Member Countries celebrate Commonwealth Day

© Commonwealth Secretariat Today, 9 March, member countries across the globe celebrate Commonwealth Day.  This year's theme is "A Young Commonwealth" and in her message published below, HM The Queen - the Head of the Commonwealth - has described all members of the 'family of nations' as 'guardians of a precious flame' and added : 'it is our duty to not only to keep it burning brightly but to keep it replenished for the decades ahead.' It was also announced that HM The Queen will attend the Heads of Government Meeting in Malta from…Read more

International mission to Sri Lanka pushes for critical reforms

Critical reform measures must be taken to make permanent a clear perception of increased media freedom in Sri Lanka since the Jan. 8 presidential election, an international media mission to the country said today. Mission delegates said they observed a sense of optimism among Sri Lankan journalists about the future of their profession, which they said government should build on in the second half of its 100-day platform as well as following upcoming parliamentary elections. The delegates recommended specific measures, including: · Passage of a freedom of information act · Providing structural independence…Read more

Parts of security law restricting speech, media ruled unconstitutional

Reporters Without Borders welcomes this week's Kenyan high court decision declaring eight sections of the controversial Security Laws Amendment Act (SLAA) to be unconstitutional. Two of the sections contain provisions restricting free speech and media freedom. “We hail this Kenyan high court ruling, which is an encouraging signal for the rule of law and the protection of the Kenyan people's fundamental freedoms, including freedom of information," said Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Africa desk. “However, we still have reservations about some of the law's other draconian provisions. The Kenyan…Read more

Militant group claims responsibility for Bangladeshi blogger’s murder

Reporters without Borders After men with machetes killed writer and blogger Avijit Roy, founder of mukto-mona.com (free thinking) and seriously injured his wife, Rafida Ahmed Banna, on a Dhaka street yesterday [26 February 2015], Reporters Without Borders urges the authorities to take unprecedented measures to protect bloggers and combat impunity for those who attack them. Roy, who had US and Bangladeshi dual citizenship and normally resided in the United States, had just left a book fair near the University of Dhaka with his wife when they were attacked. After dealing Roy a mortal…Read more

Sierra Leone: Journalist goes into hiding to escape presidential detention order

Media Foundation for West Africa Tamba Fanday, the station manager for privately-owned Citizen Radio in Koidu Town, Kono District, in eastern Sierra Leone, is currently in hiding for fear of being arrested and detained under a presidential executive order. Fanday said there is "an unnecessary and an unjust plan to arrest and detain him for doing nothing wrong in accordance of the laws of the country." In a statement issued on February 22, 2015, titled "Fear of Unlawful Arrest and Detention: Complaint Against The Sierra Leone Police and Government of President Ernest Bai…Read more

Maldivian journalist receives death threats

International Federation of Journalists The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Maldives Journalist Association (MJA) strongly criticise the death threats made to a senior journalist with Raajje TV of the Maldives. The IFJ and MJA said threats and intimidation against journalists are becoming tools to silence journalists which should not be tolerated. According to Raajje TV, one of their senior journalists had received death threats via a phone call and text message on Sunday, February 15. The journalist received a call from Abdulla Yamin, a member of the Maldives parliament, who is…Read more

Unprecedented crackdown on freedom of expression in Malaysia

Centre for Independent Journalism - Malaysia THE Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) decries the unprecedented crackdown on the freedom of expression in 2015. In less than 50 days this year, the police have detained or investigated at least 23 individuals in relation to statements that they have made. Many of these investigations have been carried out under the Sedition Act, a draconian piece of legislation that is incredibly broad and can easily be used for selective prosecution and to silence those critical of the government. In addition, several individuals were found guilty and/or…Read more

Ghanaians advised to oppose nationwide telecommunications gateway

Media Foundation for West Africa Ghana's telecommunication and ICT industry has been one of the sectors that have witnessed progressive growth and development over the years. The sector has contributed significantly to national development through job creation, improved business transactions and direct contribution to national income.The main factors that have contributed to the success of the telecom and ICT sector have included inclusive policy making, fair competition, a non-repressive environment, and the enforcement of best industry practices in relation to operator obligations and respect for user rights. However, recent policy decisions and practices…Read more

Indian editor arrested for republishing “Charlie Hebdo” cartoon

International Federation of Journalists The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ) and the Brihanmumbai Union of Journalists (BUJ) in condemning the arrest of Shirin Dalvi, the editor of an Urdu newspaper in Mumbai, India on January 29, 2015 for reprinting a cartoon originally published by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The IFJ has described this as a violation of freedom of expression and called for established procedure to deal with violations of journalistic ethics through the Press Council. Dalvi, the Mumbai-based 46-year-old editor of the Awadhnama…Read more

Police raid Malaysian cartoonist’s office, confiscate books

Cartoonists Rights Network International Malaysian cartoonist Zunar, on a speaking tour in England, got word in the early hours of Wednesday, January 28, 2015, that his office in Kuala Lumpur was being raided by police. The police questioned Zunar's staff and confiscated 155 copies of two of the cartoonist's books - Pirates of the Carry Bn and Conspiracy to Imprison Anwar. Zunar, whose given name is Zukiflee Anwar Haque, tweeted that the police action was made under the Printing Presses and Publication Act and the Sedition Act. The Malaysian government has been weighing charges…Read more