Journalist still held in Azerbaijan, three months after kidnap in Georgia

first_img News AzerbaijanGeorgiaEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesProtecting journalists Judicial harassmentExiled mediaPredatorsImprisoned June 4, 2021 Find out more Organisation News News Follow the news on Europe – Central Asia News RSF calls for a fully transparent investigation after mine kills two journalists in Azerbaijan Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts RSF also reiterates its condemnation of Azerbaijan’s persecution of independent journalists like Mukhtarli, who was living in exile in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, when kidnapped on 29 May. According to officials at the prison where Mukhtarli is detained, he is in the best of health despite being diabetic. But his lawyers and wife say he has lost 21 kilos since his abduction, has high blood pressure and was denied access to medicine for a long time. He has been refused family visits several times and, despite everything, a court in Baku has just extended his provisional detention until 30 October. “Afgan Mukhtarli’s detention is a disgrace for both Azerbaijan and Georgia,” said Johann Bihr, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk. “Not only is no one able to explain how it began, but now it is being extended in defiance of the most elementary humanitarian principles.” “We again appeal to the Azerbaijani authorities to free this journalist at once and to drop the trumped-up charges brought against him. And the Georgian authorities must shed all possible light on how he came to be abducted.” An investigative journalist and activist, Mukhtarli had been living in exile in Georgia since 2015. He was grabbed near his Tbilisi home on the evening of 29 May, bundled into a car, tied up and beaten. He says his abductors wore Georgian criminal police uniforms. The next day his family learned that he was in the custody of the Azerbaijani border police. According to the Azerbaijani government’s account, Mukhtarli was arrested near the border with 10,000 euros in his pockets. He is charged with contraband, crossing the border illegally and refusing to comply with instructions from the police. He rejects all the charges. In Georgia, an investigation into Mukhtarli’s “illegal detention” has drawn a blank although several members of the Georgian security services were fired. Surveillance camera recordings near the scene of the abduction were mysteriously tampered with. Mukhtarli’s wife, Leila Mustafayeva, has criticized the lack of progress and has accused the Georgian authorities of not conducting a serious investigation. In June, members of the European Parliament called for Mukhtarli’s immediate release and the withdrawal of all charges. Mukhtarli worked for IWPR and the Meydan TV independent news website, often writing about high-level government corruption in Azerbaijan. Shortly before his abduction, he said he was being closely watched and that he was concerned for his safety and the safety other Azerbaijani dissidents in Georgia. The Azerbaijani authorities have done everything possible to crush media pluralism in recent years. The most outspoken media outlets have all been throttled financially or forcibly closed. Access to their websites is blocked. The last independent outlet, the Turan news agency, is now being targeted. Its director, Mehman Aliyev, was arrested on 24 August and has been placed in pre-trial detention for three months. Crippled by judicial proceedings, Turan has announced that it will suspend all activities from 1 September onwards. Azerbaijan is ranked 162nd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. Its president, Ilham Aliyev, is on RSF’s list of press freedom predators. June 7, 2021 Find out more AzerbaijanGeorgiaEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesProtecting journalists Judicial harassmentExiled mediaPredatorsImprisoned June 8, 2021 Find out more Respect judicial independence in cases of two leading journalists in Serbia and Montenegro, RSF says August 29, 2017 Journalist still held in Azerbaijan, three months after kidnap in Georgia Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls again for the immediate release of Afgan Mukhtarli, an Azerbaijani journalist who today completes his third month in detention since his abduction in neighbouring Georgia and forcible return to Azerbaijan. He is still being held although now in very poor health. RSF_en “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says to go furtherlast_img read more

Military authorities bar foreign journalists

first_img RSF_en Follow the news on Guinea Organisation News to go further April 9, 2021 Find out more May 19, 2021 Find out more October 19, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Military authorities bar foreign journalists April 15, 2021 Find out more News GuineaAfrica center_img Help by sharing this information Guinean journalist finally freed after being held for nearly three months News News GuineaAfrica Guinean journalist’s continuing detention is “incomprehensible,” RSF says Guinea : RSF and AIPS call for release of two imprisoned journalists Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders condemns the latest disturbing escalation in the Guinean military’s clampdown, consisting of denying entry to French TV crews and reporters on their arrival at Conakry international airport. It coincides with continuing serious threats to local reporters and yesterday’s arrival of United Nations assistant secretary-general Haile Menkerios in Conakry to conduct a UN probe into last month’s massacre of opposition demonstrators.“The authorities in Conakry are clearly unhappy with the way the international media are covering events in Guinea and have apparently decided to stop allowing them into the country,” Reporters Without Borders said. “After physically mistreating and then threatening local journalists, the Guinean military have begun a new phase in their handling of undesired witnesses.”The press freedom organisation continued: “Given the prevailing climate, this latest measure and the absence of any foreign journalist in Guinea are extremely worrying. We urge the UN assistant secretary-general not to limit his investigation to the 28 September violence but to include the issue of press freedom and the treatment of journalists.”Three French journalists employed by the French international TV news station France 24 were refused entry at Conakry airport on the evening of 17 October and were put on the first flight back to Paris. Two of them, Cyril Vannier and Willy Bracciano, did not have visas. The third, Alain Chabot, had a visa and had already visited the country since 28 September. He was nonetheless also denied entry on the grounds that he did not have a letter of invitation.Three journalists employed by the French public TV station France 2 were denied entry the same day on their arrival from the Senegalese capital of Dakar and were forced to take the first flight back to Senegal. Patrick Forestier, a French reporter employed by the magazine Paris Match, was denied entry on 15 October.Meanwhile, many local journalists (whom Reporters Without Borders would rather not identify) continue to be kept under surveillance by the military authorities and continue to receive death threats, especially by telephone.Reporters Without Borders added: “All of the actors involved in resolving the crisis should take these threats very seriously and should be aware that there could be more atrocities if nothing is done to ensure that Guinea’s journalists are protected.”In the past few days, the French government has been urging its citizens to leave the country.Picture : AFP last_img read more

Legislative elections become nightmare for independent and opposition journalists

first_img Incidents during the run-up to the elections Receive email alerts Independent and opposition journalists were prevented from entering voting stations or taking photos of them although the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) had said all journalists had the right to do this. Kamal added: “The prime minister believes that independent media are needed to protect our democracy and national security. We are aware of the recent incidents and we have decided to ask the interior ministry to investigate them and identity those responsible for the attacks.” “I am really concerned about these press freedom violations, which were too many to count,” said Halgurd Samad, the editor of Livin, Iraqi Kurdistan’s leading magazine. “There was no justification for all these attacks. We want to help the authorities to combat corruption and establish the rule of law, but they want us to stop criticizing. They attack us because they fear our power, they fear that our coverage of corruption could fuel opposition.” News In Halabja district, in Sulaymaniyah province, a reporter for the opposition TV station KNN was attacked by security forces while filming PUK polling violations. Follow the news on Iraq February 15, 2021 Find out more IraqMiddle East – North Africa Election Day – 7 March Shwan Sidiq, a reporter for the magazine Civil, was attacked by police in Erbil. “While I was busy taking photos, security forces accosted me, roughed me up and took my camera,” he told Reporters Without Borders. Awene reporter Hemn Mamand was attacked by KDP security forces outside the citadel in Erbil while photographing a KDP motorcade on the evening of 4 March. “When the motorcade passed in front of the citadel, they stopped the traffic, causing a huge traffic jam,” he told Reporters Without Borders. “I took some photos for my newspaper but, when they saw me, they came and beat me, insulting me and my newspaper. They said I was a traitor for criticizing them. They took my camera but returned it when I showed them my IHEC press card.” Help by sharing this information IraqMiddle East – North Africa News Akar Fars and Rzgar Muhsin, two journalists working for Yekgirtu’s TV station in the Kurdish capital of Erbil, were attacked and badly beaten by security forces, who took their camera, defaced the station’s logo and detained them for 20 minutes. Ibrahim Ali, Livin’s correspondent in Erbil, was prevented from taking photos although he had press ID that had been approved by the IHEC. Hemn Mamand, Awene’s reporter in Erbil, received a threatening phone call from an unidentified phone number. RSF_en Rudaw’s reporter Ari Othman was attacked and injured in Erbil by a group of men in civilian dress. Polling day was a black day for press freedom with many physical attacks and threats against independent and opposition media. Reporters Without Borders is aware of the following cases: March 9, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Legislative elections become nightmare for independent and opposition journalists Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” A crew working for KNN (a TV station owned by the Movement for Democratic Change/Gorran, the leading opposition coalition), was attacked by individuals while trying to film an incident on the road from Mahkmur to Erbil on 5 February. When the police arrived, they arrested reporter Mariwan Mala Hasan and cameraman Mufid and held them for several hours for allegedly insulting the people who attacked them, the Gorran website reported. to go further Zirak Kamal, from the Union of Kurdistan Journalists and a media adviser to Kurdistan’s prime minister, Dr. Barham Saleh, also criticised the use of threats and violence against the media even if he insisted that the authorities were doing all they could rein it in. “We ask all the journalists to file complaints in the courts,” he said. “We are ready to do our best to help them. The courts are independent and everyone should respect their decisions.” Residents helped Rabar Uzer, a reporter for the official website of the opposition Kurdistan Islamic Union/Yekgirtu, to escape when PUK security forces tried to confiscate his camera and beat him in the city of Sulaymaniyah. Journalists working for Yekgirtu-owned Speda TV in Bazyan (a district of Kalar) were attacked by PUK security forces. Security forces harassed the journalists accompanying Salahadin Bahadin, the head of Yekgirtu, when he went to vote. Bahadin issued a statement condemning the violence. Organisation Referring to the Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the two parties that have until now controlled the Kurdistan Regional Government, Samad added: “The KDP and the PUK target us because our reporting worries them. The independent media are the only ones able to expose the corruption, the power games and the political deals.” Political rivalry and tension prompted by the 7 March legislative elections in Iraqi Kurdistan resulted in a wave of violence against independent and opposition journalists in the days preceding the election and on election day itself. Journalists describe it as the most harrowing period since the US invasion of Iraq in April 2003. Three journalists with the weekly newspaper Hawlati – Ara Ibrahim, Soran Ahmed and Surkew Mohamed – were attacked by KDP gunmen when they took photos of KDP militants threatening people on the street in Sulaymaniyah on 4 March. Ibrahim told Reporters Without Borders the gunmen hit them with the butts of their Kalashnikov rifles, took their cameras and detained them for half an hour at the KDP’s 4th branch office in Sulaymaniyah. The journalists have filed a complaint against the branch. News Anwar Sabah, a reporter for the satellite TV station Payam, was prevented from filming election-day incidents in Erbil. Kawa Garmiyani, the newspaper Awene’s reporter in the city of Kalar, in Sulaymaniyah province, was beaten by security forces and prevented from taking photos. Another Speda TV crew was prevented from filming the special voting on 4 March in the district of Sharazur, in Sulaymaniyah province. PUK security forces raided Dang (Voice), a Kalar-based radio station that criticises the PUK, on 3 March, smashing its equipment and then closing it down. Station manager Jaza Muhamad told Reporters Without Borders: “The security forces came and closed our radio on the pretext that we do not have a legal permit. We do have permission. The real reason is our criticism of the status quo in Kurdistan and the corrupt political parties. We are independent and impartial. They broke most of our equipment. They did that just to shut us up.” RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” December 28, 2020 Find out more Two journalists working for Speda TV – Bilal Sa’id and Ahmed Mir (who is aged less than 18) – were assaulted by police in Kalar, in Sulaymaniyah province, while filming PUK electoral fraud on the evening of 4 March, when special voting took place. “The police gave us a very bad beating, then took our mobile phone and ID and have not yet returned them,” Sa’id told Reporters Without Borders. News December 16, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Tribal journalist shot dead in mosque by Taliban

first_img Organisation Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists PakistanAsia – Pacific PakistanAsia – Pacific News Reporters Without Borders has learned with sadness of the death today of Mukarram Khan Atif, a correspondent for Washington-based Deewa Radio and a reporter for the Pakistani television station Dunya News who was shot dead in a mosque near Peshawar.“This is distressing news and we express our condolences to the family and friends of Mukarram Khan Atif,” the press freedom organization said.“The Pakistani authorities must at all costs take action to protect journalists, especially those who are subjected to threats. Otherwise, there will be no improvement in conditions.”Safeerullah Gul, Peshawar bureau chief for Dunya News, told Reporters Without Borders two unidentified gunmen shot the journalist who was at evening prayers in a mosque in Shabqadar, in the Charsadda district of the north-western province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.Wounded in the chest and the head, Atif was taken to Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar where doctors pronounced him dead on arrival.A tribal journalist from North Waziristan, Rasool Dawar, later told RSF that banned militant organization Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Ehsanulah Ehsan phoned him to “accept responsibility” for killing Mukarram Khan.The claim was made in a telephone call to the journalist in Peshawar. However, the militant organization’s spokesman did not elaborate why the journalist was target-killed.Atif’s colleagues said he had told them he sometimes received phone calls giving him directives on how he should cover events. He had moved to the Charsadda district from his home region of Mohmand for reasons of safety. “He was under threat from elements trying to take control of the tribal region,” tribal journalists, who asked no to be identified, told Reporters Without Borders.Atif, who was highly respected by his colleagues, reported on the Mohmand tribal region at great personal risk for Deewa Radio and Dunya News.The morning before his death, he spoke to a representative of Reporters Without Borders, Iqbal Khattak, to confirm his attendance at a training course next week on responsible reporting. The former president of the Tribal Union of Journalists, Safdar Dawar, said the murder took place against the backdrop of “unprecedented pressure” on Pakistani media as a whole.Atif was the first journalist to be killed in Pakistan this year. For the past two years, the country has been has been the deadliest in the world for media workers. Last year, 10 journalists journalist were killed as a result of their work. April 21, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information News Follow the news on Pakistan Receive email alertscenter_img News to go further June 2, 2021 Find out more January 28, 2021 Find out more Pakistani journalist critical of the military wounded by gunfire January 17, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Tribal journalist shot dead in mosque by Taliban Pakistani supreme court acquits main suspect in Daniel Pearl murder RSF_en Newslast_img read more

Judicial and legislative progress, but more access to information needed in former Operation Condor countries

first_img May 13, 2021 Find out more to go further News Organisation Americas Follow the news on Americas Help by sharing this information 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies RSF_en Receive email alerts Facebook’s Oversight Board is just a stopgap, regulation urgently needed, RSF sayscenter_img June 3, 2021 Find out more News June 7, 2021 Find out more October 28, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Judicial and legislative progress, but more access to information needed in former Operation Condor countries WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists News Reports Many journalists were among the victims of the military dictatorships in six South American countries (Argentine, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay) which formed a repressive alliance known as Operation Condor with US backing in the 1970s. While hailing the judicial and legislative advances that have taken place in some of these countries this week, Reporters Without Borders calls for more access to information about this period. In this regard, the announced creation of a joint commission of enquiry into the Operation Condor years by the Mercosur countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) is very promising. ArgentinaA total of 112 journalists, columnists and writers lost their lives or “disappeared” during Isabel Martínez de Perón’s presidency (1974-76) and the ensuing military dictatorship (1976-83). Rodolfo Walsh, who disappeared after being kidnapped 25 March 1977, was the best known of the Argentine journalists who fell victim to state terror because of their work or their political involvement. The list also includes foreigners such as the Uruguayan politician and journalist Zelmar Michelini, who was murdered in Buenos Aires in May 1976, and the Italian-American Toni Agatina Motta, who disappeared in Buenos Aires in October 1980. “It is with very great satisfaction that we welcome the long jail sentences that a Buenos Aires court imposed on 26 October on 16 of the former military and police officers who were tried for the worst human rights violations every committed in this part of the world,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-François Julliard said. “The murderers of Rodolfo Walsh and so many others, including the former naval captains Alfredo Astiz and Jorge Acosta, who received life sentences, have finally received the punishment that an entire people and families in other countries had awaited for so long. A trial of this importance would not have been possible without a long campaign by civil society, which in return must be allowed access in the relevant countries to all the information about a period that is still very present in the minds of so many.”This demand also concerns the US government, which began to open its archives during Bill Clinton’s presidency in June 1999.UruguayThe hope of justice in Uruguay might have been dashed forever if its parliament had not adopted a new law yesterday abolished time limits on the punishment of crimes committed under the military-backed regime that governed from 1973 to 1985. It was high time, as the time limit was to have expired on 1 November.The law’s adoption was in line with President José Mújica’s decision in July to authorize the reopening of 80 investigations in crimes committed during the dictatorship. This had been blocked by an amnesty known as the Expiry Law, which was ratified twice by a referendum, in 1989 and 2009, and was declared unconstitutional twice. Parliament voted to repeal by one vote last May.The law abolishing time limits has sent a clear signal to the judicial system. But will it make such a big difference for researchers, whose work is often blocked by the military’s silence and refusal to cooperate? This is the key question, according to the journalist Roger Rodríguez, a specialist in this area, who was recently the victim of a campaign of online threats by former soldiers and their relatives.“This law still has to be promulgated and still has to escape being declared unconstitutional by the supreme court of justice,” Rodríguez told Reporters Without Borders. “The state must declassify the dictatorship’s archives. A way must be found to break the military pact of silence.”BrazilIt seems that justice will have to travel a much longer road in Brazil, where the 1979 amnesty law was upheld by the Federal Supreme Tribunal (STF) in 2010. It renders the military officers who were responsible for crimes under the 1964-85 dictatorship untouchable. Will those who murdered journalists such as Vladimir Herzog – the TV Cultura editor in chief who was kidnapped and tortured to death by the São Paulo military police in October 1975 – remain unpunished forever?Whatever the answer to that question, Reporters Without Borders welcomes the senate’s approval on 25 October of a law on access to information which, after it is promulgated, could unlock secrets that have been jealously guarded by various institutions including the armed forces since the dictatorship. Under the new law, “top-secret” files will be declassified after 25 years, “secret” files will be declassified after 15 years and “restricted” files will be declassified after five years.“After the ‘Revealed Memories’ project established during Lula’s presidency, this access to information law represents another encouraging step towards the truth, in the absence of justice,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We nonetheless fear that one of the new law’s provisions could be used to reclassify many important ‘top-secret’ files for another 25 years. This provision constitutes an obvious obstacle to the publication of evidence and the possibility of using it in any trial. We hope President Dilma Rousseff will veto it.”Reporters Without Borders notes that, at the same time as it approved this law, the senate also approved the proposed creation of truth commission on human rights violations under the military dictatorship.ChileJudicial progress is still awaited in Chile, where seven former soldiers were formally accused on 26 October of the murders of three Uruguayans during the early stages of the 1973-90 military dictatorship.“We take this opportunity to point out that the still very present Pinochet heritage is currently being seriously challenged from within Chilean society, especially by its students,” Reporters Without Borders added. “This heritage continues to have a very negative effect on the media, which lack diversity and are poorly distributed. It is time for a process of renewal in Chile’s media.”Footnotes- Regarding the 1954-89 dictatorship in Paraguay, Reporters Without Borders recommends consulting the Virtual Museum that was opened this year by the Centre for Development Information and Resources (CIRD). – Like Argentina, Bolivia has been a pioneer in access to information. It opened the archives of Gen. García Meza’s 1980-81 dictatorship in May 2010. Americas last_img read more

Journalist Shi Tao does forced labour while Prime Minister Wen Jiabao signs contracts in France

first_imgNews RSF_en As Chinese Prime Minister Wen continued a four-day visit to France that began yesterday, Reporters Without Borders today said it has confirmed that journalist Shi Tao, who is serving a 10-year-prison sentence, is having to do forced labour and he is suffering from respiratory problems and a skin inflammation.Shi, who was convicted of “illegally divulging state secrets abroad” on the basis of information provided by Yahoo!, is being forced to work without pay in a jewellery factory attached to Chishan prison in Hunan province, to which he was transferred on 5 September after being held for several months in Taiyuan, in Shanxi province, south-west of Beijing.According to his family, many of the inmates have pneumonia or other respiratory ailments because of the products used in the cutting and polishing of the jewels and the dust created. The jewellery is sold by the prison authorities. Shi’s mother is also worried about this health because he has had ulcer and heart problems for several years.The prison, located on an island in the middle of Lake Dongting, near the town of Yuanjiang, is a top-security centre reserved for convicts serving at sentences of at least 10 years. According Chinese Rights Defenders Network, most of the inmates are organised crime members, political prisoners and followers of the Falun Gong spiritual movement.Reporters Without Borders calls on the French authorities to intercede on Shi’s behalf. “We must not let the economic and scientific partnership between France and China hide Beijing’s repressive policies towards free expression,” the organisation said. “We believe that France must place stress on the need to release prisoners of conscience in the course of its talks with the Chinese authorities.”At least 32 journalists and 62 cyberdissidents are currently in prison in China. to go further Follow the news on China Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes Receive email alerts China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison Help by sharing this information April 27, 2021 Find out more December 5, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalist Shi Tao does forced labour while Prime Minister Wen Jiabao signs contracts in France News ChinaAsia – Pacific June 2, 2021 Find out more March 12, 2021 Find out more Journalist Shi Tao (photo), who is serving a 10-year-prison sentence after being convicted of “illegally divulging state secrets abroad” on the basis of information provided by Yahoo!, is being forced to work without pay in a jewellery factory in a prison in the central province of Hunan. He has respiratory problems and a skin inflammation. Reporters Without Borders calls on the French authorities to intercede on his behalf. Organisation News News China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures ChinaAsia – Pacific last_img read more

RSF issues warning to India in first World Press Freedom Index Incident Report

first_imgNews The other variable on which RSF intends to question the Indian authorities is the alarming deterioration in the general working environment for journalists in recent months. Online hate campaigns and harassment by armies of trolls that promote the Hindutva doctrine, a mixture of Hinduism and pre-war western nationalism favoured by Prime Minister Modi, have reached unprecedented levels. The journalist Rana Ayyub has been subjected to a hellish nightmare since April after tweets falsely attributed to her were published, unleashing an outburst of hate messages posted on social media, such as sexist insults, faked pornographic videos, and calls for her to be gang-raped and murdered.    Help by sharing this information On March 26, Sandeep Sharma, who had been investigating illegal sand mining, was crushed to death by a garbage truck in Madhya Pradesh state in central India. A day earlier, two other journalists, Navin Nischal and Vijay Singh, subeditors with the daily Dainik Bhaskar, were deliberately run over and killed by an SUV in Bihar state.            February 23, 2021 Find out more In addition, there has been an increase in cases of police violence and attacks by security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, as well as violence by political activists.  As a result, the indicator that records Abuses against journalists is likely to suffer. It accounts for one-fifth of each country’s assessment by RSF for the annual World Press Freedom Index. In 2017, at least three journalists were killed in connection with their work and a fourth case is still under investigation. In 2018, the situation appears to have worsened significantly. Four journalists were killed in the country in the first six months of the year. One-third of the assessment adversely affected Organisation A month later, the TV journalist Ravish Kumar disclosed that the death threats he had been receiving on his phone since 2015 had increased sharply in numbers and their level of hostility during the previous month. The start of the wave of threats against Kumar coincided with the publication of his book, The Free Voice, in which he describes the disturbing decline in press freedom in Modi’s India, which he describes as a “republic of fear”. Reporters Without Borders has for the first time issued an Incident Report, on freedom of the press in India, after the murder of a fourth journalist in less than six months and a sharp rise in hate speech. Surge in abuses He was one of India’s most renowned journalists and the fourth member of his profession to have been killed this year because of his work. @RSF In these circumstances, the Environment and Self-censorship indicator, which accounts for 13 per cent of the overall score for each country, is also likely to be affected.  Together with Abuses, it represents 33 per cent of the overall evaluation. India currently lies in 138th position of 180 countries and is thus already in an adverse position.     April 27, 2021 Find out more As a result, the Abuses and Environment indicators, which contribute to the country’s evaluation for the Index, show a negative trend and point to another decline in its ranking in the 2019 edition unless the authorities take steps to rectify the situation.    News In view of the increase in breaches of press freedom in India in the past six months, the Incident Report examines the country’s ranking in the World Press Freedom Index, the global benchmark for media freedom.In the 2018 Index, published in April this year, India occupied the 138th position out of 180 countries, two places lower than in 2017, and the situation has continued to deteriorate. Receive email alerts IndiaAsia – Pacific Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsMedia independence ImpunityViolence RSF demands release of detained Indian journalist Siddique Kappan, hospitalised with Covid-19 Broadly speaking, abuses against journalists have increased sharply in the past six months. On June 22, Satyendra Gangwar was shot and wounded in the north of Uttar Pradesh, near the Nepalese border, by members of the mining mafia, which he had been investigating and which was behind an earlier assault on him in March.center_img July 4, 2018 RSF issues warning to India in first World Press Freedom Index Incident Report On July 3, RSF secretary-general, Christophe Deloire, wrote to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi telling him that the Incident Report had been issued in relation to press freedom in the country, and asking him to take urgent action. An Incident Report is issued when events are observed that could affect a country’s ranking based on one or more of the indicators that are used in the evaluation for the World Press Freedom Index. Recommendations Environment and self-censorship On June 14, the editor of the renowned newspaper Rising Kashmir, Shujaat Bukhari, was shot dead as he left his office in Srinagar, the capital of Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir state. IndiaAsia – Pacific Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsMedia independence ImpunityViolence Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is introducing a new Incident Report procedure for cases where it has observed a deterioration in one or more of the indicators used to determine the positions of the 180 countries ranked in the World Press Freedom Index. It will issue a warning to the country concerned.  RSF uses seven indicators: pluralism, media independence, abuses, environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information. To reverse this trend, RSF makes the following recommendations to the Indian authorities:The establishment of a system capable of ensuring the safety of journalists at risk and, especially, of providing proper protection for those who say they have been threatened. The swift and independent investigation of cases where journalists have been murdered, or have been the targets of attempted murder, in order to put an end to the impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators and instigators of such crimes. Better training for law enforcement officers in how to ensure the safety of journalists and to let them do their job, and to penalize appropriately any police officers and members of the armed forces who deviate from these rules, including those who give the orders.RSF also calls on the representatives of the government and the ruling party:To condemn in the strongest terms online campaigns of hate and harassment aimed at journalists.To show transparency concerning the BJP’s notorious IT cell and its activities.    Furthermore, RSF recommends that commercial divisions of news organizations draw up a code of practice that allows journalists to do their work impartially and without fear of censorship. March 3, 2021 Find out more Finally, RSF calls on digital platforms to show greater transparency and responsibility in regulating their content, particularly concerning hate messages and threats directed at journalists. to go further In its letter, RSF notes that “in the first six months of 2018, at least as many reporters were killed as for the whole of 2017, while hate speech directed toward journalists has increased massively, causing serious concern for their safety.” Indian journalist wrongly accused of “wantonly” inaccurate reporting News RSF_en On June 18, Suman Debnath, who was investigating the theft of petroleum in Tripura state, was almost killed when two men tried to slit his throat. On April 17, in the neighbouring state of Meghalaya, the home of Patricia Mukhim, editor of the Shillong Times, was attacked with a kerosene bomb.     Follow the news on India India: RSF denounces “systemic repression” of Manipur’s media This kind of intimidation, which affects journalists expressing even the mildest criticism of the current government, creates a harsh climate of self-censorship, and even propaganda. This is what is suggested by an investigation carried out by the news website Cobrapost, dubbed Operation 136 after India’s ranking in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. It discovered that the commercial divisions of most of India’s leading media groups would accept substantial bribes in return for favourable coverage of the ruling party. Rather than publicising this scandal, the mainstream media largely ignored it, a symptom of the level of self-censorship that looms over the country’s news industry. Newslast_img read more

Israelis obstruct media coverage of Al-Aqsa Mosque crisis

first_img News July 27, 2017 – Updated on July 28, 2017 Israelis obstruct media coverage of Al-Aqsa Mosque crisis The Israeli security forces have used intimidation, denial of access, violence and at least one arrest to limit or prevent media coverage of the demonstrations and clashes sparked by the introduction of additional security measures around the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem. News RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance At least ten Palestinian reporters and photographers have been injured during clashes between protesters and Israeli security forces in Jerusalem and Bethlehem since the crisis erupted on 14 July. The cases monitored by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) include those of four journalists who were either hit directly by Israeli police or by stun or teargas grenades. Afeef Amera of the Wafa news agency was hit in the chest, while Fatima Al Bakri, a reporter for the Palestinian TV channel Al Quds sustained a slight injury to the head. Faiz Abu Rmeleh, a photographer for the Turkish news agency Anadolu and the photographers’ collective Active StillsActive Stills, was beaten by Israeli security forces during a demonstration on 25 July. A video posted by Active Stills shows him being manhandled as he is being arrested. The journalist Fatima al Bakri was beside him at the time. “The Israeli police beat him so that he would stop filming the crackdown on the demonstrators.” Peter Beaumont of The Guardian newspaper told the +972 website: “Faiz was photographing. Several [officers] made a beeline for Faiz and grabbed him. The only reason appeared to be that he continued taking photographs.” Rmeleh later told the website that he was beaten while being driven away in a police car, that he was manhandled and interrogated in a humiliating way for several hours, and that he was not released until 4 am. “Media freedom must be preserved even when security measures are being stepped up,” RSF said. “A democratic country cannot deny journalists access to tense areas for fear of negative coverage. It must also differentiate between journalists, demonstrators and trouble-makers.” The Foreign Press Association expressed outrage at the absurdity of the measures taken by the Israeli authorities. “While tourists were given access to the Old City, journalists were held for questioning and relegated to distant positions totally useless for reporting or taking relevant photos,” the FPA said “While security issues may be understandable in volatile, high risk situations, it is unclear how these areas are today open to tourists while accredited journalists and photojournalists are deliberately being kept out. This appears to be a kind of innovative censorship that is surprising in a country that prides itself on press freedom.”After the latest incidents, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate called on Wednesday for the creation of an international committee to investigate the behaviour of the Israeli security forces, which, it said, was deliberately designed to prevent journalists from covering what is happening in Jerusalem. Threat to close Al Jazeera bureau Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu meanwhile took advantage of the clashes in the Old City to reiterate his desire to close Al Jazeera’s bureau in Jerusalem, accusing the Qatari TV broadcaster of continuing to “stir violence around the Temple Mount.” On his Facebook page, Netanyahu wrote: “I have spoken several times to law-enforcement authorities demanding the closure of Al Jazeera’s offices in Jerusalem. If this does not happen because of legal interpretation, I will work to enact the required legislation to expel Al Jazeera from Israel.” Israel is ranked 91st out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. RSF_en esplanade des moquées (c) AFP IsraelPalestineMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abusesProtecting journalists Violence News Organisation Receive email alertscenter_img to go further Help by sharing this information Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 June 8, 2021 Find out more IsraelPalestineMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abusesProtecting journalists Violence June 3, 2021 Find out more June 9, 2021 Find out more WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists Follow the news on Middle East – North Africa Newslast_img read more

TV newsreader shot dead in Russia’s North Caucasus

first_img News News Photo: RIA Novosti Organisation Listed as a “foreign agent”, Russia’s most popular independent website risks disappearing RussiaEurope – Central Asia Reporters Without Borders is deeply saddened by the murder yesterday of Kazbek Gekkyev, a newsreader on the local station of the state broadcaster VGTRK in the North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria.“We wish to express our sincerest condolences to Kazbek Gekkyev’s family and call for a comprehensive and impartial investigation to be undertaken as soon as possible,” the press freedom organization said. “It is vital that there should be an end to the impunity surrounding crimes against those who work in news and information in the Russian Caucasus.”Gekkyev, 28, was shot dead about 9 p.m. on his way home from the television studio in the regional capital, Nalchik. Witnesses said he was walking in the street when a car stopped and two unidentified people got out. They asked if he was the TV presenter Kazbek Gekkyev, and when he confirmed his identity, they fired three shots at him before fleeing. The journalist died at the scene before help arrived.The police launched an immediate investigation into the killing, which they believe could be linked to the journalist’s work. Lyudmila Kazancheva, the head of the local VGTRK office, said his work did not directly involve sensitive subjects. According to the federal Investigative Committee, there could be a link to threats from radical Islamist groups received by journalists at the TV station. On 13 February this year, radical Islamists posted a video on the Jamaat Takbir website in which they threatened two newsreaders, Aznor Attayev and Arina Zhiliassova, accusing them of presenting anti-terrorist operations in too positive a light and vowing to “carve the smiles on their faces with a knife”. The North Caucasus is the most dangerous region in Russia for those working in the media as well as for the rest of the civilian population. On 15 December last year, Khadzhimurad Kamalov, an eminent independent journalist, was shot dead in the Caucasian republic of Dagestan. To date there has been no progress in the investigation of that crime. According to the murdered journalist’s brother, Magdi-Magomed Kamalov, “the investigation has been blocked by the Dagestan police”. An open letter has been sent to President Vladimir Putin at the initiative of Russian civil society, asking him to ensure the investigation takes place under federal auspices and to stop the murders of journalists from going unpunished. Click here to read a Reporters Without Borders report on the media in the Russian Caucasus published in October 2011:,41193…. News Help by sharing this information June 2, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts May 5, 2021 Find out more May 21, 2021 Find out more Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown RSF_en Two Russian journalists persecuted for investigating police corruption RussiaEurope – Central Asia Follow the news on Russia News December 6, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 TV newsreader shot dead in Russia’s North Caucasus to go furtherlast_img read more

Valentine’s Day Packages and Specials at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena

first_img Top of the News Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, Southern California’s ultimate destination for romance and the stunning backdrop of ABC’s “The Bachelorette: Ashley and J.P.’s Wedding,” is offering luxurious room packages, dining specials and dreamy retreats for couples looking for the perfect getaway this Valentine’s Day!Inspired by ABC’s “The Bachelorette,” enchanting offerings include a “Grand Romance Package” for couples seeking intimacy and luxury; an indulgent “Fantasy Suite Package” in one of the hotel’s legendary suites or cottages; and the “Final Rose Engagement Package,” which includes the backdrop and design of a perfect proposal, replete with romance, in our Japanese Garden or your guestroom.Valentine’s Day Specials at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena include:Grand Romance PackageEnjoy a romantic overnight stay and a luxurious breakfast in bed with your special someone.Package includes:• Deluxe accommodations for one night• Rose petal turndown• Breakfast in bed for two• Valet parking–Valid February 2013 (pending availability);  Package starts at $329/nightFantasy Suite PackageFrolic in fanciful accommodations in a lavish suite, including champagne, roses and breakfast in bed with your perfect partner.Package includes:• Suite accommodations for one night• Bottle of champagne in room upon arrival• Rose petal turndown• Breakfast in bed for two• Valet parking–Valid February 2013 (pending availability); Package starts at $559/nightFinal Rose Engagement PackageThe hotel will create an enchanting and elegant experience to ensure your proposal is replete with romance. It’s time to give that special someone a “final rose” to begin your lives together.Package includes:• Engagement set-up in one of our private gardens or your guestroom• One Long Stem Red Rose• Rose Petals Sprinkled Throughout Setting• Moët Rosé Impérial Champagne• Candle light• Package Price: $250• May be added onto any guestroom booking; requires two-week advance notice to coordinate with hotel’s guest services.The Ultimate Valentine’s Day Gift PackageEnjoy two of the greatest luxury icons together in one stunning package:Two Riedel Cristal Glasses “Le Joseph” and a Bottle of Krug Champagne Grand Cuvee• Available for purchase with any guestroom booking• Package price: $300 (not including tax or gratuity)Dining SpecialsValentine’s Day Dinner in The Terrace• Featuring an exquisite four-course tasting menu for $75 per person or $105 per person with wine pairings.Chocolate Afternoon Tea in The Lobby Lounge• Indulge in a Valentine’s Chocolate Afternoon Tea February 14th through 17th. Tea includes a selection of savory sandwiches, scones with Devonshire cream, fruit tarts, mousse torts and crème brûlées – all containing a different essence of chocolate! A grand chocolate fountain is the focal point of the tea, with surrounding chocolate sculptural art. Beverage choices include hot chocolate, champagne, and of course a variety of the finest teas. Chocolate Afternoon Tea is $59 per adult and $29.50 per child.Jazz and Drinks in The Tap Room• Featuring an intimate evening of Jazz with the Peter Smith Trio on Valentine’s Day, beginning at 8:00 p.m. There will also be a Valentine’s Day-themed specialty cocktail for the evening.Spa SpecialsRomantic Rituals Package• A couple will learn the art of massage in our Couple’s Suite and enjoy Huntington Signature Massages followed by champagne and strawberries. The package includes a 15-minute massage instruction by our massage therapists followed by a couple’s 60-minute Huntington Signature Massage and time to enjoy champagne and strawberries after the treatments in the couple’s suite. 75 min. / $350Single & Sensational Package• Pamper yourself with the ultimate spa experience for Valentine’s Day! Enjoy a 60-minute Huntington Signature Massage, a Walk in the Clouds Pedicure and a Spa Manicure, all while sipping champagne. You will also receive a special bottle of “Langham Love” custom pink OPI nail polish to take home. It’s a sensational way for singles to spend Valentine’s Day! 2 hr. 15 min. / $250Room, dining and spa specials are subject to availability and do not include room taxes, fees or gratuity. For more information or reservations, please dial (626) 568-3900 or visit The hotel is located at 1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena.About The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, Los AngelesCapturing the grace and elegance of classic Southern California, The Langham Huntington is an iconic landmark hotel located at the base of the picturesque San Gabriel Mountains, just minutes from downtown Los Angeles in beautiful Pasadena. A renowned Pasadena hotel since 1907, the property features 380 guestrooms including 38 suites, eight cottages, world-class dining and an award-winning spa featuring treatments based upon Traditional Chinese Medicine. Community News 14 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  First Heatwave Expected Next Week Make a comment More Cool Stuffcenter_img Subscribe faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Business News Cover Story Valentine’s Day Packages and Specials at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena From STAFF REPORTS Published on Monday, January 28, 2013 | 7:35 pm Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Herbeauty8 Easy Exotic Meals Anyone Can MakeHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty9 Of The Best Family Friendly Dog BreedsHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyIs It Bad To Give Your Boyfriend An Ultimatum?HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyA Mental Health Chatbot Which Helps People With DepressionHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyCreative Ways To Burn Calories That Require Little EffortHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyAncient Beauty Remedies From India To Swear By For Healthy SkinHerbeautyHerbeauty Community News Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. 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