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ARCHIVES: State Impunity

May 20, 2011

Libya: Release body of South African photojournalist

The Libyan government should immediately release the body of South African photographer Anton Hammerl , and investigate the role of the armed forces in his death, Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Hammerl, 41, was shot and killed by government forces near Brega in eastern Libya on April 5. Three journalists traveling with him were detained by Libyan authorities until May 18 and announced Hammerl's death after their release. For more than six weeks the... MORE
May 17, 2011

Kazakhistan: Prosecutor ignores threats against journalist

A regional prosecutor in Uralsk, western Kazakhstan, has refused to investigate a threatening call against Alla Zlobina , a regional correspondent for the embattled independent weekly Golos Respubliki . Zlobina's daughter was also intimidated. New York-based press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called upon regional authorities to thoroughly probe the incidents and bring those responsible to justice. At around 7 a.m. on April 29, an anonymous caller phoned Zlobina at home... MORE
May 13, 2011

Peru: Amid witch-hunt before second round, candidates urged to keep press freedom promises

There is no clear front-runner in the presidential election run-off between Ollanta Humala and Keiko Fujimori that is due to take place on June 5 but, with three weeks still to go, the campaign is already having a devastating impact on Peru’s media, according to Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF). The most serious case concerns César Levano , editor of the daily La Primera , and Arturo Belaúnde , the president of its board. Wreaths for both were delivered to the... MORE
May 12, 2011

Honduras: Local TV journalist gunned down in north

Héctor Francisco Medina Polanco , 35, the host of a news programme on provincial TV station Omega Visión, died in a hospital in the northern city of San Pedro Sula on May 11 from the gunshot injuries he had received the day before, Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has reported. Medina was shot twice in the chest and once in the arm by two men on a motorcycle who followed him to his home in Morazán, a town outside the nearby city of El Progreso. He was almost... MORE
May 10, 2011

Tunisia: Journalists demonstrate against last week’s police violence

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has condemned the police violence to which 15 journalists were subjected while covering the three days of demonstrations in the capital that began on May 5. Making no attempt to distinguish between protesters and media personnel, the police roughed up reporters, carried out arrests and confiscated or smashed equipment. “The use violence against journalists by the police in recent days is like a bad memory,” RSF secretary-general... MORE
May 10, 2011

Russia: Young journalist gunned down in northern Dagestan

Yakhya Magomedov , the young editor of the Avar-language version of a bi-monthly magazine that promotes a moderate vision of traditional Islam, was gunned down in northern Dagestan on May 8, according to Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF). “We offer our condolences to Magomedov’s relatives and colleagues and we urge the authorities not to leave his death unpunished,” RSF said. “This case must be solved and the murderers must be brought to justice. Conditions are... MORE
May 6, 2011

Two sentenced in Baburova murder in Russia

The conviction and sentencing of two defendants in the 2009 double murder of freelance journalist Anastasiya Baburova and human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov is a landmark victory in the fight against impunity in press killings in Russia, the Committee to Protect Journalists said. Moscow City Court Judge Aleksandr Zamashnyuk gave defendant Nikita Tikhonov life in a strict-regime penal colony. Yevgeniya Khasis, Tikhonov's common-law wife, will serve an 18-year term in a regular-regime penal... MORE
May 5, 2011

More than 80 journalists have disappeared or been killed in Mexico since 2000

A total of 68 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000, while another 13 remain missing, says a new report by Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), El Universal reports. In addition, the CNDH report catalogs 21 attacks on media facilities and says that since 2005, the organization has received 473 general grievance complaints from journalists and human rights defenders. Coinciding with celebrations for the May 3 World Press Freedom Day, the commission called on the... MORE
May 5, 2011

Pakistan vows to pursue justice in journalist murders

Pakistan's president committed to pursue justice for journalists killed in the line of duty, pledging to take steps to reverse the country's rising record of impunity. A delegation from the Committee to Protect Journalists met President Asif Ali Zardari Tuesday to discuss the growing number of targeted attacks on journalists in Pakistan and urged him to ensure that journalists are free to report on sensitive issues. The president's commitment, made on World Press Freedom Day, will be monitored... MORE
May 3, 2011

Iran: 80-yr-old journalist, under house arrest for 10 years, commits suicide

Journalist Siamak Pourzand , 80, a major cultural figure in Iran, has committed suicide. Detained and under house arrest for ten years, banned from leaving the country and separated from his family, Pourzand killed himself on April 29 in Tehran. "We hold the Iranian authorities responsible for this gesture of despair. Despite several appeals to the authorities by his family and various human rights organizations including Reporters Without Borders (RSF), not once did either President Mohammad... MORE