Indian journalist charged under Official Secrets Act

Authorities in India should immediately drop all charges against Poonam Agrawal, a journalist for the English-language news website The Quint, the Committee to Protect journalists said today. Police in Nashik, roughly 170 kilometres (105 miles) northeast of Mumbai, on March 28 opened a criminal case against Agrawal on charges of spying and criminal trespass under the Official Secrets Act, a 1923 anti-espionage law. They also charged her with criminal defamation and abetment of a suicide under the Penal Code, according to the journalist and media reports. If convicted of all charges, she faces…Read more

After two-year trial, Ugandan journalists acquitted of criminal defamation

Human Rights Network for Journalists - Uganda The Chief Magistrates Court at Buganda Road has acquitted four journalists of criminal defamation and convicted the source of defamatory information. Madina Nalwanga and Patrick Tumwesigye of New Vision, and Benon Tugumiisirize and Ronald Nahabwe – formerly of Red Pepper – were found not “criminally liable” for what was published and had no intention to defame the complainants. However, the court found the provider of the information, Ssegawa Tamale, guilty. He will be sentenced on 17 March 2017 at 2:00 P.M “I am convinced by the evidence of A2…Read more

Kenya’s High Court declares criminal defamation unconstitutional

ARTICLE 19 welcomes the decision today by Kenya's High Court declaring Section 194 of the Penal Code, which creates the offence of criminal defamation, unconstitutional. ARTICLE 19, alongside Jaqueline Okuta and Jackson Njeru, petitioned the High Court in Nairobi that the provision was a disproportionate and unjustifiable limitation of freedom of expression. Jaqueline and Jackson had been charged under the section for publishing posts about a prominent Kenyan lawyer on a consumer protection Facebook page called 'Buyer Beware'. Jackson is an administrator of the page. Justice JM Mativo declared that Section 194 of…Read more

War of words with Nigerian army lands journalists in jail

The International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos-Nigeria has described the invasion of the premises of Premium Times in Abuja and the subsequent arrest of its Publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi and the judiciary correspondent, Evelyn Okakwu, by armed police men on the night of January 19, 2017, as an unacceptable assault on freedom of the press. The director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, said in a statement today (January 20, 2017), that the attack on Premium Times – as well as the harassment of other journalists in recent times – are completely antithetical to democratic values and norms at the…Read more

Gambia orders three radio stations to cease broadcasting

The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Gambian authorities to allow three independent radio stations to resume full broadcasting. Taranga FM, Hilltop Radio, and Afri Radio stopped broadcasting on January 1 on the orders of national security agents, who did not give any explanation for the measure, according to news reports. The closures come amid a political crisis in Gambia after President Yahya Jammeh refused to admit defeat in elections last month. Authorities may have targeted at least one of the stations after it announced details of President-elect Adama Barrow's inauguration, planned…Read more

India court urged to let journalists cover proceedings

International Press Institute (IPI) Executive Director Barbara Trionfi this week sent a letter to the chief justice of the High Court of Kerala, India expressing concern over continued restrictions on journalists' right to cover court proceedings. In the letter, which was also directed to the chief minister of Kerala's government, Trionfi noted that journalists have been denied access to courts in the southern Indian state for months and must rely on information provided by public relations officers. "This, however, is not a substitute for independent reporting," she wrote. "A free and independent judiciary…Read more

Police raid newspaper after critical documentary airs in Maldives

Authorities in the Maldives should cease harassing the Maldives Independent, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Police raided the daily newspaper's office hours after the Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera aired a documentary produced by the paper's former editor alleging high-level corruption in the Maldives. Six police officers arrived at the independent, English-language daily's office in the capital Male the afternoon of September 7 with a warrant authorizing them to search the premises on suspicion that the newspaper and its employees had participated in an alleged conspiracy "to overthrow the elected government, getting external help to…Read more

Journalist detained over criminal defamation complaint in Bangladesh

Bangladeshi journalist Siddiqur Rahman Khan has been detained since September 1 after a criminal defamation complaint was filed against him under Article 57 of the 2006 Information and Communication Technology Act, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists called today for Khan's immediate release and an end to the use of criminal charges to harass and stifle online media in Bangladesh. Khan, the editor-in-chief of news portal Dainikshiksha, was detained by cybercrime unit police in the Shikkha Bhaban district of Dhaka, the capital, according to reports. Police spokesman Masudur Rahman told reporters that Khan…Read more

New Maldives criminal defamation law threatens press freedom

Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom should veto a criminal defamation law the parliament passed yesterday, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The legislation threatens to stifle criticism and investigative reporting. According to press reports, the government had promised to put a draft of the law before a multiparty committee for amendments before putting it to a vote. But lawmakers yesterday approved the legislation in a 47-31 vote and referred it to Yameen for ratification. Under the law, individuals convicted of defamation face a fine of up to 2 million rufiya (US$130,000), and…Read more

Maldives government proposes law to criminalise defamation

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Maldives Journalists Association (MJA) in strongly criticising the proposed 'Defamation and Freedom of Expression Act' in the Maldives. The IFJ demands immediate withdrawal of the bill and urges the Maldivian government to review it with all stakeholders, including the media and journalists, to ensure it meets international standards. On March 22, 2016, the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives Parliamentary Group leader MP Ahmed Nihan presented the defamation and freedom of expression bill to the Maldives parliament. The draft law prescribes hefty fines of…Read more
  • 1
  • 2