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July 3, 2007

Newspapers ask African Union summit to accept principles of press freedom

The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) and the World Editors Forum (WEF) have called on African leaders, who are meeting in Ghana at the African Union Summit, to abolish "insult" laws and to accept the principles of press freedom set out in the Declaration of Table Mountain, which calls for the abolishment of all laws that restrict freedom of expression. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) also called on the leaders to free all journalists imprisoned on the continent as part of... MORE
June 27, 2007

Mali convicts five journalists for covering school essay about imaginary President

Five Malian journalists who covered a high school essay assignment — and the teacher who commissioned the lesson — have been convicted of insulting President Amadou Toumani Toure, according to news reports and local journalists. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemned the verdicts, which stemmed from a classroom exercise about an imaginary presidential sex scandal, and called for the convictions to be reversed on appeal. “These spurious charges for covering a school assignment... MORE
June 11, 2007

Ethiopia’s High Court convicts four editors, three publishers

Ethiopia's High Court today convicted four editors and three publishers of now-defunct weeklies of anti-state charges linked to their coverage of the government’s handling of disputed parliamentary elections in 2005, according to local journalists. Two of the editors were convicted of charges carrying life imprisonment or death. The journalists were arrested after a massive government crackdown on the media and opposition groups in November 2005. The media was targeted for its coverage of how... MORE
June 5, 2007

World Newspaper Congress asks African nations to recognise press freedom

Leaders of the world’s press have called on African governments "as a matter of urgency" to abolish all laws that restrict press freedom, and have pledged to increase "aggressive and persistent campaigning against press freedom violations and restrictions in Africa." The Declaration of Table Mountain, approved on the eve of the World Newspaper Congress and World Editors Forum in Cape Town, calls on African governments to release jailed journalist, abolish draconian press laws and recognise the... MORE
April 22, 2007

Liberia: Minister’s naughty threesome with state, press and free speech

Liberian information minister Laurence Bropleh continues to make a stalwart but surprising defence of his government’s targeting of the Monrovia Independent newspaper for publishing an obscene photograph of another cabinet minister. Disgraced Minister of Presidential Affairs Willis Knuckles tendered his resignation on February 25 after a picture of him in a sex act with two young girls surfaced on the internet. Accepting it, President Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson said his behaviour “while not illegal... MORE
March 27, 2007

Mugabe now threatens foreign reporters for 'biased' reporting

A beleaguered Robert Mugabe has now threatened foreign correspondents with unspecified government reprisal in capital Harare over alleged biased reporting. Zimbabwe's veteran leader Robert Mugabe at his birthday celebrations in Mkoba, Gweru, central Zimbabwe, February 2007. Mugabe has denounced opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai as a stooge of the West in the face of mounting international condemnation of his rule. (AFP/File/Desmond Kwande) Prominent correspondents Jan Raath of the Times of... MORE
November 13, 2006

Zim media school ordered to enrol Mugabe ‘zealots’

The Zimbabwe government has directed the country’s largest journalism training school to accept only students who have completed a controversial national youth-service training programme — blamed by critics for brainwashing youths into zealots of President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu-PF party. Churches and human rights groups say graduates of the training programme, which is run by former and serving military officers, routinely hunt down supporters of the main opposition Movement for... MORE
October 31, 2006

Namibian news agency ‘insolvent’, not given necessary support

THE future of Government’s news agency might be in doubt if the cash-strapped parastatal does not get a much-needed financial injection soon to operate as a commercialised entity, the Auditor General’s office has warned. The Namibia Press Agency (Nampa) made a net loss of N$1,71 million in the financial year ending March 31 2005, some N$352 000 more than the previous financial year despite trimming expenditure, according to the report, which was tabled in the National Assembly. Nampa further... MORE
January 23, 2006

Mozambique conviction welcomed, but questions remain

Press freedom organisations have welcomed the conviction in the murder of Carlos Cardoso, but called on authorities to pursue those who had masterminded the killing of Mozambique's leading investigative journalist. A court in the capital, Maputo, convicted Anibal dos Santos Jr for the second time of recruiting Cardoso's killers. Dos Santos, better known as Anibalzinho, was sentenced to almost 30 years in prison. The conviction ended a two-month retrial. Anibalzinho, who escaped twice from... MORE