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ARCHIVES: Press Freedom Overview

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
June 1, 2009

As censorship continues, new repressive Sudanese press bill will make things worse

Sudanese media has suffered multiple blows in recent months as parliament considers a harshly repressive press bill and authorities impose an exceptional level of censorship. The press bill, introduced in the Sudanese National Assembly in April, falls far short of international standards for free expression, according to an analysis by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The bill appears to contradict provisions in the 2005 Sudanese Interim Constitution which guarantee... MORE
June 1, 2009

By threatening private media with reprisals, Chávez continues to hurt democracy

President Hugo Chávez Frías is damaging Venezuelan democracy by continuing to threaten private media with reprisals and making unwarranted accusations against the press, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has alleged. On Thursday, Chávez demanded that Attorney-General Luisa Ortega Díaz, Minister of Public Works and Housing Diosdado Cabello, and the Supreme Tribunal of Justice take action against media that "poison" Venezuela, according to local press reports. If the officials do not,... MORE
May 21, 2009

Victory for Kenyan journalists as government deletes controversial clause in media law

The Kenyan government has finally published amendments to the Communications Act, which will delete a controversial clause that allows the government to raid broadcasting stations. The Kenya Communications (Amendment) Law 2008, which President Mwai Kibaki signed into law in January 2009, enables the state to raid broadcasting houses and destroy or confiscate equipment in the name of "public safety." The Statute (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill contains propositions to delete the disputed section... MORE
May 1, 2009

CPJ's 10 worst countries to be a blogger in; Myanmar is worst

With a military government that severely restricts Internet access and imprisons people for years for posting critical material, Burma is the worst place in the world to be a blogger, the Committee to Protect Journalists says in a new report. CPJ’s “10 Worst Countries to be a Blogger” also identifies a number of countries in the Middle East and Asia where Internet penetration has blossomed and government repression has grown in response. “Bloggers are at the vanguard of the information... MORE
May 1, 2009

Pakistani journalists face Taliban, military threats, as pressure mounts from all sides

Journalists in Pakistan have come under rapidly escalating pressure as the military confronts Taliban militants in the northwest region of the country. Threats and attacks from both sides have made reporting from Taliban-controlled areas more dangerous, according to Bob Dietz, Asia Prorgamme Coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). On Wednesday, the military harassed and fired on reporters covering its operations in the Buner Valley, about 65 miles (100 kilometers) northwest... MORE
April 18, 2009

Executions in Sudanese editor's murder trigger doubts, outrage

Sudan's execution this week of nine men found guilty of involvement in the 2006 assassination of editor Mohammed Taha Mohammed Ahmed is seen by many there as an outrageous miscarriage of justice, spurred by a thirst on the part of President Omar al-Bashir's regime for settling scores with the rebellious region of Darfur. All nine men were from this oppressed and poverty-stricken region of Sudan, which al-Bashir's power base holds responsible for the International Criminal Court's March... MORE
March 25, 2009

Journalists are killed, killers get away scot-free, India remains one of the worst of the lot

The already murderous conditions for the press in Sri Lanka and Pakistan deteriorated further in the past year, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has found in its newly updated Impunity Index, a list of countries where journalists are killed regularly and governments fail to solve the crimes. Colombia, historically one of the world’s deadliest nations for the press, improved as the rate of murders declined and prosecutors won important recent convictions. “We’re distressed to see... MORE
February 20, 2009

Sudanese government is censoring media, cracking down on rights activists/journalists

The Sudanese government is censoring the media and cracking down on human rights activists and journalists who speak out on human rights and justice. Harassment, repression and censorship has worsened in the last year, particularly since the International Criminal Court's (ICC) request for an arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir in July 2008. A 21-page report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), 'It's an Everyday Battle: Censorship and Harassment of Journalists and Human Rights Defenders in... MORE
February 11, 2009

Journalists less docile now, but media repression unabated in W Asia - N Africa

Media freedom is nowhere on the agenda in the Middle-East, North Africa and the Gulf. The region remains generally opposed to the free flow of news despite some easing of press laws and a few signs of opening up and greater tolerance. The three sub-regions have very different national constitutions and press laws and a variety of regimes (that also often clash with each other, sometimes violently) but they all share a determination to control the news, says the Doha Centre for Media Freedom (... MORE