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ARCHIVES: Press Freedom Overview

February 10, 2009

Press freedom in Nepal still under threat despite hopes for improvement on return to democracy

Press freedom in Nepal continues to face serious threats despite the hope that restoration of democratic rule would improve the situation. The Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) recorded a staggering 342 press freedom violations in 2008 alone, including a significant escalation in the number of physical attacks on journalists and media houses. Four journalists—Uma Singh, JP Joshi, Birendra Sah and Pushkar Bahadur Shrestha—have been killed since 2006. The International Press Freedom and... MORE
February 10, 2009

Asia eclipses Middle East in violence against journalists, according to IPI's 2008 review

Asia replaced the Middle-East as the deadliest region for journalists last year, with 26 reporters, photographers and editors losing their lives in retaliation for their work or in civil conflicts, according to the International Press Institute's annual World Press Freedom Review. Though more journalists were killed in Iraq than in any other country in 2008 for the sixth year in a row, Pakistan became the second deadliest place for journalists as chaos gripped the country's politics and... MORE
February 9, 2009

Resignation or resistance, Bulgaria’s embattled press hesitates

The press freedom situation in Bulgaria has worsened considerably in the past two years. The murder of columnist and author Georgy Stoev in the centre of Sofia in April 2008 and a savage attack on Ognyan Stefanov, the editor of the Frog News website, by men using hammers in September recall the dark days of 1990-95 when gangland “mutris” (thugs) made it clear to journalists they were not to attack the foundations of a system that had integrated organised crime into the market economy... MORE
February 9, 2009

Impunity and callous indifference remain threats as new wave of killings wipes out optimism

This year could be the deadliest one yet for journalists. A wave of killings in the first days of the new year have undermined hopes that the falling death toll recorded in 2008 was the first sign of a change in the pattern of killings which have risen dramatically in recent years. "The welcome relief brought about by the decline in the killings of journalists in 2008 has been shot lived," said Aidan White, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) General Secretary at a press conference to... MORE
January 15, 2009

Freedom retreated in much of the world in 2008, reveals Freedom House annual report

Freedom retreated in much of the world in 2008, the third year of global decline as measured by Freedom House's annual survey of political rights and civil liberties. Sub-Saharan Africa and the former Soviet Union saw the most reversals, while South Asia showed significant improvement. "The advance of freedom in South Asia was a rare bright spot in a year that was otherwise marked by setbacks and stagnation," says Freedom House Director of Research Arch Puddington, who pegged the start of the... MORE
January 13, 2009

Somalia remained a precarious and perilous place for journalists all through 2008

The life and livelihood of Somali journalists were in danger, and attacks to kill, hurt, harass and silence journalists were persistent throughout 2008. The 2008 annual report of the the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) reveals virulent attacks on journalists including unspeakable cases of killings, arrests, injuries, ill-treatments, abduction and death threats as well as serious, sophisticated and systematic harassment and intimidation in main cities, particularly Mogadishu,... MORE
January 9, 2009

Security and press laws being used by Iran to repress Kurdish freedom of expression

Iranian authorities are using security laws, press laws, and other legislation to arrest and prosecute Iranian Kurds solely for trying to exercise their right to freedom of expression and association. The use of these laws to suppress basic rights, while not new, has greatly intensified since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power in August 2005. The findings have been documented in a 42-page report, 'Iran: Freedom of Expression and Association in the Kurdish Regions,' by New York-based... MORE
January 9, 2009

Safety of journalists remains prime concern in DRC, self-censorship holds sway

Safety remains the single greatest concern for media professionals in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), despite the fact that statistically speaking attacks against the press and journalists are down. The decline was more likely attributable to censorship and self-editing on the part of journalists, rather than any improvement to the country's press laws. The findings are from Journalist en Danger (JED)'s 2008 annual report on press freedom titled 'Ten years for press freedom: the... MORE
January 5, 2009

Threats, physical attacks, fatwas continue against journalists in Pakistan's tribal areas

Threats and physical attacks against Pakistani journalists in the northwestern Tribal Area of Bajaur, where fighting is continuing between the Taliban and security forces, remains as unabated. The issuing of a fatwa against two journalists and the firing of a rocket-propelled grenade at a press club are just a few recent incidents. "The Tribal Areas are being steadily emptied of their journalists because of the threats and violence against them," says Paris-based Reporters sans Frontières (RSF... MORE
December 22, 2008

Iraq remains most dangerous for journalists, India now fourth after Mexico and Pakistan

During the past year, ninety-five journalists in 32 countries paid with their lives for exercising their profession. This figure, according to the 2008 Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) report, is lower than the record 115 journalists killed last year, but this drop of 17.5 per cent is solely due to an improvement in security in Iraq. On average, nearly two journalists were killed every week in the course of the last three years (96 in 2006; 115 in 2007; 95 in 2008). Many others were injured,... MORE