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November 20, 2007

Cambodia: Journalists charged with theft, arrested briefly after taking pictures of illegal farm

(SEAPA/IFEX) - On 17 November 2007, three journalists from the "Voice of Peace" newspaper in Kampong Thom province were arrested for alleged theft after they took pictures of an illegal farm rearing snakehead fish in the district of Kampong Svay, Kampong Thom province, bordering Tonle Sap (Great Lake). Thorng Channa, 45, Lim Thau, 35, and Pen Rithy, 32, were out on bail the same day, thanks to the intervention of a senior Information Ministry official, according to the Cambodian Association for... MORE
November 20, 2007

Malaysia: Members of ruling political party assault photographer at opposition press conference

(SEAPA/IFEX) - A photographer from a local daily was allegedly assaulted by members of the dominant ruling political party, United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), while covering a press conference organised by an opposition Member of Parliament on 16 November 2007. Koh Chun Seng, 27, a photographer with the Chinese-language "Guangming Daily", claimed he was attacked for taking pictures of two UMNO members who had argued with Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai, of the opposition Democratic Action Party... MORE
November 20, 2007

Cambodia confiscates new magazine over critical articles

(SEAPA/IFEX) - The Cambodian Ministry of Information has confiscated a new magazine for allegedly violating the constitutional provision protecting the monarchy, though local reports said other "sensitive" articles featured in the magazine could have triggered the action. Authorities in the capital city and Battambang province seized all 2,000 copies of the inaugural issue of monthly "Free Press Magazine" when it was distributed on 2 November 2007. Fearing arrest, the magazine's editor-in-chief... MORE
November 20, 2007

Turkey: Military bans print, broadcast coverage of trial of soldiers previously taken hostage by separatist group

(BIANET/IFEX) - The Gendarmerie Public Order Corps Command Military Court in Van, in southeast Turkey, has put in place a broadcast and print ban concerning the investigation of the eight soldiers taken hostage by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) on 21 October 2007 and released two weeks later. The decision was also announced on the website of the Radio and Television Supreme Commission (RTÜK). The ban was decided upon unanimously in order to "avoid a distortion of the aim of the investigation... MORE
November 20, 2007

Turkey: Prosecutor drops criminal charges against journalist who wrote about soldiers' dissatisfaction

(BIANET/IFEX) - Following a complaint of the General Staff, "Sabah" journalist Umur Talu was investigated for an article in which he had reported on the dissatisfaction of sergeants within the army. Now Istanbul Press Prosecutor Nurten Altinok has decided to drop proceedings against the journalist. In his decision, he said: "(The author) had stated that, as part of the journalistic profession and as a humane necessity, he had wanted to describe the situation of a group within the Armed Forces... MORE
November 19, 2007

Turkey: Issue of newspaper confiscated for "anti-military" article

(BIANET/IFEX) - The Gaziantep First Criminal Court of Peace has ordered the confiscation of the 32nd issue of the local "Coban Atesi" (Shepherd's Fire) newspaper after it published journalist Berkant Coslun's article entitled "Mother, Don't Send Me to the Army". The newspaper stands accused of "damaging the public image of military service." Judge Saban Kaplan decreed the confiscation of the issue "because the article contained passages which committed the crime of damaging the public image of... MORE
November 19, 2007

New journalists' federation calls on African Union

(IFJ/IFEX) - Journalists from all corners of Africa yesterday launched a new continental federation to provide a unified voice for newsroom staff campaigning for better working conditions and professional rights. The Federation of African Journalists was launched at a congress in Abuja on the theme of "Building a Strong and United Voice for African Journalists" that included participants from 20 countries and leaders of sub-regional groups representing journalists from the Mediterranean to the... MORE
November 19, 2007

Somaliland: Proposed new media law undermines freedom of expression

(NUSOJ/IFEX) - The Somaliland Ministry of Information has drafted and proposed a new media law that undermines internationally accepted standards of freedom of expression. The new draft law increases the powers of the Ministry of Information to control the media. It also gives the Minister of Information the power to suspend media organizations, arrest journalists and take over ownership of media organizations. The proposed law empowers the Minister of Information to intervene in the managerial... MORE
November 19, 2007

Cyprus: Ultra-nationalists threaten writer, journalist over stories promoting tolerance, human rights

(IFJ/IFEX) - Today the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European group of the International Federation of Journalists, strongly condemned the repeated threats against journalists in Cyprus and in particular the latest intimidation of a writer writing about a love affair between a man and woman from either side of the divided community. "In a split country like Cyprus, we cannot accept that authors and journalists writing about tolerance and cultural dialogue are threatened and... MORE
November 18, 2007

Sudanese journalists face prison for libel

KHARTOUM, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Two Sudanese journalists have been convicted of publishing an article criticising security services for detaining four other journalists, their colleagues said on Sunday. Al-Fatih Mahjoub Irwaha, editor in chief of Arabic daily Al-Sudani, and his deputy and columnist Nurelden Madini, are facing two months in prison after refusing to pay a fine for defamation, staff at the newspaper said. Sudan's National Intelligence Service said it had been libelled by the paper... MORE