29 September 2004
Volume 13 - 2004 Issue 39 (28 Sept. 2004)
IFEX members in Argentina, El Salvador, Moldova, Nigeria and the United Kingdom have joined freedom of information advocates in more than 20 countries around the world in calling for more open governments.
In Iran, the phenomenon of online blogs, or web-based diaries, is taking on a political life of its own. Hundreds of so-called bloggers are finding ways of sharing information and mobilising support and international attention on state censorship.
The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) will present a report this week in Brussels aimed at alerting the European Union to a new "state of emergency" in South Africa in which censorship is on the rise.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is adding its voice to growing pressure on the South Korean government to repeal a national security law, which human rights groups say is being widely misused to detain people who pose no threat to the country.
India's new government, led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has promised to follow through on its election pledge to repeal the controversial Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), report Human Rights Watch and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
The Russian government has come under criticism from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) press freedom watchdog for failing to "provide truthful information" in a timely manner to news media and the public during the Beslan hostage crisis.
The safety of journalists in Colombia and the challenges facing investigative reporters will take centre stage at a day-long conference in Bogota hosted on 30 September 2004 by the Foundation for Press Freedom (Fundación para la libertad de prensa, FLIP) and the Institute for Press and Society (Instituto Prensa y Sociedad, IPYS).
As an increasing number of countries around the world adopt and implement access to information laws, government officials will need to know how to properly handle information requests and to efficiently answer queries from the public. A new training manual recently produced by ARTICLE 19 provides an invaluable reference that can be adapted by governments in any country.
Freedom in the World, the annual global survey of civil liberties and political rights, is now available on Freedom House's website. Covering 192 countries and 18 territories, the survey rates them according to criteria based largely on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the right to freedom of expression.
Journalists from any country are invited to apply for the 2004 Lorenzo Natali Prize for Journalism, which recognizes outstanding reporting on human rights and democracy in the developing world.