Maldives journalists receive death threats

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Maldives Journalists Association (MJA) strongly condemn the death threat to some journalists and express concern over 'protective custody' of journalists on the island of Nilandhoo, Faafu Atoll. The IFJ urges the Maldivian government to investigate the death threats and ensure safety of the targeted journalists and create a conducive environment to safely report on issues of national interest. Raajje Television reported death threats against its staff to the Maldives Police Service (MPS) on Thursday, March 2, 2017, after the station received phone calls threatening to…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

Zambia moves forward with Access to Information bill

MISA MISA Zambia welcomes the pronouncement by Justice Minister Given Lubinda at the 2017 Universal Periodic Review that the Access to Information bill is ready and that the government is working on systems that will readily avail the information to the public. The enactment of the ATI bill is long overdue as it has stalled since 2002 when it was presented to parliament, with successive governments-including the PF government in 2011, making vain promises which have not come to fruition. The announcement made by the Justice Minister is a positive step and MISA…Read more

Bangladeshi journalist fatally shot covering street battles

Committee to Protect Journalists Bangladeshi authorities should vigorously investigate and bring to justice those responsible for killing Abdul Hakim Shimul, a journalist for the daily Samakal newspaper, who died today from gunshot wounds sustained while covering political unrest yesterday, according to news reports. Violence broke out yesterday between rival factions of the ruling Awami League, namely supporters of the mayor of the northern Bangladeshi city of Shahjadpur and his opponents from another faction of the party, according to news reports. Some 15 people were injured in the fighting. Shimul was shot in the head and face while…Read more

Journalists beaten inside police station in Bangladesh

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Bangladesh Manobadhikar Sangbadik Forum (BMSF) strongly condemn the beating of two television journalists inside a police station in Dhaka, Bangladesh on January 26, 2017. The IFJ demands punishment to the responsible policemen. Cameraperson Abdul Alim and reporter Ishan Bin Didar of private TV station ATN News, were brutally beaten by a group of policemen inside the Shahbagh Police Station while they were covering the shutdown enforced by the demonstrators protesting the construction of a power plant. Alim needed three stitches on his right eyebrows as a result…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

Malawi media outlet closed after publishing stories on “maize gate”

Media Institute of Southern Africa MISA-Malawi is disturbed by news of the closure this morning of Blantyre Printing and Publishing Company (Times Group) offices by the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) over unpaid taxes. While MISA Malawi does not condone default on taxes, we strongly believe that the closure of Times Group is ill-timed and can easily be construed as an attempt by government to stop the media house from further publication of the 'maize gate' investigation specifically, and to silence critical voices generally. The issue of unpaid taxes could have been resolved through mutual business…Read more

Pakistan urged to free two journalists convicted of defamation

Committee to Protect Journalists Pakistan should immediately release Ikhlaque Ahmed Jokhio and Qurban Ali Gadehi, two reporters for the Sindhi-language weekly Saahiti Awaz who were sentenced to five years in prison for criminal defamation, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. "Journalists should never be sent to jail because of their reporting," said Steven Butler, CPJ's Asia program coordinator. "We call for the immediate release of Ikhlaque Ahmed Jokhio and Qurban Ali Gadehi and for Pakistani authorities to abolish criminal penalties for defamation." A court in Naoshehro Feroze, Sindh province, found Jokhio and Gadehi guilty…Read more

Seven journalists denied entry to Gambia ahead of contested inauguration

Seven international journalists planning to report on the inauguration of Gambia's president-elect Adama Barrow were denied entry to the country on January 16, according to reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists denounced the obstruction as a deliberate attempt to silence the press during a period of political unrest. "The legitimacy of the Gambian government strongly depends on the press being allowed to report on the country's political transition," said Peter Nkanga, CPJ's West Africa representative. "We call on authorities to allow all journalists to freely cover events in Gambia." Immigration officers denied entry…Read more

Pakistani journalist murdered in Baluchistan

Pakistani authorities should credibly investigate the fatal shooting of a journalist in Baluchistan province and bring those responsible to swift justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Two unidentified men on a motorcycle fatally shot Muhammad Jan, a reporter for the Urdu-language daily newspaper Qudrat in the Qalat district in Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province, and fled the scene, according to news reports. Jan, 37, was also press secretary at the press freedom group the Pakistan Media Council and a teacher at a secondary school in Qalat. Baluchistan has long been the site of conflict between the state…Read more