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

Two journalists mistreated during riots in Soweto

Media Institute of Southern Africa Two journalists were mistreated in separate incidents during the Soweto uprising last week. Three people have been killed since the violent unrest began last week in Soweto after a foreign business owner shot a 14-year-old boy accused of trying to rob a shop, Eyewitness News reported. SAPA journalist Mpho Raborife was forced to remove pictures taken with her cellphone on Thursday 22 January 2014. After noticing three police vehicles outside Somali-owned shops on her way to work, Raborife stopped to investigate and took photos of two men loading…Read more

Article critical of judiciary results in contempt of court charges for Singapore blogger

Committee to Protect Journalists A Singapore court on Thursday [January 22, 2015] convicted a blogger on contempt of court charges in connection with an article he wrote that was critical of the judiciary, news reports said. The Singapore High Court judge convicted Alex Au Waipang in connection with an October 5, 2013, article the blogger wrote that suggested a chief justice had manipulated court dates on a constitutional challenge to a law criminalizing gay sex between men, news reports said. The judge said that Au's article suggested that the "as the Chief Justice…Read more

Taliban threatens Pakistan journalist

International Federation of Journalists The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) strongly condemn threats made to a Peshawar-based journalist and media rights activist by the Taliban. The IFJ and PFUJ call on the Pakistan Government to take immediate steps to ensure the safety of this journalist and the entire media profession in Pakistan. Recently, the Taliban's central spokesperson Ihasan Ullah Ihsan issued death threats to Zia ul Haq, the Peshawar-based assistant general secretary of the PFUJ and news bureau chief of ARY News. Ihsan, using an…Read more

Asian media forges ahead – but there are caveats

Lord Black of Brentwood, the Chairman of the CPU Media Trust, highlighted the successes and failures of the Asian media at an event marking the twentieth anniversary of Asian Affairs magazine and the fifth anniversary of the Democracy Forum in London on 21 January 2015.  His speech is reproduced in full below: "I am absolutely delighted to be here this evening to mark the twentieth anniversary of Asian Affairs Magazine and the fifth anniversary of The Democracy Forum. And it is so very right that this great event should be taking place at…Read more

Journalist handed jail term over “criminal trespass” at Ugandan parliament

Human Rights Network for Journalists - Uganda A City Hall Court in Kampala has sentenced a freelance journalist, William Ntege (aka Buganda Kyumakyayesu) to two months in prison on charges of criminal trespass and being a common nuisance at the parliament of Uganda. Ntege had gone to parliament to petition the speaker, Rebecca Kadaga, over police brutality on journalists and other Ugandans. A Senior Grade one magistrate, Elias Kakooza, convicted Ntege to jail over criminal trespass, and cautioned him on the second count of common nuisance. Prosecution led by State Attorney Miriam Njuki…Read more

Independent radio station shut down in The Gambia

In response to Gambia shutting down of the independent Teranga radio station after a failed coup last week against President Yahya Jammeh, Freedom House issued the following statement: "The Jammeh government should end its crackdown on freedom of expression in the Gambia," said Jenai Cox, program manager for Africa programs. "The failed coup of December 23 does not justify an attempt to stifle dissent and limit access to information. The government should immediately allow the Teranga radio station to resume operations." Gambia is rated Not Free in "Freedom in the World 2014", and Not…Read more