Rwanda’s media self-regulator subjected to intimidation campaign

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Reporters Without Borders calls on the Rwandan authorities to defend the Rwanda Media Commission (RMC), the media self-regulatory body, against all the attacks it has received for objecting to the suspension of the BBC's Kinyarwanda-language broadcasts on 25 October. The attacks began in earnest yesterday [6 November 2014], with dozens of tweets in the space of a few hours lambasting the RMC, the legality of its mandate, and its president, Fred Muvunyi. Muvunyi dared argue that, as a broadcast frequency regulator, the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), the government agency that suspended the…Read more

Hindu deity complaints further demonstrate need for Sedition Act repeal in Malaysia

Centre for Independent Journalism - Malaysia The repeal of the Sedition Act becomes increasingly urgent, as calls for its use become increasingly ludicrous. The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) finds the call for a water bottling company to be investigated under the Act, for featuring pictures of the popular tourist destination Batu Caves, both worrying and farcical. The image comes from a Malaysian tourism site and is featured in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2014. The Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) has called for the bottlers to be investigated under the Sedition…Read more

Impunity condemned while another Pakistan assassination takes toll to 14

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) deplore the brutal assassination of a journalist in Sindh province yesterday [November 5, 2014] and demand the immediate arrest and persecution of the murderers. The IFJ said Pakistan leads its global death toll as the most dangerous country for journalists and media workers, outranking Syria and Iraq in journalist killings for 2014. Jewan Arain, a journalist of Dharti TV, was killed in Ghambat Khurha, Sindh, in Pakistan's Southeast, on November 5. According to reports,…Read more

Kenyan journalist covering police detained, harassed

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Kenyan police to stop harassing and threatening a journalist in Kisumu city, western Kenya. Last month, police threatened and briefly detained Justus Ochieng, a reporter for the privately owned daily The Star, in connection with a story he wrote that alleged criminal activity by police officers in the region, the journalist told CPJ. Ochieng told CPJ that in Kisumu on October 2, three police officers with Kenya's Criminal Investigations Department threatened him with "dire consequences for exposing their colleagues." The Star reporter said he filed police…Read more

Zimbabwe’s first lady lashes out at privately-owned media

Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) MISA-Zimbabwe notes with very grave concern recent attacks and threats against the privately owned media, by Zanu PF and government officials, including the First Lady Grace Mugabe, which pose serious risks to the safety and security of journalists. While the media is not immune to criticism, the First Lady's inciting statements particularly against journalists working for the Daily News at a Zanu PF rally in Marondera on 17 October 2014, were indeed frightening, as experienced and recounted by the affected journalists. Daily News journalist Fungai Kwaramba was among the posse…Read more

Cameroon journalists questioned in military court for withholding information

Committee to Protect Journalists Two journalists in Cameroon accused of withholding information from the state have been interrogated by a military court and ordered not to leave the country, according to news reports. A closed military court in Yaounde on Tuesday questioned for several hours Félix Cyriaque Ebolé Bola, a senior reporter for the privately owned daily newspaperMutations and the president of Cameroon's National Union of Journalists, and Rodrigue Tongue, a senior reporter and the head of the political desk for the privately owned daily Le Messager, according to news reports. A lecturer at a journalism school, Baba…Read more

World’s Press Calls for Greater Protection for Journalists

WAN/IFRA The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) has called on governments worldwide for greater protections for media working in conflict areas, in the wake of the widely reported murders of two photojournalists in the Middle East. A resolution issued by the Board of WAN-IFRA, meeting Sunday on the eve of the World Publishing Expo in Amsterdam, also called for a concerted global effort to end impunity for the killers of journalists. “The targeting of journalists represents a serious threat to maintaining free, independent media. Stronger protections, more resources and better…Read more

Fiji rejoins Commonwealth as a full member

Commonwealth Secretariat Fiji was reinstated as a full member of the Commonwealth following a decision by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) at their 44th meeting in New York. The group concluded that Fiji’s suspension from the Councils of the Commonwealth should be lifted in recognition of the credible elections held on 17 September 2014 and the assumption of office by a democratically elected government. The Pacific island state was suspended from the Councils of the Commonwealth in 2006 following a military coup d’état. This meant that Fiji could not attend intergovernmental Commonwealth meetings,…Read more

Sunday Standard editor Outsa Mokone arrested in Botswana

Committee to Protect Journalists The image of Botswana as a bastion of press freedom and good governance has been dented following the arrest of an editor of a privately owned newspaper, and the seizure of his computer. A tweet from a reporter in Botswana on Tuesday morning alerted the Committee to Protect Journalists to the arrest: "Editor Outsa Mokone arrested and veteran reporter Edgar Tsimane flees Botswana says he fears for his life!"   The local press reported that police had arrested Sunday Standard editor Mokone on Monday when he could not account for the whereabouts of…Read more

Zambian government launches code of ethics for journalists

Media Institute of Southern Africa  At the launch of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) in Lusaka on 3 September 2014, Zambia's Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Joseph Katema also launched a code of ethics for Zambian media. Katema told Zambian media they must be loyal to the public and are responsible for delivering the truth to the public, rather than to individuals and their private agendas. Dr Katema said all media institutions in the country, whether private or public, should maintain high ethical and professional standards in carrying out their noble role of…Read more