22 October 2002
Volume 11 - 2002 Issue 41 (22 Oct. 2002)
Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim, the activist whose reports on human rights violations in Egypt have landed him a seven-year jail sentence, was honoured yesterday with Freedom House's inaugural Bette Bao Lord Award for Writing on Freedom. At a 21 October ceremony in Washington, D.C., Freedom House Chairman Emeritus, Bette Bao Lord, praised Ibrahim for his "deep commitment to human rights in Egypt and his selfless refusal to compromise."
Denis Latin, host of one of Croatia's most popular political television shows, has won the 2002 Dr. Erhard Busek-SEEMO Award in recognition of his efforts to fight xenophobia and promote diversity and pluralism in Southeastern Europe.
The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has strengthened its links with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) by raising the status of both organisations to the level of "Associate Relations."
In an unprecedented move, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has launched a multi-million dollar television ad campaign aimed at pressuring the United States government into scaling back anti-terrorism laws and regulations that were imposed after the attacks of 11 September 2001, reports the Associated Press.
Chen Ziming, a Chinese publisher jailed for his role in the 1989 pro-democracy protests, has been released from prison, reports the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Although he is free to move about, authorities continue to watch him closely.
[THE FOLLOWING IS A CONDENSED VERSION OF A REPORT WRITTEN BY PEN NORWAY'S CARL MORTEN IVERSEN]
ARTICLE 19 and Freedom House have expressed concern over a law the Belarusian government passed earlier this month giving the state powers to shut down religious publications and impose tighter restrictions on the publication and distribution of religious material.
Two journalists were killed in India and the Pakistan in the last week. In Pakistan, Shahid Soomro, a reporter for the Hyderabad-based daily "Kawish," was shot dead on 20 October in front of his home in the town of Kandhkot, reports the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF). Local news reports say he was shot when five men, including two brothers of an elected member of parliament, tried to kidnap him and he resisted.
The Press Freedom Committee of the Guatemalan Association of Journalists (Comisión de Libertad de Prensa de la Asociación de Periodistas de Guatemala, APG) and the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) were in Washington, D.C. last week making presentations before the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
Four journalists from Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, Eritrea and Colombia have won the Committee to Protect Journalists' 2002 International Press Freedom Awards in recognition of their courage in exposing official corruption.