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ARCHIVES: Press Freedom Overview

November 14, 2008

Zambia sees rise in media freedom violations during presidential by-election

There has been a sharp rise in the number of media freedom violations in Zambia recorded during the just ended presidential by-election of October 30. During the pre and immediate post election period, between September and November 2008, there were 16 media freedom violations compared to six between January and August 2008, says the Zambia chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA). The violations included physical harassment, threats of legal suits and dismissals, ejections from... MORE
November 14, 2008

Repression in Tibet continues, foreign media still unable to investigate, says RSF

The Chinese government is still demonstrating lack of goodwill towards foreign journalists trying to visit Tibet. Its repression of Tibetans who dare to talk about what has happened to them has remained unabated. A Tibetan monk, for example, was arrested three days ago after speaking openly in a video and answering a foreign journalist's questions about the torture he underwent in prison. "The simple fact that the freedom of movement and freedom to interview granted to foreign journalists are... MORE
November 5, 2008

Bombing of two prominent journalists threatens Croatia’s bid to join European Union

It has been called one of the most serious attacks on press freedom in years in the entire South East European region, one that could seriously damage Croatia’s bid to join the European Union: two journalists were killed in a car bombing in Croatia. Ivo Pukanic, journalist and owner of the NCL Media Group in Zagreb, and Niko Franjic, marketing director of the leading investigative weekly newspaper Nacional , which is published by NCL, were killed on October 23 when a car bomb exploded under... MORE
October 9, 2008

Tunisia greets international friends, silences critics at home

Tunisia promotes itself as a progressive nation that protects human rights, but an investigation has found that it aggressively silences journalists and others who challenge the policies of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. In a new report, 'The Smiling Oppressor', the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has found that journalists are subjected to routine imprisonment, assault, harassment, and censorship. Ben Ali's administration enjoys close ties with Western governments, which have been... MORE
September 5, 2008

Journalists, photographers in Malaysia lack protection

Cases of assaults and threats against journalists and photographers in Malaysia used to come and go quietly. It has now become almost a tradition that mainstream print and broadcast media give minimal coverage to issues about the profession, leaving the true gravity of the problem hidden from the public. Since 2007, the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), based in capital Kuala Lumpur, has documented 12 cases of assault against media professionals. Most of these cases were given not more... MORE
August 25, 2008

Mexico: Report on press freedom warns of "shocking culture of impunity" and violence

The last three years have been incredibly dangerous for media working in Mexico. An international coalition of press freedom organisations' report "Press Freedom: Shadow of Impunity and Violence" highlights the range of risks that they face with attacks against journalists continuing to increase at alarming rates. "Mexico has been one of the most dangerous countries for journalists in recent years where a shocking culture of impunity has led to the number of murders there going up even as the... MORE
August 1, 2008

Somalia: Six-month survey finds journalists in the line of fire, press freedom muzzled

In the first six months of 2008, a large number of Somali journalists and other media workers were subjected to various kinds of violence and oppression such as harassment, killing, professional punishment, beatings, threats, arrests, arbitrary detention, maltreatment and censorship. The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) recorded numerous cases of attacks against media professionals and news media organisations, particularly in Kismayu, Mogadishu, Galkayo, Bossasso, Baidoa,... MORE
June 24, 2008

International arrests of citizen bloggers more than triple in last five years

Authoritarian regimes around the world are dealing with troublesome citizen bloggers by arresting them, and they're doing it more often. "Last year, 2007, was a record year for blogger arrests, with three times as many as in 2006. Egypt, Iran and China are the most dangerous places to blog about political life, accounting for more than half of all arrests since blogging became big," says Phil Howard, an assistant professor of communication. With his students at the University of Washington,... MORE
June 19, 2008

President’s signature on Kyrgyz broadcast law puts many media outlets under threat

A new broadcast law signed by Kyrgyzstan President Kurmanbek Bakiyev may threaten the future of a large number of news media outlets. The law, signed on June 4, gives the president the power to appoint the executive director of state-run TV and radio KTR. It also makes use of official languages partly compulsory as well as in-house production of programmes by the media. The president has however asked the justice, culture and information ministries to take into account reactions and proposals... MORE
June 19, 2008

Press freedom under attack from all sides in Morocco, promises not kept

The first six months of 2008 have been marked inMorocco by an avalanche of trials and repressive judicial and administrative decisions. At the same time, promises by Prime Minister Abbas El Fassi’s government to reform the press law have still not materialised. No bill has yet been submitted to the chamber of deputies. Journalists were stunned when reporter Mostapha Hurmatallah of the weekly Al-Watan Al-An was returned to Casablanca’s Okacha prison on February 19 to finish the seven-month... MORE