Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan

first_img RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” News December 1, 2020 Find out more IraqMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abusesProtecting journalists December 28, 2020 Find out more Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns a wave of press freedom violations in northern Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Region, where at least 10 journalists have been arrested while covering peaceful protests during the past week, one has been placed in pre-trial detention and a regional TV channel, NRT TV, has again been banned. Detained journalists must be freed at once, RSF said. to go further Organisation News Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” Follow the news on Iraq Covering anti-government protests is becoming increasingly difficult in Iraqi Kurdistan. The latest victims have included Harem Majed, a reporter for the Bazianpress website, who was arrested in Bazian, a town in Soulaymaniyah province, on 9 December while covering a peaceful protest against the high unemployment level and Kurdish political party corruption.Karzan Tariq and Goran Mohammed, who work for the regional satellite TV channels NRT TV and Payam TV, and two journalists with the national TV channel Al-Iraqiya, reporter Amin Ahmed and cameraman Sirwan Barzan, were held for 24 hours after being arrested on 11 December in the city of Soulaymaniyah, where they were covering protests.After being arrested while covering protests in Kalar, in Soulaymaniyah province, for Radio Deng on 12 December, Mohammed Mahmod was placed in detention and was threatened with reprisals if he did not abandon his journalistic work.Rojnews TV reporter Zosk Ballak has been held ever since his arrest on 12 December in Choman, in Erbil province, in connection with two articles he wrote about the recent protests.Rudaw TV reporter Bakhtyar Kader was covering a protest started by young Iraqis in Ranya, in the northeast of Soulaymaniyah province, on 11 December, when he was attacked by a member of a unit of the Kurdish security forces, known as the Peshmerga, that had been sent to keep an eye on the area.Three journalists working for Kurdistan24 TV, Dalia Kamal, Hardy Hassan and Barham Jamal, were also briefly arrested on 13 December while interviewing passers-by about their economic situation and difficulties in the current fraught context in Soulaymaniyah.“Arresting journalists will prevent economic demands from voiced in the region,” said Sabrina Bennoui, the head of RSF’s Middle East desk. “It is essential to allow the population to have access to all the information that is important to them. The Kurdish security forces must stop obstructing the work of journalists and must immediately release those still being held.”For the third time in recent months, the authorities meanwhile banned NRT TV from broadcasting for a week on 7 December, after security forces stormed into its Soulaymaniyah headquarters and ransacked equipment. NRT TV is run by Shaswar Abdulwahid, who founded the New Generation Movement, an opposition party, in January 2018. Three other TV channels, Payam TV, Speda TV and Rudaw TV, have also been the targets of threats designed to deter them from continuing to cover the protests.The protests against Iraqi Kurdistan’s autonomous government and main political parties, which erupted in early December in Soulaymaniyah province, have been accompanied by outbreaks of violence and have been dispersed by riot police. Many journalists were arrested during an earlier, major wave of protests in Iraqi Kurdistan in August.Iraq is ranked 162nd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index. December 16, 2020 Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan IraqMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abusesProtecting journalists Help by sharing this information News February 15, 2021 Find out more News Iraq : RSF and MRG ask UN experts to press for Kurdish journalist’s release RSF_en Receive email alertslast_img read more

RSF pays tribute to Asma Jahangir, defender of the freedom to inform

first_img to go further Pakistani human rights activist Asma Jahangir died on 11 February at the age of 66 (photo: Arif Ali / AFP). News Asma Jahangir always fought for democracy and what guarantees democracy, starting with the press. Repeatedly detained, assaulted and threatened with death, she never stopped combatting Pakistan’s dictators, military and intelligence agencies with courage and determination, including as president of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan from 2010 to 2012.“The death of Asma Jahangir is a tragic loss for the entire human rights and press freedom movement,” RSF deputy director-general Antoine Bernard said. “With just her courage and the strength of her conviction, she achieved spectacular progress and won admiration in Pakistan and in all the countries where she worked. She truly embodied the universality of our struggle.”“Asma Jahangir was a towering figure in the defence of human rights, including press freedom and free speech,” said Iqbal Khattak, RSF’s representative in Pakistan. “Her sudden death is a major blow for the fight to enable the poorest sectors of the Pakistani population to fully enjoy these fundamental rights, which the powerful security forces and their religious supporters seek to deny the people. She embodied courageous support for journalists’ fight for freedom, and will endure as a powerful symbol of freedom.”As Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran for the UN Human Rights Council, Jahangir firmly condemned the harassment of journalists in Iran in an October 2017 report. In 1987, she co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, which included press freedom and the protection of journalists among its leading causes.Many Pakistani media and journalists’ organizations have paid tribute to this “human rights icon” on social networks and in the press since her death. The recipient of many awards including the 2014 Right Livelihood Award, she will continue as an emblem of the struggle for human rights and democracy in Pakistan.RSF shares the grief of this leading Pakistani activist’s family and offers its condolences to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Pakistan is ranked 139th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. PakistanAsia – Pacific Protecting journalistsInternational bodiesEvents Freedom of expression Pakistani journalist critical of the military wounded by gunfire Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is deeply saddened to learn that Asma Jahangir, a Pakistani human rights lawyer who dedicated her life to defending the freedom to inform in Pakistan and then in the entire world, died of a heart attack on 11 February at the age of 66. News Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists PakistanAsia – Pacific Protecting journalistsInternational bodiesEvents Freedom of expression News June 2, 2021 Find out morecenter_img Help by sharing this information RSF_en Follow the news on Pakistan Pakistani supreme court acquits main suspect in Daniel Pearl murder February 13, 2018 – Updated on August 23, 2019 RSF pays tribute to Asma Jahangir, defender of the freedom to inform News April 21, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Organisation January 28, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Ukrainian parliament approves very dangerous draft law on first reading

first_img Receive email alerts News March 26, 2021 Find out more February 26, 2021 Find out more UkraineEurope – Central Asia Ukraine escalates “information war” by banning three pro-Kremlin media Crimean journalist “confesses” to spying for Ukraine on Russian TV News Reporters Without Borders condemns the draconian restrictions on freedom of information envisaged in a draft law that the Ukrainian parliament approved on first reading today. If adopted, the proposed law would allow the National Security and Defence Council (RNBO) to suppress the dissemination of any national or international media or block any website on the grounds of protecting “security and national interests” without referring to a court.The sanctions envisaged by the bill – whose second reading is scheduled for later today – include “limiting or banning the activity of media or other sources of information, including on the Internet” and “banning the production or dissemination of any printed product or other informational content.”It also says “the broadcasting of television or radio stations” and “the use of Ukrainian broadcast frequencies” can be banned.Drafted by the government, Draft Law No. 4453 was only registered with parliament on 8 August, four days before today’s first reading. Its laconic impact study tersely says: “The bill does not require consultation with civil society.”Neither parliament’s freedom of expression committee nor any of the working groups created with media and NGO representatives was consulted.“This bill’s definitive adoption would represent a major setback for freedom of information in Ukraine,” said Johann Bihr, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk. “It gives the RNBO exorbitant powers to order the broadest forms of censorship on the basis of extremely vague criteria and with no safeguards.“We urge parliamentarians to reject this bill on second reading, as it is incompatible with the government’s obligations to protect freedoms. International conventions ratified by Ukraine stress that any restrictions on media activity must, under all circumstances, be necessary and proportionate.”Bihr added: “The major challenges that the Ukrainian authorities are facing and their legitimate concern to defend national security do not, under any circumstances justify such an attack on the constitutional right to freedom of expression.”The RNBO, which would be given the power to impose, modify and lift the sanctions envisaged in the bill, is chaired by Ukraine’s president and consists of the leading cabinet ministers and the heads of the various security institutions, including the intelligence services, the armed forces and the prosecutor-general’s office.The bill says the sanctions can be imposed to “protect security and national interests,” “Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and its economic independence,” to “prevent violation of the rights, freedoms and interests of Ukrainian citizens” and to “restore them.”The sanctions would be issued in the form of a presidential decree after approval by the RNBO. Help by sharing this information RSF_en Organisation center_img (photos : Sergei Supinky / AFP) UkraineEurope – Central Asia Ukrainian media group harassed by broadcasting authority to go further News Follow the news on Ukraine News August 12, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Ukrainian parliament approves very dangerous draft law on first reading It would allow the government to close media and block websites on national security grounds without a court’s permission September 7, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

News blackout on Wukan revolt, grip tightens on micro-blogs

first_img Organisation China’s censorship apparatus has been set in motion in order to suppress reports about an uprising that began several days ago in Wukan, a large village in the southern province of Guangdong, where residents have for months been protesting about seizures of farmland and deals between local officials and developers.The protests escalated into open revolt after Xue Jinbo, one of the spokesmen for the villagers, died in police custody on 11 December. Wukan’s residents, who dispute the claim that he died from a heart attack, took to the streets in their thousands to demand an investigation by the government in Beijing. Ignoring the demand, the authorities reacted by sealing off the village and trying to prevent the unrest from being covered by the media or from getting a lot of attention from online social networks, where residents managed to report that police had surrounded the village.Wukan is now blocked on search engines and “hot tweets” are being closely monitored. Censors on the Sina and Tencent Weibo micro-blogging sites, which are very popular in China, quickly removed a video showing a demonstration by thousands of villagers in protest against the arrest of their leaders. They could be seen chanting slogans such as “Down with corrupt officials” and “Compensation for spilt blood.” China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison March 12, 2021 Find out more ChinaAsia – Pacific Follow the news on China “The Chinese authorities are yet again trying to hush up a local corruption case although it has led to a man’s death and has highlighted a major problem – arbitrary land seizures,” Reporters Without Borders said. “This criminal censorship is indicative of the nervousness that the authorities feel about any repercussions of the Arab Spring and the role played by the Internet and social networks as a sounding board. They are trying to intimidate netizens and get them to censor themselves.”The methods being used in Wukan are now commonplace in China. In October, reports of rioting in the east of the country were filtered and searches for Zhili, the name of the city that was the centre of the unrest, were blocked. The same thing happened in Inner Mongolia following protests about the death of a herdsman while trying to protect grazing lands on 20 October. Many Mongolian websites called for demonstrations against the government’s attempts to impose a news blackout on the affair, and access to several sites such as Boljoo, Mongolian BBS and Medege were blocked from 27 October onwards.“The censors are trying increasingly to prevent the dissemination of unwanted information beforehand,” Reporters Without Borders said. “This has been seen in their recent efforts to step up their control by relying on the leaders of Chinese Internet companies, who have promised to combat online pornography and fraud, and the dissemination of rumours and false reports. The government is using the fight against ‘rumours’ to silence dissident and justify arbitrary arrests.”As well as trying to control online information and suppress “false information” on Weibo, QQ and online forums, which according to the authorities are having had a “bad influence on society,” the government is also cracking on journalists, especially investigative reporters.Wang Xiangqian, a reporter for Commerce Daily (商日报) in the northern province of Henan, was assaulted by a representative of the State Bureau for Letters and Visits in the city of Nanyang on 24 November, when he requested information about the bureau’s expenditure, something that officials should provide when requested.Li Xiang, a journalist with Luoyang Television (洛阳电视台)in Luoyang (in Henan province), was stabbed to death on 19 September after following an illegal cooking oil scandal and writing about it in his blog,Two young netizens were arrested last weekend in Changsha (in Hunan province) and were sentenced to five days of administrative detention on a charge of “using the Internet to spread rumours and disrupt public order” because they posted a video showing thousands of white-gloved policemen apparently escorting a local wedding procession. Entitled “Changsha’s smartest wedding, thanks to 5,000 policemen,” it was widely circulated online and received a lot of comment from people who assumed the bridegroom was a senior official. The authorities issued a denial, insisting that the presence of the police was just a coincidence.The Beijing City Hall’s official website meanwhile announced today that anyone wanting to start a micro-blog on a website registered in the capital would have to give their real name. The micro-blogging websites concerned include, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, which has 250 million accounts.Finally, Reporters Without Borders roundly condemns China’s decision to return the well-known human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng to prison “for three years” for allegedly violating his parole. Agence France-Presse today quoted the New China news agency as reporting that Gao had been sent back to prison for “contravening the rules of his conditional release.”Arrested in 2006, Gao was sentenced to three years in prison and five years on probation on a charge of “inciting subversion of state authority” for posting nine articles critical of the government on opposition websites based abroad. After his release, he was the target of a series of abductions and disappearances orchestrated by the authorities. Until today, there had been no news of him since April 2010. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008. News News RSF_en Receive email alerts December 16, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 News blackout on Wukan revolt, grip tightens on micro-blogs News News Help by sharing this information Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes ChinaAsia – Pacific China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures June 2, 2021 Find out more to go further April 27, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Malabo’s only foreign press correspondent held for the past 48 hours

first_imgNews News Reporters Without Borders calls for the immediate release of Rodrigo Angüe Nguema, the Malabo correspondent of Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Radio France Internationale (RFI), who was jailed on 17 July in the capital’s notorious Black Beach prison on a charge of reporting false information.“No date has yet been set for Nguema’s trial and it is incomprehensible that he should be held in the meantime like a common bandit,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We are very worried about what will happen to him as Black Beach prison is known for its violence. His imprisonment is typical of the way the authorities hound journalists in this country, which shows no respect for press freedom.”Plain-clothes police escorted a handcuffed Nguema to Black Beach prison at midday on 17 June on the orders of Malabo investigating judge Agustin Chicampo because he was unable to post bail of 20 million CFA francs (30,000 euros). His wife has not been able to see him since he was jailed.Criminal libel charges were brought against Nguema because of a report carried by both AFP and RFI in April in which he said the head of the national airline Ceiba, Gambian citizen Mamadou Jaye, had embezzled 3.5 billion CFA francs (5 million euros) and skipped the country.Jaye immediately denied it to AFP and RFI and Nguema acknowledged that his information was wrong. He said he got it from rumours circulating online and thought he had confirmed it by talking to local sources, above all at Malabo airport.Jaye is suing Nguema for 5 million euros in damages, the amount he was alleged to have embezzled in Nguema’s report. to go further RSF_en Follow the news on Equatorial Guinea November 27, 2020 Find out more June 19, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Malabo’s only foreign press correspondent held for the past 48 hours The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa Reports May 18, 2020 Find out morecenter_img Equatorial GuineaAfrica Coronavirus “information heroes” – journalism that saves lives Organisation Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts Not even coronavirus escapes Equatorial Guinea’s extreme censorship Equatorial GuineaAfrica News June 15, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Citizen journalist on trial over self-published books about environment

first_img June 2, 2021 Find out more News RSF_en Reporters Without Borders condemns the trial of Liu Futang, an ailing 64-year-old citizen-journalist specializing in the environment, which began today in Haikou, on the southern island of Hainan.Detained for the past three months, Liu is being tried on criminal charges of “illegal expression” (因言获罪) and “running an illegal business” in connection with his self-published books about environmental disasters caused by Chinese businesses operating on the island.”This citizen journalist is facing the possibility of being unjustly imprisoned for providing a service to the public by investigating and exposing environmental threats,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Environmental issues are at the heart of any discussion on development in China. Liu’s only crime is trying to tell as many people as possible about what he has learned from his research. His trial is an attempt to deter all citizen-journalists and get them to censor themselves.”Liu was receiving treatment in a Haikou hospital on 20 July when police cameand took him away although his condition at the time was alarming. Detained ever since, he has not been allowed to receive any visits in recent weeks, not even from his lawyer.Liu has dedicated his life to defending the environment, especially Hainan’s forests and coastline. His self-published books, funded from his own savings and donations, have such titles as “Green Dream” (绿色的梦), “Hainan Tears” (生态斗士刘福堂) and “Eco-Warrier Liu Futang” (海南泪).Covering such topics as the destruction of the Huarun coastline and the involvement of local politicians in the destruction, his books are registered with an ISBN number in Hong Kong and have had total combined print-run of 18,000 copies. The Chinese authorities nonetheless insist that they are illegal.Winner of the citizen journalism prize for China environmental journalism (awarded jointly by The Guardian, the NGO Chinadialogue and the Chinese microblog platform Sina), Liu has also posted many articles on the blog he began keeping in April 2011.The blog is now inaccessible, with a welcome page saying it was closed without further details.The Chinese authorities routinely suppress articles and blog posts on sensitive subjects by artists, human rights activists or writers in an attempt to stem the circulation of messages critical of the government.China is ranked 174th out of 179 counties in the 2011/2012 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index and is on the Reporters Without Borders list of “Enemies of the Internet”, which is updated every year. ChinaAsia – Pacific Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures ChinaAsia – Pacific Follow the news on China April 27, 2021 Find out more Newscenter_img March 12, 2021 Find out more China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison Help by sharing this information to go further Receive email alerts News October 11, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Citizen journalist on trial over self-published books about environment News Organisation last_img read more

Newspaper edifor freed on completing one-year jail sentence

first_img Follow the news on Morocco / Western Sahara News Receive email alerts RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance April 15, 2021 Find out more Hunger strike is last resort for some imprisoned Moroccan journalists Reporters Without Borders is relieved that Rachid Nini, the editor of the Moroccan daily Al-Massae, was finally released in apparently good health on 28 April from Casablanca’s Oukacha prison after completing a one-year jail sentence. The many requests for his early release were all rejected and he was made to serve the entire sentence.“Nini’s conviction and sentencing under the criminal code, rather than the media law, was a major setback for media freedom in Morocco, especially as it came at a time when the govenrment was announcing political reforms,” Reporters Without Borders said.“We hope that that his release will be a milestone in the history of the media in Morocco and that, as part of the reform of the media law that the authorities announced in May 2011, journalists will never against be jailed in connection with their activities.”Nini expressed the same hope when he spoke to the media immediately after his release. Arrested on 28 April 2011 after irritating the authorities by publishing stories about Moroccan intelligence chief Abdellatif Hammouchi, Nini was subjected to a trial in Casablanca that was marked by judicial intransigence, repeated adjournments and a refusal to free him on bail.He was finally sentenced on 9 June 2011 to a year in prison and a fine of 1,000 dirhams (90 euros) on charges of disinformation and attacking state institutions, public figures and the “security and integrity of the nation and citizens” under articles 263, 264 and 266 of the criminal code. The sentence was upheld on appeal on 14 October. Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa April 30, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Newspaper edifor freed on completing one-year jail sentence Organisation NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say RSF_en News Related documents Newspaper edifor freed on completing one-year jail sentence – In arabicPDF – 172.08 KB June 8, 2021 Find out more to go further Help by sharing this information April 28, 2021 Find out more News News Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa last_img read more

Shock at presence of Uzbek dictator’s daughter

first_img Organisation News Mr Vice president,Representatives of AmfAR at the 2010 Cannes Festival,Presidents and co-presidents of the Cinema against AIDS event, Follow the news on Uzbekistan News RSF_en List of journalists imprisoned in Uzbekistan:- Khayrullo Khamidov (Nawruz – radio), since 21 January 2010- Dilmurod Sayid (Ezgulik) since 22 February 2009- Bakhrom Ibragimov (Irmok) since 16 February 2009- Davron Kabilov (Irmok) since 16 February 2009- Ravshanbek Vafoev (Irmok) since 16 February 2009- Abdulaziz Dadakhonov (Irmok) since 16 February 2009- Botyrbek Eshkuziev (Irmok) since 16 February 2009- Solidjon Abdurakhmanov (freelance journalist) since 7 June 2008- Djamchid Karimov (freelance journalist, working for websites and since 12 September 2006- Jusuf Ruzimuradov (Erk) since 15 March 1999- Mohammed Bekjanov (Erk) since 15 March 1999 The annual “Cinema against AIDS” evening will be held tomorrow at Cap-Eden Roc hotel at Cap d’Antibes, within the Cannes Film Festival. Reporters Without Borders, an international organisation for the defence of journalists, is astonished to note the presence among you at this 7th annual event of Gulnara Karimova. The organisation recognises the evening’s valid and admirable character, but questions the appropriateness of the participation of the daughter of the Uzbek president, Islam Karimov, central Asia’s “outstanding” dictator.While Reporters Without Borders accepts the importance of AIDS prevention and the value of such events, it would however like to jog your memory about some disturbing and significant facts. The prevention of AIDS is vital but should not be at the expense of fundamental values.Some months ago, a young activist, Maksim Popov, aged 27, was sentenced to seven years in prison for distributing information about the fight against AIDS, a virus that is wreaking havoc Uzbekistan as it is elsewhere. The brochures he was distributing were about how to stem the spread of HIV. These publications were deemed by the court to be “contrary to the mentality and moral basis of the Uzbek people’s society, religion, culture and traditions”. It should not be forgotten either that homosexuality is a crime punishable by three years imprisonment in this country; and it is a criminal offence to discuss condoms with anyone under-age. While AmfAR on 10 May signed a petition calling for the release of Maksim Popov, you currently have among your donors, Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of the president, whose courts are responsible for the conviction of Maksim Popov. Could it be that you have a selective memory when you are offered major funding. Does it alter your objectives?Surely this is an attitude that is not only counter-productive but also absurd?Reporters Without Borders reminds you that President Islam Karimov figures on its list of the “predators of press freedom” released annually on 3 May. The situation of the country’s journalists and human rights defenders is extremely precarious. Uzbekistan is ranked 160th out of 175 countries on the organisation’s press freedom index. Eleven journalists are currently in jail, where they are often maltreated. As Uzbekistan’s ambassador to Spain and Switzerland, Gulnara Karimova, is therefore her country’s official representative, spokesperson for the harsh policies carried out by her father for several years. By accepting her presence at the forthcoming 7th annual event, Reporters Without Borders fears that you will give this country a profile that it in no way deserves. You will thus be colluding with repressive policies affecting not only those fighting against AIDS, but also all those, who in the worst of dictatorships, suffer arbitrary imprisonment and torture. Reporters Without Borders calls on you to adopt a firm position in relation to Gulnara Karimova by demanding that she publicly supports the release of Maksim Popov and of all human rights defenders, including journalists, who are in detention. This gesture would be completely in keeping with the objectives of your campaign and would certainly be more useful to AIDS prevention in Uzbekistan that the detention of an activist. While Reporters Without Borders does not wish to engage in further polemic about the current correlation between financial contributions and blindness to the real situation in Uzbekistan, the organisation nevertheless wishes to stress the discredit that this case could reflect on the event and the work of AmfAR, and thus to its members, however prominent they may be. Are Sharon Stone, Giorgio Armani and Elizabeth Taylor, to name just a few, aware of the Uzbek political context? Do they approve of the policy towards human rights defenders and the repression of AIDS prevention? Reporters Without Borders therefore calls on everyone taking part in the event to demand that Gulnara Karimova either takes a significant step in support of the Uzbek detainees or withdraws. The Cannes Film Festival and AmfAR would thus be real vehicles of the fight for freedom and the prevention of AIDS, and would no longer give an international platform to President Karimov and his dictatorship through the presence of his daughter. I trust your will give this letter your careful attention.Yours sincerely,Jean-François JulliardSecretary-General News Help by sharing this information UzbekistanEurope – Central Asia UzbekistanEurope – Central Asia center_img News October 15, 2020 Find out more February 11, 2021 Find out more More than six years in prison for Uzbek blogger who covered corruption May 11, 2021 Find out more Uzbek blogger facing possible 10-year jail term Receive email alerts May 19, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Shock at presence of Uzbek dictator’s daughter New press freedom predators elected to UN Human Rights Council to go furtherlast_img read more

Reporters Without Borders and Belarusian Association of Journalists condemn lack of opposition access to media

first_img March 22, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Reporters Without Borders and Belarusian Association of Journalists condemn lack of opposition access to media News News News May 28, 2021 Find out more News June 2, 2021 Find out more Organisation “We welcome opening of criminal investigation in Lithuania in response to our complaint against Lukashenko” RSF says Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts The 19 March presidential election was held in very dubious conditions, with opposition access to the media tightly controlled by the regime. Reporters Without Borders and the Belarusian Association of Journalists accuse the government of gagging the press to ensure President Lukashenko’s re-election by more than 80 % of the in Russian Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown читайте на русском Reporters Without Borders and the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) today condemned the Belarusian government’s refusal to allow opposition candidates equal access to the country’s media during the recent election campaign which saw President Alexander Lukashenko re-elected by over 80% of the vote in very tense circumstances.They accused the authorities of “very serious attacks on press freedom during the entire campaign.” They noted that the press was almost entirely controlled by the president and simply relayed government propaganda, which Lukashenko had said was its proper role. The two organisations accused the authorities of snuffing out freedom of expression during the election and muzzling the press to ensure Lukashenko’s victory. They called on the international community to urgently press the Belarusian government to punish these actions and to promote media diversity in Belarus.Press freedom violations during the campaign and the actual vote (see our report: “Institutionalised harassment of the news media” – 16 March 2006, The authorities have systematically hounded the independent media for nearly two years. Only two weeklies, BelGazeta and Belorusy i Rynok, have been allowed to get printed and freely distributed in Belarus and they only have a small circulation. The majority of other papers have been forced underground. – During the campaign, two papers harassed by the regime tried to publish manifestos of opposition presidential candidates. The authorities seized 250,000 copies on 3 March of an issue of the independent paper Narodnaya Volya (already banned from sale and distribution) devoted to candidate Alexander Kazulin. On 17 March, two days before the election, the opposition paper Tovarishch, which had disappeared from circulation in recent months, came out with a special print-run of 200,000 about the manifesto of candidate Alexander Milinkevich. Police immediately seized all the copies. – The largely state-controlled press echoes the opinions of President Lukashenko. A special issue of the president’s paper, Sovietskaya Biélorussia, printed more than 800,000 copies of an issue on 15 March exclusively about Lukashenko’s manifesto.- The president dominates the country’s entirely state-run TV stations, appearing there nearly every day since the start of the campaign. He made a long speech of nearly three hours on 2 March at the opening of a special session of an All-Belarusian People’s Congress (congress of government workers). The biggest TV station, BT, broadcast the whole speech, which was about the government’s economic achievements and Lukashenko’s development plans for the next five years. It re-broadcast half the speech in news programmes that evening and the next day. – The BAJ says the news programme Nashi Novosti, on the government TV station ONT, gave 89.6% of its air time over to presidential election candidates between 21 February and 4 March. But candidates Milinkevich and Sergei Gaidukevich were not mentioned at all and Kazulin got just 0.4% of the air time. BT gave 58% of its coverage to Lukashenko and only 0.1% to Kazulin and 0.2% to Milinkevich. The elections commission only stipulated brief coverage for all the candidates, of two half-hour programmes each during the entire campaign.- As well as being excluded from the media, the opposition was also denigrated by the authorities. A report by BT on 20 March about a meeting of opposition supporters disputing the official results called the protesters “queers” and said organisers had handed out beer to them.- Access to several opposition websites was blocked on election day (19 March), probably by official order. The opposition Charter 97 site ( came under a “denial of service” technical attack that shut it down from 4 p.m. until next day at 11 a.m. Its editor, Natalya Radina, told Reporters Without Borders that the site had been similarly attacked during the 2001 presidential campaign and the 2004 referendum. The website of the US-funded Radio Svoboda ( only became accessible again on 20 March at 1 p.m. and opposition candidates’ sites and at 10 a.m. that day.- The authorities refused to allow critical journalists into the country to cover the elections, including Laure Mandeville, of the French daily Le Figaro, who was refused a visa and told in an official letter that she had written lies about the situation in Belarus. Between 20 February and 17 March, at least four journalists from the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza and Radio Bialystok were deported. Three other journalists from the Ukrainian TV stations 1+1, Tonis and 5Kanal were also expelled after covering a meeting in support of candidate Milinkevich. – At least four other Ukrainian and Polish journalists were arrested and sentenced to between five and 10 days in prison between 12 and 15 March. Andreij Poczobut, editor of the Polish magazine Polski na uchodzstwie, has been held since 14 March officially accused of “hooliganism.” He has gone on hunger-strike and is also refusing water to protest against his imprisonment. He was taken to hospital for treatment on 19 March. BelarusEurope – Central Asia to go further RSF at the Belarusian border: “The terrorist is the one who jails journalists and intimidates the public” Follow the news on Belarus BelarusEurope – Central Asia RSF_en May 27, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

The Dailymotion video-sharing Website is accessible again

first_img Receive email alerts November 11, 2020 Find out more December 26, 2019 Find out more Organisation Omar Mestiri, the editor of the opposition online newspaper Kalima , is the victim of judicial harassment, Reporters Without Borders said today of a libel suit that could result in a three-year prison sentence. The organisation also called on the authorities to stop blocking the video-sharing site Dailymotion, which has been inaccessible in Tunisia since 1 April. RSF_en Help by sharing this information TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa The video-sharing website Dailymotion is once more accessible within Tunisia. Access had been blocked from 1 April. Censorship of news media that comment on the political situation in Tunisia is unfortunately frequent. Omar Mestiri of the online opposition newspaper Kalima is still facing a possible three-year prison sentence for libel. ———————————02.04.07 – Opposition online journalist accused of libel, video-sharing site blockedOmar Mestiri, the editor of the opposition online newspaper Kalima , is the victim of judicial harassment, Reporters Without Borders said today of a libel suit that could result in a three-year prison sentence. The organisation also called on the authorities to stop blocking the video-sharing site Dailymotion, which has been inaccessible in Tunisia since 1 April. “The lawsuit against Mestiri is absurd because it is based on an online article that cannot even be accessed from within Tunisia,” Reporters Without Borders said. “But we take this case very seriously. The three and a half year sentence imposed on lawyer Mohammed Abbou in April 2005 for an article posted online showed how the Tunisian courts are controlled by the government and how a libel suit can lead to a heavy sentence.”The press freedom organisation added: “The censorship of Dailymotion’s website shows that the government, which is as paranoid about the Internet as it is about the traditional press, is ready to ban tens of thousands of inoffensive videos in order to block a handful it does not like.”The suit against Mestiri was brought by Tunisian lawyer Mohammed Baccar over an article posted on 5 September 2006 accusing him of fraud and forgery. Mestiri was summoned by the deputy state prosecutor to respond to a charge of libel on 29 March. Mestiri’s lawyers have challenged the suit’s legal basis on the grounds that Kalima’s site is blocked in Tunisia and the article could not have been accessed there.The blocking of the site may have been prompted by the posting of a number of videos on the political situation in Tunisia, such For more information on imprisoned lawyer Mohammed Abbou Eleven organizations from civil society create the Forum on Information & Democracy, a structural response to information disorder News to go further TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa Follow the news on Tunisia News News News April 12, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 The Dailymotion video-sharing Website is accessible again Tunisia : RSF asks Tunisian president’s office to respect journalists Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” November 12, 2019 Find out morelast_img read more