29 February 2012
IFEX Communiqué Vol 21, No 09
The first International Day to End Impunity was marked on 23 November 2011. Thirty-seven IFEX members from around the world took up the call to carry out activities and take action, making it the most successful international campaign in IFEX's 20-year history. What did we do? Who was behind it? And what was accomplished? Click here to find out more.
Tibet (China) / China
In response to a growing number of ethnic Tibetans setting themselves on fire, China has imposed a media blackout on Tibet and the provinces of Sichuan and Qinghai, say Reporters Without Borders (RSF), PEN American Center and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
Despite initial "dramatic improvements" following the restoration of democracy in Nepal in 2006, journalists continue to get attacked with impunity, and legal provisions to protect free expression have actually deteriorated, an international mission to the country has found.
Amid mounting international condemnation, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said he would pardon a former editor and three owners of "El Universo", who were fined US$40 million and sentenced to three years in prison in a libel case, report the Andean Foundation for Media Observation & Study (Fundamedios). While IFEX members welcomed the gesture, some remained concerned for Ecuador's alarming free expression situation.
Belarus / Russia
A man in Belarus was sentenced to 10 days in prison in February for staging a toy protest, echoing recent rallies using teddy bears to challenge Vladimir Putin in neighbouring Russia, reports Index on Censorship.
For the first time, violations of media freedoms in Palestine at the hands of Palestinian security services outnumbered those committed in 2011 by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF), but the IOF violations constituted a "greater threat," says the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) in its annual report.
International / Awards and other opportunities
The world's largest international blog competition is now open for entries! Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in conjunction with German media group Deutsche Welle wants you to name the blog from anywhere in the world that best defends free expression, as part of the Best of the Blogs Awards (the BOBs).