and state television. This must not recur.” Threats against journalists in run-up to Côte d’Ivoire’s presidential election Receive email alerts The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa Help by sharing this information October 16, 2020 Find out more to go further Organisation October 29, 2020 Find out more Reports RSF’s recommendations for protecting press freedom during Côte d’Ivoire’s elections Côte d’IvoireAfrica News News November 27, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

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Americas

first_img June 7, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Americas May 13, 2021 Find out more Organisation News Facebook’s Oversight Board is just a stopgap, regulation urgently needed, RSF says Americas Americas January 30, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Americas Reports Violence, polarization still obstruct reporting in AmericasJust as the emergence of major protest movements (and ensuing crackdowns) had a big impact on the rankings of certain countries in 2011, so a decline in the protests has logically also had an impact a year later. Chile, for example, rose 20 places to 60th in the index after the previous year’s student protests abated in 2012. Crackdowns were concentrated in the Aysén region, which saw big protests in the first quarter. But Chile’s improvement must be put in perspective. Its media landscape is skewed, community broadcast media are criminalized, especially in the Mapuche region, and journalists have run into difficulties when trying to investigate the 1973-90 military dictatorship.For similar reasons, the United States rose 15 places to 32nd, recovering a ranking more appropriate to the “country of the First Amendment.” Its previous year’s fall was due to the fact that the crackdown on the Occupy Wall Street movement did not spare reporters in the field. Canada, on the other hand, fell ten positions to 20th, losing its status as the western hemisphere’s leader to Jamaica (13th). This was due to obstruction of journalists during the so-called “Maple Spring” student movement and to continuing threats to the confidentiality of journalists’ sources and Internet users’ personal data, in particular, from the C-30 bill on cyber-crime.The clearest new trends are to be seen in the south. Brazil fell again, this time 9 places to 108th, after falling 41 places in 2011. Its media landscape is also badly distorted. Heavily dependent on the political authorities at the state level, the regional media are exposed to attacks, physical violence against their personnel, and court censorship orders, which also target the blogosphere. These problems were exacerbated by violence during the campaign for the October 2012 municipal elections.Media wars and coup precipitate fallsParaguay fell 11 places to 91st following President Fernando Lugo’s June 2012 removal in an “institutional coup d’état,” which had an almost immediate impact on the news media. A full-blown purge of employees in state-owned media created by the Lugo administration was accompanied by frequent programme censorship. The few community radio stations with broadcast frequencies were also scared of losing them. Despite a high level of physical violence against journalists, Peru rose 10 places to 105th, now topping Brazil, itself one place above Bolivia (109th), where several media were the targets of spectacular arson or dynamite attacks and both national and local polarization are having an impact. Ecuador fell 15th places to 119th after a year of extreme tension between the government and leading privately-owned media. This left it two places below Venezuela, where several media were closed arbitrarily, a journalist was killed and more than 170 cases of violence were reported in a “media war” climate.Although on a less dramatic scale, polarization is becoming a concern in Argentina, which slipped a few places to 54th amid growing tension between the government and certain privately-owned media, above all the Clarín group, which is resisting full implementation of the 2009 Ley de Medios, a law regulating the broadcast media. On the other bank of the River Plate, Uruguay continued its climb, this time to 27th position, within 10 places of Costa Rica, still Latin America’s leader at 18th.There has been little change in the marked contrasts that were seen in Central America in 2011. A lack of pluralism, intermittent tension with the political authorities, harassment and self-censorship are the main reasons for the scant change in Nicaragua (78th), Guatemala (95th) and Panama (111th), where attacks on journalists tripled in the space of a year, local unions said.On the other hand, El Salvador owes its enviable 38th place to government efforts to combat violence crime, even if journalists and media often complain about the lack of access to state-held information. The Dominican Republic rose 15 places to 80th because of a decline in violence against journalists and legal proceedings that threaten freedom of information. But it is still far behind its neighbour Haiti (49th), where the situation is still largely unchanged although some journalists have accused President Michel Martelly of hostility towards them.Caribbean turmoil, same countries at the bottomPolitical tension and judicial harassment account for the ranking of other countries in the Guyanas and Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago (44th) still has not stopped its illegal monitoring of journalists’ phone calls and attempts to identify their sources, although it promised to stop in 2010. In Surinam (down nine places to 31th), the often stormy relations between President Desi Bouterse and many journalists are unlikely to improve after the passage of an amnesty law for the murders of around 15 government opponents, including five journalists, three decades ago when Bouterse was Surinam’s dictator. He returned to power through the polls in 2010.The seven-member Organization of East Caribbean States fell eight places to 34th because of often direct pressure from the political authorities on news media and the failure to move ahead with the decriminalization of defamation. Similar pressure was reported in Guyana (69th), whose ranking continues to suffer from the state’s monopoly of radio broadcasting.In the bottom third, Honduras was 127th because two journalists were killed in direct connection with their work and because the status quo imposed by the June 2009 coup remains unchanged. There has never been any let-up in the persecution of opposition media and community radio stations, or in the criminalization of human rights activists and grass-roots movements that provide information about such sensitive issues as land disputes, police abuses and minority rights.Although hopes have been raised by the latest negotiations between the government and FARC guerrillas, Colombia (129th) still has its paramilitaries-turned-drug traffickers, who are the enemies of all those involved in the provision of news and information. Another journalist was killed in 2012 although there was a slight decrease in the number of physical attacks.With six journalists killed, Mexico (153rd) has maintained its status as the hemisphere’s most dangerous country for the media. Violence and censorship were particularly noticeable during the controversial July 2012 elections, which restored the presidency to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Cuba, the hemisphere’s only country to tolerate no independent media (or with few exceptions), got the region’s lowest ranking – 171st. The past year has seen a renewed crackdown on dissent and the island now has two journalists in prison, one of them a state media employee. center_img RSF_en June 3, 2021 Find out more 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts News WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists News to go furtherlast_img read more

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EU and USA called on to help restore media access

first_img May 17, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 EU and USA called on to help restore media access Organisation May 11, 2021 Find out more Uzbek blogger facing possible 10-year jail term UzbekistanEurope – Central Asia News Follow the news on Uzbekistan RSF_en Help by sharing this information “I don’t know of any country that allows journalists access to armed conflict zones,” said President Islam Karimov, referring to the eastern city of Andijan that has been sealed off to journalists since 14 May. The Uzbek head of state figures on the organisation’s list of “predators” of press freedom, Reporters Without Borders pointed out. Receive email alerts News News More than six years in prison for Uzbek blogger who covered corruption UzbekistanEurope – Central Asia Reporters Without Borders voiced dismay at a news blackout throughout Uzbek territory, opening the way to excesses. It urged EU and USA representatives in Tashkent to press President Islam Karimov to immediately restore free access to news and information.Since all local and foreign journalists were expelled from the eastern city of Andijan overnight on 13-14 May, no journalist has been able to report from there. The city has been sealed off by trucks and armoured vehicles set up by the police and army.Uzbek and foreign journalists should be allowed to work normally so that Uzbek civil society as well as international opinion can be informed about political and social developments at this particularly crucial time, the worldwide press freedom organisation said.”We strongly condemn the silence imposed by the Uzbek authorities that gives rise to completely unverifiable rumours and sows terror among the local population,” said Reporters Without Borders.Journalist Dmitri Iasminov and cameraman Viktor Muzalevsky of Russian REN-TV, who attempted to reach Andijan by car on 14 May, were arrested at a checkpoint a few kilometres outside the city and held for more than two hours.”They were forced to return to Tashkent and, according to our information, no journalist has been able to cover the events in Andijan,” said Marianna Maksimosky, deputy news editor at REN-TV, told Reporters Without Borders. Police arrested a Russian journalist working for NTV, Alexey Ivliev, just outside Andiijan on 14 May and refused him access to the city. “Police confiscated the crew’s papers and escorted us to Tashkent,” he told the organisation.The news blackout imposed by the authorities since 13 May remains in force across Uzbek territory. Foreign TV channels, BBC, CNN and DeutscheWelle, broadcast by cable and satellite, are still inaccessible to viewers. Russian TV news bulletins on NTV, ORT and Rossiya have been replaced by blank screens and musical interludes. News bulletins on the four Uzbek public channels were replaced by footage of agricultural work.However President Islam Karimov’s press conference in Tashkent on 15 May has been shown on a loop. In it, the head of state criticised “journalists and foreign media who are only paid if they produce sensationalist news”. Praising Reuters news agency for its relative objectivity, he castigated all journalists who wanted to repeat what they said and wrote in Och and Jalalabad (Kyrgyzstan) and those who, “their eyes wide with fear are tempted by hyperbole” The president justified the news blackout in Andijan by saying, “I do not know any country that would allow journalists access to armed conflict zones”.Elsewhere, the Uzbek foreign ministry recalled, on 14 May, that it reserved the right to refuse or to discontinue accreditation granted to a foreign journalist at any time.The authorities have said 70 people have been killed since the start of clashes in Andijan, but many eye witness have reported more than 500 dead and 2,000 injured, many of them women and children. February 11, 2021 Find out more to go further New press freedom predators elected to UN Human Rights Council News October 15, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

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Kashmiri journalist free after seven months in detention

first_img Organisation IndiaAsia – Pacific January 13, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Kashmiri journalist free after seven months in detention News March 3, 2021 Find out more India: RSF denounces “systemic repression” of Manipur’s media Help by sharing this information News IndiaAsia – Pacific Receive email alerts to go furthercenter_img June 10, 2021 Find out more In rural India, journalists face choice between covering pandemic and survival Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontières) welcomed the release today of Indian journalist Iftikhar Gilani but regretted that it came after seven months of detention without evidence and without trial. The organisation supported the request for compensation his lawyer plans to make to the government for the damage to his reputation as a journalist and his arbitrary detention.”This is a humiliating defeat for the interior minister, who abused his power, and a belated but substantial victory for press freedom in India,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said.On January 13, he correspondent of the Kashmir Times of India and Daily Times and The Nation of Pakistan, Gilani was released from Tehar prison in New Delhi. On leaving the prison he said: “It is a lesson for everyone and also for those journalists who believed the prosecutor’s theory without checking the facts… Nothing can compensate for the freedom of an individual.”Gilani was detained on 9 June 2002 by a team of policemen and tax officials. The police accused him first of fraud, then pornography and finally of having plans of the Indian military presence in Kashmir on his laptop. He was formally arrested on 10 June under the official secrets act. His detention was initially provisional, but was extended eight times.Journalists in Kashmir held demonstrations calling for his release throughout the period of his detention. Reporters Without Borders said in September: “The charge of spying for a foreign power is a big favourite of governments trying to silence or intimidate journalists who criticise (…) This charge is not based on anything concrete.”In June, V. K. Ohri, Gilani’s lawyer proved to the court handling his case that the documents he had on his laptop were freely available on an Internet site. An Indian military intelligence official confirmed to the judge on 23 December that nothing secret had been found on Gilani’s computer. As a result, the Indian government was forced to drop their case and on January 10 asked the court to release him. RSF_en Follow the news on India April 27, 2021 Find out more RSF demands release of detained Indian journalist Siddique Kappan, hospitalised with Covid-19 News Newslast_img read more

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