12 December 2000
Volume 09 - 2000 Issue 49 (12 Dec.)
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has presented its 2000 Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting for an investigation into the US military's attacks on civilians during the Korean War. Writers Sang-Hun Choe, Charles J. Hanley and Martha Mendoza and researcher Randy Herschaft of the Associated Press spent over a year working on their investigation, titled ?Bridge at No Gun Ri?. The revelations about the killings of hundreds of Korean refugees by US forces during the Korean War prompted investigations by the US Defence Department and South Korea.
The Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London has announced that it will offer an interdisciplinary Masters Degree in ?Understanding and Security Human Rights" in addition to PhDs in human rights, human rights fellowships and a human rights seminar series. Further information about all of these programs is available on their website:
Two years after the murder of journalist Norbert Zongo in Burkina Faso, Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) has denounced the fact that the culprits remain unpunished. Although an independent commission of inquiry in May 1999 identified six suspects and implicated the President?s brother, no one has been charged, according to RSF.
?Women's Rights and the Arab Media?, a new report by the Centre for Media Freedom in the Middle East and North Africa (CMF MENA), finds that Arab media continue to hinder the advancement of women's rights. The 143-page report covers negative stereotyping in the media, women?s media activism, media coverage of the struggle for women?s rights, and commentaries on the ways in which the media help and hinder women activists in the region. ?Women?s emancipation in the Arab world is one of the most difficult tasks facing the Arab human rights movement. This task is further exacerbated by the Arab media engaging in the censorship and distortion of women?s discourse and image,? says Said Essoulami, executive director of CMF MENA.
The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) invites journalists and print media in the Western Hemisphere to submit entries for its 2001 IAPA Awards, given in recognition of excellence in journalism in various categories. Each year, IAPA awards certificates, plaques and monetary grants for excellence in the areas of features, opinion, investigative reporting, human rights, service to the community, inter-American relations, news coverage, the newspaper in education, infographics, news photography and cartoons. Entries of work in any of the three official IAPA languages - English, Spanish and Portuguese - and published in 2000 are eligible. The deadline is 1 February 2001 and winners will be chosen in March 2001 and announced publicly in August. The awards will be presented during the IAPA 57th General Assembly in Washington DC in October 2001. IAPA also awards a Grand Prize for Press Freedom for outstanding work by one or more persons in the Americas in defence of freedom of the press. Nominations for this award may be submitted up until IAPA's Midyear Meeting 16-20 March 2001, in Fortaleza, Brazil. For further details about these awards, please contact IAPA, Jules Dubois Building 1801 S.W. 3rd Avenue, 8th Floor, Miami, FL 33129, tel: +1 305 634 465, fax: +1 305 635 2272, e-mail:
Around the world, international and national NGOs commemorated International Human Rights Day on 10 December 2000 with various events and reports. To mark the day, the 52nd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ARTICLE 19 has published a study on the importance of access to information about past human rights violations as a basis for reconciliation and development, titled ?Who Wants to Forget?? Using Malawi, Zimbabwe and Namibia as case studies, but also drawing on examples from other parts of the world, the report emphasises that the right to information about past human rights violations remains fundamental. It states that governments have an obligation to ensure that citizens have access to this information and surveys the wide range of means whereby this can be achieved. According to Andrew Puddephatt, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19, "All approaches to uncovering the facts about past human rights violations discussed are important because they are mechanisms of accountability. As such, they are not a luxury but a precondition for those who are trying to put a history of abuse behind them and construct new societies based upon dignity and respect for human rights." The full report is available on ARTICLE 19's website at:
Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) has expressed its indignation at the presence of the Burmese junta at the European Union (EU) and Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, held in Vientiane, Laos, on 11-12 December 2000. RSF notes that in Burma, at least 12 journalists languish in jail in appalling conditions, censorship has been strengthened considerably and for more than three months the main leaders of the National League for Democracy (NLD) have been prevented from communicating with the outside world.