India’s free speech debate is alive and well

PEN International The Supreme Court of India's landmark decision on Tuesday [24 March 2015] signals a move towards greater protection of free expression in the world's largest democracy. But there is still much to do. India's highest court struck down section 66A of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 ("IT Act"), the vaguely worded and overbroad provision criminalizing the transmission over the internet of content that could be perceived as "grossly offensive" or has a "menacing character" or causes "annoyance," "inconvenience," or "insult"; the list goes on. The wording of the provision was…Read more

2015 Press Freedom Index Published By RSF

Reporters Without Borders have published the 2015 World Press Freedom Index, the annual analysis of media freedom throughout the world.  Unsurprisingly, the top three slots are filled by Scandinavian countries Finland, Norway and Denmark - with Finland in first place for the fifth consecutive year - while the bottom three countries Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea represent the worst places on earth to be a journalist. According to RSF, "The 2015 World Press Freedom Index highlights the worldwide deterioration in freedom of information in 2014. Beset by wars, the growing threat from non-state…Read more

Five Malaysian Journalists Arrested in Crackdown on Independent Media

Reporters Without Borders Yesterday, the police raided the Kuala Lumpur offices of The Malaysian Insider, a news website also known as TMI, arresting managing editor Lionel Morais, Bahasa news editor Amin Shah Iskandar and features and analysis editor Zulkifli Sulong under the 1948 Sedition Act and the 1998 Communications and Multimedia Act. TMI chief executive Jahabar Sadiq and Ho Kay Tat, publisher of The Edge business weekly and CEO of the Edge Media Group, which owns TMI, were arrested today under the same two laws after responding to a summons from the police, who said…Read more

Concern over arrest of Bangladeshi journalist, his treatment in custody

Committee to Protect Journalists The Committee to Protect Journalists today calls on Bangladeshi authorities to release a detained journalist and probe allegations that he was mistreated in custody. Mizanur Rahman has been in jail since March 17, according to news reports and Rahman's coworker. Local police arrested Rahman, a correspondent for the privately owned Bangla-language daily Prothom Alo, in the southwestern Patuakhali district, according to news reports and Kamal Ahmed, consulting editor at Prothom Alo, who spoke to CPJ. Rahman was charged with assaulting an officer and obstructing government duties, according to reports…Read more

Singapore blogger jailed for critical Lee Kuan Yew video

Committee to Protect Journalists The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about the arrest on Sunday [March 29,2015] of a teenage video blogger in Singapore and calls on authorities to release him immediately. Singapore police arrested Amos Yee, a teenage video blogger, according to a statement released by authorities on Monday. According to the government-aligned daily newspaper Straits Times, at least 20 public complaints had been filed to the police since Friday that called for Lee to be investigated. The complaints were in connection with an eight-minute video Yee posted on YouTube on…Read more

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