China: RSF condemns the arrest of an on-air source of Voice of America

first_img Mongolia : RSF urges presidential candidates to voice support for press freedom Receive email alerts ChinaUnited StatesAsia – PacificAmericas Condemning abuses PredatorsImprisonedFreedom of expressionCitizen-journalistsInternet June 7, 2021 Find out more Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists RSF_en RSF demands the release of professor Sun Wenguang, known for his public interventions against Chinese censorship and propaganda, who was arrested on Wednesday by Chinese police while participating in a live telephone interview on Voice of America (VOA) Mandarin. Follow the news on Asia – Pacific News News Professor Sun Wenguang, 84, was arrested at his home in Jinan City, Shandong province, on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 in the middle of a live telephone interview with Voice of America (VOA) Mandarin. The news channel is popular with the Chinese community abroad. Even though it is censored in China, Voice of America’s YouTube account has nearly 700,000 subscribers, more than triple the subscribers of the English channel.Retired from Shandong University where he taught physics and economics until 1994, Professor Sun is known for his assertive public interventions against censorship and propaganda. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) demands his immediate release and stresses that freedom of speech and freedom of the press are explicitly written in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China.A chilling message to Chinese overseas”This arrest is a chilling message from Beijing to its people and the Chinese community overseas that the regime is ready to do anything to silence independent voices,” says Cedric Alviani, the director of RSF’s East Asia bureau. “Pressure on journalists’ sources is a new strategy of the Chinese government to control its image abroad.”In its latest report released in February, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC) denounced the escalating steadfastness of Xi Jinping’s regime to prevent the foreign press from doing its job by intimidating, attacking and imprisoning sources.Professor Sun was sent to an internment camp during the Cultural Revolution, and he served four years in prison between 1978 and 1982 for criticizing President Mao Zedong. He signed “Charter 08,” a petition that called for democratic reforms in China including freedom of the press, which was started by the Nobel Peace Prize and RSF award laureate Liu Xiaobo who died in detention last year.Ranked 176th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index, China is currently holding more than 50 journalists and bloggers in its prisons. PHOTO: TANIA LEE / AFP center_img News In rural India, journalists face choice between covering pandemic and survival to go further June 10, 2021 Find out more News ChinaUnited StatesAsia – PacificAmericas Condemning abuses PredatorsImprisonedFreedom of expressionCitizen-journalistsInternet Help by sharing this information Organisation August 3, 2018 China: RSF condemns the arrest of an on-air source of Voice of America June 2, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Iranian authorities step up media censorship

first_img9 Day, the weekly that has been closed for the second time in less than a year by the Press Authorization and Surveillance Commission, is one of the main media mouthpieces of a radical conservative group linked to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei that is critical of the current administration headed by moderate conservative President Hassan Rouhani.It was closed on 16 February for criticizing the government’s nuclear policies and for indirectly insulting the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Islamic Republic’s founder.The offending articles criticized foreign minister Javad Zarif, who is leading Iran’s nuclear negotiations with western countries, and Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president who was close to Ayatollah Khomeini.The weekly was previously suspended on 17 March 2014 on charges of “insult and defamation” and “publishing false information” under articles 6 and 12 of the press code after criticizing the nuclear negotiations. It was given permission to resume publishing in May.The day after the latest closure, 9 Day editor Hamid Rassaye, a radical conservative parliamentary representative who is close to the Revolutionary Guards, claimed at a news conference that the Washington Post’s jailed Iran correspondent, Jason Rezaian, had made a “videoed confession.” Agence France-Presse quoted him as saying: “American officials say Rezaian has been held for 200 days without trial, but if Iranian radio and TV were to broadcast his confession and if the Americans heard his confession and learned about his spying against our country (…) they would understand the reasons for his presence in Iran.”Reza Moini of Reporters Without Borders added: “Westerners, especially journalists, have for years often been the victims of the security paranoia of government leaders or have been used as bargaining chips in diplomatic negotiations, with the international community’s silent complicity. Rezaian committed no crime. He is the victim of the feuding between rival government factions and the tension between Tehran and the international community.” Read: Reporters Without Borders launches an international campaign called #FightImpunity Organisation Reporters Without Borders condemns a surge in cases of harassment of journalists and print media by the Iranian authorities in the past few days, including the conservative weekly 9 Day’s closure, the fining of the reformist monthly Mehrnameh and judicial system spokesman Golamhossien Mohsseni Ejehi’s open threats against all the media.Ejehi warned the media at a news conference on 16 February that they could be banned or fined if they published any information about “the individuals designated as ‘heads of sedition’ by the High Council for National Security and Justice.”He was alluding to former reformist President Mohammad Khatami, former prime minister and presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi (owner of the now closed newspaper Kalameh Sabaz), best-selling author Zahra Rahnavard (Mousavi’s wife), and former parliamentary speaker and presidential candidate Mehdi Karoubi (owner of the now closed newspaper Etemad Melli).The authorities designated Mousavi, Rahnavard and Karoubi as “heads of sedition” ten days after their arrest on 14 February 2011. They have been held under house arrest, illegally and without trial, and denied all rights ever since. It was the fourth anniversary of their arrest four days ago.Reporters Without Borders has learned that a Tehran prosecutor already summoned newspaper editors to a meeting a few weeks ago in order to remind them of this ban’s existence.“This is not the first time that senior judicial officials and entities such as the High Council for National Security, the Tehran prosecutor, the prosecutor general, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and the Supreme Leader’s office have intervened to impose censorship,” said Reza Moini of Reporters Without Borders.“By making this threat publicly, the judicial system’s spokesmen – an official implicated in murders of Iranian journalists and intellectuals such as Pirouz Davani – has underlined the precarious state of freedom of information in a country that is ranked 173rd in the Reporters Without Borders index.” February 18, 2015 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Iranian authorities step up media censorship News RSF_en IranMiddle East – North Africa Iran is stepping up pressure on journalists, including foreign journalists, in run-up to election Follow the news on Iran Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information Proposed Iranian law would ban US, British journalists and mediacenter_img IranMiddle East – North Africa June 9, 2021 Find out more News Read: Detained journalist is victim of US-Iran negotiations to go further News Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 A Tehran court sentenced Forozandeh Adibi, the editor of the reformist monthly Mehrnameh, on 15 February to a fine of 3 million toman and a two-year ban on working as a journalistHer lawyer, Mahmoud Alizadeh-Tabatabaie, said the monthly was being punished for publishing articles by members of the “deviationist” group (a term used for those who have “deviated” from the Islamic Revolution’s established line) in several of its issues. She was initially sentenced to a year in prison but the judge changed this to a fine.Iran is ranked 173rd out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. News June 11, 2021 Find out more May 10, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Government cracks down on independent newspaper

first_img Organisation June 26, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Government cracks down on independent newspaper June 2, 2021 Find out more “We welcome opening of criminal investigation in Lithuania in response to our complaint against Lukashenko” RSF says Reporters Without Borders protested today against extensive official pressure and obstruction aimed at staff of the independent weekly paper Adige Heku, its distribution network and its chief editor and founder, Valery Hataschukov.” Kabardino-Balkaria cannot not escape the rule that a free and independent media is a basic condition for democracy,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard in a letter to the Russian Federation’s information minister, Mikhail Lessin. “We call on you to see that censorship and official pressure on the paper stops and that the right to inform the public is respected in Kabardino-Balkaria,” he said.    Since Adige Heku was launched early last year in the small Caucasian republic of 800,000 people, it has battled constant official efforts to block its printing and distribution. Since it is excluded from the government-controlled distribution network, it is sold by independent street vendors but copies of it are continually seized.In January, outgoing President Valery Kokov stood for reelection despite a two-term limit stipulated in the Russian Federation’s constitution. Hatschukov was arrested several times after the paper ran articles about the views of opposition candidates and denounced Kokov’s candidacy as illegal. Police repeatedly asked him who was funding the paper. The paper stopped appearing early this year, after its journalists and the owners of the offices it rents received a number of threats.Journalist Nur Dolay, who works for the weekly Courrier International, was recently attacked while doing a story in the capital, Nalchik, about a government opponent and friend of Hatschukov. Two armed men broke into Hatschukov’s apartment, where Dolay was staying during the night of 29-30 May, gagged and bound her and then searched her possessions in vain for cassettes of reporting she had done. She was only released the next morning by someone who arrived for an appointment with her. News BelarusEurope – Central Asia News Follow the news on Belarus RSF_en Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown center_img May 27, 2021 Find out more May 28, 2021 Find out more RSF at the Belarusian border: “The terrorist is the one who jails journalists and intimidates the public” BelarusEurope – Central Asia to go further News News Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information last_img read more

Foreign radio stations censored and journalists attacked

first_img Receive email alerts The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa Reporters Without Borders expressed its concern today about curbs on press freedom in Côte d’Ivoire since the outbreak of an anti-government rebellion on 19 September, including the blocking of FM reception of major foreign radio stations.”It is hard to believe the government’s explanation that the blocking of the stations for the past four days is a simple technical breakdown, especially since pro-government media have at the same time accused them of ‘fabricating news’ about events in the country,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard.”We call on the minister of communications to take immediate steps to ensure these stations can be heard once more.” They include the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Radio France International (RFI) and Africa No. 1, all of them blocked since 22 September. Acting communications minister Lia Bi Douayaoua has denied giving any order to cut off their signals.Ménard also called on the government to ensure the protection of journalists in the country. “Foreign media and journalists working for the opposition press are especially at risk,” he said. “President Laurent Gbagbo must publicly state his commitment to press freedom and appeal for calm among his supporters.” Reuters cameraman Alain Amontchi, was set upon by demonstrators in front of the French embassy in Abidjan on 25 September who smashed his camera and objected to the presence of the foreign media. More than 3,000 self-styled “patriotic” young people were calling for France to hand over opposition leader Alassane Dramane Ouattara, who has taken refuge in the embassy.Mamady Keita, a reporter for the daily paper Le Patriote, which supports Ouattara’s Rassemblement des Républicains (RDR) party, received head injuries on 23 September when was attacked by members of a youth movement close to President Gbagbo. They accused him of being a spy. Le Patriote and Tassouman, another pro-RDR publication, have not appeared for several days because of receiving many threats. Help by sharing this information News October 29, 2020 Find out more Threats against journalists in run-up to Côte d’Ivoire’s presidential election Organisation November 27, 2020 Find out more News Follow the news on Côte d’Ivoire RSF_en center_img News to go further September 26, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Foreign radio stations censored and journalists attacked RSF’s recommendations for protecting press freedom during Côte d’Ivoire’s elections Côte d’IvoireAfrica A Spanish tourist, who young protesters took to be a foreign journalist, was also attacked in the centre of Abidjan on 23 September and had to be rescued by plainclothes police.Mohamed Fajah Barrie, of the Sierra Leonean paper Concord Times, has been stuck in the town of Bouaké, a rebel stronghold, for the past six days. He had been sent to cover a football tournament there in which a Sierra Leonean team was playing. Côte d’IvoireAfrica Reporters Without Borders called on the Côte d’Ivoire authorities to take swift action to safeguard press freedom. Foreign radio stations can no longer be picked up on FM and two journalists were attacked by government supporters. Reports October 16, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Five journalists physically attacked by police or protestors

first_img Editor still unable to return to Bolivia after six months in exile November 18, 2016 Find out more June 12, 2020 Find out more News April 19, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Five journalists physically attacked by police or protestors Follow the news on Bolivia News BoliviaAmericas Bolivian journalist hounded after accusing boss of sexual harassment Interior minister Sacha Llorenti promised the Federation of La Paz Press Workers to investigate these attacks and ensure that confiscated equipment was handed back. He also promised to consider distributing vests that would identify journalists when they are covering street clashes. Reporters Without Borders supports this proposal and urges both police and demonstrators to respect the media.These physical attacks come at a time when the judicial authorities are also treating journalists badly. Luis Zabala Fareli, the manager of Radio Soberanía de Minero 97.5, a station based in Minero, in the eastern department of Santa Cruz, spent nearly three months in pre-trial detention on various charges brought by Minero’s police chief, including inciting a mob attack on a police station on 6 January. He was finally freed and allowed to resume working on 14 April but has been banned by a judge from talking about his trial.At the same time, a judge in the southern city of Potosí said he was not competent to hear the complaint that a government official has brought against Radio Kollasuyo journalist Mario Caro, accusing Cano of insulting him. The judge ruled that only a specialized judge could hear complaints brought by officials against journalists.Reporters Without Borders finally points out that there is a real danger that the March 2008 murder of Carlos Quispe, a journalist working for a municipal radio station in Pucarani, a town 50 km west of La Paz, will go unpunished and will be forgotten. “Neither the climate of political violence prevailing at that time nor the many changes in judicial personnel since then justify the failure to make any progress with this investigation,” the press freedom organization said. . RSF_en Organisation to go further Covid-19 emergency laws spell disaster for press freedom Reporters and photographers working for several news media were attacked by police at Apacheta (20 km outside La Paz) on 15 April while covering clashes between police and members of the Bolivian Workers Federation (COB), which is demanding a wage increase.Red Uno cameraman Israel Gutiérrez, Bolivisión cameraman Carlos Saavedra and Página Siete photographer Henry Ponce were attacked by police officers. The cameras of Gutiérrez and Saavedra were broken, while the memory cards of Ponce’s camera were seized. Associated Press reporter Juan Mamani and Universal de Televisión reporter Vladimir Rojas were attacked by demonstrating teachers, who accused them of being police informers. BoliviaAmericas February 1, 2018 Find out more News Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information Newslast_img read more

Former minister seeks €230,000 in damages from magazine

first_img October 3, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Former minister seeks €230,000 in damages from magazine News Amnesty insult to memory of dictatorship’s victims, including five journalists August 12, 2010 Find out more Receive email alerts Bouterse’s installation as president must not mean impunity for past murders of journalists News April 5, 2012 Find out more Organisation News Reporters Without Borders voices its support for the investigative monthly Parbode, whose publisher, Jaap Hoogendam, is being sued by former public works minister Ramon Abrahams (pictured) over a report about his alleged corrupt practices before he was fired without explanation.Parbode received a letter from Abrahams’ lawyer on 26 August announcing that the former minister was seeking 1 million Surinamese dollars (230,000 euros) in damages and a correction in the magazine’s next issue. A Paramaribo court is due to begin hearing the suit today.“Parbode could be forced to close if the court orders it to pay this amount of damages,” Reporters Without Borders said. “This would not only be devastating for Parbode’s journalists but would also have a deterrent effect on any other publication that might be interested in doing investigative reporting on government officials.“We are also concerned by the fact that, instead of using his right to have his response published in Parbode, Abrahams is demanding a correction, that is to say, he is insisting that the magazine’s reporters retract what they wrote. This would be tantamount to self-censorship. As a public figure, the former minister should expect to be criticized.”This case could be decisive as regards the position that Surinam’s courts take on whistleblowers and respect for the confidentiality of journalists’ sources. One of the former minster’s main charges against Parbode is his claim that the report was not supported by any hard evidence.Parbode responds that the article was based on interviews with businessmen, architects, politicians and members of Abrahams’ own party. The magazine’s editor in chief, Armand Snijders, has said it could not identify its sources because of the harm this would cause them.Widely read in Surinam and the Netherlands, where it is registered, Parbode is one of the few Surinamese publications with investigative reporting and opinion pieces.center_img News Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Suriname SurinameAmericas SurinameAmericas RSF_en to go further Newspaper reporter threatened after writing about drug trafficking November 16, 2009 Find out morelast_img read more

RSF yearly round-up: “historically low” number of journalists killed in 2019

first_img May 13, 2021 Find out more June 7, 2021 Find out more 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies Organisation A total of 49 journalists were killed this year, 389 are currently in prison and 57 are being held hostage, according to the annual worldwide round-up of deadly violence and abusive treatment against journalists, released today by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Journalism remains a dangerous profession but the number of journalists killed this year is at its lowest in 16 years. Compiled by RSF every year since 1995, the annual round-up of abusive treatment and deadly violence against journalists is based on precise data covering the period from 1 January to 1 December. We gather detailed information that allows us to affirm with certainty or a great deal of confidence that the death, detention, abduction or disappearance of each journalist was a direct result of their journalistic work. Unprecedented fall in the number of journalists killedREAD MOREHERE Increase in arbitrary detention News This unprecedented fall must not however eclipse the fact that the number of journalists killed in countries at peace continues to be as high as in previous years. In Mexico, for example, ten journalists were killed in 2019, the same number as last year.  With a combined total of 14 journalists killed, Latin America is now as deadly for journalists as the Middle East., with all of its wars. RSF_en to go further MexicoSaudi ArabiaTurkeyChinaEgyptYemenSyriaAfghanistanAmericasMiddle East – North Africa Europe – Central AsiaAsia – Pacific Condemning abusesReports and statisticsProtecting journalists Armed conflictsConflicts of interestCorruptionOrganized crimeDisappearancesImprisonedImpunityCitizen-journalistsFreedom of expressionHostagesPredatorsViolence Follow the news on Americas June 3, 2021 Find out more Related documents rsf_2019_en.pdfPDF – 2.3 MB center_img MexicoSaudi ArabiaTurkeyChinaEgyptYemenSyriaAfghanistanAmericasMiddle East – North Africa Europe – Central AsiaAsia – Pacific Condemning abusesReports and statisticsProtecting journalists Armed conflictsConflicts of interestCorruptionOrganized crimeDisappearancesImprisonedImpunityCitizen-journalistsFreedom of expressionHostagesPredatorsViolence Help by sharing this information News Another worrying aspect of this year’s round-up is the number of arbitrarily detained journalists, which has risen yet again. Worldwide, a total of 389 journalists are currently in prison in connection with their work, 12% more than last year. Nearly half of these journalists are being held by three countries: China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Having intensified its crackdown on the Uyghur minority, China alone holds a third of the worldwide total of arbitrarily detained journalists. December 16, 2019 – Updated on December 17, 2019 RSF yearly round-up: “historically low” number of journalists killed in 2019 Reports Covering conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan was two times less deadly for journalists in 2019 – with a combined total of 17 journalists killed in these three countries compared with 34 in 2018. As a result of these dual trends – less deadly war zones, but countries at peace as dangerous as ever – more journalists (59%) are now being killed in countries at peace than in war zones. At the same time, there has been a 2% increase in journalists being deliberately murdered or targeted. Receive email alerts WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists “The frontier between countries at war and countries at peace is in the process of disappearing for journalists,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “We welcome the unprecedented fall in the number of journalists killed in war zones but, at the same time, more and more journalists are being deliberately murdered in connection with their work in democratic countries, which poses a real challenge for the democracies where these journalists live and work.” The number of journalists killed this year – 49 – is the lowest since 2003, and represents a spectacular 44% fall on last year’s figure. This year’s “historically low” figure, compared with an annual average of 80 journalists killed during the past two decades, is above all the result of a fall in the number of journalists killed in war zones. News Facebook’s Oversight Board is just a stopgap, regulation urgently needed, RSF sayslast_img read more

BBC correspondent tells court he was tortured while detained

first_img TajikistanEurope – Central Asia RSF_en #CollateralFreedom: RSF unblocks eight sites censored during pandemic News Receive email alerts Follow the news on Tajikistan News Organisation News May 14, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information center_img Reporters Without Borders reiterates it call to the judicial authorities to drop all charges against BBC correspondent Urinboy Usmonov, whose trial began on 16 August in the northern city of Khujand.“Usmonov’s claims of being tortured while in detention are shocking,” Reporters Without Borders said. “They must be the subject of a serious investigation and those responsible should be punished. Unfortunately this is just the latest in a long list of irregularities since his arrest on 13 June, including denial of defence rights for a long period, statements obtained under duress and lack of evidence. His acquittal is the only way the authorities can emerge from this without completely discrediting themselves.”The BBC reported on 19 August that during last week’s hearings, Usmonov said he had been burned with lit cigarettes and beaten while detained. After his arrest on 13 June, he was initially accused of being a member of the outlawed Islamist party Hizb-ut-Tahrir. Now he is charged with being in contact with Hizb-ut-Tahrir without telling the authorities. ————15.07.2011-Authorities free BBC correspondent but put him under judicial controlReporters Without Borders is relieved to learn that the authorities have released BBC correspondent Urinboy Usmonov, although they have placed him under judicial control. He had been held since 13 June. His release was announced yesterday by prosecutor general Sherkhan Salimzade. “We are pleased that Usmonov has been freed and is now back with his family after a month in detention, but we reiterate our call for the withdrawal of all the charges against him,” Reporters Without Borders said.His lawyer, Fayziniso Vohidova, told Reporters Without Borders that he was released because “the charges against him were changed, in the absence of evidence against him” and because of “the pressure from the international community and organizations that defend journalists.”Usmonov is now charged with being in contact with the outlawed Islamist party Hizb-ut-Tahrir without telling the authorities.—————–13.07.2011-After being held for one month, BBC reporter must be freed without delayReporters Without Borders reiterates its call for the release of Urinboy Usmonov, a reporter for the BBC’s Uzbek-language service in the northwestern province of Sughd, who has been held by the Tajik security services for exactly a month on suspicion of links to a banned Islamist group.Prosecutor general Sherkhan Salimzade announced yesterday that the investigation has been completed and that the case been passed to the Sughd provincial prosecutor’s office.“The fact that a ‘summary’ of the prosecution case has been sent to President Emomali Rakhmon suggests that all the appeals by journalists and the international community have been noted,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The justice system should nonetheless remain in charge of the case, and we hope that the completion of the investigation leads quickly to an impartial resolution that respects the rules of international law.“As the investigation is now over, there is nothing to prevent this journalist’s conditional release. This should take place without delay. The justice system’s credibility would be greatly reinforced if all the judicial irregularities that have occurred since Usmonov’s arrest were also the subject of a serious investigation.”Usmonov was arrested on 13 June because of his alleged links with Hizb-ut-Tahrir, an Islamist party that is outlawed in Tajikistan. He had been covering a trial of members of the party for the BBC.—————-29.06.2011-Worldwide call for BBC correspondent’s releaseReporters Without Borders today joined a renewed call by BBC staff worldwide today for the immediate and unconditional release of the BBC’s correspondent in Tajikistan, Urinboy Usmonov, who has been held since 13 June in the northwestern town of Kujand and said it was very concerned about his plight.“The apparent dropping of the charge of belonging to an illegal political party, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, shows how very flimsy the accusations against him are,” the organisation said. “The authorities are now trying to save face. The new charges against him are groundless and also serious violations of media freedom.”Usmonov’s lawyer, Faiziniso Vohidova, said the dropping of the charge indicated that the GNKB secret police did not have enough evidence. But he still faces accusations of not informing the authorities of his journalistic contacts with the party and of reporting its statements. Usmonov has all the official accreditation he needs to do his job. Vohidova noted that a journalist is “not obliged to tell the authorities of his investigations, which would violate the principle of the privacyof sources.” The only “evidence” against him were a few books and documents of the party found on his computer.“As we said when he was arrested, having this material and the fact that he met two party members was part of his normal journalistic work of investigating the party, “ Reporters Without Borders said.Vohidova and the head of the BBC’s central Asian service, Hamid Ismoilov, saw how physically and psychologically fragile he was when they visited him in prison. “Even if he has been allowed to see a doctor since he was switched to preventive detention, his state of health is worrying,” the lawyer said.Usmonov, 59, has diabetes and heart problems and friends say he has been ill-treated. “We don’t know exactly what happened on the night he was arrested,” said Vohidova, who has only been allowed to meet him in the presence of the investigating judge. She said she was hoping to see him alone in the next few days. November 6, 2020 Find out more August 23, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 BBC correspondent tells court he was tortured while detained Tajikistan imposes total control over independent broadcast media August 25, 2020 Find out more to go further News Journalist loses accreditation over report about Tajikistan’s president TajikistanEurope – Central Asia last_img read more

Win Tin’s fight for press freedom and democracy goes on

first_img“His fight and his progressive ideas on basic freedoms will continue to inspire journalists, writers and intellectuals of all kinds in Burma and elsewhere in the world,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire.“Like Gandhi in India or Mandela in South Africa, Win Tin stands among the giants that remain models for the generations that follow.”Win Tin, editor of the daily Hanthawathi until it was banned in 1978, was arrested and sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment in 1989, on charges including providing the UN special rapporteur for Burma with information about the jail conditions and ill-treatment of detainees in the notorious Insein prison. It is 25 years since he was imprisoned and the issues are still the same. In a report last month, the current UN rapporteur on human rights in Burma, Tomas Ojea Quintana, again highlighted the dangers facing journalists who publish news that is in the public interest. Four journalists from the Unity Weekly and its chief executive are currently detained and face charges of disclosing state secrets after they exposed the existence of a secret chemical weapons plant. Two other journalists have been convicted for looking too closely into corruption cases. Last December, a journalist from the newspaper Daily Eleven was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment, while a reporter from the Democratic Voice of Burma, Zaw Phay, was jailed for a year for investigating the local government’s management of a scholarship program in Magwe province. At the start of Win Tin’s18th and penultimate year in prison, Reporters Without Borders noted the journalist’s stance in support of freedom of expression and democracy “cannot allow us to forget the criminal attitude of the military junta”.The organization, while acknowledging the huge progress in freedom of information, made a new appeal to President Thein Sein for an investigation into the systematic and unpunished crimes and abuses endured by journalists and bloggers under the military junta. “So far no one has been convicted of the murders of Burmese and foreign journalists by the military, especially during the saffron revolution,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk. Since the “Burmese spring”, reforms have opened the country up to the world and set the government on the path to democracy, but there is still a long way to go before Win Tin’s ideals become a reality. Burma is ranked 145th of 180 countries in the «World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders in February this year. “Recent legal proceedings against journalists who were merely doing their job lawfully, the approval of media laws that do not meet international standards and self-censorship which, where some sensitive subjects are concerned, now replaces the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division, better known as the “censorship office”, these are all challenges that the heirs to the fight for freedom of information, for which Win Tin gave his life, must tackle. The country’s democratic transition is far from over. We should not forget that freedom of the press is its cornerstone.” April 23, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Win Tin’s fight for press freedom and democracy goes on May 12, 2021 Find out more Organisation RSF_en Photo credit : Yola Verbruggen Reporters Without Borders is deeply saddened to learn of the death of the dissident journalist Win Tin in Rangoon on 21 April. Burma has lost one of its staunchest defenders of democracy and freedom of information. to go further MyanmarAsia – Pacific May 31, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information Newscenter_img MyanmarAsia – Pacific News May 26, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Myanmar News News RSF asks Germany to let Myanmar journalist Mratt Kyaw Thu apply for asylum US journalist held in Yangon prison notorious for torture Thai premier, UN rapporteurs asked to prevent journalists being returned to Myanmar Receive email alertslast_img read more

Brazil’s “fake news“ bill poses major threat to freedom to inform

first_img BrazilAmericas Online freedomsProtecting sources InternetFreedom of expression Receive email alerts News Alarm after two journalists murdered in Brazil News RSF_en News June 25, 2020 Brazil’s “fake news“ bill poses major threat to freedom to inform BrazilAmericas Online freedomsProtecting sources InternetFreedom of expression Organisation Follow the news on Brazil Source: MyCyberSecurity center_img April 15, 2021 Find out more The proposed “Brazilian Law on Internet Freedom, Responsibility and Transparency” (Draft Law No. 2.630/2020), which has the professed aim of addressing the “fake news industry” in Brazil, has been debated hastily and in exceptional conditions because of the coronavirus pandemic.It is finally scheduled to go before the senate today after a vote was postponed twice earlier this month as a result of pressure from many civil society groups including RSF and differences among parliamentarians. The bill’s extremely worrying measures include the creation of a system of massive surveillance of Internet users and disproportionate penalties that directly threaten freedom of expression and opinion and respect for online privacy.Its most disturbing elements include:The requirement for all social media and messaging app users to submit identity documents and have an active mobile phone. In practice, this will deprive many Brazilians of access to these basic services.The requirement for platforms to store data, and for messaging app providers to store chats and shares, for at least four months. This means that anyone (a journalist, researcher, parliamentarian, ordinary citizen and so on) who shared and/or criticized suspicious content could later have to prove they have no connection with the organizations or individuals who deliberately and massively shared false information.The goal of these two requirements is to be able to track the origin of disinformation campaigns and to identify and punish those responsible. The tracking of content shared on messaging apps could seriously endanger the confidentiality of journalists’ sources.The imposition of this surveillance mechanism would force platform and messaging app companies to adopt measures limiting protection for the privacy of those using their services, without guaranteeing that those behind disinformation campaigns could not circumvent these measures.Harsher penalties for spreading false informationThe criteria used for identifying false information are deliberately vague and are based on overly broad concepts such as “political preference” and threats to “social peace” or “economic order.” This opens the door to disproportionate interpretations and sanctions against legitimate opinions and posts.Nationwide blocking of social media and messaging apps that do not comply with the new requirementsServices such as WhatsApp and YouTube were recently suspended by the judicial authorities in Brazil. This is inappropriate and counter-productive, amounting to attempted censorship, and prejudices all users, by denying them access to information.Blocking messaging apps also hampers the work of journalists, especially those who rely on their encryption technology to protect their sources.“Instead of being debated in haste, such an important subject as disinformation requires extensive consultation with all the civil society stakeholders involved,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America bureau. “Brazil’s parliamentarians cannot ignore the threat that this bill poses to the future of online freedoms and democracy in general.”“The insistence with which the senate is trying to pass this bill, while Brazil is badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and attacks against journalists are intensifying, is very worrying. We call for this bill to be abandoned in its current form and for a proper debate to be held on this subject, in order to get a new bill that respects free speech standards and all Internet users’ right to privacy.”Regulations of this kind can have very negative consequences. RSF is registering more and more cases of journalists throughout the world who are being prosecuted in the name of combatting online disinformation, when in fact they were just doing their job.Penalizing “fake news” also amounts to eliminating the right of journalists to make mistakes. Some laws provide for extremely harsh penalties that take no account of journalists’ intentions, that take no account of the fact that journalists sometimes just make mistakes. In all cases, the punishment is not proportional to the information, even when it is false.To combat online disinformation, RSF recommends that the Brazilian authorities should promote self-regulatory mechanisms such as the Journalism Trust Initiative which encourage adoption of the best journalistic standards and ethics online.Launched by RSF and its partners, the JTI is a set of standards for reliable journalism with indicators that allow individual media outlets to assess themselves, to improve their practices to satisfy the standards, and to publish their evaluation results. The standards range from transparency of media ownership and revenue sources to correction procedures and other good practices.Platforms can incorporate the JTI’s machine-readable standards as an “integrity factor” into their algorithms. Search engine and social media algorithms are based on many factors but not, at this time, on compliance with editorial practices and basic journalistic principles.Brazil is ranked 107th out of 180 countries and territories in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index. 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies May 13, 2021 Find out more Reports Help by sharing this information April 27, 2021 Find out more to go further RSF begins research into mechanisms for protecting journalists in Latin America Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the withdrawal of a bill to combat “fake news” that could be voted by the Brazilian senate today, because it contains a series of measure that pose a major threat to the freedom to inform and to privacy rights. A new bill that respects international free speech standards should be drafted after extensive public consultation, RSF says. last_img read more