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ARCHIVES: Govt policies

May 6, 2011

France: Senate rejects bill criminalizing denial of the Armenian genocide

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has welcomed this week’s decision by the French Senate to reject a bill that would have had made it a crime to deny that there was a genocide of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey in 1915. “There is of course no question of denying the reality of the Armenian genocide, but we think this proposed law threatened personal freedom,” RSF said. “Like other genocide-denial laws, it violated the principle of protecting freedom of expression and... MORE
May 5, 2011

Bulgaria: Amendments to penal code threaten free expression, says IPI

Bulgaria's Parliament has adopted changes to the penal code that have introduced jail time for journalists and writers who instigate hatred, discrimination or violence - and could be used to impose controls on the media, says the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI). While the previous law covered only racial discrimination, the changes allow the possibility of prison sentences of one to four years for journalists convicted of... MORE
April 10, 2011

Greek journalists call four-day strike over austerity measures

Greek journalists called a four day strike on Thursday in protest at the government's austerity measures, leading to a nationwide news blackout, according to Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA). Television channels aired pre-recorded material, radio stations played back-to-back music and newspapers will not be published until Tuesday. Even news sites shut down for the walkout. The Athens journalists' union is demanding the rehiring of journalists recently laid off at several newspapers and TV... MORE
April 10, 2011

IFJ backs defence of media qualification requirement in Brazil

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has backed the call by its affiliate in Brazil, the National Federation of Journalists (FENAJ) for the restoration of the requirements for professional qualification in order to practice journalism. FENAJ marked the Brazilian Journalists Day Thursday by reiterating its support for proposals for constitutional amendments (PECs) before the National Congress, which restore journalism training and diploma for aspiring journalists. "We support these... MORE
April 6, 2011

Israel: New laws threaten discrimination; chill freedom of expression

Two new Israeli laws affecting Israel's Palestinian Arab residents would promote discrimination and stifle free expression, Human Rights Watch said today. One would authorize rural, Jewish-majority communities to reject Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel and other "unsuitable" applicants for residency, and the other would chill expression regarding a key moment in the history of Palestinian citizens, Human Rights Watch said. "These laws threaten Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel and others... MORE
March 6, 2011

Brazilian government considers changes to media laws

Brazil’s Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo says he wants to “comb through” the omnibus bill dealing telecommunications and broadcast regulation, O Estado de S. Paulo reports. The goal is to clarify the languages and provisions in the controversial bill that was initially proposed by Bernardo’s predecessor, Franklin Martins, according to the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. President Dilma Rousseff has repeatedly stated her support for press freedom, most recently at the 90-... MORE
February 27, 2011

Mexican state of Puebla decriminalises defamation

ARTICLE 19 has welcomed the decriminalisation of defamation in Mexico's Puebla state, following the adoption of reforms to the local Criminal Code. At the same time, the recent reform could be further improved by introducing a civil defamation regulation adjusted to international standards including the presence of actual malice and ensure that those sued for defamation are able to mount a proper defense. Since Mexico has a problematic record on protection of freedom of expression, ARTICLE 19... MORE
February 27, 2011

Independent Tajik press suffers from ban on street sales

Owners of independent Tajik newspapers are complaining that a new ban on selling newspapers on the streets of Dushanbe is hurting sales, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports. Zafar Sufi, the owner and chief editor of the weekly newspaper Ozodagon , told RFE/RL on February 23 that most people buy newspapers on their way to work or when they walk in the city center, and the ban curbs those purchases. The details: [ Link ] Sufi said that when the Dushanbe municipal administration banned street sales of... MORE
February 25, 2011

Singapore abolishes TV, radio licences

The Singapore government has announced, as part of the nation's annual budget, that the radio and TV licence has been abolished effective January 1, 2011, according to the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. The licences were first introduced in 1963. Premises with TV or radio sets, owners of vehicles with radios and dealers selling broadcast apparatus, paid for these licences. The fees collected were used to fund public service broadcast content. In 2009, Singapore's Media Development Authority (... MORE
February 19, 2011

European Commission response to Hungarian media law described as “inadequate”

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has described as “inadequate” the response of the European Commission’s Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes to Hungary’s controversial new media law and urged the country’s MPs to amend the measure. It said Croes’ demands to the Hungarian government were “in the right direction” but “not enough to remove all the threats to media independence and freedom” since the law was passed on December 23 last year. “The Commission has... MORE