Malaysia ponders stricter punishments for whistleblowers, journalists

The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) is appalled at the most recent assault against the right to freedom of expression and information and its critical role in upholding democracy in Malaysia. We refer to the proposal by Attorney-General Mohamad Apandi Ali to increase the punishment under the already heavy-handed Official Secrets Act to include life imprisonment and 10 strokes of the rotan to target journalists. This is an indicator of a government who is intolerant of criticism and fearful of accountability, and a case of shooting the messenger to distract from the real issue at…Read more

Mohamed Fahmy proposes Protection Charter for Canadian citizens and journalists

Last week in Ottawa, journalist and activist Mohamed Fahmy proposed a new Protection Charter to the Canadian government that would increase Canada's intervention and support for its citizens and journalists detained or imprisoned abroad. Developed in collaboration with Amnesty International and the Fahmy Foundation, this Charter lays out 12 practical steps for the government to reform and strengthen its mechanisms to protect Canadian citizens, permanent residents and individuals with close Canadian connections from serious human rights violations in other countries. Mohamed Fahmy is a Canadian citizen who worked for Al Jazeera in Egypt when he…Read more

Uganda’s elections body bans civil society campaign messages

Human Rights Network for Journalists - Uganda On 30 November 2015, Uganda's elections body – the Independent Electoral Commission – suspended media houses from airing elections-voter mobilization campaign messages, saying that some of their content were anti-ruling party, but favored the opposition. The Commission contends that the messages mobilize Ugandans to vote for change at the expense of the ruling party. “Some of the material we have been hearing in Luganda (Local language) and English, some of us are complaining about them… what are the interpretations of the wider implications of your messages?”…Read more