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April 5, 2011

Turkmenistan: 80-yr-old confined to a psychiatric hospital for talking to a radio station

Amangelen Shapudakov , an 80-year-old activist, has been confined to a psychiatric hospital after accusing a local government official of corruption in an interview for Radio Azatlyq, the Turkmen-language service of Radio Free Europe (RFE), one of the few independent media still operating in Turkmenistan. “The inhuman and arbitrary way that Shapudakov is being treated is new evidence of this central Asian dictatorship’s harsh repression of the media and their sources,” Paris-based press freedom... MORE
April 5, 2011

Journalists among victims of Azerbaijan regime’s violent response to pro-democracy protests

As pro-democracy protests gain pace in Azerbaijan, the regime is cracking down harder on journalists in a desperate attempt to assert its control over news and information. The authorities at first concentrated on imposing a news blackout by preventing journalists from covering demonstrations and criminalizing Facebook users. But in a new escalation, opposition journalists are now being abducted and beaten. In the latest case, three men in civilian dress intercepted Ramin Deco , a reporter for... MORE
April 5, 2011

Iraq: More attacks on journalists covering demonstrations, TV cameraman missing

Dana Bakir , a cameraman working for Iraq's Naliya Radio and Television (NRT), has been missing since April 1, when security forces attacked journalists who were covering a demonstration in Freedom Square (Saray Azadi) in Sulaymaniyah. NRT director-general Twana Othman said he regarded his cameraman’s disappearance as a case of abduction. Othman told Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) that, according to the latest information, his cameraman appeared to have been... MORE
April 5, 2011

Authorities step up intimidation, jailing LankaeNews editor

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has called on Sri Lankan authorities to immediately release LankaeNews editor Benette Rupasinghe , who was Thursday arrested by the Colombo police for allegedly threatening another man. Aged 68 and a diabetes patient, Rupasinghe is currently being held in the infirmary of Colombo prison. The press freedom organisation condemned the way the government is hounding Rupasinghe and the other journalists who work for this Colombo-based... MORE
April 5, 2011

Authorities continue to harass opposition newspaper editor in Bangladesh

A warrant was issued for the arrest of Mahmudur Rahman , the editor of the opposition daily Amar Desh , on March 29, just two weeks after he was released from prison. He is accused of libelling senior Awami League officials in the southern town of Kotalipara. The Awami League has governed Bangladesh since 2008. Rahman is to be tried next month. Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) urged the government to put an immediate stop to this political persecution of a... MORE
March 31, 2011

Government threatens online activists with prosecution in Swaziland

(MISA/IFEX): The government of Swaziland has and continues to threaten with prosecution people who are expressing themselves using popular social media networks such as Facebook. The government has accused the Facebookers of being too critical of the government and ruling elites in Swaziland. On March 25, Prime Minister Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini assured Senators in Parliament that his government would track down, arrest and prosecute one Gangadza Masilela , whose Facebook postings have been... MORE
March 31, 2011

Sports journalists harassed by football fans in Ecuador

Sports journalists Pedro Anibal Fernández , Ramón Morales Verduga and Héctor Barre were attacked on March 19 by fans of the Portoviejo University Sports League (LDUP) at the end of a football match at the Reales Tamarindo stadium in the town of Portoviejo, capital of the coastal province of Manabí, located 329 km southwest of Quito. The journalists said that at the end of the match between LDUP and the Technical University of Cotopaxi (UTC) some fans, annoyed over the tied game, lunged at them... MORE
March 31, 2011

Journalists detained in Bahrain, Egypt

A CNN crew was detained Wednesday in Manama while interviewing a prominent Bahraini human rights defender, according to a Twitter posting by the network and a CPJ interview. The detentions come amid a recent series of repressive actions by the Bahraini government, which included Wednesday's arrest of a well-known blogger. Anti-press actions were also reported in Egypt, Syria, and Libya, CPJ research shows. CNN tweeted this evening from Bahrain that a crew had been detained at the home of Nabeel... MORE
March 31, 2011

Argentina should halt obstruction of top dailies

The Argentine government should ensure that the nation's two largest dailies can be distributed without interference, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has said. CPJ's appeal comes two days after union demonstrators blocked trucking exits at the printing facilities of Clarín and La Nación , preventing Clarín from distributing its Sunday edition. Clarín and La Nació n reported on their websites that their adjacent printing facilities in Buenos Aires were blocked early Sunday by dozens... MORE
March 31, 2011

Journalists continue to be harassed in different ways throughout Middle East

Reuters television producer Ayat Basma and cameraman Ezzat Baltaji were released on March 28 after being held for two days but Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has meanwhile learnt that two other journalists were arrested on March 27. The London-based Syrian Human Rights Monitoring Centre identified them as Doha Hassan , who works for Orient TV and several websites, and Zaher Omareen . RSF has been told they are being held at the General Directorate for State... MORE