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Archives 2005-1014: Features

September 17, 2009

Gas contracts abound, but there's no press freedom in Turkmenistan

Ogulsapar Muradova, the Turkmenistan correspondent of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, died three years ago, on September 12, 2006, after being severely beaten by guards in Ovodan Depe high security prison, to the north of the capital Ashgabat. Today, the Turkmen government is waging an all-out charm offensive while still holding two other journalists, Sapardurdy Khadjiyev and Annakurban Amanklychev, who were arrested and convicted at the same time as Muradova. Dependent on its income from... MORE
September 10, 2009

Qaddafi celebrates 40 years of rule while media repression goes on

As Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi held six days of lavish parties, plays, concerts and exhibitions to celebrate the bloodless coup that brought him to power on September 1, 1969, it was unlikely his international guests would have asked about Libya's abysmal press freedom record and all the journalists who have been disappeared, tortured or killed in the past 40 years. Libyans who are critical of Qaddafi's regime are still disappeared, authorities destroy opposition websites, there are no... MORE
August 24, 2009

With no big network behind them, freelance journalists complete one year in Somalia captivity

Two foreign freelance journalists have complete a year in captivity in Somalia. Canadian reporter Amanda Lindhout and Australian photographer Nigel Brennan were taken hostage by an armed group as they were returning to Mogadishu from Afgoye refugee camp, 20 km west of the Somali capital, on August 23, 2008. At the time of their abduction, Lindhout and Brennan were being accompanied by Abdifatah Mohammed Elmi, a Somali freelance journalist who was their fixer and interpreter, and two Somali... MORE
August 19, 2009

Violence, state control hinder free media coverage of Presidential election in Afghanistan

The violence that threatens journalists working for Afghanistan’s news media has created a climate that does not favour free and impartial coverage of the August 20 crucial presidential election, now just a day away. Media coverage is also affected by the fact that political obstruction has prevented the adoption of a new press law, a situation that Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) has already deplored in its March report on a factfinding visit to Afghanistan and its letter to the... MORE
July 30, 2009

Gag on Honduran media gets tighter in month since coup, critical media obstructed

The interim government in Honduras has been maintaining a selective censorship of news in the country since the June 28 coup d’état. Media regarded as critical of President Roberto Micheletti are being systematically obstructed. The programming of Radio Globo, one of the few media still criticising the new regime, is often interrupted. Soldiers tried to force their way into its studios on July 25 before giving up because of opposition from demonstrators. “Respect for basic freedoms, including... MORE
July 22, 2009

Morocco: Less jail sentences, but more libel cases during King Mohammed's reign

Real progress at the start of King Mohammed’s reign in Morocco has been followed by reverses and tension, especially from 2002 onwards. Thursday marks the 10th anniversary of Mohammed VI’s accession to the throne on July 23, 1999. The priority continues to be a thorough overhaul of the press code, which is much too severe, says Reporters sans Frontières (RSF), which has carried out an evaluation of the state of press freedom in Morocco. In the past 10 years, Moroccan journalists have been... MORE
July 21, 2009

Unlawful arrests, detention, and unfair trials restricting freedom of expression in Gambia

Unlawful arrests, detention, torture and unfair trials are increasing in the Gambia, repressing already restricted freedom of expression in the country, say journalists and human rights organizations. "Since 2004 the situation has been getting worse and worse," Amnesty International's Gambia researcher Tania Bernath told IRIN, "with unlawful detention, torture, arrests, journalists being targeted and forced into exile, self-censorship, killings, threats and even witch-hunts." "Gambian... MORE
July 8, 2009

With as many as 30 in behind bars, Iran replaces China as world's top jailer of journalists

With 30 journalists currently in prison, Iran has replaced China as the world's worst jailer of journalists. Research by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) shows that 24 detained in the aftermath of the elections remain in custody, in addition to six journalists who were in detention prior to the disputed elections. In the past few days three journalists have been freed, while at least three others have been arrested. Of the 30 journalists currently behind bars, 13 work... MORE
June 26, 2009

Sri Lanka, Iraq and Somalia rank high among countries from where journalists have fled

Eleven Sri Lankan journalists were driven into exile in the past 12 months amid an intensive government crackdown on critical reporters and editors, the Committee to Protect Journalists says in a new survey. The surge from Sri Lanka accounted for more than a quarter of the journalists worldwide who fled their native countries in the past year after being attacked, harassed, or threatened with violence or imprisonment. Nearly 400 journalists have been forced into exile worldwide since 2001, when... MORE
June 11, 2009

There is no independent coverage of presidential election campaign in Iranian media

There is a stark lack of balanced and independent electoral coverage in the Iranian media. And, 15 journalists have been threatened or summoned for questioning in the cities of Machhad, Ahvaz, Sanandaj, Khoram Abad, Khohdasht and Tabriz since the campaign for the June presidential 12 election began on May 21. They have been targetted for criticising President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is running for another term, or for clearly expressing a political opinion in their articles. According to a... MORE