Journalists in 2010 targets and bargaining chips

first_img Organisation Figures in 201057 journalists killed (25% fewer than in 2009) 51 journalists kidnapped 535 journalists arrested 1374 physically attacked or threatened504 media censored 127 journalists fled their country 152 bloggers and netizens arrested 52 physically attacked 62 countries affected by Internet censorshipFewer killed in war zonesFifty-seven journalists were killed in connection with their work in 2010, 25% fewer than in 2009, when the total was 76. The number of journalists killed in war zo- nes has fallen in recent years. Significantly, it is becoming more and more difficult to identify those responsible in cases in which journalists were killed by criminal gangs, armed groups, religious organizations or state agents.“Fewer journalists were killed in war zones than in preceding years,” Reporters Without Borders secretary- general Jean-François Julliard said. “Media workers are above all being murdered by criminals and traffickers of various kinds. Organized crime groups and militias are their leading killers worldwide. The challenge now is to rein in this phenomenon. The authorities of the countries concerned have a direct duty to combat the impunity surrounding these murders. If governments do not make every effort to punish the murderers of journalists, they become their accomplices.”Journalists as bargaining chipsAnother distinguishing feature of 2010 was the major increase in kidnappings of journalists. There were 29 cases in 2008, 33 in 2009 and 51 in 2010. Journalists are seen less and less as outside observers. Their neutrality and the nature of their work are no longer respected.“Abductions of journalists are becoming more and more frequent and are taking place in more countries.” Reporters Without Borders said. “For the first time, no continent escaped this evil in 2010. Journalists are turning into bargaining chips. Kidnappers take hostages in order to finance their criminal activities, make governments comply with their demands, and send a message to the public. Abduction provides them with a form of publicity. Here again, governments must do more to identify them and bring them to justice. Otherwise reporters – national or foreign – will no longer venture into certain regions and will abandon the local population to their sad fate.”Journalists were particularly exposed to this kind of risk in Afghanistan and Nigeria in 2010. The case of French TV journalists Hervé Ghesquière and Stéphane Taponier and their three Afghan assistants, held hostage in Afghanistan since 29 December 2009, is the longest abduction in the history of the French media since the end of the 1980s. Exile – the last resortMany journalists flee abroad to escape violence and oppression. A total of 127 journalists from 23 countries did this in 2010. The exodus from Iran continues. For the second year running, it was the biggest source of fugitive journalists – 30 cases registered by Reporters Without Borders in 2010. The Horn of Africa continues to shed journalists. Around 15 fled Eritrea and Somalia in 2010. The year also saw the forced exile of 18 Cuban journa- lists, who had been jailed since March 2003 and who were released on condition that they immediately leave for Spain. RSF_en Related documents bilan_2010_en.pdfPDF – 883.66 KB Even the internet no longer a refugeReporters Without Borders is continuing to investigate the June 2010 death of the young netizen Khaled Mohammed Said, who was arrested by two plain-clothes police officers in an Internet café, taken outside and beaten to death in the street. There were reports that his death was prompted by a video posted online that incriminated the police in a drug deal. Autopsy reports attributed his death to a drug overdose, but this was belied by photos of his body.The number of arrests and physical attacks on netizens in 2010 was similar to previous years. Harassment of bloggers and censorship of the Internet have become commonplace. There are no longer any taboos about online filtering. Censorship is taking new forms: more aggres- sive online propaganda and increasingly frequent use of cyber-attacks as way to silence bothersome Internet users. Significantly, online censorship is no longer necessarily the work of repressive regimes. Democracies are now examining and adopting new laws that pose a threat to free speech on the Internet.Journalists killedcenter_img No region of the world sparedJournalists were killed in 25 countries in 2010. This is the first time since Reporters Without Borders began keeping these tallies that journalists have been murdered in so many countries. Almost 30% of the countries (7 in total) were African countries: Angola, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia and Uganda. But the deadliest continent by far was Asia with 20 cases, and this was due above all to the heavy toll in Pakistan, where 11 journalists were killed in 2010.Of the 67 countries where there have been murders of journalists in the past 10 years, there are eight where they keep recurring: Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, and Somalia. These countries have not evolved; a culture of violence against the press has become deeply rooted there. Pakistan, Iraq and Mexico have been the three most violent countries for journalists during the past decade. The passing years have brought no changes to Pakistan, with journalists continuing to be targeted by Islamists groups or to be the collateral victims of suicide bombings. This total of 11 killed was the highest of the year.Iraq saw a return to earlier levels of violence with a total of seven journalists killed in 2010 as against four in 2009. Most of them were killed after the United States announced that all of its combat troops had been withdrawn in August. Journalists are caught in a trap between the different sectors – including local authorities, those involved in corruption and religious groups that refuse to accept media independence.In Mexico, the extreme violence of the drug traffickers affects the entire population including journalists, who are particularly exposed. This has a major impact on reporting, with journalists reducing their coverage of crime stories to the minimum in order to take as few risks as possible.In Central America, three were killed in Honduras in 2010 in connection with their work. Politically-motivated violence since the June 2008 coup d’état has com pounded the “traditional violence” of organized crime, a major phenomenon in this part of the world.In Thailand, where newspapers are able to enjoy relative independence despite recurring press freedom violations, 2010 was a very tough year. Two foreign journalists, Fabio Polenghi of Italy and Hiroyuki Muramoto of Japan, were killed in clashes between government forces and Red Shirts (supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra) in Bangkok in April and May. The shots that killed them were very probably fired by the members of the army.Two journalists killed in EuropeTwo journalists were murdered in European Union countries – Greece and Latvia. Neither murder has so far been solved. Social and political instability is having an impact on the work of the media in Greece, where Socratis Guiolias, the manager of Radio Thema 98.9, was gunned down with an automatic weapon outside his home in southeast Athens on 19 July. The police suspect a far- left group calling itself Sehta Epanastaton (Revolutionary Sect) that emerged in 2009.In Latvia, a country with a calmer environment for the press, Grigorijs Nemcovs, the publisher and editor of the regional newspaper Million and owner of a local TV station of the same name, was shot twice in the head in the southeastern city of Daugavpils while on his way to a meeting on 16 April. December 30, 2010 – Updated on January 25, 2016 Journalists in 2010 targets and bargaining chips News Help by sharing this informationlast_img read more

New crackdown launched against the independent press

first_img February 22, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 New crackdown launched against the independent press News CubaAmericas to go further RSF and Fundamedios welcome US asylum ruling in favor of Cuban journalist Serafin Moran Santiago Reporters Without Borders has express concern that a renewed crackdown has been unleashed against the independent press and that independent journalists are suffering harassment.Since the “black spring” of 2003, those journalists who are still working are subjected to constant pressure from the Cuban authorities. The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN) has condemned this new wave of political repression since the start of 2006 that has taken the form of violence and threats towards the independent press.“This series of persecutory measures taken against dissident journalists could very well auger a new ‘black spring’”, the press freedom organisation said.“Nevertheless, no crackdown however far-reaching can ever completely end the existence of an independent press in Cuba,” it added, wondering, “Why do the authorities refuse to see that reality. Also why do they refuse to allow journalists to emigrate if they wish to, like Jorge Olivera, whom they would like to see leave? This attitude is both unfair and nonsensical,” it concluded.Locked up during the March 2003 crackdown and released for health reasons on 6 December 2004, Jorge Olivera Castillo was summoned to appear on 21 February 2006, before a municipal people’s court in Havana where judges informed him that he was banned from leaving the capital. Olivera, his wife and two children, have had a legal visa for the United States since October 2002, but the authorities unfairly refuse to allow them the right to leave.Moreover, he is now forced to work for a work centre chosen for him by the court. He also has to appear before the state organisation which defines the country’s ideological line. If he fails to follow the orders he is given by the municipal people’s court, he will automatically be returned to prison. He is nevertheless determined to continue his work as a journalist, as he confirmed to Reporters Without Borders after the hearing. Elsewhere, on 13 February, the independent journalist Roberto Santana Rodríguez was summoned to the police station in Marianao in the capital. After waiting for two hours he was seen by an officer, Moisés, who showed him a file containing various articles he had written. This file could be used by the authorities against the journalist, putting him at risk of imprisonment. New press freedom predators elected to UN Human Rights Council Organisation The president of a Committee for the Defence of the Revolution (CDR), Armando Rivero, threatened Oscar Sanchez Madán in Havana on 17 February for having quoted his name on his programme on Miami-based Radio Martí. The journalist was previously physically attacked by paramilitaries on 21 and 23 January.On 19 February, Gilberto Manuel González Delgado, head of the Notilibre news agency in Havana, had his home searched by a state security officer and two members of the CDR. A type-writer and articles were seized. He was threatened with being charged under the 88 Law on the “protection of Cuba’s independence and economy”, if he continued to do his job. He would face a 20-year prison term.The Cuban authorities on 20 February 2006 banned the sale of foreign newspapers such as Hola!, Mecánica popular, Muy interesante and El País on the grounds that they are “ideologically dangerous”. Follow the news on Cuba Reporters Without Borders is very concerned at the resurgence of a harsh crackdown against the independent press since the start of 2006. Some journalists have suffered repeated harassment and are sometimes denied the right to leave, as in the case of Jorge Olivera Castillo (photo). The attitude of the authorities is both unfair and senseless. May 6, 2020 Find out morecenter_img News News RSF_en Cuba and its Decree Law 370: annihilating freedom of expression on the Internet News October 15, 2020 Find out more Help by sharing this information CubaAmericas Receive email alerts October 12, 2018 Find out morelast_img read more

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