Following news and events in international journalism, focusing on press freedom and ethics. It is very much a work in progress, and due to bugs in automated RSS feeds may occasionally need correcting. Help us keep it up to date by creating an account on Dipity and making a friend request. Bookmark the page on Journalism.co.uk to see it by list, map and timeline plus useful links: http://www.journalism.co.uk/5/articles/533032.php
Created by Journalismcouk on 28/01/2009
Last updated: 21/10/10 at 04:13
Tags: international journalism press freedom journalism.co.uk events and awards world reporting kidnapping arrests prison citizen journalism war reporting media repression censorship
Reporters Without Borders voices its full support for Ziyad Al-Ajily, a reporter and head of the Journalistic Freedom Observatory (JFO), who is due to appear in court on a libel charge tomorrow in connection with an article he wrote for the newspaper Al-Aalem in July about problems with a major sports complex being built in the southern city of Basra. An NGO that defends media freedom, the JFO is the Reporters Without Borders partner organisation in Iraq. In an action brought under article 111 of the criminal code on 26 September, the ministry of youth and sports is suing for Ajily and the newspaper's publisher for 1 billion Iraqi dinars (615,530 euros) in damages. They are being tried before a special court for publication and communication offences. Headlined “Call for responsibility,” the article quoted a report by engineers as saying “the buildings envisaged and the material utilised do not correspond” to what was initially envisaged and that the “execution of the project without a detailed second survey could lead to a catastrophe.” Initiated by the ministry of youth and sports, the project's original budget was 500 million dollars. Reporters Without Borders calls on the ministry of youth and sports to withdraw its lawsuit. The amount of damages requested is so exorbitant it cannot be taken seriously. The judicial authorities should be examining the problems exposed in the article rather that hearing an absurd complaint by a ministry that clearly cannot tolerate media investigation of its activities. Read the JFO article in Arabic:
globalfreemedia: #Turkey: Journalist Sentenced for Criticizing Head of Chamber http://ow.ly/2Wknp
globalfreemedia: #Burma press freedom ‘amongst worst’ http://ow.ly/2Wkmq
globalfreemedia: #Philippines: Slain journalist's wife breaks down at Ampatuan trial http://ow.ly/2Wkb3
A Canadian court has placed numerous restrictions on an activist as part of his bail release. Alex Hundert may not speak with any member of the press, nor may he plan, attend, or participate in any public event related to a political issue. He was charged with three counts of conspiracy for involvement in violent activities at the G20 summit in Toronto last June. Hundert was released in July on $100,000 bail with around 20 court-imposed restrictions, including a ban on attending public demonstrations. After being rearrested for participating in a panel discussion at Ryerson University, he was released on 13 October on the condition that he adhere to additional restrictions. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has said the measures are “only aimed at silencing speech“.
Egyptian authorities have continued their pre-election crackdown on the independent media. Most recently private production companies that provide live broadcast services to independent television stations have had their licences revoked. It is reported that they will have to broadcast directly from studios affiliated with the state in order to receive new licences. The move follows the sacking of an opposition newspaper editor, the refusal to allow entrance to international monitors, and restrictions on sending out mass text messages. Critics say this is bound to inhibit reporting in the run-up to both November’s parliamentary elections and next year’s presidential poll.
Kurdish politicians and activists, 151 in total, have gone on trial in Diyarbakir, the largest city in the Kurdish-dominated southeast. The charges include membership of illegal groups, spreading propaganda and violating laws on public demonstrations. The trial comes amidst Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s plans for reconciliation with the Kurdish ethnic minority, who make up 20 per cent of the population. The defendants include 12 elected mayors, and about 20 of the suspects are to be tried in absentia. European human rights activists and lawyers have arrived to monitor the case.
globalfreemedia: #Turkey: Government fails press freedom test http://ow.ly/2VI2l
globalfreemedia: Via @GreensladeR UK: Is broadcast freedom the same as press freedom? http://ow.ly/2VHVG
The Pentagon is preparing itself for the release of 400,000 intelligence files relating to the Iraq war. Following Wikileaks’ release of 77,000 files concerning operations in Afghanistan, the whistle-blowing site is believed to have gathered further documents from a database in Iraq. A Pentagon spokesman said an assembled team of 120 was scouring the files in an effort to discern the impact of the coming release. He also urged Wikileaks to return the documents to the US military. Wikileaks are again thought to be teaming up with The New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel and Newsweek for the release of the material. It is uncertain when the documents will be made available to the public.
On the 10th anniversary of Tamil journalist Mayilvaganam Nimalarajan's murder in the northern city of Jaffna, Reporters Without Borders reiterates its hope that the Sri Lankan government will finally relaunch the police investigation into his death. The Jaffna correspondent of the BBC's Tamil and Sinhalese-language services and the Sri Lankan newspapers Virakesari and Ravaya, he was gunned down in his home on 19 October 2000. His killers also injured three other members of his family, including his parents. Reconciliation in Sri Lanka will require tough government initiatives to combat impunity in high-profile cases such as Nimalarajan's murder, one of the most shocking killings of the past decade. Now that the war is over, the police and the judicial authorities need the resources and political support that is essential in order to be able to identify and arrest those responsible. Today, Nimalarajan's father told Reporters Without Borders: “This has been 10 years of suffering for our family. But my son's memory is still alive. I would like people to remember him as a courageous journalist who served his community. The government could relaunch the investigation into my son's murder if it wanted to. It is a question of political will. We want justice to be done.” Reporters Without Borders went to Jaffna in 2002 to investigate Nimalarajan's murder. At that time, several suspects had been arrested but after a change of government, the police and certain judges deliberately sabotaged and then blocked the judicial proceedings, which were implicating members of the EPDP, a pro-government Tamil militia whose president is a minister in the current government. Reporters Without Borders concluded that Nimalarajan, one of the leading Jaffna-based journalists working for the international media, was killed because of his coverage of the political violence before and during the 2000 parliamentary elections. At least 25 journalists have been killed in Sri Lana since 2000, and three others have gone missing.
globalfreemedia: #Yemen Journalists Syndicate propose improved press code to Parliament http://ow.ly/2V4PH
globalfreemedia: No foreign media or observers for #Burma poll http://ow.ly/2V3mW
Radio station director Hojatullah Mujadadi is currently the only journalist detained in Afghanistan. Although President Hamid Karzai ordered his release, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), an Afghan intelligence agency, is still holding him in appalling conditions, without allowing him the right to be defended by a lawyer. His arrests violates Afghan law, under which all cases involving journalists should be handled by the Media Commission. Reporters Without Borders has an audio recording that clearly show that the NDS wanted to silence Mujadadi. Irritated by his independent reporting in the northeastern province of Kapisa, where he has been Radio Kapisa FM's director for the past several months, the security forces found a way to arrest and charge him last month. The recording also sheds light on the disturbing methods used by the NDS to recruit journalists as informers. In the audio recording made by Reporters Without Borders last May, Mujadadi said he had been summoned several times for questioning by NDS officials, who asked him to fill out a cooperation agreement form. According to Mujadadi, this would have meant agreeing to be a government spy. He was also asked to provide information about his contacts and to make detailed reports. “Yes, this form was called the ‘Cooperation Form' and if I had filled it out, I would have become an NDS member in addition to being a journalist,” Mujadadi says in this recording. “I was supposed to spy for them.” Mujadadi's revelations conclusively demonstrate that the NDS tries to turn independent journalists into informers. We urge the relevant authorities, including the interior minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, to put a stop to such practices. It is disturbing that the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) accepts the use of such methods by the NDS, its partner in the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan. The ISAF public information services never issued a correction to a statement in which they wrongly reported that Mujadadi was released in last September. Listen to the audio recording:
Mujadadi was arrested on 18 September at a voting station in Kapisa province that was being visited by the provincial governor. In recent months, he had reported being threatened by both the governor and NDS officials because of his independent coverage of events in the province including the case of the France 3 TV crew that was abducted there last December.
leaders from across the world have given their backing to calls from the
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of
Journalists (EFJ) for recognition of journalism as a public good as part of a
global campaign to defend public services. The international
union conference Quality Public Services
- ACTION NOW!, which brought together more than 400 union leaders from around
the world and all sectors of the global economy, heard from IFJ representatives
that the crisis of quality in journalism and the need to defend public services should also
be a focus of the international campaign launched at the meeting which ended
today in Geneva, Switzerland. "Journalists are
challenging those who are cutting standards, focusing on celebrity news and
ignoring information about the harsh truths about what is happening in
society," said Roberto Natale, President of the Federation of the National
Press in Italy.
globalfreemedia: RT @globalvoices: South Korea: A Star Anchor Threatens To Sue a Twitter user http://bit.ly/9IrTR3
globalfreemedia: Italian TV anchor suspended: "I blame the PM" http://ow.ly/2V0WB
globalfreemedia: #UK: FSA locks horns as editors say proposals to tape journalists threaten press freedom http://ow.ly/2V0Rp
globalfreemedia: #USA: Pentagon braces for new Iraq war #Wikileaks publication http://ow.ly/2V09E
The police and judicial authorities in the southeastern state of Chiapas must explain a 12 October raid on Radio Proletaria, a community radio station in the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, in which arrests were made and the station was summarily dismantled. The raid was carried out at night by around 30 armed and masked members of the police and the Chiapas State Attorney-General's Office (PGJE), who did not identify themselves or show any kind of warrant. Six people were arrested, including a 14-year-old boy who works for the station. He was held for 24 hours. All of Radio Proletaria's broadcasting equipment was seized, reducing it to silence. Located in the premises of the Emiliano Zapata Popular Organization, the station is affiliated to the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC). AMARC and Reporters Without Borders call on the Chiapas authorities to publicly explain what took place during the raid and why it was carried out. Was Radio Proletaria broadcasting on an illegal frequency? And if so, why couldn't the authority have ordered it to comply with the regulations, without resorting to repression and censorship? The Chiapas State Attorney-General's Office has violated the right to impart information and must return the stolen equipment to Radio Proletaria without delay. The arrest of a minor, who was denied the right to contact his family, was also a flagrant violation of the most basic rules of criminal law. While held, the boy was ordered to identify the home of three other Radio Proletaria representatives. The officials responsible for this inadmissible procedure deserve more than administrative sanctions. And in the absence of legitimate charges, those still being held must be released. The criminalisation of community radio stations in Mexico is nothing new. The methods used by the Chiapas authorities to intimidate this community and silence its radio station recall those used by the federal army and police against the indigenous radio station Uékakua in January 2009 in Michoacán. In both of these cases, the American Convention on Human Rights was violated. The Organisation of American States should demand reparation by the Mexican authorities.
globalfreemedia: #USA: Society of Professional Journalists calls for FERPA reform, student press freedom http://ow.ly/2TTv2
Switzerland) In the face of
widespread cuts to public services, leaders of private and public sector trade
unions, municipal governments and civil society groups have made the
unprecedented joint commitment to work together to promote investment in
quality public services backed by fair taxation policies as the key solution to
the economic crisis, and the best way to build peaceful, equitable, democratic
and ecologically-sustainable societies. It's "our turn, our
future" concluded participants in the international Quality Public Services-Action Now! conference in Geneva,
Switzerland this week. The Council of
Global Unions, sponsor of the three day conference attended by 400 delegates,
announced the launch of a major global campaign guided by a charter and action
plan that links local, national and international efforts to promote quality
public services. The CGU collectively represents more than 176 million working
men and women.
Reporters Without Borders condemns the increasing severity of the Iranian regime's persecution of bloggers. One, Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, was given a 15-year jail sentence 10 days ago while another, Mehdi Khazali, the editor of the website Baran http://www.drkhazali.com, was arrested two days ago. “Like journalists, bloggers have been treated for months as if they are enemies of the regime,” Reporters Without Borders said. “But the authorities have now started to impose much harsher sentences on them. Bloggers involved in censorship circumvention are being particularly targeted as they help their fellow citizens to gain access to banned information.” Khazali was arrested on 13 October after responding to a summons to appear before the 4th chamber of the Tehran prosecutor's office. His son said he was threatened earlier the same day by members of the security services who wanted force him to go directly to Evin prison. A doctor as well as a blogger, Khazali is the son of Ayatollah Abolghasem Khazali, who has been an influential member of the Council of Guardians of the Iranian Constitution for the past 30 years. Mehdi Khazali has been posting a lot of criticism of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his government on his website Baran (http://www.drkhazali.com/) for more than a year. He spent 23 days in solitary confinement in Section 209 of Evin prison following a previous arrest on 28 June 2009. He was released on 20 July 2009 on bail of 20 million tomans (20,000 euros). Maleki received his 15-year jail sentence from the Tehran revolutionary court's 26th chamber on 5 October, after more than 300 days in solitary confinement. It consisted of 11 years for “collaborating with the Iran proxy group” (which helps Iranians to sidestep online censorship), two years for “insulting the Supreme Leader” and two years for insulting the president. Maleki disputed the charges but, according to his mother, “he was hit in court and forced to sign the verdict.” His lawyer, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, confirmed this and said he would appeal against this “unjust” verdict. Revolutionary Guards arrested Maleki on 13 December during an “operation to dismantle a counterrevolutionary network.” He was alleged to have written and used software to combat filtering and to host and support websites and blogs that defend human rights. He was held incommunicado for several weeks before the authorities confirmed they were holding him. His sentence is the severest received by an Iranian blogger since the jail term of 19 and a half years that was imposed on Hossein Derakhshan on 28 September (read the release). A total of 27 journalists and nine netizens are currently in prison in Iran.
Reporters Without Borders deplores the offensive that the Tajik authorities have launched against media critical of the government, in which several newspapers have been forced to stop printing and access to many websites has been blocked.
In an open letter published by the official news agency Khovar on 4 October, defence minister Sherali Khairullayev accused 17 newspapers* that covered an attack by militants (possibly the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan) on an army convoy in the eastern Rasht valley on 19 September of “complicity with the terrorists” and “committing a grave crime.” Despite protests from the newspapers and from press freedom defenders such as Nuriddin Karshiboev, the head of the National Association of Independent Media of Tajikistan (NANSMIT), the authorities are continuing their attacks on the media.
Referring to the 1992-97 civil war, President Emomali Rakhmon accused “certain media” on 5 October of “taking their example from the 1990s and being bellicose.” Warning them against just seeking “sensationalism,” he added that “hoping for the support of their foreign protectors will not do them any good.” Other officials such as the education minister have made similar comments. There have also been more direct forms of pressure. A tax investigation into three newspapers, Faraj, Negah and Millat, was launched on 28 September. A similar investigation was started the next day at three companies that print these newspapers. Syavosh Hamdamov, the head of one of the companies, AToliyev Print, said it was “more of an attack than an investigation” and that his staff had been questioned about the newspapers. “The reaction of the Tajik authorities is disproportionate and extremely damaging to the country's image,” Reporters Without Borders said. “They may hope to demonstrate that they control the situation but the result could unfortunately be quite the opposite. “We understand that Tajikstan's leaders are concerned about stability, as the country was torn by five years of civil war, but repressive and illegal measures will not help.”
The press freedom organisation added: “We urge the authorities to respond favourably to the dialogue proposals being made by journalists and media advocates, and to put an immediate stop to the unjustified attempts to obstruct the media.” The heads of several news media and organisations that defend the media yesterday requested a meeting with presidential adviser S. Fatoyev to discuss the problems. At the same time, the Association of Independent Media of Tajikistan urged the defence minister to give specific examples to support his charges of complicity with the armed militants. Several independent news websites are currently inaccessible including those of the independent news agency Avesta.tj and the central Asia news and analysis outlet Ferghana.ru, as well as Tjknews.com and Centrasia.ru. The government is suspected of ordering the blocking although it has said nothing on the subject.
According to Zafar Abdullayev, the editor of Avesta.tj, the blocking started on 29 September. He said several Internet Service Providers told him that officials had instructed them to block the sites. Since the measure has not been officially recognised, the targeted electronic media have no recourse. As their financial situation is already fragile, it could cause them significant problems. Meanwhile, the weekly newspaper Faraj has been unable to appear for the second week running as it has not managed to find a company willing to print it. The newspaper Paykhon failed to appear on 13 October for the same reason. Tajikstan's already precarious independent press has long face hostility from the authorities and the tension has grown steadily since the start of this year. The new outbreak of violence linked to the war in neighbouring Afghanistan, and Tajikistan's role in that war, has fuelled the flames. Last July, Tajikistan's deputy mufti, Saidjon Sorbonkhodj, publicly urged the government to close all the independent newspapers, blaming them for the anti-government criticism and protests and singling out Faraj and Paykhon. A former Soviet republic, Tajikistan became embroiled in a civil war within months of gaining its independence in 1991. More than 50,000 people died in the war, which pushed about a tenth of the estimated 7 million inhabitants into exile. Since then, Tajikistan has suffered the consequences of the war in Afghanistan, including a disturbing level of drug trafficking (80 per cent of the drug seizures in central Asia) and incursions by Islamic militants suspected of seeking refuge in Tajikistan's mountains. *The newspapers that have criticised the defence ministry's military operations include Asia Plus, Faraj, Ozodagon, Negah, Paykhon, Fakty i Kommentarii, Sobytia, Bizness i Politika, Tojikiston, Digest Press and Charikhi Gardun.
globalfreemedia: #Egypt tightens TV broadcast rules before election http://ow.ly/2TW5X
A newspaper journalist who photographed a Roman Catholic protest is facing charges of “practising journalism without accreditation“. Flata Kavinga was arrested at the demonstration on 10 October and detained for over 24 hours. His camera was confiscated. Although he has been released, Kavinga’s lawyer said that police are considering charging him under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA). The controversial legislation, enacted in 2002, has been heavily criticised by media rights groups.
By Oiwan Lam According to the report at tech.163 on 13 of October 2010, the head of Baidu Tieba, an automatically generated forum through keyword search, Shu Xun said that the forum on average deleted 1 million posts every day. The report said:
During a speech at the “2010 China Internet Marketing Business Summit” yesterday , Shu Xun stressed that information accuracy is the founding stone to the development of virtual community. “However, currently there are too many “navy” hanging around in the Internet. And if users and corporates fail to distinguish if the informations reflect the genuine need of the consumers, the online marketing scale cannot be fully expanded”.
Shu Xun revealed that Baidu Teiba on average deleted 1 million posts everyday. One of the main reason is to clean the robot spam posted by online marketing company.
It is also well-known among Chinese internet users that Baidu Teiba imposes very strict political censorship, in particular in blocking and deleting politically sensitive terms defined by the propaganda department.
Palestinian activist Abdullah Abu Rahma has been sentenced to a year in prison for incitement by an Israeli military court. He is a leading organiser of the weekly protests against the separation barrier that Israel has built in the West Bank village of Bil’in. The protests started over five years ago and the activist has already served 10 months of his sentence on remand. The events are normally non-violent, but occasionally confrontations occur. Supporters claim the barrier is necessary to keep out suicide bombers. Protesters view it as an attempted land grab. The International Court of Justice and the Israeli Supreme Court have both declared parts of the wall unlawful.
The Indian authorities have again extended the deadline for Research In Motion (RIM), the BlackBerry smartphone's Canadian manufacturer, to provide them with real-time access to its instant messaging and email services. The original 31 August deadline was extended to 31 October. It has now been extended to 31 January 2011. But aside from giving RIM more time, New Delhi's demands have remained the same. Without underestimating the importance of national security, Reporters Without Borders thinks it is exaggerated for the Indian security services to want to extend their surveillance to the personal data of smartphone users. The press freedom organisation plans to write to the Indian authorities about this in the next few days.
India gives Research In Motion deadline of 31 August The Indian authorities yesterday told Research In Motion (RIM), the Canadian company that makes the BlackBerry smartphone, that it has until 31 August to provide India's intelligence agencies with access to BlackBerry's encrypted email and messaging services or else those services will be shut down in India. Although the demand is being made in the name of national security, it reflects a desire to monitor and even filter communications. But India is taking advantage of the pressure being put on RIM by other countries to blackmail the company itself. The Indian authorities are using the fact that Islamist militants employed mobile phones and satellite phones to carry out the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people. This kind of technology can be put to harmful use, the authorities argue. The Financial Times speculated today that the Indian authorities could also demand access to other encrypted networks such as Google and Skype. RIM tried to reassure users in a statement yesterday, saying it was doing its best to cooperate with governments and satisfy national security concerns while protecting the rights of consumers and corporate clients. It reaffirmed its intention not to reach any specific agreements with individual governments. Saudi Arabia is meanwhile still allowing BlackBerry's instant messaging service to operate. The Saudi authorities had decided to suspend it on 6 August, but the blocking lasted only a few hours. Talks aimed at finding a compromise are apparently continuing. RIM is nonetheless already cooperating with certain countries. It agreed at the start of the month to block access in Kuwait to more than 3,000 porn sites.
By Ramy Raoof The Egyptian National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) decided to set a new regulation in Egypt on 11 October forcing all companies sending mass short text messages (SMS) to mobile phones to obtain a license from national bodies as well as getting an approval on the content of the message before sending it from special personages, whom will be appointed to monitor SMS services.
According to Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper, companies providing SMS service must now obtain approval from the Ministry of Information and the Supreme Press Council before sending out to subscribers.
Few days later, The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE), local rights group, issued a case against the NTRA to rescind the new regulation.
Mahmoud el-Gweini, adviser to the Egyptian telecommunication minister, told The Associated Press that the decision “was not meant to curb political activity“, while one of the SMS provider companies told [AR] AFTE that companies are still allowed to provide the service as long as the SMS content isn’t political, otherwise the company won’t be allowed to provide the service.
The new regulating is shaping a new border on the free flow of information and right to information in Egypt, since several groups including political parties and newspapers are using SMS services to spread information and disseminate news.
New York, October 12, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Iranian authorities to immediately disclose the names of two Germans who were arrested on Sunday and described as journalists in several news reports. CPJ also asked Iranian officials to clarify the circumstances surrounding the arrests of the two individuals...
Radio Moto Oïcha journalist Kasereka Taipa was released yesterday and was able to return to Oïcha. However, he has been told to report on 15 October to the prosecutor's office in Béni, where he is to be tried on a charge of defamation. ----------------------------------------------------------
08-10-2010 - Reporters Without Borders wrote today to interior minister Adolphe Lumanu Mulenda Bwana N'Sefu (who is also deputy prime minister) voicing concern about newspaper journalist Tumba Lumembu, who has been held incommunicado by the authorities for the past three weeks, and asking why he was arrested. Lumembu, who works for the newspaper La Tempête des Tropiques, went missing on 15 September. Pressed by the Human Rights Division of the UN Stabilisation Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), the National Intelligence Agency (ANR) finally admitted after nearly two weeks that it was holding the journalist. With the reason for his arrest still unknown, human rights organisations and his colleagues at La Tempête des Tropiques continue to be very concerned about his fate. Reporters Without Borders is outraged by his arbitrary detention and urges the authorities to either bring charges against him or release him without delay. The ANR is in the habit of carrying out arbitrary arrests and heavy-handed interrogations, and holding people incommunicado. For this reason, Reporters Without Borders considered adding it to its list of “Predators of Press Freedom” last May. On 7 October, another journalist was arrested by three ANR officials in Oïcha, a town near the city of Béni in the eastern province of Nord-Kivu. It was Kasereka Taipa, who works for radio Moto Oïcha, a local station, and is a correspondent for radio Victoire Horizon, a station based in the nearby city of Butembo. In a report for Victoire Horizon, he had accused the ANR of levying a 20 dollar tax on anyone wanting to build a permanent structure. After being held at the ANR office in Oïcha, he was taken to the ANR regional headquarters in Béni.
Reporters Without Borders condemns the government's decision to expel Tehran-based journalist Ángeles Espinosa, the correspondent of the Spanish daily El País. The authorities cancelled her residence permit on 10 October and gave her two weeks to leave Iran, where she has been an accredited journalist for the past five years. No explanation was given. Espinosa's press card was withdrawn when she was arrested in Qom in July after interviewing Ahmad Montazeri, the son of Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, a leading reformist cleric who died in December 2009. The Foreign Press Bureau told her at the time she would be able to recover it when she returned from her summer vacation. Instead, her passport was also confiscated last month, following her return from her vacation. When it was given back to her on 10 October, the residence permit stamp had been cancelled. The International Committee against Stoning has meanwhile reported that two German journalists were arrested on 10 October while interviewing the son of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a woman whose death sentence by stoning for adultery was recently suspended. The son and Sakineh's lawyer, Houtan Kian, were also reportedly arrested. The Iranian news agency INSA quoted prosecutor-general Golam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie as confirming the arrests of two foreigners who had “entered Iran as tourists.” Coming at a time of continued active repression of the Iranian media, this return to censorship of the foreign media is particularly disturbing, Reporters Without Borders said.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today
condemned the decision by Iran to cancel the accreditation of Angeles Espinosa,
the correspondent of the Spanish daily El
Pais , who was ordered to leave the country within two weeks. "This is another attempt by the Iranian regime to
silence independent reporting of events in the country," says Aidan White,
secretary general of the IFJ, "Espinosa is being expelled purely because she is
a witness to the impact of the regime's policies. Like others who have been
thrown out, she is a victim of secrecy and intolerance on the part of leaders
who are afraid to subject themselves to democratic scrutiny." The IFJ supports its Spanish affiliate, FAPE ( Federación de Asociaciones de Periodistas de
España ) which also condemned the expulsion order and described it as "a blatant
repression of principled, objective and ethical journalism".
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today expressed its
grave concern over the well-being of Tunisian journalist Fahem Boukaddous and
urged his immediate release. Boukaddous, whose health has sharply deteriorated
in prison, is serving a four year jail term following his conviction in March
for "forming a criminal association liable to attack persons". "We are very concerned about Boukaddous who needs urgent medical
treatment unavailable to him in prison," said Aidan White, IFJ General
Secretary. "Boukaddous has already been denied his freedom as punishment for
his independent journalism. Without immediate action his long term health is
under threat." According to family sources, Boukaddous, correspondent for the satellite
channel ‘Tunisian Dialogue' has difficulties breathing and speaking and his
asthma attacks have increased.
By CJ Hinke David Streckfuss, a human rights expert on political and cultural history, finds that the heart of the longstanding and ongoing lèse majesté debate rests in the country’s defamation law. This truism concerns not only academics who are constrained from speaking freely but also ordinary citizens.
Truth on Trial in Thailand details a 110-year trajectory of lèse majesté prosecutions, “sedition and treason, the press and cinema, anti-communism, contempt of court”, and libel since 1900. This censorship centres on the legal and cultural concept min phraboromdechanuphap––หมิ่นพระบรมเดชานุภาพ.
Although the genesis of modern censorship in Thailand resulted from public opinion surrounding the 1946 gunshot death of King Ananda, lèse majesté laws laws came to be fully employed “from the late 1950s onward under military dictatorship”…using the banner (till today) of national security. At that time and till the present, some considered, rightly or wrongly, that the King’s younger brother, Bhumibol, was involved in the Ananda’s death.
Thailand’s lèse majesté slide toward dictatorship resulted in Pridi Banomyong, the 1932 revolutionist, author of the first Thai Constitution and widely-revered “father of Thai democracy”, being accused of regicide in the death of King Ananda. Although the official government announcement unambiguously stated the young king’s death was accidental, three Palace servants were executed in 1955 for this crime, nine years after the event, with no intervention or Royal pardon from the crown. Pridi himself died in exile in France; even after his death, his ashes were not allowed to be returned to Thai soil.
In 1973 a Thai expatriate group “claimed the [present] king legitimated a dictatorship which suppressed the people” and accused the king of being a traitor to the nation and its people. A 1983 underground, infamous but widely-distributed book, “Nine Reigns of the Chakri Dynasty” accused all Chakri crowns, including King Bhumibol, of a host of crimes.
More recently in 2008, Chulalongkorn University Giles Ji Ungpakorn became the first Thai academic to be charged with lèse majesté in more than 50 years. His crime was quoting the banned, seminal Bhumibol biography in English, Paul Handley’s The King Never Smiles, in referencing his book, A Coup for the Rich.
The long-term effects of reliance upon defamation law have skewed the truth in Thailand and created authoritarian structures which still drive Thai politics, especially the military, belying any appearance of democracy. Defamation law employs a singular exemption—if it can be proven by a defendant that such are “an expression of a sincere opinion”. This book contends that Thai history was suspended in 1958, setting us up for “an endless state of crisis” which continues until today.
Streckfuss quotes historian Antoon de Baets: ’[D]efamation cases and threats to sue in defamation cases have a chilling effect on the historical debate; they are often but barely veiled attempts at censorship.” Nowhere has this proven more true than in Thailand, where inequities in the law provide any citizen may charge any other person for the thinnest expression critical of the country’s monarchy.
This situation has resulted in the current “high degree of self-censorship” [Patrick Jory]. As public conversation regarding the Thai monarchy is increasingly suppressed by fear of spurious prosecution, the debate has resulted in numerous subterfuges to preserve an author’s anonymity. Circumvention by anonymous proxy, IP spoofing, VPN and other means is becoming increasingly common in the daily wars between netizens and their government.
lèse majesté prosecutions have occurred throughout history, equal to treason, blasphemy or heresy, when intrigues made monarchs far less secure than they are today. Rather than leaders, modern constitutional monarchs such as King Bhumibol are seen as unifying symbols or figureheads for the nation. However, in Thailand, the king is also characterised as “Head of State”, implying influence and power.
Certainly, when the sovereign blesses us with his rare advice, no one follows it. King Bhumbibol’s 2005 birthday address made it clear that he encouraged criticism as he was, after all, human. A commoner uttering such a sentiment would surely be found guilty of lèse majesté in Thai courts.
However, the current situation is that government bureaucrats make it their mission to ‘protect the monarchy’ whether the king wants or needs such protection or not. By doing so, they ingratiate themselves with their fellow toadies and make sure no taint of disloyalty might touch them.
These same bureaucrats created the secret “Taskforce 6080” with a secret budget in 2007 a year after Thailand’s military coup d’etat. The taskforce was set up by the Internal Security and Operations Command (ISOC) to counter any public expression that the Palace might be behind the 2006 coup.
It has become obvious to any thoughtful observers of Thai political gymnastics that these efforts have little to do with the present king and everything to do with his successor, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn. Vajiralongkorn has been characterised by the international press as “feared”, “loathed”, “hated” or “distrusted” or even “dissolute” or “corrupt” by many Thais who speak very carefully in private only with people they trust.
This writer finds these sentiments overstated but such conversations hardly constitute an “anti-monarchy conspiracy”. While the Crown Prince had, let us say kindly, an impetuous youth and middle age, he seems to have grown far more responsible in his 50s. However, he has not been made party to the duties of kingship by his father beyond the purely ceremonial so it remains to be seen if he can retain the monarchy as a symbol of the Thai nation. These are uncharted waters and time will tell. But most of us in Thailand are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt until he proves himself unworthy.
Egregious repression bearing even a mist of emanating from the throne will surely lead to the downfall of the 10th Chakri king, as stated in Thai cultural mythology. However, such repression is unlikely to come from the next king but from government lackeys. It would seem the Thai governments in flux may be, wittingly or unwittingly, setting up the future king for a fall from eminence precisely because of the national insecurity resulting in mass censorship.
The sheer volume of lèse majesté accusations is staggering, especially when one considers such accused may be gaoled for fifteen years or more. In addition to the sanctions of the Thai Criminal Code, many more prosecutions rest on the Computer Crimes Act 2007 which was the first law urgently passed by Thailand’s military coup-appointed legislature.
CCA prosecutions may not legally be initiated by anyone but the police. However, in practice, citizen charges are precisely what the police are permitting to take place. The military-supported CCA draft included the death penalty for computer crimes. The current version reduces the most severe penalties for lèse majesté to a span from three to 20 years. It should also be noted that any accused may be held by police without being charged for up to 84 days for the completion of its investigations.
The most prominent case in point is that of Chiranuch Premchaiporn, director of the independent online news website, Prachatai. Prachatai has long hosted one of the few open, public web discussion fora in Thailand. Some public posts to Prachatai were deemed to constitute lèse majesté and Chiranuch, as webmaster, was accused for not “moderating” these comments fast enough. She faces 50 years for 10 CCA charges and, as of September 27, two more for another 10 years. Journalism is obviously a dangerous profession in Thailand.
However, such accusations need not be current. Disgraced Prime Minister Thaksin’s office minister, Jakrapob Penkair, was charged with lèse majesté for maligning the first Chakri king who reigned from 1782 to 1809 as part of a panel at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand (FCCT). The panel’s moderator, BBC correspondent Jonathan Head, was also accused as was the FCCT’s entire 13-member executive board of foreign journalists.
Thailand’s double-speak Ministry of Information and Communication Technology was created by the Thaksin government and began by censoring just 1,247 websites in January 2004 on a blocklist they published to the ministry’s website. This was the first ands last blocklist the Thai government has ever made public.
By 2008, MICT announced a program to block only 1,000 websites “containing lèse majesté content” at a proposed cost of Bt495 million or $15 million USD.
Nine Thai government agencies now block at least 210,110 websites according to official media releases from April 7. They use a secret blocklist and an undisclosed budget.
Emergency decree was applied to 24 provinces but, as of October 1, it remains in force only in three provinces and the capital. However, rule of law under the Computer Crimes Act has not returned to the rest of Thailand. No court orders have been sought to again block the websites currently blocked by emergency powers and massive censorship remains.
Not content with blocking the Internet, Thai government then began to monitor community radio and cable television “around the clock”. Much of this monitoring has been accomplished using another military-sponsored law, the Internal Security Act 2007 and its spawn, the Internal Security Operations Command, responsible for the most blatant extrajudicial killings, kidnappings and disappearances.
Martial law is a dangerous predicament for any country. No matter that, in Thailand, “emergency powers” result from a legislated “emergency decree”. The decree, in force from April 7, 2010, surrenders all government power to the military and suspends the rule of law. Except, apparently, in cases of lèse majesté because such cases have been even more aggressively pursued using both the Criminal Code and Computer Crimes Act since the prime minister’s decree.
Incidentally, the decree needs be renewed every 60 days and there seems to be no end in sight. Just when the Decree comes up for renewal, there’s another fugitive sighted or another minor bombing. History might show us how quickly Cambodia slipped into Year Zero or Burma fell to military dictatorship, too fast for any citizen to make a difference. Some think Thailand is quickly approaching its own Year Zero.
It’s time we the people decided what exactly lèse majesté means for defendants, for rule of law rests with precision. Is, for example, not standing for the royal anthem preceding a film, as did Chotisak Onsoong, lèse majesté? This sounds ridiculous to any thinking person, does it not? Does it not seem more important to the future of our society to find out what exactly Khun Chotisak was thinking?
Numbers, of course, speak louder than words. 765 persons were prosecuted for lèse majesté “between 2006 and 2009—an average of almost 191 per year—a 115% increase over the immediate previous decade when there was an average of just five new cases per year”.
Since the 2006 military coup d’etat there has been a 2000% increase in new lèse majesté prosecutions. In 2009, an all-time high of 164 new lèse majesté cases were pursued. Although reporting on almost all lèse majesté cases fall victim to the Thai media’s self-censorship, the conviction rate for such cases tried between 1992 and 2005 averaged 94%. Furthermore, there are no lèse majesté cases on record in which defendants were allowed to enter into evidence what they said was true or for the public good.
Sentences are mitigated by 50% if the accused shows suitable contrition and pleads guilty; this situation is almost universally true. In many cases, the king, on the prisoner’s application, grants Royal pardon. However, there are at least some lèse majesté prisoners who would not seek the king’s pardon.
“[T]here must be scores if not hundreds of Thais” in prison for this “crime”, at least 170 political prisoners, none of whom is known to human rights organisations or, indeed, to the wider Thai society.
Dr. Streckfuss’ Truth on Trial in Thailand questions our “Thainess”, or what makes us Thai. Our government has become a “defamation regime”—anyone who doesn’t agree with the body politic must be censored, censured and gaoled. Any suggestion that lèse majesté law be repealed or even amended is seen as a sign of disloyalty.
The cumulative efforts of the military and police, the politicians, the rich and privileged elites have succeeded in creating a xenophobic culture in which Thais reject any sincere offers of international oversight or even media commentary. These forces have manipulated many Thais into being knee-jerk Royalists. We routinely and systematically whitewash our history, setting the stage for an inevitable dictatorship.
The Thai regime has created a climate in which street demonstrations chant, “Ai [a grave insult] B******* ordered the [Redshirt] killings” and anti-monarchy graffiti are posted to public hoardings and toilet walls. As the reader can see, we must even self-censor the actual chant! It would seem lèse majesté law is having exactly the opposite effect politicians want us to believe. Or perhaps that’s just bureaucratic smoke-and-mirrors—the issue is simply about government control of the people.
Now you see it, now you don’t. So who’s got the dhamma? Surely not Thai politicians or generals or judges.
However, no one can afford not to be seen as loyal. These Royalists in Thai government are those committing lèse majesté by using our King without his consent to support their own agenda. Their agenda is perpetual power.
Truth on Trial in Thailand resurrects the censored ghosts of the 1948 Dusun-Nyor massacre, the October 1973 and 1976 students, the Black May 1992 victims, the Muslims murdered at Krue Se and Tak Bai in 2004, the Redshirts slaughtered at Ratchaprasong in Bloody April 2010 and applies them to Thailand’s living history. Only if history is healed, Thailand “can move forward once again…when Truth finally has its day in court…”
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today marked the fourth
anniversary of the murder of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya by
urging the Russian authorities to ensure justice for her and her long-suffering
family and colleagues. "Her
killer has been named but not caught, his alleged accomplices have been put on
trial but acquitted, and those behind her murder appear to have got away scot-free
," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "The way her murder has been
handled is an indictment of the Russian justice system. Her family and friends
have endured much distress and frustration and it is time to put an end to
IFJ says the recent announcement by Russia's chief investigator of plans to
re-examine 19 deaths of journalists since 2000 is a positive development but
must be backed up by real deeds tackling the instigators of murders such as
that of Politkovskaya in 2006, not just the perpetrators.
In a “disgraceful” act of censorship, the Chinese authorities have deployed major technical and human resources to prevent the Chinese public from learning that the jailed dissident intellectual Liu Xiaobo has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Reporters Without Borders said. TV and radio stations, newspapers and websites have completely ignored what is an historic news item for China. The Propaganda Department issued an order to all the Chinese media forbidding them to report the Nobel Committee's decision. This frenzied censorship and propaganda effort confirms the importance of Liu's peaceful struggle for free expression in China. Overwhelmed by the hopes raised by Liu's Nobel, the authorities have responded in time-honoured fashion with a news blackout. It is an insult to the universality of the Nobel Peace Prize. No report about Liu is to be seen on the home pages of the leading Chinese news websites such as Sina or Sohu. Some results referring to Liu's Nobel can be obtained on the Baidu search engine, but access to the actual web pages is usually blocked. The government television station CCTV said nothing about Liu and instead opened its evening news programme with a report about rain in Hainan Island. The broadcasts of foreign satellite TV stations such as CNN are blocked as soon as they start to mention Liu's Nobel. Dozens of foreign reporters have been turned away by police as they try to approach Liu's home in Beijing. It is impossible to send an SMS message containing the characters for Liu Xiaobo or Nobel Prize. The microblogging website Weibo is also being censored. But on Twitter, which is blocked in China, thousands of enthusiastic messages have been posted urging people to eat salmon to thank Norway, to display signs at the back of their cars or otherwise celebrate Liu's prize. Journalists have also posted messages on Twitter saying they are crying for joy, while the renowned artist Ai Weiwei said it was the happiest day for China in 60 years. Liu's wife, Liu Xia, is under house arrest at their Beijing home. The police at their home have forbidden her to give interviews but she has expressed her joy on Twitter. She said that the police planned to take her to the Liaoning province prison where her husband is held, and that she would like to go to Norway to receive the prize on her husband's behalf. She also said the prize was a homage that Liu shares with Hu Jia, a former Nobel Peace Prize nominee who is also in prison. Police meanwhile arrested 20 human rights activists yesterday outside Ditan park, where they were publicly celebrating Liu's Nobel. Students also gathered in Tiananmen Square brandishing Chinese flags. Some of them were also reportedly arrested. The Chinese foreign ministry said: “Liu Xiaobo is a criminal convicted under the Chinese judicial system because he broke Chinese laws.” United Nations high commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay welcomed “this recognition of the very important role human rights defenders play in China.” German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said he hoped Liu would now be released quickly so that he could receive the prize in person. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said the decision to award the prize to Liu was a message to Beijing about human rights. Former Czech president Vaclav Havel, a leading promoter of Liu's nomination, said Liu was “exactly the type of a politically committed person to whom the Nobel prize should go.” US President Barak Obama, the winner of last year's Nobel Peace Prize, also hailed the news and urged Beijing to free Liu.
By Sami Ben Gharbia Duplication à l'identique d’un blog WordPress censuré
Global Voices Advocacy is pleased to release the French translation of our
Mirroring a Censored WordPress Blog. The guide has been written by Sami Ben Gharbia (Global Voices Advocacy Director), with Rebekah Heacock (a research assistant for the OpenNet Initiative) and Jeremy Clarke (Global Voices web developer and Wordpress designer), and translated by our friend, blogger Anna Guèye.
This guide is for bloggers with self-hosted* WordPress blogs who believe their sites may be blocked by government filters. Its goal is to help bloggers use a mirror site to make censored content available to readers despite these filters. It contains step-by-step instructions for setting up a mirror for an original (”source”) WordPress blog.
When it comes to accessing banned web sites and blogs, most online free speech advocates focus on bypassing censorship using circumvention tools. While this is important, teaching Internet users how to evade censorship is not enough. Many people are not aware of or do not have access to circumvention tools, as countries that filter the Internet also tend to block proxy servers and other circumvention technologies. When circumvention tools are used, they often affect connection speeds, making Internet access even slower in places where connectivity is already poor.
To make your content accessible you cannot simply rely on circumvention technologies or the technical knowledge of your readers*. Taking your users' needs into account and keeping ahead of the blocking efforts of their governments are the first steps toward implementing creative workarounds that make your site's content available to all potential readers, regardless of where they live.
One way to increase access to blocked sites for Internet users in countries that filter online content is through mirroring: duplicating a site's content on another domain name or subdomain. Mirror sites automatically reflect any changes made to the original site, allowing blog authors to get around censorship by providing multiple locations where readers can access their content.
Duplicating your content without mirroring
Making your blog secure
Introduction to Internet filtering techniques
Determining how your blog is blocked
Mirroring your WordPress blog
Obtaining and configuring your new domain or subdomain
Choosing, downloading and installing a mirroring WordPress plugin
Configuring the plugin
Addressing the risks to your page rank
Telling your readers about the mirrored site
Duplication à l'identique d’un blog WordPress censuré
Mirroring a Censored WordPress Blog is availble for download as a PDF file. You may need to install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it.
Please download the guide and help us translating it in your language.
For further information please contact Global Voices Advocacy Director Sami Ben Gharbia at advocacy [ at ] globalvoicesonline [ dot ] org.
* A self-hosted WordPress blog is one that is not hosted on the WordPress.com free blogging service, but rather on a separate server using the Wordpress.org publishing platform. For more information, see wordpress.org.
New York, October 6, 2010--Detectives with the federal Investigative Committee, the Russian agency responsible for investigating serious crimes, say they are probing a widening circle of suspects in the 2006 murder of Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya....
New York, October 4, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the killing earlier today of freelance cameraman Tahrir Kadhim Jawad, 27, and expressed concern over the rising trend of fatal attacks on journalists in Iraq....
By Marianne Diaz Since Sunday afternoon, September 26th, 2010, while Venezuelan elections for the National Assembly were still being held, several users started reporting that they were unable to access any blog hosted on the free blogging platform Wordpress.com from their internet connections within the country.
Blogger Elena Sanchez Vilela said [Spanish]:
Karakenio me confirmó que su blog sí se podía ver en el exterior pero que para él visualizarlo debía usar un proxy. Gabriel luego me dijo que desde su internet en el celular su blog sí se leía. Captain Arepa usó hidemyass para escribirle a WP sobre el asunto (su respuesta aún no la sé).
A esta hora de la noche sigo viendo en twitter que la gente se queja sobre el bloqueo o el filtro que aplicó ABA CANTV a todas las direcciones que incluyan la palabra “wordpress” en el url; @fabianadipolo me explicó que ella tiene blogs con dominio propio que sí se abren. Y está confirmado que es con CANTV porque usando el internet de INTER, la red 3G de Movistar, Movilnet y Digitel estos blogs sí se ven.
Karakenio confirmed to me that his blog could be seen abroad, but for him to see it, he needed to use a proxy. Gabriel said to me later that from his cellphone his blog could be read. Captain Arepa used hidemyass to write to WP about the issue (their answer I still don’t know it).
At this time at night, I still see on twitter people complaining about the blockage or the filter that ABA CANTV applied to all addresses including the word “wordpress” in the url; @fabianadipolo explained to me that she has several wordpress blogs using custom domain names that do open. And it has been confirmed that it’s [only] with CANTV, since the access to wordpress.com from INTER, the 3G net from Movistar, Movilnet and Digitel these blogs is working.
The website Código Venezuela stated [Spanish]:
La falla que se presentó de manera intermitente el día de las elecciones, domingo 26 de septiembre, se mantiene hasta este martes. El sistema Nacional de Gestión de Incidentes Telemáticos (VenCERT) realizó un monitoreo sobre más de mil quinientos (1500) sitios web donde supervisaron contenidos ilegales en diversas páginas desde el pasado viernes 24 hasta el lunes 27, según precisa el Ministerio de Ciencia, Teconología e Industrias Intermedias en su web.
Al respecto, un 48% de las páginas, cuyo nombre no se específica, presentaba “publicación ilegal de contenido electoral”, que según el organismo se solventó con acciones orientadas al “resguardo de la integridad y disponibilidad de la información publicada”, señala VenCERT.
[…]Las páginas hospedadas en WordPress pueden ser accedidas desde España, así como el Reino Unido, inclusive se puede ver desde Venezuela utilizando un sistema de proxy, según apunta, Sergio Almendro, director de zuplemento.com
The failure that presented intermittently the day of elections, Sunday september 26th, maintains until Tuesday. The National System for Gestion of Telematic Incidents (VENCERT, for its Spanish acronym) performed a monitoring over one thousand and half (1500) websites, where they supervised illegal content on several web pages, between Friday 24 and Monday 27, according to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Intermediate Industries on its website.
In this regard, 48% of the pages, which names aren't specified, presented “illegal publication of electoral content” that according to the organism, was solved with actions oriented to the “preservation of the integrity and availability of the information published“, points VenCERT.
[…] The pages hosted on Wordpress can be accessed from Spain, and the UK; they can even be seen from Venezuela using a proxy system, according to Sergio Almendro, director of zuplemento.com
However, the same website stated later, in a different post, that “a font” from CANTV informed:
WordPress.com está realizando labores de mantenimiento y backup en sus servidores, por lo que algunos blogs estaban caidos. Esta caída se alojó en los proxys de CANTV y, como no nos dimos cuenta de la falla, se quedó alojada allí. Es por eso que los blogs, aunque recuperarun su status de “en funcionamiento” igual aparecían como “tumbados” si se trataba de acceder desde el servicio ABA. Ya estamos limpiando los proxys. Es una falla ajena a nosotros y no tuvo que ver con las elecciones. Fue una coincidencia”
Wordpress is performing maintenance and backup Works on its servers, and therefore some blogs were down. This downfall hosted itself in CANTV proxys, and, as we didn't notice the failure, it stayed hosted there. That's why the blogs, even though recovered its “functioning” status, still appear as “down” if they were attempted to be reached from the ABA service. We're already cleaning the proxys. It's a failure foreign to us and was not related to elections. It was a coincidence.
Twitter user @jesusbolivar, stated through a public GoogleDoc:
No es un problema de wordpress, ya que si el problema fuesen ellos, no se pudiese entrar a ningun blog desde ningun proveedor, ya que independientemente de si visitas los blogs desde Movistar, Digitel o CANTV igual “caes” en lb.wordpress.com, adicional a esto, el problema tampoco son los proxys de CANTV ya que al contrario de lo expuesto en el articulo de Codigo Venezuela las fallas de este tipo no se “alojan” en los proxys -la duracion de los caches es de minutos y ya llevamos dos dias sin acceso a estas paginas-
It is not a wordpress problem, because if WP was the main problem, it wasn't possible to access any wordpress hoisted blog from any provider, no matter if you visit these blogs from Movistar, Digitel or CANTV, you still “fall” in lb.wordpress.com; besides that, the problem also is not related to CANTV proxys, since, on the contrary of what's exposed in Codigo Venezuela's article, this kind of failures aren't “hosted” in the proxys –the duration of caches is in minutes and we've been without access to this pages for two days already-.
In the afternoon of Wednesday 29, access to all Wordpress-hosted blogs was suddenly reestablished, without further explanation.
Moscow, September 30, 2010--Top Russian investigators have pledged to pursue 19 cases of murdered journalists presented to them by a delegation from the Committee to Protect Journalists, reopening several closed cases and pursuing new leads in a number of other probes....
By Hamid Tehrani According to [fa] Mashregh News Hossein Derakhshan, Iranian jailed blogger, was sentenced to 19.5 years in prison. Read more here.
New York, September 28, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities in Dubai to allow for due process in the criminal defamation trial of Mark Townsend, a freelance journalist and regular contributor to The Washington Times. The trial is set to begin on Wednesday....
By Oiwan Lam An online novelist, Yuan Ping (pseudo name), was arrested by the Dongguan city police for spreading obscene material on September 26.
According to the report from Southern Metropolis, the novelist is a secondary school teacher in Shunde city, Guangdong province. He was born in 1981 and graduated from the Chinese language department of Hunan Science and Technology University.
He started to write an online novel at Tianya forum in June 2009. The original title of the novel was “Sleeping in Dongguan in the 80s” 《80年代———睡在东莞》. It took Yuan Ping 4 months to write 155 chapters and 390 thousands words on the forum. The story is about the Sauna Industry in Dongguan and is written in the style of realism. The novel is very popular among netizen and more than 10 publishers have approached Yuan Ping for printing the book. In the final review of the book, Yuan Ping was asked to delete some sensitive terms and the title of the novel was changed to “Being in Dongguan” 《在东莞》.
Yuan Ping is now under criminal detention and netizens are trying to “rescue” the writer by spreading the news online.
A Beijing lawyer, Zhou Ze, explained to the Southern Metropolis reporter that articles with literary value should not be considered as obscene article and the evaluation should be undertaken by the professionals rather than by the police. Another famous online novelist Murong Xuecun said that if the obscenity charge of Yuan Ping's novel stands, many online novelists will have to face criminal charge, as the reality of the society is full of violence and obscenity. Tianya literature forum's webmaster also said that if Yuan Ping's novel were pornography, they would not have allowed it to be published.
Dongguan is located in Guangdong province. The city is famous of its prosperous sex industry.
The prosecutor who initiated legal proceedings against former Telesur reporter William Parra, retired military officer Ricardo Bejarano, was removed from the case yesterday and was relieved of his post within the anti-terrorism section of the attorney-general's office. No reason was given for the move, which came after irregularities were pointed out in the proceedings against Parra. His removal from the case had been requested by Parra's defence lawyers. Bejarano obtained an international warrant for the arrest of Parra, now a political exile in Venezuela, on a charge of complicity with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The accusation was based on files supposedly found in the laptop of FARC deputy commander Raúl Reyes, who was killed in 2008. Parra's lawyers recently reiterated a request for access to the files, which Bejarano never provided.
09.09.10 - Belated proceedings against former Telesur reporter William Parra Reporters Without Borders is disturbed to learn that an international arrest warrant was issued on 6 September for independent TV producer William Parra on charges of criminal association and financing terrorism because of his alleged links with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Parra's name reportedly appears in several emails found in the laptop of FARC deputy commander Raúl Reyes, who was killed by the Colombian military while in Ecuador in March 2008. A former reporter for the Caracas-based pan-Latin American TV station Telesur, Parra was granted refugee status in Venezuela in March. Parra's lawyer, Sandra Gamboa, told Reporters Without Borders that the manner in which the warrant was issued involves many irregularities and violates Parra's defence rights. Reporters Without Borders questions the belated reactivation of this case given the circumstances and the Colombian government's previous harassment of Telesur and its employees. Parra must meanwhile benefit from all the guarantees provided by Colombian and international law. According to Gamboa, the warrant also violates the rules of international law, inasmuch as Parra is an exile in Venezuela and has refugee status there. In principle, he cannot be handed over to the Colombian authorities and the Colombians cannot request his extradition. Reporters Without Borders hopes these provisions are respected. Parra has been targeted by the Colombia authorities ever since he joined Telesur in 2006. After leaving Telesur two years later, he made three documentaries for the station as an independent producer. The head of the Colombian police, Gen. Oscar Naranjo accused him in 2007 of “manipulation and complicity with the FARC” in connection with the June 2007 abduction of Capt. Guillermo Javier Solórzano, who was interviewed by Parra while held hostage. Another Telesur correspondent, Freddy Muñoz, was threatened and detained by Colombia paramilitaries in 2006 for allegedly being a FARC member after a doctored photo was circulated. The warrant for Parra has been issued at what is proving to be a difficult time for the Colombia media since Juan Manuel Santos' installation as president just a month ago. The most serious recent cases including an attempt to murder the editor of the magazine El Norte, Marco Tulio Valencia, on 30 August in the department of Tolima, repeated threats against Teleantioquia Noticias correspondent Luis Carlos Cervantes and the 29 August sabotaging of community radio station Puerto Wilches Estéreo, which is still off the air. Reporters Without Borders fears that the hostile climate could lead to a new campaign of smears and attacks on journalists who were harassed and kept under close surveillance during the previous presidency of Alvaro Uribe because of their opinions. (photo : www.diariodelhuila.com)
Kacem is a Moroccan blogger and activist whose website, Bahmout, displays a banner that reads: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll fight for your right to say it,” quoting French philosopher Voltaire. Kacem, who says he “blogs for change” is indeed the kind of blogger who speaks his mind openly, making his atheism the central theme of his provocative, sometimes controversial writings. Earlier this month the blogger says he received death treats on his Facebook inbox. Although this isn't the first time Kacem receives threatening missives, the message this time around, he says, is a matter for serious concern. He explains:
I have received two messages on my Facebook inbox, in the first message, the sender threatened of slaughtering me like sheep being slain! in the second message titled ” an appointment” , the sender says to me : “we shall meet at Elhajeb where murdering you is going to take a place!” Elhajeb, however, 15 km away from my village, is the nearest place which i often go to every now and then! This points out that the terrorist exerted extra efforts to find out my location!
In a short video appeal posted on his blog Kacem says he's not against Muslims and that he supports freedom of religion, asking for his own right to freedom of conscience to be respected.
Kacem also says his repeated reports about abusive messages and threatening users have brought no response so far from Facebook who, the blogger says, should take these claims more seriously.
New York, September 9, 2010---The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned about an Indonesian Supreme Court ruling against Erwin Arnada, editor of the now-dormant Playboy Indonesia. Arnada faces up to two years in jail after prosecutors said recently that they would enforce a 2009 Supreme Court ruling that...
New York, September 9, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomed the release of British journalist Asad Qureshi from captivity in Pakistan. He was held for more than five months in a tribal area bordering Afghanistan....