27 October 2004
Volume 13 - 2004 Issue 43 (26 Oct. 2004)
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) are honouring journalists from Belarus, Burma, Burundi, Tunisia, the United States and Zimbabwe next month for courage in defending the right to a free press.
A week after the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, won a controversial referendum that allows him to extend his term in office, IFEX members are raising serious concerns over press freedom conditions in the country. Last week, a journalist was stabbed to death in her home and several others were beaten while covering demonstrations against the government.
In Burma, where a military junta rules the country with an iron fist, conditions for the press are set to worsen following the recent ouster of Burma's prime minister Khin Nyunt, report the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA), Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
It is no accident that Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF) has ranked North Korea as the world's worst country for journalists for the past three years. In a country whose leaders believe the duty of all journalists is to publicise the "greatness" of President Kim Jong-il and demonstrate the "superiority of North Korean socialism," independent reporting is virtually non-existent.
Morocco's progress in human rights over the past decade is being seriously undermined by the government's moves to fight terrorism, warns a new report by Human Rights Watch.
An internationally-supported conference attended by dozens of journalists, lawyers and human rights advocates in Monrovia, Liberia, has called on authorities to bring all laws affecting the media and free expression into line with international standards within six months.
State violence against peaceful demonstrators and legal threats by corporations to shut down critical websites are on the rise in South Africa, says the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) in its latest report.
If the past actions of Togo's president, Gnassingbé Eyadéma, are anything to go by, recent democratic reforms aimed at renewing aid ties with the European Union (EU) ought to be viewed with skepticism. That's the position of many independent journalists, who say the EU must play a vigilant watchdog role if press freedom conditions are to improve in the country, according to a new report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
The Open Society Justice Initiative invites lawyers working in human rights to apply for the Justice Initiative Human Rights Fellows Programme, a two-year internship that offers graduate level studies at a university in Hungary.