Cameroon suspends radio station, seals office

Cameroonian authorities should immediately reverse a decision to suspend independent broadcaster Radio Hot Cocoa 94 FM's permission to operate and allow the station to resume broadcasting immediately, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Government officials in Bamenda, the capital of Cameroon's Northwest Region, yesterday sealed the station's office, its manager told CPJ. The regional governor, Adolphe Lele Lafrique, ordered Radio Hot Cocoa to suspend all activities until further notice, accusing it of inciting civil disobedience in a call-in show discussing a teachers' strike in the region, station manager Gideon Taka told CPJ. Residents of…Read more

Third journalist killed in India’s Bihar in eight months

The third murder of a journalist in the last eight months in India's eastern Bihar state on January 3, 2017 illustrates the danger of allowing such crimes to continue to be met with impunity, the International Press Institute (IPI) said today as it urged authorities to fully investigate the case. Unidentified men gunned down Braj Kumar Singh, a journalist for a Hindi daily, yesterday evening in Bihar's Samastipur district. Initial reports indicated that police believed Kumar to have been targeted due to a property dispute, but IPI Director of Advocacy and Communications Steven M.…Read more

Gambia orders three radio stations to cease broadcasting

The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Gambian authorities to allow three independent radio stations to resume full broadcasting. Taranga FM, Hilltop Radio, and Afri Radio stopped broadcasting on January 1 on the orders of national security agents, who did not give any explanation for the measure, according to news reports. The closures come amid a political crisis in Gambia after President Yahya Jammeh refused to admit defeat in elections last month. Authorities may have targeted at least one of the stations after it announced details of President-elect Adama Barrow's inauguration, planned…Read more

Malaysian authorities repeatedly arrest, harass award-winning cartoonist Zunar

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) Malaysian authorities should drop all criminal charges against editorial cartoonist Zulikiflee Anwar Ulhaque, better known as Zunar, and stop harassing him, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Police arrested Zunar on December 17, the cartoonist said in a statement, the latest incident in authorities' relentless campaign of judicial and police harassment of the journalist. Police in uniform and civilian clothes arrested Zunar and two of his personal assistants at a public event in Kuala Lumpur organized to promote books of his work, press reports said. The cartoonist was detained…Read more

Bangladeshi reporter arrested over coverage of garment industry strike

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the immediate release of Nazmul Huda, a reporter who was arrested on 24 December 2016 because of his coverage of a strike by garment workers in Ashulia, the Dhaka suburb where Bangladesh's biggest garment factories are located. The police accuse Huda, who works for Bangla Daily and Ekushey TV (ETV), a privately-owned satellite TV service, of reporting false information and encouraging the strike that began in mid-December in factories that produce clothes for leading international retail chains such as Gap, Zara and H&M. Huda's computer and mobile phone were…Read more

UK Peers back call for Leveson part two

Society of Editors UK Peers have backed a move to force the Government to hold part two of the Leveson Inquiry. The House of Lords voted by 246 to 196, majority 50, to require an investigation into alleged corrupt relationships between the police and press. Last night's Government defeat follows the announcement by ministers at the start of November that they were holdlng a consultation into whether the second part of the Leveson Inquiry should go ahead. The Tory administration said there was a need to consider if part two of the phone…Read more

State regulator suspends two television stations on slander charges

Pakistan Press Foundation Pakistan Electronic Media and Regulatory Authority (Pemra), the broadcast media regulatory body, has suspended and imposed fines on two television channels and fined another channel for slandering the superior judiciary of Pakistan. Pemra had issued show cause notices to Neo News, Din News and Sach TV on November 19, 2016 and asked to submit reply by November 26, 2016. All three TV channels submitted their responses, but Pemra found them to be unsatisfactory. Pemra suspended the license of Din News for 30 days, and Neo News for seven days. The…Read more

Uganda: Former police commander charged with assaulting journalist

This statement was originally published by Human Rights Network for Journalists Uganda On 18 November 2016, the Buganda Road Court ordered the former Old Kampala District Police Commander, Joram Mwesigye, to defend himself against charges of assaulting a Wavah Broadcasting Services (WBS) TV journalist, Andrew Lwanga. The Presiding Grade One Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu ruled that she perused the evidence of the six (6) prosecution witnesses and found it sufficient to warrant the Assistant Superintendent of Police Mwesigye to defend himself. Mwesigye faces three (3) counts including assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and two…Read more

Investigatory Powers Bill passed by UK Parliament

Society of Editors (UK) The House of Lords has voted to pass the Investigatory Powers Bill (IP) meaning that the legislation is now likely to be implemented within weeks. The Bill, which was passed earlier this week by the House of Commons without proposed amendments relating to costs orders in phone hacking cases, replaces the widely discredited Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill (RIPA). The Society of Editors, alongside other media organisations, had opposed the use of RIPA by police officers to access the communications data of journalists and their sources. Although the government…Read more

Independent Malaysian news website faces threats, harassment

Malaysia's government should cease harassing independent news site Malaysiakini, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Police have opened a criminal investigation into the website, and a government-linked pressure group has threatened to "tear down" the website's office. Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar informed Malaysiakini'snews editor, RK Anand, by text message on November 3 that police had launched an investigation into the news group's financing under section 124C of the Penal Code, a provision that criminalizes activities authorities deem "detrimental to parliamentary democracy," news reports said. Maximum penalties under the law allow for 15-year…Read more