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ARCHIVES: State Control

May 12, 2011

Philippines court bids to gag massacre trial scrutiny

An appeals court in the Philippines has decided to curb outside scrutiny of legal proceedings against suspects in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, in which 32 journalists and media practitioners were systematically shot and murdered, according to New York-based press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). On April 12, Manila Court of Appeals Justice Danton Bueger ordered Monette Salaysay, a widow of one of the journalist victims, and Rowena Paraan, a director of the National Union... MORE
May 10, 2011

Malaysia: Fired reporter says his newspaper was used for propaganda purposes

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has condemned daily Utusan Malaysia’s decision on 21 April to fire one of its journalists, Hata Wahari , because he accused it of failing to provide the public with objective news coverage in the run-up to last year’s elections. “By firing Wahari, Utusan Malaysia’s management has just confirmed the correctness of his criticism,” RSF said. “As president of the National Union Of Journalists Malaysia (NUJ), he did what he was supposed... MORE
May 8, 2011

Pakistan must allow live foreign broadcasts

Pakistan's decision on May 8 to not allow foreign broadcasters to continue to do live transmissions from Abbottabad must be rescinded immediately, New York-based press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has demanded. "It is reckless for Pakistan to interfere with the flow of information from the site of what is one of the world's most important news stories. Falling back on regulatory controls to stifle the flow of news is short sighted and does a disservice to the entire... 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
May 5, 2011

Ethiopia censors UNESCO World Press Freedom Day event

Officials in Ethiopia hijacked a local UNESCO-sponsored World Press Freedom Day event, installing government-backed journalists as speakers and nixing independent journalists slated to speak. There was no discussion, as originally planned, of this year's global theme on new media and the Internet at the Tuesday forum, according to local sources and news reports. The programme for the event at Addis Ababa's Hilton Hotel had called for the veteran editor of the bilingual weekly Reporter , Amare... MORE
May 3, 2011

Thirty-eight heads of state and warlords sow terror among journalists

The kingpins of repressive machinery, political leaders of regimes hostile to civil liberties and direct organizers of campaigns of violence against journalists – they are the predators of press freedom. They prey on the media. There are 38 predators this year, according to Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF). Pride of place goes to North Africa and the Middle East, where dramatic and sometimes tragic events have taken place in recent months. It is the Arab world... MORE
May 2, 2011

Saudia Arabia imposes stricter controls on media

The Saudi government issued a decree on April 29 imposing new restrictions on the media and drastically limiting press freedom. The decree, which amends five articles of the 2000 press and publications law, is clearly designed to ensure that the protests sweeping the Arab world since the start of the year do not take any greater hold in Saudi Arabia than they have already. The decree bans publication of any material that “contradicts Islamic Sharia law,” “serves foreign interests” or “... MORE
April 28, 2011

Al-Jazeera suspends Syria bureau; attacks on Lebanon crew

Responding to restrictions and attacks on its staff, Al-Jazeera has suspended its operations inside Syria indefinitely, the Qatar-based news network told the Committee to Protect Journalists today. Damascus has subjected Syrian employees of Al-Jazeera to sustained pressure to resign from the widely viewed satellite news channel, the station's Public Liberties and Human Rights Section told CPJ today. Authorities have also prevented the channel's correspondents, among others, from entering the... MORE
April 27, 2011

Thailand: Police close a dozen community radio stations, carry out arrests

A dozen community radio stations linked to the opposition “Red Shirts” were shut down in a major police operation on April 26 in Bangkok and the surrounding provinces, according to Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF). An exact list of the radio stations raided by the police is not yet available. “Coming just a few months before general elections, this crackdown is very disturbing,” RSF said. “If opposition media are no longer allowed to operate, coverage of the... MORE
April 22, 2011

Guinea Bissau: Stay of execution for newspaper

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has expressed mixed feelings over the Guinea Bissau government’s decision not to go ahead with a threat to suspend newspaper Última Hora as it seems to be no more than a stay of execution. At a news conference on April 20, presidency minister Maria Adiatu Djaló Nandigna issued a “vibrant appeal to the media, especially newspaper Última Hora , to bring their editorial policies into line with the higher interests” of Guinea-Bissau... MORE