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ARCHIVES: State Impunity

August 1, 2011

Libya: NATO attacks on national TV headquarters and installations in Tripoli

NATO carried out airstrikes on the Tripoli headquarters of the state-owned national TV broadcaster Al-Jamahiriya and two of its installations on July 30. According to Al-Jamahiriya, three of its journalists were killed and 21 others were wounded in the airstrikes but this could not be immediately verified. The impossibility of immediate verification is yet another reminder of the difficulty of establishing what is happening in a war when there are no journalists on the ground or their ability... MORE
August 1, 2011

Pakistan: Acts of intimidation against two Karachi-based TV journalists in past 10 days

There has been an increase in threats and acts of intimidation against journalists in the southwestern port city of Karachi. Two TV reporters, Syed Shahryar Asim of Aaj TV and Malik Munawar of Channel 5, have been attacked in connection with their work in the past 10 days alone. “We urge the authorities to break the cycle of violence and impunity by investigating both of these cases thoroughly, and we remind them that the safety of journalists must be guaranteed if any democracy is to be able... MORE
July 30, 2011

Sri Lanka: Opposition newspaper editor badly beaten in Jaffna, left for dead

A savage attack was carried out July 29 on Gnanasundaram Kuhanathan, 59, the editor of the Tamil-language daily Uthayan , who was beaten by unidentified men with iron bars in the northern city of Jaffna. He was rushed to hospital, where he was in a critical condition with serious head injuries and still unconscious. “We demand a rapid and thorough investigation into this appalling crime,” Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) said. “The violence used by his attackers... MORE
July 28, 2011

Jordan: Renewed threats against AFP bureau in Amman

There has been a series of attacks, threats and demonstrations since mid-June targeting the Agence France-Presse bureau in Amman and its chief, Randa Habib, according to Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF). “The protests against AFP in Amman have taken a disturbing turn, with the demonstrators using threats and violence,” RSF said. “Intimidation attempts of this kind, which hamper the work of journalists, are unacceptable. We call on Yehya Saud, the parliamentarian... MORE
July 26, 2011

Turkey: Killer’s conviction in Hrant Dink case seen as important step, but masterminds still protected

An Istanbul court for minors on July 25 passed a sentence of 22 years and 10 months in prison on Ogün Samast after convicting him of being the trigger-man in the January 2007 murder of Turkish-Armenian newspaper editor Hrant Dink. Aged 17 at the time of the shooting, Samast was also ordered to pay to a fine of 600 Turkish lira (300 euros), Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) reported. “By imposing almost the maximum sentence on the leading suspect in Dink’s murder,... MORE
July 26, 2011

Pakistan: Slain journalist’s associates say murder investigation has ground to halt

Two close associates of Syed Saleem Shahzad, an Islamabad-based investigative reporter for the Asia Times online newspaper whose dead body was found in Punjab province on 31 May, have given interviews to Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) in which they accuse the authorities of showing little interest in investigating his murder. “We voice our support for Shahzad’s relatives and colleagues and we urge the authorities to guarantee their safety,” RSF said. “Several of... MORE
July 19, 2011

Iraq: Resumption of physical attacks on reporters

Many journalists have been the target of deliberate physical attacks in the past week as police officers and members of the security forces of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of the two main parties that form the government in Iraqi Kurdistan, looked on without intervening. In one incident, reporters were attacked by gunmen in civilian dress while covering a fire in a building near the Family Mall, a leading shopping centre, in Erbil on July 13. Police made no attempt to help the... MORE
July 8, 2011

La Ceiba TV reporter is second journalist murdered in Honduras in 2 months

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has condemned local TV reporter Adan Benítez’s murder in the northern port city of La Ceiba (the capital of Atlántida department) on July 4. Employed by two local stations, 45TV and Teleceiba Canal 7, he was the second journalist to be murdered in Honduras in the past two months. “Investigators should not rule out the possibility that Adan Benítez was killed in connection with his work,” RSF said. “The Honduran authorities must do... MORE
June 29, 2011

Afghanistan: French journalists released after 18 months

French journalists Hervé Ghesquière and Stéphane Taponier and their Afghan interpreter Reza , who were abducted by a Taliban group on December 29, 2009 in the northeastern province of Kapisa while doing a report for the French TV station France 3, were released June 29. Kapisa governor Abdol Hakim Akhonzadeh, who was reached in the town of Tagab, told Reporters Without Borders that the journalists were freed at around 5 p.m. The Elysée Palace immediately notified their families, who were... MORE
June 24, 2011

Somali militias shut two radio stations

Gunmen from pro- and anti-government militias raided and shuttered two radio stations in Somalia in separate attacks on Wednesday, according to New York-based press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). An armed group with links to the hardline insurgency Al-Shabaab stormed the private Voice of Hiran on Wednesday morning in the central town of Beledweyne, ordering all staff to leave the premises, local journalists told CPJ. According to a source who spoke on condition of... MORE