Huge libel damages aim to throttle Swaziland’s only independent daily

Reporters Without Borders Reporters Without Borders condemns the exorbitant libel damages that the high court awarded last week against the Times of Swaziland. The record sum of 550,000 lilangeni (41,000 euros) is tantamount to a death sentence for the country's only privately-owned daily. The court awarded the damages on 3 December to senate president Gelane Simelane-Zwane in connection with a May 2009 article reflecting debates about whether she was a Simelane family member by birth. “This damages award, the largest ever made against a Swazi publication in a libel case, is out of all proportion to…Read more

Television news channel illegally suspended in Karachi

Pakistan Press Foundation A private television news channel, Saama TV, was forced to go off the air in several areas of Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, for unknown reasons on Wednesday December 10, 2014. Earlier on October 25, 2014, several television news channels had gone off the air for about six hours in Karachi and other parts of Sindh province after threats were issued by unidentified men over the telephone to some cable operators. Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) General Secretary Amin Yousuf strongly condemned the suspension of Saama TV transmission and demanded its immediate restoration. G.M. Jamali,…Read more

Low powered explosives hurled at TV channels’ vans, staff injured in Islamabad

Pakistan Press Foundation Unidentified motorcycle riders hurled low powered explosive devices, commonly known as crackers, at digital satellite news gathering (DSNG) vans of the private TV channels Dawn News, Dunya News and Abb Tak News in Islamabad. The incident, which occurred on Sunday, November 30, 2014, resulted in injuries to five media professionals. The attack took place after a political rally organized by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), when two men on a motorcycle hurled crackers at the parked television vans. DSNG engineer Ziaul Haq and cameraman Mohsin Ali of Dawn News, Nadir Hussain…Read more

Malaysia urged to repeal Sedition Act, not implement registration of Internet users

Centre for Independent Journalism Malaysia The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) views with incredulity the suggestion mentioned by the Communications and Multimedia Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek for all social media users to register with the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). Aside from such registration creating huge bureaucratic, administrative and technological challenges, it will also constitute an infringement on freedom of expression. CIJ reiterates that curbs on freedom of expression cannot be imposed willy-nilly but only when a clear threat to national security, public order or public morality can be demonstrated, and the…Read more

Cameroon’s National Communication Council suspends 6 prominent journalists

Freedom House In response to Cameroon's National Communication Council suspending six prominent journalists and ordering an end to key radio and TV programs, Freedom House issues the following statement: "We strongly condemn this intensive crackdown by the Cameroonian government on freedom of expression," said Vukasin Petrovic, director of Africa programs. "Government claims that its move against journalists protects the public and ensures compliance with professional standards is simply an attempt by authorities to stifle dissent and consolidate control over independent media. The government should reverse these steps, which violate international standards of freedom…Read more

Journalist brutally murdered in Andra Pradesh, southern India

International Federation of Journalists The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) condemn the brutal murder of a senior journalist in Guntur of Andra Pradesh, in southeastern India in the early hours of Wednesday, November 26, 2014. MVN Shankar, 53, a reporter working for a Telagu daily, Andra Prabha, was attacked by three unidentified assailants with iron rods and sticks late Tuesday night, November 25, in front of his residence at Chilakaluripet town. He succumbed to the injuries a day later at a government hospital. An IJU affiliate,…Read more

Official launch of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2015

Official CHOGM 2015 Website On November 21 Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma launched the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2015 to be held in Malta next November. The theme will be 'The Commonwealth - Adding Global Value'. - See more at: http://thecommonwealth.org/media/news/official-launch-commonwealth-heads-government-meeting-2015#sthash.tt7wCxVW.dpufRead more

Journalists launch legal challenge over police surveillance in U.K.

International Federation of Journalists The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today joined the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) – its affiliate in Great Britain – in supporting six members who have taken legal action against the Metropolitan Police and the Home Secretary. The legal challenge concerns the monitoring and recording of their lawful journalistic and union activities by police since 2008. According to the NUJ, Jules Mattsson, Mark Thomas, Jason Parkinson, Jess Hurd, David Hoffman and Adrian Arbib have been under police surveillance, as part of the police monitoring of the so called…Read more

Bloggers on hit-list posted by supposed Islamist group in Bangladesh

Reporters Without Borders A group identifying itself as Islamist has claimed responsibility for three murders, including that of Rajib Haider, a blogger whose throat was cut on 15 February 2013, and has named other future victims including Asif Mohiuddin, a blogger who narrowly survived a stabbing on 14 January 2013. The group, which calls itself Ansar al Islam Bangladesh (Defenders of Islam), posted the message on a newly-created Facebook page on 15 November, just hours after the fatal stabbing of sociology professor Shafiul Islam, one of the murders claimed by the group. Since then, the Facebook page seems to have…Read more

CPU MT Chairman elected to top European post

European Newspaper Publishers Association (EPNA) 11th November, 2014, Brussels – ENPA, representing publishers of newspapers and news media in Europe, announced today the appointment of Lord Black of Brentwood (Guy Black), Executive Director of the Telegraph Media Group (UK), as the new President of the association. Lord Black was elected during ENPA’s General Assembly which took place in Oslo at the weekend.A prominent figure in the international publishing sector, Lord Black has spent 20 years working for press freedom at national and global level. He has been director of the Press Complaints Commission in the UK…Read more