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ARCHIVES: Press Freedom Overview

December 19, 2008

For sixth straight year Iraq is the deadliest nation for journalists, says CPJ annual report

For the sixth consecutive year, Iraq is the deadliest country in the world for the press, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has found in its end-of-year analysis. The 11 deaths recorded in Iraq in 2008, while a sharp drop from prior years, remained among the highest annual tolls in CPJ history. Worldwide, CPJ found that 41 journalists were killed in direct connection to their work in 2008, down from 65 last year. It is investigating another 22 deaths to determine whether they were work... MORE
December 18, 2008

Despite advances in press freedom, Jordan's negative attitude towards media hasn't changed

Fear might be holding Jordanians from exploiting the margin of freedoms they have. On several occasions, the Jordanian regime, in the words of King Abdullah, reiterated the need for a free press. Jordan promulgated the only law in the Arab countries that allows access to information. However, journalists are still repressed, laws and regulations have not changed and the executive authority has not changed its negative attitude towards the media. In the summer of this year, the government ran an... MORE
December 16, 2008

New Mexico campaign to protect journalists addresses public, seeks end to impunity

A veteran crime reporter José Armando Rodríguez’s murder has been instrumental in the launch of a nationwide campaign to protect journalists in Mexico. In November 2008, Rodríguez was shot dead at his home in Ciudad Juárez on the Texas border. With the government doing little to protect journalists, ARTICLE 19 and National Centre for Social Communication (CENCOS) have launched their own campaign against the brutal and targeted killings of their colleagues. “Te hace dano no saber” (“What you don... MORE
December 13, 2008

Majority of African journalists are detained without charge

A total of 23 journalists remained jailed in connection with their work in Sub-Saharan Africa, two-thirds held without charge, according to the annual report released of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Thirteen journalists were held in Eritrea, which was the fourth jailer of journalists worldwide behind China, Cuba and Burma. The survey found more Internet journalists jailed worldwide today than journalists working in any other medium. CPJ's survey found 125 journalists in all... MORE
December 5, 2008

Draft amendments to Kazakh laws a small step forward, but offer no path to real change

The Kazakh government's human rights record, including free speech issues, is inconsistent with standards embraced by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), whose chairmanship the former is to take over in 2010. This, says Human rights Watch, risks undermining the integrity of the institution's human rights principles. One of the key problem areas is the government's rigid approach towards media, says HRW in a 55-page report 'An Atmosphere of Quiet Repression: Freedom... MORE
December 4, 2008

Online journalists now most jailed worldwide, China remains leader in imprisoning scribes

More Internet journalists are jailed worldwide today than journalists working in any other medium. In its annual census of imprisoned journalists, released Thursday, the Committee to Protect Journalists found that 45 per cent of all media workers jailed worldwide are bloggers, Web-based reporters, or online editors. Online journalists represent the largest professional category for the first time in CPJ's prison census. CPJ's survey found 125 journalists in all behind bars on December 1, a... MORE
December 2, 2008

Kenya proposes draconian broadcasting law for regulating news media content

A new law that, if passed, will allow the Kenyan government to determine the content, style, manner and schedule of broadcasting, has drawn fierce resistance from the media industry. The Kenya Communications Amendment Bill 2008, which is now in its final stages of the legislative process in Kenya's Parliament, proposes to set up a communications commission appointed by the government to issue licences to broadcasters and a raft of heavy fines and prison sentences for various offences. The media... MORE
November 30, 2008

Journalists facing increased physical threats and harassment in Southeast Europe

There has been a string of threats issued against journalists in Southeast Europe, rendered particularly ominous by violent attacks on journalists throughout 2008. Last week, Drago Hedl, a columnist for the Croatian Jutarnji List, received an SMS threatening to "massacre" him, just as a parliament member accused of war crimes was holding a press conference during which he singled out for criticism Hedl's writings. Other threats include those made against Hrvoje Appelt, a Croatian journalist for... MORE
November 30, 2008

Anti-terrorism law in Swaziland an excuse to suppress freedom of expression

Serious concerned have been raised about the constricting environment the government of Swaziland is imposing on freedom of expression. Under a Suppression of Terrorism Act that has been passed by the Parliament in May 2008, Swazi journalists, political activists and human rights defenders have apparently become persona non-grata, battered and/or arrested. The Swaziland Act is the latest in a series of anti-terrorism laws that have been enacted since the September 2001 attacks on the World... MORE
November 30, 2008

Nepal: Series of attacks hints at "sustained and deliberate assault on freedom of expression"

The escalating number of violent attacks on certain parts of the Nepali media can no longer be regarded as hooliganism. Instead, they point to an organised assault on freedom of expression in Nepal, free speech group ARTICLE 19 has asserted. On the morning of October 24, the CEO of leading media house Himalmedia was attacked on his way to work. Just a few weeks later, bundles of Himalmedia's newly printed Himal Khabar Patrika were doused in petrol and burned. On November 16, twenty-five men... MORE