Organisation TurkmenistanEurope – Central Asia News (Photo AFP) #CollateralFreedom: RSF now unblocking 21 sites in 12 countries Help by sharing this information News March 31, 2020 Find out more Ogulsapar Muradova, the Turkmenistan correspondent of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, died three years ago, on 12 September 2006, after being severely beaten by guards in Ovodan Depe high security prison, to the north of the capital Ashgabat. Today, the Turkmen government is waging an all-out charm offensive while still holding two other journalists, Sapardurdy Khadjiyev and Annakurban Amanklychev, who were arrested and convicted at the same time as Muradova.Dependent on its income from the export of gas, Turkmenistan is actively trying to diversify its outlets and improve its international image. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov recently met with the leaders of several of its Caspian Sea neighbours, sealed the renewal of ties with Russian president Dmitry Medvedev on 13 September and met with Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko. President Berdymukhamedov appealed to all potential partners in a speech on 12 September, mentioning a gas pipeline to China that will be opened by the end of the year, a proposed pipeline to carry Turkmen gas to the Indian Ocean and, above all, his country’s determination to join the European Union’s proposed Nabucco pipeline.“The Turkmenbashi’s successor has been preparing this diplomatic offensive for some time but one should not pin any hopes on his government’s change in tone,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The Turkmen regime is hoping to woo the international community with a new approach, but we urge its potential partners to look at the realities of a country that is ranked 171st out of 173 countries in our press freedom index.“The dismissal of two important government censorship officials at the start of 2009 raised hopes of liberalisation, but nothing has really changed behind the façade and Turkmenistan continues to be one of the world’s most repressive countries for journalists. There is absolutely no criticism of the regime in the media. Internet cafés are allowed but access to opposition websites is blocked, email is monitored and visiting alternative websites can be very dangerous. How can the regime’s declared reform intentions and its calls to local journalists to follow the international media’s example be taken seriously while at the same time it arbitrarily refuses to let journalists and students go abroad?”Anyone helping foreign journalists risks serious problems. There is so much intimidation that local journalists usually lose no time in declining any invitation to work for foreign news media. The example of Khadjiyev and Amanklychev helps to keep things this way. They were sentenced to six and seven years in prison respectively in August 2006 on a trumped-up charge of “possession of illegal munitions” after helping the French production company Galaxie-Presse prepare a report on Turkmenistan for the French TV station France 2.According to recent reports, their health has deteriorated and they have ailments affecting the stomach, kidneys, legs and joints. Their access to treatment is very limited and no international organisation, not even the International Committee of the Red Cross, has been allowed to visit them. Their relatives, like Muradova’s relatives and all those who have been in contact with them, are forbidden to leave the country, their phones are tapped and their access to work and higher education is obstructed.“If President Berdymukhamedov wants to turn his words into actions, he should release Khadjiyev and Amanklychev,” Reporters Without Borders added. “On the sad anniversary of Muradova’s death, we urge the European Union’s members to clearly accept that any commercial and diplomatic opening towards Turkmenistan cannot overlook the situation of human rights and press freedom.” News September 16, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Gas contracts but no press freedom Four-year jail term for independent website’s correspondent in Turkmenistan TurkmenistanEurope – Central Asia Coronavirus off limits in Turkmenistan to go further December 18, 2020 Find out more News Receive email alerts RSF_en Follow the news on Turkmenistan March 13, 2020 Find out more
News Follow the news on Iran News Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 Organisation to go further Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information IranMiddle East – North Africa After Hengameh Shahidi’s pardon, RSF asks Supreme Leader to free all imprisoned journalists A total of 35 press freedom organisations have signed a joint appeal by Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists for the release of jailed Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi, who will be 32 on 26 April.The organisations have called for Saberi’s rights to be respected in a letter to the Iranian justice minister, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroodi.————————————————————————————-24 April 2009His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi ShahroodiJustice Ministry Bldg.Panzdeh-Khordad (Ark) Sq. Tehran, IranFax: 98 21 222 90 151Your Excellency:As journalists and members of the global press freedom community we are writing to express our concern about the April 17 sentencing of Roxana Saberi to eight years in prison on charges of espionage, after a closed, one-day trial.Saberi is a respected journalist who has lived in Iran for six years. She filed reports for NPR, the BBC, and other international news outlets before her press credentials were revoked in 2006.We call for Saberi to be released. Her judicial guarantees have to be respected, according to international standards.Trusting that you will fairly consider our collective request.Sincerely,ARTICLE 19, U.K. Algerian Centre for the Defence and Promotion of Press Freedom (CALP), Algeria Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), Egypt Associação Brasileira de Jornalismo Investigativo (ABRAJI), Brazil Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM), Serbia Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), Canada Cartoonists Rights Network, International (CRNI), U.S.A. Center for Media Studies and Peace Building (CEMESP), Liberia Centro de Periodismo y Etica Publica (CEPET), Mexico Committee to Protect Journalists, U.S.A. Independent Journalism Center (IJC), Moldova Index on Censorship, U.K. Institute of Mass Information (IMI), Ukraine Institute for Reporter Freedom and Safety (IRFS), Azerbaijan Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (IPYS), Peru International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Belgium International PEN Writers in Prison Committee, U.K International Press Institute (IPI), Austria Freedom House, U.S.A. Free Media Movement (FMM), Sri Lanka Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa (FLIP), Colombia Maharat Foundation, Lebanon Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), Namibia Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Ghana Media Watch, Bangladesh Mizzima News Agency, India/Burma Norwegian PEN, Norway Observatoire pour la liberté de presse, d’édition et de creation (OLPEC), Tunisia Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), Pakistan Reporters sans frontières (RSF), France Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA), Thailand World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), Canada World Association of Newspapers (WAN), France World Press Freedom Committee (WPFC), U.S.A.For further information, contact Meredith Greene Megaw, at CPJ, 330 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10001, U.S.A., tel: +1 212 465 1004, fax: +1 212 465 9568, e-mail: [email protected], Internet: http://www.cpj.org or Soazig Dollet at RSF, 47, rue Vivienne, 75002 Paris, France, tel: +33 1 44 83 84 78, fax: +33 1 45 23 11 51, e-mail: [email protected], Internet: http://www.rsf.org RSF_en News June 9, 2021 Find out more Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists News March 18, 2021 Find out more April 24, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 International support for Roxana Saberi ahead for her birthday February 25, 2021 Find out more IranMiddle East – North Africa
Crimean journalist “confesses” to spying for Ukraine on Russian TV Organisation Help by sharing this information to go further UkraineEurope – Central Asia News RSF_en September 7, 2020 Find out more February 26, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts July 9, 2015 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Woman reporter still held in Luhansk after six months Ukrainian media group harassed by broadcasting authority Reporters Without Borders condemns the continuing detention of Maria Varfolomeyeva, a young woman journalist who was arrested in Luhansk six months ago today by the authorities of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR).Arrested while taking photos of an apartment block on 9 January, she was accused of helping the Ukrainian armed forces to improve the accuracy of their artillery bombardments and of spying for the Ukrainian ultra-nationalist group Pravy Sektor.Her separatist captors subjected her to series of carefully staged and videoed “interrogations,” in which she could often be seen sobbing, and then “sentenced” her to 15 years in prison.“Maria Varfolomeyeva’s prolonged arbitrary detention is completely unacceptable,” said Johann Bihr, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk.“Arrested for taking photos, this journalist has been subjected to intense psychological pressure and then tried and convicted in a completely illegal manner. We call on Luhansk’s self-proclaimed authorities to free her at once.”A Luhansk native, Varfolomeyeva worked for the local news website Svobodny Reporter. She also often worked as a fixer for various national media, including Hromadske TV. Despite the fighting, she stayed in Luhansk to help her grandmother, who unable to leave because of her physical condition. Follow the news on Ukraine March 26, 2021 Find out more UkraineEurope – Central Asia News News Ukraine escalates “information war” by banning three pro-Kremlin media News
Letter to chancellor of Austria, new holder of the EU presidency, about violations of free expression in Turkey
Human rights groups warns European leaders before Turkey summit Follow the news on Turkey April 2, 2021 Find out more TurkeyEurope – Central Asia News Receive email alerts News TurkeyEurope – Central Asia Help by sharing this information Turkey’s never-ending judicial persecution of former newspaper editor Organisation April 2, 2021 Find out more RSF_en News Journalists threatened with imprisonment under Turkey’s terrorism law April 28, 2021 Find out more News to go further January 5, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Letter to chancellor of Austria, new holder of the EU presidency, about violations of free expression in Turkey Sincerely,Robert Ménard, Secretary General In a letter to Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel of Austria, which has held the European Union presidency since 1 January, Reporters Without Borders has voiced concern about recent attacks on press freedom in Turkey and has asked him to use his influence with the authorities in Ankara to convince them to amend articles 301 and 305 of the criminal code, under which journalists can be sent to prison for the views they express.Paris, 3 January 2006Dear Chancellor Schüssel,Reporters Without Borders, an organisation that defends press freedom worldwide, would like to share with you its concern about the threats to free expression in Turkey, a country which has started talks on possible joining the European Union. We are worried about the arbitrary use of Turkish criminal code, especially article 301 on “humiliation of the Turkish identity, the republic and state bodies and institutions,” to censor dissent.More than twenty journalists, writers and editors are currently being prosecuted in Turkey, most of them under this article. The cases of Hrant Dink and Orhan Pamuk are representative of the persistent threats from the authorities and nationalistic lawyers to those who refer to certain episodes in Turkish history.On 24 December, the prosecutor’s office in Sisli (Istanbul) initiated new proceedings against Mr. Dink, the editor of the Armenian-language weekly Agos, for allegedly trying to influence the course of justice in an article published after his first trial in October, in which he was given a suspended sentence of six months in prison under article 301. He will be tried in February and faces four to five years in prison.Mr. Pamuk, a leading writer, is accused under article 301 of “insulting Turkish identity” by telling a Swiss weekly that “one million Armenians and 30,000 Kurds were killed in this country but no one dares to say so except me.” His trial, originally set for 16 December, has been postponed until 7 February. He faces up to three years in prison. Meanwhile, the authorities decided on 29 December to take no action on a complaint that was brought against him by a group of nationalistic lawyers accusing him of “openly attacking the army’s image.” Sinan Kara of the fortnightly Datça Haber was sentenced on 19 October to nine months in prison for “insulting by means of the press” under article 125 of the criminal code.Reporters Without Borders has had occasion in the past to stress the ubiquity of certain taboos that constitute a constant impediment to free expression in Turkey. We have also often had occasion to be alarmed by vaguely-worded articles in the criminal code. Anyone, whether the government, the army, can make arbitrary use of these articles to attack journalists who refer to certain painful or controversial events in Turkish history such as the Armenian genocide, the withdrawal of Turkish forces from Cyprus, the relations between the army and the government, or the Kurdish question.On 26 December, 169 intellectuals and performing artists called on the government to repeal articles 301 and 305 of the criminal code on the grounds that they are incompatible with the right to free expression and are obstructing democratisation in Turkey.Responding to the criticism, Turkish foreign minister Abdullah Gül recognised on 28 December that the charges brought against Mr. Pamuk had harmed Turkey’s image and said the laws restricting free expression could be modified.The hopes pinned on the new criminal code that took effect in June have in part been dashed. Your role, as leader of the government that currently holds the European Union presidency, will therefore be decisive in establishing real freedom of expression in Turkey.We are aware of your commitment to press freedom and we therefore urge you to intercede with the authorities in Ankara, especially at meetings about the membership process, in order to stop the criminalization of dissident views. In the light of recent events, we believe that progress in the talks on Turkey’s membership should be conditioned on amendments to certain provisions of the Turkish criminal code, especially articles 301 and 305, in order to ensure that journalists and intellectuals enjoy the kind of freedom of speech that is worthy of a democracy, and in order to make Turkey’s laws conform to European and international standards.We trust you will give this matter your careful consideration.
January 15, 2021 Find out more News News February 5, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Regional newspaper editor harassed after investigating real estate scandal RSF_en Help by sharing this information January 23, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Opposition journalist will face trial alone KazakhstanEurope – Central Asia Kazakh reporter accuses police of attacking her Reporters prevented from covering Kazakh parliamentary elections News Organisation KazakhstanEurope – Central Asia Follow the news on Kazakhstan News to go further Sergey Duvanov decided to dismiss his lawyers and defend himself on 23January because he felt the court was not giving him the chance to bedefended in the normal manner. On 22 January, the court rejected his lawyers’ request for the case to be dimissed on the grounds of a lack of evidenceand the many violations of the law during the investigation and trial._____Reporters Without Borders said today it was very concerned about the press freedom situation in Kazakhstan and called on European Commission president Romano Prodi to raise the case of jailed opposition journalist Sergei Duvanov during the forthcoming visit to Brussels of the country’s president, Nursultan Nazarbayev. “In view of the treatment meted out to opposition journalists and the persistent harassment of Duvanov, it is hard to give credence to the accusation of raping a minor that police offered for his recent arrest,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard in a letter to Prodi.”Many human rights organisations, as well as the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the United States, have expressed concern to the Kazakh authorities about the decline in press freedom this year and the arrest of Duvanov. We ask you to get President Nazarbayev to agree to clarify the Duvanov affair and respect European standards of press freedom.”Dunavov, editor of the opposition magazine Bulletin, published by the International Bureau for Human Rights, was arrested on 28 October and accused of raping a minor. He had been due to fly the next day to the United States to present a report on democracy and human rights in Kazakhstan. He went on hunger strike for 10 days in a bid to prove his innocence, but abandoned it after he was force-fed by guards at the Almaty remand centre.Duvanov, who is close to the opposition group Kazakh Democratic Choice, is also being prosecuted for “harming the honour and dignity” of President Nazarbayev under article 318 of the criminal code. He faces three years in prison for the offence, which arose from the appearance on the opposition website kub.kz on 6 May of an article called “The Silence of the Lambs,” which criticised the president and said he had embezzled state funds. In August, Duvanov was badly beaten up by thugs. October 30, 2020 Find out more
News Shocking detention Help by sharing this information RSF calls for the release of Bangladeshi journalist Rozina Islam, unfairly accused of espionage “The first thing he told me was that he was alive and that he was glad to be able to tell me so himself,” Monorom Polok told RSF, describing the phone call he received from his father, at 2:40 a.m. yesterday. RSF_en The day before he disappeared, ruling party MP Saifuzzaman Shikhor brought a complaint against him, accusing him of publishing “false information” about the alleged involvement of well-known figures in a female escort service at a luxury Dhaka hotel. Two other journalists, Matiur Rahman Chowdhury, the editor of the Manabzamin daily newspaper, and one of Chowdhury’s reporters, are also accused in the same case. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Bangladeshi authorities to immediately free Shafiqul Kajol, a journalist who was arrested after being found blindfolded and bound hand and foot at the Indian border, and to investigate how he came to be abducted for 53 days. May 4, 2020 – Updated on December 28, 2020 Bangladeshi journalist found alive after being missing for 53 days News “While it is an immense relief that Shafiqul Kajol has been found safe and sound, his arrest is extremely shocking,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “We call on the Bangladeshi prosecutor’s office to order this journalist’s immediate release and to appoint a serious team of investigators to establish how he came to be abducted all this time, which is very mysterious.” BangladeshAsia – Pacific Protecting journalistsProtecting sources DisappearancesImprisonedJudicial harassment Shafiqul Islam Kajol called his son from the Bangladeshi border post at Benapole, near the western city of Jashore, where border officials arrested him after spotting him, bound and blindfolded, in the no-man’s land between Bangladesh and India, at midday on 2 May. Polok told RSF that he was able to see his father yesterday, but the meeting was short and his father was not able to talk about this abduction in any detail. He was handcuffed and was “really scared,” Polok said. A Dhaka-based photojournalist and editor with the Dainik Pakkhakal daily newspaper, Kajol disappeared after leaving his office on the evening of 10 March. An investigation was ordered after his family reported him missing the next day. News February 26, 2021 Find out more Organisation Bangladeshi reporter fatally shot by ruling party activists Follow the news on Bangladesh Receive email alerts to go further As he was not carrying a passport, they arrested him for entering Bangladesh illegally and took him to Jashore, where a district court ordered him held under section 54 of the criminal procedure code, which allows detention where “a reasonable suspicion exists.” He is not due to reappear in court until 19 May. Bangladeshi writer and blogger dies in detention Bangladesh is ranked 151st out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index, one place lower than in 2019. Shafiqul Islam Kajol (left), handcuffed, met his son on 3 May in Jashore (photo: MP / RSF). May 19, 2021 Find out more —————————————————————————-UpdateShafiqul Islam Kajol was finally released on bail on 25 December as a result of a decision by the Dhaka high court on 17 December. RSF welcomes this development but regrets that Kajol had to endure being detained for 237 days after being abducted for 53 days, and calls on Dhaka prosecutors to drop all charges against this journalist. —————————————————————————– News BangladeshAsia – Pacific Protecting journalistsProtecting sources DisappearancesImprisonedJudicial harassment February 22, 2021 Find out more
July 31, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Court ban on TV programme condemned as anachronistic Help by sharing this information News Organisation RSF_en ChileAmericas November 11, 2020 Find out more to go further Journalists face archaic sanction of capital punishment in some parts of the world Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” Chile: RSF calls for exemplary investigation into Chilean photographer’s murder News Receive email alerts November 26, 2019 Find out more News Follow the news on Chile July 6, 2020 Find out more ChileAmericas News Reporters Without Borders today condemned the banning of programme on the public TV station Televisión Nacional de Chile (TVN) on 23 July by a decision of the Santiago appeal court that was taken in response to a defamation suit.”This is an utterly anachronistic case of censorship,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard, calling on the Chilean authorities to repeal the laws that give the courts such powers, and to thereby bring Chile’s legislation in line with both its own constitution and the international treaties it has signed.Article 13 of the Inter-American Convention of Human Rights expressly forbids censorship, even in cases of defamation. Censorship is also banned by the Chilean constitution, of which article 19 (12) guarantees “the freedom to express opinions and inform without prior censorship.”The banned programme, “Enigma,” which raised doubts about the guilt of one of the presumed perpetrators of the murder of lawyer Patricio Torres Reyes, was the subject of a lawsuit by the lawyer’s widow, alleging that the programme was an offence to the family’s dignity and honour.The programme’s producer Patricio Polanco complained that neither the widow, nor her lawyers, nor the judges ever viewed the programme.
Eutelsat is stopping the transmission of the Chinese-language channel NTDTV under pressure from Beijing
News News to go further ChinaAsia – Pacific March 14, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Eutelsat is stopping the transmission of the Chinese-language channel NTDTV under pressure from Beijing RSF_en Help by sharing this information News Organisation A high court in Paris, the TGI, dismissed a case brought by Chinese-language New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) appealing against the ending of its contract by satellite provider Eutelsat. Lawyer for the station said he was determined to fight on. At the 16 March hearing, the lawyer for Eutelstat, Jean-Michel Leprêtre, denied there had been any pressure from the Chinese government, saying that the ending of NDTV broadcasts was down to financial concerns. The NTDTV lawyer presented the judge with a copy of a letter to Eutelsat from the Chinese authorities demanding a halt to the station’s programmes.Separately, the judge agreed to Reporters Without Borders’ request to be a party to the NTDTV case.__________________________________________________________________________14.03.2005Reporters Without Borders today condemned the decision of European satellite operator Eutelsat not to renew the contract under which independent, Chinese-language broadcaster New Tang Dynasty TV (NTDTV) uses Eutelsat satellites to broadcast to Asia and China.The press freedom organization called on Eutelsat to allow NTDTV to continue using its satellites, pointing out that the New York-based TV network, which is run by overseas Chinese, had not broken any laws.”Broadcasting in China is cruelly lacking in diversity,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said. “It is regrettable that European companies are yielding to pressure from the Chinese government and that, in this questionable fashion, they are putting an end to the broadcasts of a TV station that has the merit of offering alternative news to a Chinese audience, especially in the People’s Republic of China.”Reporters Without Borders pointed out that the Paris-based Eutelsat is bound to respect the principles of equal access, diversity and non-discrimination under article 3 of the convention governing a company of this kind. Ménard made this point in a letter on 2 February to the head of Eutelsat, Guiliano Berreta, who did not reply.At 3 p.m. on 16 March, a high-level court in Paris will hear the lawsuit brought by French lawyers acting for UCN, the company that produces and broadcasts NTDTV, against Eutelsat and the satellite capacity broker London Satellite Exchange (LSE). Reporters Without Borders’ lawyer will appear before the court to support the lawsuit in the interests of diversity in news and information, in this case, news programmes broadcast by satellite.A Reporters Without Borders representative will also take part in the news conference which NTDTV plans to hold at 2 p.m. on 15 March at the International Press Centre in Brussels.NTDTV accuses Eutelsat and LSE of refusing to let it renew its contract to use Eutelsat’s W5 satellite. To Reporters Without Borders’ knowledge, NTDTV has always respected the conditions of the licence it was granted in March 2004 by the French Higher Council for Broadcasting. There is no legal action or prosecution pending against NTDTV, as there was in the case of the Lebanese TV station Al-Manar.LSE told NTDTV on 20 December that its use of Eutelsat satellites would end on 21 March although the contract it signed in March 2004 stipulates that the agreement would be renewed automatically for a year. Eutelsat denies playing any role in this decision but Reporters Without Borders is aware of a Chinese government instruction to Eutelsat in May 2004 demanding it to “put an end to this broadcasting immediately.”The Chinese information ministry has said that the broadcasting of NTDTV’s programmes “is not authorized in our country” and that “their content violates the laws of the People’s Republic of China.”The Beijing government accuses NTDTV of belonging to the banned Falun Gong movement, which it calls a “diabolic sect.” Members of the movement are severely repressed in China. Many of the TV network’s employees are indeed Falun Gong practitioners, but it offers a wide range of programming, including programmes presented by pro-democracy dissidents and news programmes that are very different from the propaganda on China’s state-owned television network, CCTV.CCTV is available in more than 30 satellite multichannel packages although six would suffice to reach 99 per cent of the world’s population. This massive presence enables the Chinese government to blackmail satellite operators. NTDTV’s contract with satellite operator New Skies Satellites (NSS) for Asia transmission ended on 1st May 2004. Netherlands-based satellite operator NSS had begun broadcasting the channel on open signal to Asia on 1st July 2003. But just three days after the start of broadcasts, NSS encrypted the signal preventing Chinese satellite dish owners from seeing the channel. The decision was taken following threats of financial reprisals against the company made to NSS representatives in Beijing. In January 2004, pressure was intensified to ensure that NTDTV was completely excluded from NSS-6 Asia satellite transmission.In February 2003, it was the Atlanta-based US operator ADTH that broke an agreement in principle to carry NTDTV for fear of losing contracts with other Chinese channels.NTDTV, which says it is now accessible to 200 million viewers around the world, recently won the support of 49 Euro MPs and politicians from European countries who wrote to the head of Eutelsat asking him to “maintain our joint commitment to fundamental European values and agreements, so that this ‘open satellite window’ continues to grow wider.” China’s Cyber Censorship Figures June 2, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts News Follow the news on China ChinaAsia – Pacific China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison April 27, 2021 Find out more Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes March 12, 2021 Find out more
to go further Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges Vietnam’s partners to press for an end to the government’s intolerable current crackdown after a Hanoi people’s court passed sentences of fifteen, nine and seven years in prison on six bloggers at the end of a summary trial today. April 5, 2018 – Updated on June 8, 2018 Six Vietnamese bloggers get exceptionally long jail terms Three more independent reporters arrested in Vietnam —————————————————————————– UpdateNguyen Van Dai and Le Thu Ha, two bloggers who had been sentenced to 15 and 9 years in prison respectively in April, were released by the Vietnamese authorities yesterday and were put a plane to Germany. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) welcomes their release and calls on Vietnam to also free the five other bloggers it is currently detaining. —————————————————————————- News Follow the news on Vietnam RSF_en News In the seemingly endless series of trials of citizen-journalists in Vietnam, this one was exceptional because of the unprecedented severity of the sentences. Vietnam is ranked 175th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. VietnamAsia – Pacific Online freedomsMedia independence CorruptionJudicial harassmentPredatorsImprisonedFreedom of expressionInternet Receive email alerts News “These sentences are utterly grotesque,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “The only crime committed by these Brotherhood for Democracy members was posting articles calling for respect for human rights in Vietnam. The severity of the sentences has only one explanation – it was meant to intimidate those who dare to raise issues in the public interest.” April 22, 2021 Find out more RSF urges European Union member countries to veto the free trade agreement with Vietnam that was supposed to be approved in 2018. After the European Parliament’s emergency resolution on Vietnam last December, it would be a disgrace if European countries were to go ahead with such an accord with a country that in recent months has become one of the world’s worse enemies of the freedom to inform. One of the group’s co-founders, Nguyen Van Dai, was sentenced to 15 years in prison and five years of house arrest. The journalist Truong Minh Duc and the blogger Nguyen Trung Ton were sentenced to 12 years in prison and three years of house arrest. April 7, 2021 Find out more The trial of six Brotherhood for Democracy bloggers was dispatched in a few hours. Outside, a few demonstrators tried to approach the court house (Photos: Vietnam News Agency – Jenny Vaughan / AFP). Help by sharing this information Bastard added: “As a result of this unprecedented crackdown, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s Vietnam has lost all credibility on the international stage and its partners must draw the unavoidable conclusions.” Similarly, the United States must condition its trade talks in the coming weeks on concrete measures by the Vietnamese authorities to ensure respect for press freedom. The trial was supposed to have lasted two days but was dispatched in few hours. Diplomats and foreign journalists were barred from the court room, which was packed with policemen. An AFP journalist was questioned by police. Many dissidents were temporarily placed under house arrest ahead of the trial, while several demonstrators were arrested outside the court house. Although bordering on farce, today’s proceedings ended with six bloggers who are members of Brotherhood for Democracy – a group that posts reports about human rights violations online – being sentenced to a total of 66 years in prison and 17 years under house arrest. Vietnam sentences journalist Tran Thi Tuyet Dieu to eight years in prison April 27, 2021 Find out more A seventh blogger, Nguyen Van Tuc, who is also a member of Brotherhood for Democracy, was sentenced today by a court in the northern city of Thai Binh to 13 years in prison and five years of house arrest for allegedly “carrying out attempts to overthrow the people’s administration” by means of blog posts “hostile to the state.” He has not been able to see his family since his arrest on 1 September 2017. News Organisation VietnamAsia – Pacific Online freedomsMedia independence CorruptionJudicial harassmentPredatorsImprisonedFreedom of expressionInternet RSF laureates support jailed Vietnamese journalist Pham Doan Trang Nguyen Bac Truyen, another co-founder, got 11 years in prison and three years of house arrest. Le Thu Ha, a woman blogger, was sentenced to nine years in prison and two years of probation. The sixth defendant, Pham Van Troi, got seven years in prison and one year of house arrest.
December 26, 2019 Find out more October 28, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Jebali ends hunger strike after five weeks November 11, 2020 Find out more Tunisia : RSF asks Tunisian president’s office to respect journalists News Imprisoned journalist Hamadi Jebali has called off the hunger strike he began on 15 September, Reporters Without Borders learned today in a phone call with his wife Wahida Jebali, who said she was allowed to visit him on 25 October. He ended his hunger strike on 21 October.She said the Tunisian government had promised to reconsider his case and open negotiations if he called off the hunger strike by 7 November. She added that he has lost lots of weight and is very weak, and has not yet been allowed a visit from a doctor. News RSF_en TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa ————————————————————————–05.10.2005 Concern about condition of Hamadi Jebali, on hunger strike for three weeks Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” Help by sharing this information November 12, 2019 Find out more to go further Over 15 years ago, Reporters without Borders created its “Sponsorship Programme” and called upon the international media to select and support an imprisoned journalist. More than two hundreds news staffs around the globe are thus sponsoring colleagues by regularly petitioning authorities for their release and by publicising their situations so that their cases will not be forgotten.Currently, Hamadi Jebali is sponsored by Le Club de la Presse de Toulon. Reporters Without Borders voiced concern today about the state of health of imprisoned journalist Hamadi Jebali, who began his second hunger strike this year on 15 September. His wife, Wahida Jebali, has not been allowed to see him for the past two weeks. He has been in prison since 1991.“Hamadi Jebali’s strength is weakened a little bit more by each hunger strike,” the press freedom organisation said. “We call on the prison authorities to let Wahida Jebali visit her husband so that she can verify his state of health.”Reporters Without Borders added: “We also reiterate our call to President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali for the immediate and unconditional release of this journalist. It is unacceptable that Tunisia, which is hosting the next World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), has kept him in its jails for more than 14 years.”Reached by telephone, Wahida Jebali told Reporters Without Borders that the last time she was allowed to visit her husband was on 20 September, when she saw him for 45 minutes. Since then, she had been denied the right to visit him twice, on 27 September and again yesterday. The guards claimed that he “did not want to come out” of his cell.Wahida Jebali sent President Ben Ali the following message by telegram today:”Mr. President, I would like to inform you that I went to visit my husband Hamadi at Mahdia prison yesterday (4 October) and for the second time I was told he could not receive visits. My daughters and I are very frustrated at the idea that Hamadi is in danger and we can only ask you, Mr. President to intercede and save the life of my husband, who has been on hunger strike for 21 days.Wahida Jebali”Aged 56, Hamadi Jebali previously staged a hunger strike from 9 to 25 April in protest against his being kept in a prison 250 km from his family. He was transferred on 22 April to Mahdia prison, which is 60 km from Sousse where his family lives.Jebali was the publisher of the weekly Al Fajr, the mouthpiece of the Islamist group An Nahda. He was arrested on 31 January 1991 and was sentenced the same day to a year in prison for libel after publishing an opinion piece by a lawyer, Mohammed Nouri, calling for an end to military tribunals.At the end of a trial that violated international standards, he was sentenced on 28 August 1992 to 16 years in jail for “belonging to an illegal organisation” and “seeking to change the nature of he state.” He is due to be released in 2007. TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa Eleven organizations from civil society create the Forum on Information & Democracy, a structural response to information disorder News Follow the news on Tunisia News Organisation Receive email alerts