15 February 2012
IFEX Communiqué Vol 21, No 07
On Tuesday's one-year anniversary of Bahrain's uprising, security forces fired tear gas and stun grenades at protesters trying to retake Pearl Square, the epicentre of last year's protests, and arrested dozens - including several international observers, report the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) and news reports.
Two Ecuadoran journalists have been ordered to pay President Rafael Correa US$2 million in moral damages - the latest in a string of incidents that point to a "disturbing" and "deteriorating" free expression situation in Ecuador under President Rafael Correa, says IFEX-ALC, an alliance of 16 IFEX members in Latin America and the Caribbean. The ruling does not look good for the daily "El Universo", whose appeal in a multimillion dollar defamation case is being heard today.
A Brazilian journalist who reported on corruption was shot to death on Sunday night near the Paraguayan border in what police say was a possible contract killing, reports IFEX's member in Brazil the Associação Brasileira de Jornalismo Investigativo (ABRAJI) as well as other IFEX members. It was the second murder of a Brazilian journalist in less than week, says ABRAJI.
Saudi Arabia / Malaysia
A Saudi blogger whose tweets about the Prophet Mohammed were deemed blasphemous and tantamount to apostasy has been deported from Malaysia back to Saudi Arabia, where he is certain to face trial and possibly the death penalty, report Malaysia's Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), Human Rights Watch and other IFEX members.
Fiji's military leadership has lifted emergency rule - in place for nearly three years - but has swiftly imposed other restrictions on the media in its place, say the Pacific Freedom Forum (PFF), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
Can't access that independent news site in Russia? Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has started creating mirror sites - exact copies - in the hopes of getting around the censors. Find the list of mirrors here