Three journalists arrested in Maldives while covering protests

Committee to Protect Journalists Authorities in the Maldives should immediately release three journalists detained this week while covering political demonstrations in the archipelago nation, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Earlier this month, Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the country, was sentenced to 13 years in prison following a trial on terrorism charges, according to news reports. In recent days, Nasheed's supporters organized protests across the country to call for his release, reports said. On Wednesday evening, police arrested Mohamed Wisam, a journalist for the private pro-opposition broadcaster Raajje TV, and Adam…Read more

Al Jazeera correspondents arrested in lead-up to Nigerian elections

Media Rights Agenda On 24 March 2015, Ahmed Idris and Ali Mustafa, two Nigerian correspondents of the Doha-based satellite television channel, Al Jazeera, were arrested, questioned and detained by Nigerian military officials. They had their equipment seized and then were detained in their hotel rooms in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, for allegedly operating without "protection, accreditation or due clearance." They were detained after they returned from covering the Nigerian forces fighting Boko Haram in the state. According to Al Jazeera, they had "just completed filming with the cooperation of the military." Al…Read more

Swazi human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko placed in solitary confinement

Media Institute of Southern Africa As of 19 March 2015, Thulani Maseko has been placed into solitary confinement for the next 21 days, following a letter he wrote that became public. Maseko penned a letter to this family and friends on the one-year anniversary of his detention. His lawyer Sibusiso Nhlabatsi was making a routine visit to Big Bend prison to see Maseko when he stated the following, as reported by OkayAfrica: “Kindly take notice that the Big Bend prison authorities have condemned Thulani Maseko to solitary confinement for a period of three…Read more

Fears in Trinidad and Tobago of campaign to discredit work of women journalists

The Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) condemns continued unlawful and defamatory social media attacks on women journalists in Trinidad and Tobago. We believe that a well-resourced, concerted attempt is being made to intimidate and to smear the characters of some journalists in the face of their investigative and analytical work. In one instance, which occurred today, 23 March 2015, a video withdrawn by YouTube in 2013, on account of violations of its guidelines on privacy and the portrayal of minors, was circulated via social media channels in a clear attempt to defame…Read more

Religious radio station director gets 25-year prison sentence in Rwanda

Reporters Without Borders is appalled to learn that a Kigali court has sentenced religious radio station director Cassien Ntamuhanga to 25 years in prison for allegedly conspiring against the government. Cassien Ntamuhanga, who ran Amazing Grace radio, was convicted on 27 February of forming a criminal gang, conspiracy against the established government or president, complicity in a terrorist act and conspiracy to murder. He pleaded not guilty on all charges when the trial began last November. His lawyer said he will appeal. “We are outraged by the Kigali court's decision to sentence the…Read more

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