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Ukrainian court tries to force investigative reporters to reveal their sources

first_imgNews UkraineEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesProtecting sources CorruptionJudicial harassment As the confidentiality of sources is essential for investigative reporting, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is very concerned about a Ukrainian court order that would force journalists with the investigative TV programme “Skhemy” to surrender all documents relating to one of their most sensational stories. Their appeal could be heard next week.The story, about then President Petro Poroshenko’s trip to Maldives in January 2018 and the astronomical sums that he and his companions spent, caused a major outcry in Ukraine. “Skhemy” is produced by the US-funded broadcaster Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is broadcast on UA:Pershyi, a Ukrainian public TV channel. Mikhail Tkach, Natalia Sedletska and the other investigative journalists at “Skhemy” are fighting to protect their sources and hope their appeal will be heard on 5 November although no appeal is possible, according to the lower court that issued the ruling on 17 October.The ruling ordered the “Skhemy” collective, which specializes in investigating corruption, to provide the police with all the documents relating to this story within a month. The journalists have refused, thereby exposing themselves to the possibility of a police raid and search.“This judicial interference into the work of journalists violates the confidentiality of their sources, which is nonetheless guaranteed by Ukrainian and European law,” RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk said. “This episode is all the more disturbing because it seems to perpetuate practices that appeared during the recent election campaign. We urge the Ukrainian courts to reconsider this decision. We also call on Ukraine’s new authorities to precisely restrict the exceptions to the confidentiality of journalists’ sources that are admissible under the law.”As well as the threat to the confidentiality of their sources, the staff at “Skhemy” think the court order requires them to surrender an excessive amount of information.The court order was issued as part of a criminal investigation into the story’s claim that Poroshenko and his guests used forged documents to cross borders when they travelled incognito to Maldives from 1 to 8 January 2018. Poroshenko has denied using forged papers. Entitled “Mr Petro Incognito,” the story claimed that the trip cost at least half a million dollars, causing outrage in Ukraine, which is one of Europe’s poorest and at the same time most corrupt countries.This is not the first time that “Skhemy” has been the target of an order of this kind. In September 2018, Ukraine’s prosecutor-general persuaded a court to give him access to the mobile phone dataof the collective’s well-known editor, Natalia Sedletska.Ukraine is ranked 102nd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index. September 7, 2020 Find out more RSF_en Ukrainian media group harassed by broadcasting authority to go further March 26, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Organisation October 31, 2019 Ukrainian court tries to force investigative reporters to reveal their sources Ukraine escalates “information war” by banning three pro-Kremlin media Follow the news on Ukraine RFE/RL Graphics Crimean journalist “confesses” to spying for Ukraine on Russian TV News News UkraineEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesProtecting sources CorruptionJudicial harassment February 26, 2021 Find out more News Help by sharing this information last_img read more

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Reporter held incommunicado by military intelligence for past four days

first_img Follow the news on Pakistan October 18, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Reporter held incommunicado by military intelligence for past four days News to go further April 21, 2021 Find out more News Help by sharing this information Pakistani journalist critical of the military wounded by gunfire PakistanAsia – Pacific Receive email alerts Newscenter_img Reporters Without Borders condemns the arrest, detention and interrogation methods used with Muhammad Zaib Mansoor, a journalist based in Dargai, in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, who was taken away for questioning by military intelligence on 17 October.The methods violate the law and the guarantees of protection that journalists are supposed to enjoy.“We demand Mansoor’s immediate release,” Reporters Without Borders said. “No one can be held like this for more than 24 hours. After that, the military must take him before a judge if they think he has committed a crime. Security for journalists in this part of the country is already bad enough without the authorities making it worse”.“We have other concerns. Why did Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) tap this journalist’s phone? Did they obtain a court’s permission to do this? How many other journalists is the ISI currently spying on?”Reporters Without Borders added: “The freedom with which Pakistan’s intelligence agencies act poses a grave threat to freedom of the press and information. An investigation should be carried out with the aim of controlling the methods used by the different agencies.”The disappearance of Mansoor, who works for the Dargai-based dailies Ayeen and Awaz-e-Swat, was made public yesterday by colleagues who were with him when he was “abducted” by military intelligence officials on 14 October.His colleagues said they contacted military press officers, who told them Mansoor was being questioned about “suspicious phone calls” and would be released soon if he was innocent. It is not known if they were referring to calls made or received by Mansoor.“We have been informed that Mansoor is in the custody of intelligence personnel after he was picked up for interrogation,” one of his colleagues told Reporters Without Borders. “He is a professional journalist and a very serious one. If he has done anything wrong, they should act according to law. But taking him away in such fashion worries all journalists.”A journalist for the past 15 years, Mansoor is general secretary of the Dargai Press club.Pakistan’s Tribal Areas are no-go areas for journalists from other regions, while foreign journalists have had no access to them at all since the United States launched its war on terror in 2001.Pakistan is ranked 159th out of 179 countries in the 2013 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists News RSF_en Organisation June 2, 2021 Find out more Pakistani supreme court acquits main suspect in Daniel Pearl murder PakistanAsia – Pacific January 28, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

epvydjpu

Students gets suspended jail sentence for posting cartoon of mayor on Facebook

first_img April 2, 2021 Find out more News News Turkey’s never-ending judicial persecution of former newspaper editor Organisation to go further Journalists threatened with imprisonment under Turkey’s terrorism law Receive email alerts Follow the news on Turkey News TurkeyEurope – Central Asia center_img News May 14, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Students gets suspended jail sentence for posting cartoon of mayor on Facebook April 28, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders condemns the 11-month suspended prison sentence that a court in the northwestern city of Eskisehir imposed on 22-year-old student Erdem Büyük on 10 May for posting a cartoon of the city’s mayor, Yilmaz Bûyükersen, on Facebook.“Büyük is just a scapegoat because he did not himself draw the cartoon and all he did was post it online,” Reporters Without Borders said. “This violation of free expression is meant to serve as example and encourage those who use social networks to censor themselves.”The press freedom organisation added: “We are astonished by the mayor’s determination to punish Büyük because it is normal for a public figure to be exposed to criticism and satire. The prosecution is all the more disgraceful as the mayor himself is a former cartoonist and the cartoon in question did not incite violence.”A student of economics at the University of Osmangazi, Büyük was convicted by a magistrate’s court of violating the mayor’s “personal rights” under article 125 of the criminal code, which concerns defamation. Posting cartoons on Facebook is a common practice. His lawyer said he wanted to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.Büyük told journalists he was arrested a year ago at this home, interrogated and then released pending trial. “I shared this cartoon because I really liked it but I had no intention of attacking the mayor.”Several thousand websites, including YouTube, are currently blocked in Turkey. Other netizens have been given jail sentences because of what they posted online. Turkey was added to the “countries under surveillance” in the Reporters Without Borders list of “Enemies of the Internet” that was released on 11 March. Help by sharing this information TurkeyEurope – Central Asia Human rights groups warns European leaders before Turkey summit RSF_en April 2, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

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Jamaica – RSF concerned over proposed Data Protection Act’s potentially “chilling effect” on press freedom

first_img Follow the news on Jamaica RSF_en JamaicaAmericas to go further Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges the Joint Select Committee for Jamaican Parliament to amend the proposed Data Protection Act, as its current version could have a chilling effect when applied to journalists that would far outweigh its benefits. RSF sent a letter today to Committee Chairman Andrew Wheatley suggesting the Bill include an explicit blanket exemption for journalists. News JamaicaAmericas Jamaica – RSF urges Prime Minister to repeal law that sanctions reporters for taking photos outside courtrooms May 16, 2018 – Updated on May 17, 2018 Jamaica – RSF concerned over proposed Data Protection Act’s potentially “chilling effect” on press freedom Organisation November 26, 2019 Find out more Hon. Andrew Wheatley, Ph.D. Joint Select Committee, Data Protection Bill ℅ Clerk to the Houses of Parliament Gordon House 81 Duke Street Kingston, Jamaica Washington, DC May 16, 2018 Dear Chairman Wheatley, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), an international non-governmental organization dedicated to defending press freedom and freedom of information, is writing to express concerns regarding Jamaica’s proposed Data Protection Act. While we do not dispute the existence of this Bill, which is meant to protect the private data of consumers, the Bill does not adequately distinguish gathering “data” for journalistic activities from gathering data for regular commercial purposes. RSF believes the Bill may have a chilling effect on press freedom that could outweigh its benefits. We acknowledge and appreciate that the drafted legislation considers press freedom, as indicated by section 37, which exempts journalists from a number of provisions data controllers—those who obtain, process, or use data—are obliged to follow. However, we believe the Bill should clearly exclude journalistic activity from its scope. A clear blanket exemption for journalists should be provided instead of a handful of provisions from which journalists are exempt. Without a blanket exemption, the Data Protection Act as it is currently written is broadly-worded and potentially threatening for journalists and media outlets. It says it aims to protect “sensitive personal data,” including “political opinions, philosophical beliefs, religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature,” all of which are examples of subjects journalists focus their reporting on. How can journalists report on matters of public interest and hold those in power accountable under such a law? In addition, the Bill gives the power to enforce, exempt, and penalize data controllers—such as journalists—to a Commissioner who “shall act independently” and “shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or other entity.” While the notion of independence from political interference is commendable the Bill doesn’t identify checks and balances, thus raising the concern that the Commissioner has too much power to decide how this legislation would apply to journalists. The Bill outlines a number of obligations placed on data controllers that, if applied to journalists or media outlets, could interfere with journalistic activities. Submitting an annual assessment of all data obtained by a news outlet, as expected under section 47 of the Bill, would be immensely burdensome, especially on freelance journalists or smaller media organizations. Furthermore, section 49 says an enforcement notice can order a data controller to allow the Commissioner to examine documents, equipment, data processing methods, or employees to determine whether a data controller is complying with data protection standards. Can a professional news organization operate independently if it may be required to open up its data for inspection in order to investigate a mere allegation of the violation of data protection standards? The implications of such a provision could be detrimental if applied to newsrooms and investigative journalists. Meanwhile, the Bill’s Commissioner has broad enforcement powers, including section 46, in which data containing opinions must be destroyed if the Commissioner decides those opinions are based on inaccurate data. Such an enforcement power can be dangerous in its subjectivity and may discourage or prevent journalists from writing about topics that don’t fall in line with the Commissioner’s political leanings, beliefs, or biases. And while the Bill instructs the Commissioner to consider “individual damage or distress” when deciding whether to use its enforcement powers, it doesn’t define these terms, nor does it direct the Commissioner to weigh this against the public’s interest in press freedom. In addition to the aforementioned concerns, the harsh penalties journalists could face for violating certain provisions—which can include millions of dollars or several years in prison—illustrates the potentially devastating impact the Data Protection Act could have on Jamaica’s media environment. Thus we urge you, Mr. Chairman, to consider revising this legislation to include a blanket exemption for journalists with amended exceptions to this where deemed necessary, given that their ability to gather and report news will be unaffected. We thank you in advance for the attention you give this letter. We remain available to discuss any further questions or concerns you may have. Sincerely,Margaux EwenExecutive Director, RSF North AmericaCORRECTION: A previous version of this letter outlined RSF’s concerns with section 22 of the proposed Data Protection Act, which says data controllers must obtain data fairly, legally and directly from the data subject, and that the subject must consent prior to the processing of “personal data” or “sensitive personal data.” According to section 37, the aforementioned provision excludes journalists. We have since edited our letter to reflect this fact. Receive email alerts Newslast_img read more

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Journalism in death throes after six months of emergency

first_imgNews News Journalists threatened with imprisonment under Turkey’s terrorism law Related documents letter_and_legal_argumentation_-_to_the_chairperson_of_the_human_rights_investigation_committee_of_the_grand_national_assembly_of_turkey.pdfPDF – 430.24 KB On 1 December, an Istanbul magistrate ordered the seizure of the assets of 54 former Zaman employees, including Şahin Alpay, Mümtazer Türköne, Ali Bulaç, Hilmi Yavuz, İhsan Duran Dağı and Hamit Bilici, whose trial for alleged links to the Gülen movement has not yet started and who should in the meantime benefit from the presumption of innocence. In response to the growing abuses, RSF reiterates the calls made in its report entitled “State of emergency opens way to arbitrary rule,” starting with the repeal of the unconstitutional decree-laws and the immediate release of journalists who have been imprisoned in connection with their work. RSF also calls of an end to the isolation of journalists held in Section 9 of Silivri prison. April 2, 2021 Find out more No fewer than 775 journalists have had their press cards withdrawn by the General Directorate for Information and Media (BYEGM), an offshoot of the prime minister’s office, since the start of the state of emergency. They include T24 journalists Hasan Cemal and Doğan Akın, who were stripped of their cards at the end of October. Four months after its report entitled “State of emergency opens way to arbitrary rule,” RSF has conducted the following new evaluation of the increasingly arbitrary methods used by Turkey’s authorities against critical journalists. Neither charged nor released 149 media outlets dissolved at the stroke of a pen Journalists imprisoned without trial “After six months of this state of emergency, journalism is dying in Turkey,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “Pluralism is in the process of being destroyed and the remaining media outlets live under a permanent threat, in a climate of fear and intimidation fuelled by certain leaders’ comments. It is time to end these arbitrary practices and return to the constitution’s guarantees of media freedom.” The vast majority of the journalists imprisoned immediately after the failed coup attempt of 15 July are still awaiting the start of their trials. The requests for their release submitted by their lawyers have for the most part been rejected by magistrates subservient to the regime, without any plausible legal grounds being offered. In a very few cases, imprisoned journalists have been released provisionally but continue to await trial. They include Arda Akın, a reporter for the newspaper Hürriyet, who was released on 9 September after 24 days in detention; former Zaman columnists Lale Kemal and Nuriye Akman, who were freed on 12 October after being held for more than two months; and two Özgür Gündem columnists, novelist Aslı Erdoğan and translator Necmiye Alpay, freed on 29 December after more than four months in prison. RSF_en The trial of some of these journalists – a group from the southern province of Adana – is finally scheduled to begin on 10 March on a charge of “belonging to an illegal organization.” They include Aytekin Gezici and Abdullah Özyurt, who by then will have spent nearly eight months in detention. The trial of a second group of 28 journalists – of whom 25 are still in prison – is due to begin shortly thereafter. The defendants, who include Murat Aksoy, Atilla Taş, Hanım Büşra Erdal and Cihan Acar, will also face possible ten-year sentences on the same charge of “belonging to an illegal organization.” Unprecedented control of the Internet Several journalists have appealed to Turkey’s highest court, the Constitutional Court, requesting their release, but it has yet to respond. In reaction to its silence, the lawyers of two of these journalists have filed submissions to the European Court of Human Rights accusing Turkey of “illegal detention.” Many imprisoned journalists in strict isolation The RTÜK can also now deny a licence to any media outlet that allegedly poses a “threat to national security, public order or the general interest.” And it can deny a licence if the police or intelligence services identify any “links” between the outlet’s personnel and a “terrorist organization.” These rules are being applied to the detained Zaman journalists and to the 11 detained Cumhuriyet employees who are accused of changing the newspaper’s editorial line to suit the Gülen movement. According to the prosecutor’s office, Cumhuriyet’s coverage of sensitive stories such as Turkey’s arms deliveries to Jihadi groups in Syria, human rights abuses during military operations against Turkey’s Kurdish rebels and the alleged torture of suspected participants in the July coup attempt is all evidence of the newspaper’s “complicity” with the Gülen movement. Organisation A total of 149 media outlets considered sympathetic to the Gülen or Kurdish movements have been dissolved by decree or administrative decision since 20 July. The first decree dissolving 102 media outlets at the end of July has been followed by similar orders. Two dozen TV and radio stations were closed at the start of October. Fifteen Kurdish media were closed at the end of October. The range ofpluralism in Turkey has been reduced to pro-government media. to go further Most of the media closed by decree, including opposition TV channels Hayatın Sesi and İMC TV, are still awaiting a response from the administrative courts to which they appealed. They also plan to refer the closures to the European Court of Human Rights because the Constitutional Court announced in October that it was not competent to hear cases linked to decrees issued under the state of emergency. Although Nevzat Onaran has been a journalist for 17 years, the BYEGM told him on 16 December that his press card would not be renewed because of an old conviction on a charge of “putting people off military service.” Ten of the newspaper’s employees, including editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu, columnist Kadri Gürsel, cartoonist Musa Kart and head of administration Bülent Utku, were arrested on 31 October. News April 2, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information January 20, 2017 Journalism in death throes after six months of emergencycenter_img The decree-laws have strengthened the powers of the High Council for Broadcasting (RTÜK), which can now suspend any radio or TV station for a day if it is deemed to have contravened the media law. For subsequent breaches, the suspension can be for five days, then 15 days, and then its licence can be withdrawn for good. A provision recently added to the RTÜK’s statutes prohibits “media coverage of terrorist acts, their perpetrators and their victims when it contributes to terrorism’s objectives.” Journalists who have fled the country now face another threat. Under Decree-Law No. 680, which took effect on 7 January, persons suspected of (or charged with) “subversive activities,” “attacks on the president,” “crimes against the government” or “membership of an illegal organization” can be stripped of their Turkish nationality if they do not respond to a summons within three months. Pluralism dying In accordance with the decree-laws adopted under the state of emergency, police are present when detainees talk to their lawyers and video cameras record their conversations. Journalists arrested for alleged links with the Gülen movement are subjected to especially strict isolation rules. They are held in Section 9 of Silivri prison, 70 km outside Istanbul, where they are denied access to mail and media, and their visitation rights are extremely limited. Hundreds of press cards rescinded Twenty of the closed media have finally been allowed to resume operating. Decree No. 675, for example, authorized the reopening of 11 local media outlets. But the scope of this relaxation is extremely limited, given the modest influence of these outlets and the enormous gaps remaining in the media landscape. “I haven’t seen a single prosecutor in the six months I’ve been held,” Zaman columnist Şahin Alpay said. “After being interrogated by the police, we were taken directly before a court [which ordered detention pending trial]. I am the oldest. I had my 73rd birthday in prison. My columns had nothing to do with the Gülen movement. I ask for my trial to start as soon as possible.” Hounding exile journalists, relatives More than 80 journalists are being held because they worked for media outlets sympathetic to Fethullah Gülen, the influential US-based Muslim cleric who was an ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan before turning into his bête noire. Fewer than 30 of them have been issued with an indictment. In this release, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) examines the persecution of Turkey’s journalists and media under the state of emergency proclaimed exactly six months ago today, and urges Turkey’s national assembly to repeal all the decree-laws that are incompatible with its constitution and its international obligations. Ahmet Şık, a well-known investigative journalist who wrote occasional articles for Cumhuriyet, was also arrested as part of the same case on 29 December. Accusing Şık of supporting the Gülen movement is absurd because he spent a year in prison in 2011 and 2012 for criticizing the influence that the movement wielded within the state apparatus at that time. Internet service providers were also ordered to restrict access to a dozen VPNs and the Tor network, which allow users to circumvent censorship and encrypt all traffic. At the same time, Internet access was disconnected entirely for several days in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeastern regions. Twitter, YouTube and Facebook are now routinely blocked after every bombing or other emergency situation. But the authorities crossed a new threshold when they temporarily rendered the messaging services WhatsApp, Skype and Telegram inaccessible at the start of November. Turkey is ranked 151st out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index. “Of the 168 hours that make up a week, I am allowed to see human beings for only two hours – an hour with my wife and an hour with my lawyer,” Sabuncu said. “We should have the right to visits from three other people but this rule is no longer being implemented.” Turkey’s never-ending judicial persecution of former newspaper editor Receive email alerts TurkeyEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesReports and statistics Judicial harassmentPredatorsImprisonedFreedom of expressionCouncil of EuropeRSF PrizeInternet In a letter sent today to the national assembly’s commission of enquiry into human rights, RSF asks Turkey’s parliamentarians to repeal the decree-laws issued under the state of emergency. A detailed legal analysis accompanying the letter shows that the decrees are unconstitutional and incompatible with Turkey’s international obligations. Follow the news on Turkey In the increasingly arbitrary clampdown on media freedom during the past six months, the authorities have jailed around 100 journalists without trial, closed 149 media outlets, rescinded 775 press cards, withdrawn journalists’ passports and seized their assets without justification. Tighter grip on broadcasting News Human rights groups warns European leaders before Turkey summit April 28, 2021 Find out more Increasingly arbitrary sanctions TurkeyEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesReports and statistics Judicial harassmentPredatorsImprisonedFreedom of expressionCouncil of EuropeRSF PrizeInternet Credit: Adem Altan / AFP Assets of 54 journalists seized Dozens of journalists have fled abroad in the past six months to escape the arbitrary actions of the courts and government officials. Former Cumhuriyet editor Can Dündar left after being sentenced to five years and ten months in prison in May and does not plan to return until the state of emergency is lifted. But his wife, Dilek Dündar, is stuck in Turkey. Her passport was cancelled without explanation on 4 August, as she was about to leave. The BYEGM withdrew the well-known journalist Amberin Zaman’s press card at the start of this month on the grounds that she had “incited hatred and hostility” by writing on social networks that “the Kurds constitute the most important force in the fight against Islamic State.”last_img read more

iwydsxxl

Egyptian activist finally granted visa

first_img August 31, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Egyptian activist finally granted visa NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa News Follow the news on Morocco / Western Sahara April 28, 2021 Find out more Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa to go further Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders is pleased to learn that the Moroccan authorities have after all granted a visa to Egyptian citizen Gamal Eid of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), which defends free expression and press freedom as well as human rights in general.—————————————————————Reporters Without Borders condemns the Moroccan government’s surprising decision to deny a visa to Gamal Eid, an Egyptian human rights activist. Eid heads the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), a Cairo-based group that defends press freedom and free expression as well as human rights in general.“This is all the more astonishing as Morocco does not normally do this kind of thing,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Did Rabat take this decision on its own or was it coordinated with Cairo? The denial of a visa to Eid appears to have been arbitrary, and we urge the Moroccan authorities to quickly provide an explanation.”The press freedom organisation added: “It is deplorable that members of human rights and free speech organisations such as Eid find their freedom of movement being impeded in some countries in the Maghreb and Middle East.”Eid was refused a visa on 13 August for the trip he wanted to make to Morocco for a conference organised by ANHRI and a Danish human rights organisation. He has nonetheless travelled to Morocco three times in the past, most recently in November 2008.The refusal appears to have been in response to statements posted on the ANHRI website criticising the prosecutions of Idris Sheshtan, the editor of the independent magazine Al-Mesha’al, and Mostafa Adary, the head of the Khenefra branch of the Moroccan human rights association, and Morocco’s banning of the 4 August issue of the French daily Le Monde, which had a poll on the first 10 years of King Mohammed’s reign.When Jordan refused Eid a visa on 15 December 2008, Jordanian intelligence officials told him he had been blacklisted for criticising the lack of free expression in Jordan during a conference organised by the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) in November 2006.Eid was also denied a visa by Tunisia in the second half of last year. The Tunisian authorities never offered any explanation for the refusal.Egypt was ranked 146th out of 173 countries in the 2008 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. Morocco was ranked 122nd, Jordan was ranked 128th and Tunisia was ranked 143rd.center_img News News RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance News Organisation Hunger strike is last resort for some imprisoned Moroccan journalists June 8, 2021 Find out more RSF_en April 15, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

iwydsxxl

Cuban cardinal pushed for closure of anti-communist magazine

first_img Organisation July 5, 2011 – Updated on January 25, 2016 Cuban cardinal pushed for closure of anti-communist magazine Cable 07VATICAN89 News According to a 14 May 2007 US state department cable released last week by WikiLeaks, Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega pressured the western diocese of Pinar del Río to stop publishing Vitral, a popular magazine that criticized the country’s communist system.After being suspended, the magazine finally resumed publication in a toned-down form and with a different editor.The cable quoted a Vatican official as saying Cardinal Ortega had “likely pressured local Bishop Serpa to shut the magazine down, apparently motivated by some personal feelings about the leadership of the magazine.” The government had been trying to close Vitral for years, but was afraid of the potential backlash and “must be happy because the Church did its dirty work for it,” the cable said.The cable noted that another Vatican official who knew less about Cuba had cited the official reason for Vitral’s temporary closure on 12 April 2007, namely a shortage of funds. The magazine’s name, which means “stained-glass window,” was intended to need to reflect a range of views in Cuba.The cable also reported that “Vatican officials have hinted in the past that Ortega has become too cosy with (President Raúl) Castro.”Although no Cuban prisons have been holding journalists since April 2011, the authorities continue to harass independent journalists and there has been a recent increase in attempts to intimidate them. RSF_en Help by sharing this informationlast_img read more

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Léonard Guédé released from police custody in Paris

first_img News Côte d’IvoireAfrica Threats against journalists in run-up to Côte d’Ivoire’s presidential election Organisation RSF_en Reports The Ivorian finance minister’s head of public relations, Léonard Guédé (photo), was released on the evening of 5August, a day after he was detained in Paris for questioning about the disappearance of French-Canadianfreelance reporter Guy-André Kieffer in Abidjan on 16 April.Guédé, who is also known by the name James Cenach, reportedly confirmed information provided by the leadingwitness in the case, Michel Legré, in particular, the names of the persons allegedly involved in Kieffer’skidnapping. He also recognised that he had publicly threatened Kieffer in the company of national investmentbank director Victor Nembelissini shortly before Kieffer disappeared.In a search of Guédé’s Paris home, the police found a very complete file on Kieffer on Guédé’s computer.—————————————-05.08.2004Progress in investigation into disappearance of Guy-André KiefferReporters Without Borders today welcome yesterday’s arrest in Paris of an Ivorian finance ministry official who has been linked to the disappearance of French-Canadian freelance reporter Guy-André Kieffer in Abidjan on 16 April.The official is Léonard Guédé, who is generally known by the name James Cenach. He was on a visit to Paris when he was detained on the orders of Patrick Ramaël, a French judge who has been investigating the case. Cenach was placed in police custody for questioning about Kieffer’s disappearance. His Paris home was also searched.”We welcome this new advance in the investigation, which clearly shows that Judge Ramaël is using all of his prerogatives in order to shed light on the case,” Reporters Without Borders said. We salute the judge’s tenacity and courage all the more as he had to deal with many obstructions in his investigation and received death threats during his most recent visit to Ivory Coast.”A person detained in connection with the case in Abidjan, Michel Legré, has on several occasions claimed that Cenach organised the kidnapping of Kieffer on the orders of finance minister Paul-Antoine Bohoun Bouabré, who had been criticised by Kieffer in his articles. Cenach, who is head of public relations for the minister, had on several occasions verbally attacked and threatened Kieffer in public.Legré, who is the brother-in-law of President Laurent Gbagbo’s wife, Simone, is said to be the last person to see Kieffer alive.A freelancer reporter based in Abidjan since early 2002, Kieffer wrote about business, finance and commodities for the Paris-based newsletter La Lettre du Continent and several Ivorian publications. He was last seen in an Abidjan shopping-centre on 16 April. News to go further The Ivorian finance minister’s head of public relations, Léonard Guédé, was released on the evening of 5 August, a day after he was detained in Paris for questioning about the disappearance of French-Canadian reporter Guy-André Kieffer in Abidjan on 16 April.Guédé reportedly confirmed information provided by the leading witness in the case, Michel Legré, in particular the names of the persons allegedly involved in Kieffer’s kidnapping. Côte d’IvoireAfrica RSF’s recommendations for protecting press freedom during Côte d’Ivoire’s elections The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa November 27, 2020 Find out more Help by sharing this information News Follow the news on Côte d’Ivoire Receive email alerts August 8, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Léonard Guédé released from police custody in Paris October 16, 2020 Find out more October 29, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

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Newspaper preemptively fined 168 euros copy each future issue mentioning candidate for governor

first_img Alarm after two journalists murdered in Brazil RSF_en May 31, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Newspaper preemptively fined 168 euros copy each future issue mentioning candidate for governor Organisation BrazilAmericas Reporters Without Borders today deplored a 29 May court decision preemptively ordering the O Correio do Estado daily newspaper, based in Campo Grande (the capital of Mato Grosso do Sul state), to pay a fine of 168 euros for each copy printed whenever it mentions former mayor André Puccinelli, a candidate for state governor facing federal money-laundering charges.“Puccinelli had every chance to demand the right of reply or payment of damages if he thought he had been libelled but he instead got a court to ban a newspaper from naming him, although he is a public figure and is running for governor,” the press freedom organisation said.“The court order is therefore absurd,” Reporters Without Borders continued. “It is also danger for the O Correio do Estado, which is not only the victim of prior censorship but could also be bankrupted. Finally, it is unconstitutional, and we therefore hope it will be quashed by the federal supreme court.”The 25 April issue of the national daily O Estado de São Paulo carried a story about allegedly irregular movements of funds in the Banco Rural accounts of several public figures including former President Fernando Collor de Mello and Anthony Garotinho, the candidate of the right-wing PMDB party in next October’s presidential election.The article also mentioned Puccinelli, who is the PMDB’s candidate for governor in Matto Grosso do Sul. It said funds were transferred into his account in November 2004, a month after he stood down as mayor of Campo Grande. He has been the target of a federal investigation since then.O Correio do Estado ran a story based on O Estado de São Paulo’s report the next day, after trying to get comments from those involved. Puccinelli’s lawyers, who include his son, tried in vain to have the issue seized and to have its premises searched.Puccinelli then petitioned a Campo Grande civil court to impose a preemptive fine on the newspaper of 33,600 euros for each future issue that mentioned his name. Judge José Ale Nahmad Netto agreed, but amended the fine to 168 euros per copy which, on the basis of its print run, would total 2.6 million euros for each offending issue. Puccinelli failed, however, to get the court to seize the previous issues.The judge said he based his decision on the requirements of objective reporting, impartiality and the verification of sources (although the federal constitution guarantees the confidentiality of journalists’ sources). Help by sharing this information Reports May 13, 2021 Find out more April 27, 2021 Find out more to go furthercenter_img Receive email alerts News April 15, 2021 Find out more RSF begins research into mechanisms for protecting journalists in Latin America 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies BrazilAmericas News Follow the news on Brazil Newslast_img read more

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Journalists must be free to cover Rif protests

first_img Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the harassment of journalists and citizen-journalists covering the frequent protests in northern Morocco’s Rif region since Mohcine Fikri, a fish seller, was crushed to death by garbage truck last October. June 2, 2017 – Updated on June 3, 2017 Journalists must be free to cover Rif protests Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsOnline freedoms Judicial harassmentPhotoreportageViolenceImprisonedFreedom of expressionDisappearancesCitizen-journalistsInternet April 28, 2021 Find out more RSF_en NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say News Hunger strike is last resort for some imprisoned Moroccan journalists Are the authorities trying to hide what is going on in the Rif? According to the information so far gathered by RSF, two journalists have been arrested and three have gone into hiding in the past few days, while an Algerian journalist has been deported. Mohamed Al Asrihi and Jawad Al Sabry, two reporters for the news website Rif24, and Abd Al Ali Haddou, a presenter on Araghi TV (a web TV), have been in hiding since 26 May for fear of being arrested and charged. Rif Press photographer Houssein Al Idrissi and Awar TV reporter Fouad Assaidi were arrested in the city of Al Hoceima on 27 May and were immediately taken to Casablanca for further questioning by the judicial police. It is not yet known on what grounds they are being held. But they were arrested at the same time as members of the Al-Hirak protest movement and it is feared that criminal charges could be brought against them that have nothing to do with their journalistic activities. “It is vital that journalists and citizen-journalists should be allowed to cover the events in the Rif, or else this region could become a no-go zone for independent news coverage as the Western Sahara is already,” RSF editor-in-chief Virginie Dangles said. “We urge the Moroccan authorities to free the citizen-journalists currently detained for exercising their right to inform. We also call for an end to the prosecutions and threats against them.” Foreign journalists trying to cover the unrest in the Rif have not been spared. Djamal Alilat, a leading reporter for the Algerian newspaper El Watan, was arrested in Nador on 28 May and was deported after being held for more than 24 hours without returning his seized equipment. The authorities said Alilat was expelled because he had no permit to film. This much-used pretext lends itself to abuse because the criteria for issuing permits are not transparent. The authorities do not notify applicants within a reasonable period that their application has been turned down, and no reason is given for a refusal. Morocco is ranked 133rd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance News June 8, 2021 Find out more News Follow the news on Morocco / Western Sahara News Receive email alerts Organisation to go further Help by sharing this information Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsOnline freedoms Judicial harassmentPhotoreportageViolenceImprisonedFreedom of expressionDisappearancesCitizen-journalistsInternet April 15, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more