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ARCHIVES: Legal Action

August 8, 2011

Belarus: Heavy fines for two independent newspapers

Harassment of the independent newspapers Narodnaya Volya and Nasha Niva continues despite last month’s withdrawal of a legal bid to have them closed. They have each been fined 14 million roubles (2,000 euros) for the warnings they had received from the information ministry in recent months. Narodnaya Volya has said it intends to appeal. “Two weeks after giving the two newspapers encouraging signs, the authorities have put on a new show of force by imposing a fine that penalizes journalistic... MORE
July 14, 2011

Lawsuits and violence by security forces become daily events for Iraqi journalists

Iraqi journalists are now often sued by politicians and public figures and, at the same time, are often the targets of physical attacks which, in many cases are carried out by members of the security forces, including the bodyguards of leading politicians. “These practices, which are designed to intimidate journalists and censor the media, constitute serious violations of freedom of expression and must stop at once,” Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) said. In one... MORE
July 2, 2011

Australian editor convicted, released in Burma

Ross Dunkley , founder and editor of the Myanmar Times newspaper, was convicted of assault and set free for time already spent in detention by a Burmese court on Thursday. The verdict, which carried a 30-day jail term, acquitted Dunkley of other charges viewed by many journalists as trumped up by authorities to put pressure on his news operation. The conviction represented an automatic breach of Burmese immigration laws that carried a possible six months in prison or 100,000 kyat (US$120) fine... MORE
July 1, 2011

Uzbekistan: Dictator’s daughter loses libel suit against French news website

A Paris court has rejected the libel suit that Uzbek President Islam Karimov’s daughter, Lola Karimova, brought against the French news website Rue89 over an article describing her as a “dictator’s daughter” who used charity events to try to “whitewash her country’s image.” Karimova had demanded 30,000 euros in damages for the article by Augustin Scalbert, which was posted on the website in May 2010. In the ruling on July 1, the court described the article as “entirely true to reality”. Two... MORE
June 7, 2011

Central African Republic editor charged with incitement

Central African Republic authorities have charged the director of the independent weekly The Hills of Bangui , Faustin Bambou , with inciting hatred and disorder among the military forces and insulting the government, Bambou told New York-based press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The director was sent directly to Ngaragba Prison in the capital, Bangui. Four military policemen arrested Bambou at his office on May 27 and detained him at their Research and Investigations... MORE
June 6, 2011

Sudan journalists who report on rape charged with crimes

Sudan has pressed criminal charges against 10 journalists who have reported on the alleged rape and torture of a youth activist, according to New York-based press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The activist said she was raped after participating in a demonstration in January. "Rather than address the systematic failures that enable torture and rape, the Sudanese government has chosen to subject journalists who cover them to politicised legal proceedings," said CPJ Middle... MORE
May 26, 2011

Indonesia: Million-dollar defamation award to Suharto’s son

The youngest son of Indonesia’s former President Suharto - Hutomo Mandala Putra was awarded on May 24 damages worth 12.5 billion Rupiah ($1.46 million) for a magazine article which described him as a “convicted murderer.” Also known as “Tommy Suharto,” the description in the article was a reference to his 2002 conviction for ordering the murder of a Supreme Court judge. “It is very disturbing that an Indonesian court awarded damages to Tommy Suharto for the publication of an article which... MORE
May 1, 2011

Armenian newspapers threatened by libel suits with sky-high damages awards

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) is concerned about all the libel actions being brought against Armenian newspapers and the disproportionate damages being demanded, which threaten their survival and create a climate that encourages self-censorship. This tendency to use lawsuits to throttle news media must be reined in. The repeal of jail sentences for libel and slander in April 2010 was hailed as a democratic advance but judicial harassment of the media continues... MORE
April 29, 2011

Rwanda: Prosecutors request 10-year jail sentence for exiled newspaper editor

The Rwandan government has been hounding one of its media bugbears, Jean Bosco Gasasira , editor of the bimonthly newspaper Umuvugizi and one of the country’s most outspoken journalists, Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has said. Prosecutors Thursday asked Rwanda’s supreme court to sentence him to ten years in prison on charges on which the Kigali high court acquitted him last September. The request was made at a hearing at which he was not represented by a lawyer... MORE
April 20, 2011

Philippines: Criminal defamation charges brought against Mindanao radio journalist

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has condemned the two criminal defamation charges that have been brought against Alberto Loyola , a journalist with radio DxRJ in Iligan City (on the southern island of Mindanao), by local city councillor Chonilo Ruiz. Arrested on April 18, Loyola was released Tuesday on bail of 10,000 pesos (160 euros) after being held for nearly 48 hours, but a regional court could issue a new arrest order in the next few days. Ruiz brought the... MORE