Free expression spotlight


28 January 2010

Vietnam

National security is used as an excuse to imprison Vietnamese dissidents.

Dissidents hit with severe prison terms

Four Vietnamese bloggers, cyber-dissidents and human rights activists were sentenced to a total of 33 years in prison on 20 January, report the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and ARTICLE 19. The mock trial of dissidents occurred against a backdrop of relentless press freedom and free expression violations.



From the Communiqué



28 January 2010

Sri Lanka

Propaganda and intimidation of critical media ensured President's victory

Sri Lankan President consolidates his power by silencing critics. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa won the presidential elections on 26 January after state-owned media took an extreme partisan approach and openly favoured him with its coverage, report the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF). There was widespread election-related violence with supporters of both major candidates attacking journalists, including the abduction of a political reporter, say IFEX members.
28 January 2010

Philippines

Impunity and corruption behind murder of journalists

Andal Ampatuan Jr., who led the massacre of Filipino journalists and civilians, sits behind bars. The massacre of 32 journalists in the Philippines last year is the result of an established culture of impunity and a flawed political system that relies on warlords, says a new report from a fact-finding mission led by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). The report paints a picture of a history of power struggles and political patronage that threaten the media environment.



Campaigns and Advocacy



26 January 2010

Joint action - Iraq

IFJ and ARTICLE 19 pledge support for UK "Guardian" newspaper in defamation case

ARTICLE 19, IFJ and the affiliated Iraqi journalists' union have called on authorities to drop defamation charges against the "Guardian" and journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad.
13 January 2010

Joint action - Tunisia

Arab organisations condemn smear campaigns targeting human rights defenders

The smear campaigns have included incitements to murder and have gone so far as to accuse rights defenders and opposition journalists of spying for Israel.
2 December 2009

Take action! - Philippines

IFJ announces Global Day of Solidarity for Philippines

IFJ calls for support in condemning the massacre of at least 30 journalists in Mindanao Province, southern Philippines.
18 November 2009

Take action! - Tunisia

Free Ben Brik in Tunisia

The Observatoire pour la liberté de presse, d'édition et de création (OLPEC) is requesting your help - post this banner on your website calling for the release of jailed Tunisian journalist Taoufik Ben Brik. He was sentenced to six months in prison on 26 November. Ben Brik was arrested in October following publication of critical articles on the recent re-election of President Ben Ali. Members of the Tunisia Monitoring Group (TMG) remain concerned about the health of Ben Brik who suffers from a chronic ailment.
4 November 2009

Take action! - Singapore

Dissident faces repeated imprisonment

Singaporean opposition critic Dr. Chee Soon Juan is facing more time in prison for his human rights activism. Amnesty International is asking for your support to help prominent Singaporean opposition critic and human rights defender Dr. Chee Soon Juan who is facing a prison term or heavy fine. In recent years, Dr. Chee has lost his university post, served seven prison terms and has been banned from contesting parliamentary elections.
27 January 2010

Campaigns and Advocacy - Tunisia/France

Publishing groups call on France to pressure Tunisia on press freedom

In a meeting with an advisor to the French foreign affairs minister, a delegation of publishers addressed the systematic repression of free speech in Tunisia.
27 January 2010

Campaigns and Advocacy - Ghana

Hundreds to march in support of Right to Information Bill

Apart from raising awareness, the march will highlight the need for a thorough revision of draft bill to ensure that it complies with international best practice standards.
26 January 2010

Campaigns and Advocacy - Philippines

International Mission demands President Arroyo protect media as elections loom

The mission team is concerned for the safety of journalists as the prosecution of those accused in the Maguindanao massacre takes place in a tense environment ahead of the May elections.
22 January 2010

Campaigns and Advocacy - Azerbaijan

CPJ delegation calls for Eynulla Fatullayev’s release

A CPJ delegation has delivered a letter carrying the names of more than 500 journalists petitioning for Fatullayev's immediate release.

Urgent alerts

VENEZUELA: Student killed in TV protests One student was killed and nine police officers injured during protests against a government order to cable networks to stop broadcasting RCTV Internacional.
26 January 2010 IRAQ: Security forces now biggest enemy for Iraqi journalists, says RSF The organisation notes that unwarranted violence and gratuitous threats from security forces now present the greatest threat to local journalists.
26 January 2010 VENEZUELA: Cable companies take six television stations off the air following communications regulator's orders Cable operators have stopped broadcasting the RCTV Internacional, América TV, TV Chile, American Network, Ritmo Son and Momentum television stations on orders from CONATEL.
26 January 2010

Take action!

CHINA: Sign a petition to help Google in its stand for free expression! Access Now is seeking worldwide support for its petition to help "Google Stay Strong." Google announced on 12 January that it will be withdrawing from China unless it is able to operate in an unrestricted cyber environment. But there is pressure on Google to back down.
18 January 2010

More alerts

PAKISTAN: Lawyers stop journalists from covering court proceedings 27 January 2010 PAKISTAN: Police officers assault reporter and camera operator 27 January 2010 MALAYSIA: CIJ welcomes court decision to overturn book ban 27 January 2010 FIJI: Continuation of hearings against human rights trainer form part of ongoing clampdown on free speech, says PFF 27 January 2010 ZAMBIA: Football association bans reporter from interviewing national team players 27 January 2010 SRI LANKA: Websites blocked just hours before poll results are announced 27 January 2010 MALAYSIA: Police prevent opposition leader from concluding speech 27 January 2010 INTERNATIONAL: RSF concerned about threat to online free expression from imminent international accord 27 January 2010 ZAMBIA: As country prepares to switch to digital broadcasting, MISA urges government to prevent "information gap" 27 January 2010 CHINA: Detained PEN officer Zhao Shiying released; new cyber attack targets Independent Chinese PEN Center 27 January 2010 ZAMBIA: Member of Parliament forces his way into TV station, threatens guests with gun 26 January 2010 AZERBAIJAN: Student journalist expelled after publishing critical articles 26 January 2010 UNITED STATES/HAITI: IAPA protests international journalists' eviction from airport 26 January 2010 VENEZUELA: Central bank security officers prevent privately-owned media from covering press conference 26 January 2010 SERBIA: Weekly "Vranjske" subjected to political pressure after publishing critical articles 26 January 2010 SOUTH AFRICA: Prosecutors banned from speaking to media 26 January 2010