21 May 2002
Volume 11 - 2002 Issue 20 (21 May 2002)
Reebok is seeking nominations for its 2003 Reebok Human Rights Award, given in recognition of youth at the forefront of the struggle for human rights around the world. The US$50,000 prize is aimed at focusing international and national attention on the winning individual's work, providing moral support and linking them to a network of 67 past winners of the award.
Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) is encouraging women journalists in East Africa to participate in an upcoming online conference exploring ways of improving access to information for rural women. Scheduled between 3 and 21 June, the e-mail conference hopes to foster the exchange of experiences and stimulate ideas for action, says the International Journalists' Network (IJNet).
Are you looking for detailed, up-to-date research on community radio in Bangladesh, Cambodia, East Timor, India, Nepal and Thailand? This information is now online at the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters' (AMARC) website (
Free-expression groups welcomed the release of dissident Cuban writer Vladimiro Roca Antúnez from prison last week but pressed the Cuban government to free other detained journalists. Roca Antúnez' release came shortly before a high-profile visit to the country by former United States President Jimmy Carter.
How have Asian governments and Asian media responded to the attacks of 11 September on the United States and the resulting war on terrorism? Some answers can be found in the latest issue of "Journalism Asia," the annual review of press freedom in Asia published by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CFMR).
Burmese journalist Sein Hlaing, publisher of the magazine "Pe-Phu-Hlwar," has been released from prison. He was one of nine political prisoners â all members of the opposition National League for Democracy â freed last week by the Burmese military regime, say Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Hlaing was released three years early, having served 11 years of a 14-year jail term. Speaking to RSF, Hlaing said he was in good health and thanked the human-rights organisations who have been campaigning for his release.
Press freedom groups have welcomed recent moves by the Chilean and Costa Rican governments to reconsider so-called "desacato" (disrespect) and insult laws making it a crime to insult public officials.
Víctor Omar Acosta, a former reporter for several Colombian newspapers and radio stations, has been murdered in the western city of Yumbo, reports the Institute for Press and Society (Instituto Prensa y Sociedad, IPYS). On 14 May, two men shot him three times near his home. He died six hours after being transferred to a hospital in the city of Cali.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) is calling attention to the rapid deterioration of free-expression conditions in Kyrgyzstan, following last week's arrest of an estimated 90 protesters attempting to stage a peaceful demonstration in the capital, Biskek. The protesters, among them opposition parliamentarian Azimbek Beknazarov and his supporters, were detained on 16 May after gathering to demonstrate against the government's arrest of various opposition politicians and its decision to hand over disputed territory to China, says HRW. Several journalists were among those arrested, reports the BBC. HRW says the detainees may be "in danger of ill-treatment by police."
In a move that critics say reflects Iran's status as one of the "world's worst places to be a journalist," the Iranian government has sentenced three journalists to prison and banned three newspapers in the past two weeks, say the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF).
Policy-makers, lawyers and free-expression advocates seeking to implement laws making broadcasting truly independent now have a valuable tool to support their work. ARTICLE 19 has just published "Access to the Airwaves," a set of principles for implementing regulations that promote freedom of expression and pluralism in broadcasting.