Alerts - 2006
(WiPC/IFEX) - Writer and journalist Andrej Dynko, arrested with hundreds of other protestors in the days surrounding the 19 March 2006 presidential elections, was freed on 31 March after serving a 10-day sentence. He had been accused of "hooliganism" for allegedly using "vulgar language". PEN Centres world wide protested against his arrest and that of other writers and journalists. PEN continues to call for the release of others who remain detained and for an end to the attacks on those whose only act has been to practice their rights to freedom of expression and association.
(PINA/IFEX) - The following is a PINA letter to Police Commissioner Arthur Caulton:
(CPJ/IFEX) - The following is a 30 March 206 CPJ press release:
(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders notes that the Vietnamese authorities have denied the arrest of a fourth user of the discussion forum Paltalk, which the organisation first reported in a 16 March 2006 release.
(JED/IFEX) - Journaliste en danger (JED), is expressing deep concern over the attack on the Kinshasa-based private television station "Tropicana TV" by local policemen. According to information gathered by JED, late in the morning on 31 March 2006, about ten gunmen belonging to special police services forcibly entered the "Tropicana TV" offices. Led by captain Thierry, the gunmen forced open the gates of the station, entered the building and threatened all the staff working therein. Also, they arrested the editor, Diego Mfisia, beat him seriously and placed him under custody for three hours in the Kinshasa "Kin Mazière" police station.
(IPYS/IFEX) - On the evening of 23 March 2006, journalist Julio César Mendoza, director of Radio MBR's programme "El Matador", was assaulted by relatives of Judge Judith Amelia Vela Domper while he was heading home. According to Mendoza, the attack was in response to his criticisms of Vela's conduct in several lawsuits of which she is in charge in the Second Mixed Court of Alto Amazonas province. The event took place in Yurimaguas, capital of Alto Amazonas province, in northeastern Peru.
(CPJ/IFEX) - The following is a 30 March 2006 CPJ press release:
(MEAA/IFEX) - The following is a MEAA media release:
(IPYS/IFEX) - On 29 March 2006, the second hearing took place of a legal action against journalist Mireya Zurita, editor of the Aragua state newspaper "El Siglo". Deputy police inspector Terry Rojas, of the Institute for Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigations (Cuerpo de Investigaciones Científicas, Penales y Criminalísticas, CICPC) of the central region, accused the journalist of defamation because of a paid advertisement published in "El Siglo" on 23 July 2003. The action was filed in September of that same year.
(CRN/IFEX) - CRN has received a report that early in February 2006 a cartoonist for the Nairobi-based "The Daily Nation", Godfrey Mwampembwa, was served with a letter from the solicitors of Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Martha Karua.
(IPYS/IFEX) - On 28 March 2006, Globovisión journalist Rafael Fuenmayor, RCTV's Yanitza León and radio RCR's Adriana Rodríguez, were assaulted by supporters of the National Electoral Council president, Jorge Rodríguez.
Jailed Algerian Newspaper Publisher, Banned Turkmen Novelist to Receive 2006 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Awards
(IPYS/IFEX) - On 28 March 2006, Argentine journalist Olga Wornat was found guilty of causing moral damage to Manuel Bribiesca, son of Mexico's First Lady, Martha Sahagún. Bribiesca filed a suit against the journalist in May 2005 after she described in her book, "Crónicas Malditas", the luxuries and privileges that he allegedly enjoys. The civil law judge, Bruno Cruz Jiménez, ordered the journalist to change the book chapter in question and pay an indemnity, the amount of which has still not been set. Wornat will appeal the judge's decision.
(IPYS/IFEX) - On the evening of 15 March 2006, journalist Elizabeth Vargas Pacheco, director of the Democratic Association for the Defense of Human Rights (Asociación Democrática Para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos, ASDEH), was kidnapped for nearly two hours after a stranger boarded, with the driver's consent, the taxi in which she was heading home. The man was armed; he threatened to kill her and told her that "they" knew of her work. Her money and her mobile phone were stolen.
(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders has voiced shock at the methods used by the office of Australian Prime Minister John Howard to censor parody website http://www.Johnhowardpm.org, on which political commentator Richard Neville hosted a spoof speech by Howard about the presence of Australian troops in Iraq.
(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders and the Burma Media Association have voiced outrage at the three-year prison sentences imposed on journalists U Thaung Sein (also known as Thar Cho) and Ko Moe Thun (also known as Ko Kyaw Thwin) for photographing and filming in the new capital, Pyinmana, and thereby allegedly violating article 32 (A) of the Television and Video Act.
(IPI/IFEX) - The following is an IPI report:
(SEAPA/IFEX) - Thai journalist groups are condemning what they see as an act of "intimidation" against a local daily by protesters sympathetic to embattled Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
(CPJ/IFEX) - The following is a CPJ press release:
. . .
(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders has voiced concern about government harassment of three of Russia's leading news websites since the start of the March. One, Pravda.ru (http://www.pravda.ru), was temporarily closed down. Another, Bankfax.ru (http://www.bankfax.ru), is being prosecuted. A third, Gazeta.ru (http://www.gazeta.ru), has received a public warning. All three are accused of spreading extremist ideas.