Activist Nabeel Rajab cleared of libel but kept in jail on other charges

first_imghttps://twitter.com/NABEELRAJAB/status/208853736494350336 Tenth anniversary of Bahraini blogger’s arrest Receive email alerts October 14, 2020 Find out more August 23, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Activist Nabeel Rajab cleared of libel but kept in jail on other charges RSF_en Coronavirus “information heroes” – journalism that saves lives Organisation Related documents 120710_bahrain_new_jail_term_ar.doc-2.pdfPDF – 310.8 KBRights activist Nabeel Rajab victimised by justice authorities – In arabicPDF – 50.1 KB News Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Bahrain Read in Arabic (بالعربية)A Bahrain appeal court today cleared human rights activist Nabeel Rajab of charges of libelling the citizens of the town of Muharraq on Twitter, his lawyer Mohamed Al-Jishi announced.Reporters Without Borders notes the decision but points out that Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and the Gulf Center for Human Rights, has already been in prison for two of the three months to which he was sentenced on July 9. Furthermore, charges of participating in three illegal demonstrations, for which he received a three-year sentence on 16 August, still stand. His appeal in that case is due to be heard on 10 September. Many supporters of the activist and representatives of foreign embassies attended today’s hearing. Rajab, who was allowed to speak, criticized the poor prison conditions, saying he was held in solitary confinement and subjected to physical and psychological torture. News News News BahrainMiddle East – North Africa German spyware company FinFisher searched by public prosecutors March 17, 2021 Find out more to go further Reporters Without Borders urges the Bahraini authorities to withdraw all the charges against him and to release him immediately. The international community must put pressure on the kingdom with this in view.———————-16.08.2012 – Rights activist Nabeel Rajab given three-year jail sentenceRead in Arabic (بالعربية)After several adjournments, Nabeel Rajab, human rights activist and president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, was sentenced today to three years’ imprisonment for participating in illegal demonstrations. His lawyer, Mohamed al-Jishi, announced he would appeal against the decision.Meanwhile, the appeal against his three-month jail term, handed down on July 9 for posting messages on Twitter allegedly libelling the citizens of the town of Muharraq (see below), has been adjourned until 23 August. Reporters Without Borders strongly condemns the sentenced imposed on Rajab by the Bahraini justice authorities, and calls for his immediate release and for the charges against him to be dropped.“The fact that the hearing has been adjourned so many times raises doubts over how seriously the Bahraini court system is treating the case and how committed the authorities are to democratic reform,” the press freedom organization said. “Once again, we stand alongside the family of Nabeel Rajab and the many voices raised in criticism of the crackdown on dissidents in the country. Pressure on the kingdom must be maintained.” The human rights activist Said Yousif Almuhafda, a known supporter of Rajab’s, was detained for three hours and beaten at a police checkpoint yesterday, without access to a lawyer or being presented with an arrest warrant. Banners in support of Rajab were confiscated from him. A day earlier, Rajab’s wife Sumaya published an open letter written on behalf of herself and their children urging the international community, the United Nations and human rights organizations to intercede with the Bahraini authorities to demand his release and an end to the abuses against him and his family, and to allow him to resume his human rights activities as guaranteed under international conventions. After his sentence was announced, Sumaya Rajab said on Twitter: “The government is using the court system to take revenge on activists and opponents. The verdict against Nabeel proves that the courts are not independent and merely carry out the orders of the government.”———————-02.08.2012 – Rights activist Nabeel Rajab victimised by justice authoritiesRead in Arabic (بالعربية)On 5th August, a Bahrain court will hear an appeal by the activist Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, against the conviction and three-month jail sentence imposed on him last month for posting messages on Twitter that were alleged to be libellous.At the same hearing, the court will consider another case against him for participating in illegal demonstrations, originally due to be heard on 26 September. Pending the appeal verdict in a few days’ time, Reporters Without Borders deplores the authorities’ harassment of Rajab and expresses concern about the position of human rights campaigners in Bahrain.“We urge the Bahraini justice authorities to drop the charges against Nabeel Rajab and call for his immediate release,” the press freedom organization said. It condemned the crackdown on dissident voices and called on the international community to step up the pressure on the kingdom.Rajab was found guilty of libelling the citizens of the town of Muharraq. In his tweets he accused the prime minister – who was visiting the town — of corruption and called on him to resign, saying the people had welcomed him only because they had been offered subsidies. ——————————–10.07.2012 – Scandalous verdict sends rights activist back to prisonRead in Arabic (بالعربية)Reporters Without Borders strongly condemns the latest conviction and three-month sentence imposed on the activist Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, for posting messages on Twitter on 2 June that were alleged to be libellous. The eagerness with which the authorities have pursued Nabeel Rajab, whose only crime was to express himself freely, is yet another affront to human rights activists,” the press freedom organization said. “The international community must step up its pressure on the kingdom, which is pursuing its crackdown against dissident voices with impunity.“We urge Bahrain’s judicial authorities to concentrate its efforts on the cases of torture and serious human rights violations of the past few months and to call the perpetrators to account.”The Fifth Lower Criminal court yesterday found Rajab guilty of libelling the citizens of the town of Muharraq. In his tweets he accused the prime minister – who was visiting the town — of corruption and called on him to resign, saying the people had only welcomed him because they had received subsidies.A few hours later, hooded police officers entered his home after surrounding it, and took him away by force (click here for video).Rajab was detained for three weeks in June while the case against him was investigated. According a statement by the public prosecutor, the decision to remand him in custody was made after the citizens of Muharraq accused him of “publicly vilifying Muharraq citizens and questioning their patriotism with disgraceful expressions posted via social networking websites”.The verdict is particularly harsh. The BCHR website quoted Rajab’s lawyer Mohammed al-Jishi as saying the most severe penalty in libel cases was usually a fine. According to the Reuters news agency, al-Jishi said the judge had specified that the time Rajab had already spent in jail would count towards the sentence. Al-Jish has lodged an appeal, which will be heard on 18 July in the Higher Appeal Court.At the end of June, the final verdict was given in a case concerning a commentary he had posted on Twitter, in which he was alleged to have “insulted the statutory bodies”. He was ordered to pay a fine of 300 dinars (about 650 euros) and a travel ban against him was lifted. Despite this, he was prevented from leaving Bahrain on 6 July on a scheduled trip to a number of countries, including France, for meetings.Proceedings are still pending against Rajab in two cases linked to participation in illegal demonstrations. BahrainMiddle East – North Africa June 15, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Authorities tighten control over news media six weeks ahead of elections

first_imgSuspension of satellite TV stations on Nilesat The information ministry announced on 19 October that government-controlled TV satellite operator Nilesat was temporarily suspending its transmission of 12 satellite TV stations – Safa TV, Ayat TV, Al-Athar, Ahlulbayt, Marah Al-Khalij, Rayhana TV, Al-Ruqya, Aalam Hawaa, [email protected], Mara7 TV, Strike TV and Live TV – for promoting violence, racial hatred, quack medicine and superstitions. Twenty other stations have reportedly received warnings. They are Alghadeer, Sada Al-Islam, Bedaya, Al-Fajr, Al-Majd, Wasla, Al-Sufiya, Al-Anwar, Al-Qeethara, Mawaheb, Jordan Medical TV, Samad, Mersal TV, Sahm TV, Al-Hakeka, Al-Emarah, Ghinwa, Al-Zahabeya, Hawas TV and Hi TV.The authorities accuse these stations of promoting religious extremism and inciting intolerance among the different components of Egyptian society. “Some of these stations incite murder in an explicit fashion, which clearly shows the need for state intervention to guarantee the social order and protect society from extremist temptations,” the information minister said. He added that some stations broadcast programmes for which they do not have permission. Nilesat has apparently also stopped transmitting other stations that were not on the ministry’s list. They include Al-Sehha Wal-Jamal, Al-Khalejeya, Al-Nas TV, Al-Hafez, Al-Hekmah TV, Al-Atheer TV, Wesal TV and Al-Rahma TV. At the same time, some stations that were on the list of those suspended, including Ahlulbayt, Strike TV and Live TV, are still being transmitted.The National Authority for the Regulation of Telecommunications (an information ministry offshoot) has meanwhile told nine new satellite TV broadcasting companies operating in Egypt that they had to obtained permission from the Egyptian Radio and TV Union (ERTU) in order to continue live external satellite feeds.When they went to the ERTU, the representatives of these stations were told that, in order to be assigned frequencies, they had to locate their satellite feed units in fixed and permanent locations and their offices in the Egyptian Media Production City, a new media complex in the 6th of October City to the southwest of Cairo. These requirements seriously limit their ability to use their equipment as they wish. October 21, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Authorities tighten control over news media six weeks ahead of elections EgyptMiddle East – North Africa Organisation Follow the news on Egypt RSF_en Reporters Without Borders is disturbed by a deterioration in the press freedom situation ahead of next month’s parliamentary elections and the 2011 presidential election, with the return of repressive practices that had disappeared.Under the guise of “protecting the public interest,” the authorities are establishing mechanisms for controlling and censoring news and information, and are sending Egyptian society a clear message that from now on everything will be under surveillance. Help by sharing this information News News Detained woman journalist pressured by interrogator, harassed by prison staff Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein back home after four years in prison February 6, 2021 Find out more to go further Receive email alerts Journalists fired Well-known sports commentator Alaa Sadeq, a former footballer, was meanwhile suspended by information minister Anas El-Feqqi as programme presenter on the government TV station Nile Sport after publicly accusing the interior minister of “inability to maintain order and security during a football match.”Sadeq, delivered his criticism on the air during the Nile Sport programme “Thelalon Wa Adwaa” (Lights and Shadows) on 3 October. It was prompted by incidents at the previous day’s African Champions League semi-final in Cairo between Cairo team Ahly and Tunisian team Espérance in which supporters were seen tearing up seats and throwing them at stewards.As already reported by Reporters Without Borders, the publisher of the leading daily Al-Dostour fired editor Ibrahim Issa on 4 October for insisting on publishing an op-ed piece by Mohamed ElBaradei, the former director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency and potential opposition candidate in next year’s presidential election. ElBaradei’s proposed article referred to the October 1973 Arab-Israeli war.Issa also hosted a current affairs programme called “Baladna bel Masry” on a privately-owned TV station that was taken off the air at the same time without any reason being given (http://en.rsf.org/egypt-newspaper-editor-fired-tv-07-10-2010,38505.html). SMS censorship campaign The authorities also launched a veiled SMS censorship initiative on 11 October, telling companies that send massive amounts of SMS messages to mobile phones that they must now obtain a licence from the Telecommunications Regulation Authority. Other SMS content suppliers including political parties and news service must do the same. The licences can cost up to 88,000 dollars.Mahmoud El-Gweini, an adviser to the telecommunications minister, defended the measure in a statement to the Associated Press news agency on 12 October, saying it was needed to prevent mobile phone users receiving SMS messages on sensitive subjects such as religious tension or stock exchange fluctuations. He denied any intent to rein in political activity.Reporters Without Borders thinks these measures will restrict freedom of expression in country with an estimated 60 million users of SMS services and could directly impact the work of human rights organisations that send out SMS messages about violations. The controls have clearly been established with the aim of curbing the flow of information about street protests and opposition attempts to rally support. EgyptMiddle East – North Africa News February 1, 2021 Find out more January 22, 2021 Find out more Less press freedom than ever in Egypt, 10 years after revolution Newslast_img read more

Journalists harassed

first_img News RSF_en News Organisation November 12, 2019 Find out more The Tunisian authorities have in the past few days stepped up their harassment of journalists who dare to criticise the government and defend freedom of expression.“We are very worried by the measures taken to intimidate journalists and restrict their fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of expression and assembly,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The authorities are also trying to rein in criticism of journalist Fahem Boukadous’ imprisonment. We reiterate our call for his immediate and unconditional release.”Poet and journalist Taoufik Ben Brik has been under house arrest for the past few days, after writing two articles for the French newspaper Nouvel Observateur about Tunisia’s police state. A permanent cordon of plain-clothes police is preventing anyone from visiting his home.Issue No. 555 of the opposition newspaper Al-Maoukef was seized on 16 July, just hours after it appeared on newsstands. It contained the text of a “Republican Pact” proposed by the opposition Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) and a satiric poem by Ben Brik dedicated to Boukadous, who had been arrested and jailed the previous day.The authorities are also trying to stop online criticism of Boukadous’ imprisonment. Blogger and journalist Zyad Al-Heni went to Gourjani police station in Tunis at 9 a.m. yesterday in response to a summons and was held until 4 p.m. without being interrogated or given any explanation.The police threatened to issue another summons if they deemed it necessary. Al-Heni is clearly being harassed because of his articles in support of Boukadous. His latest blog entries have included a comment about a statement by Boukadous’ wife and an open letter to the prosecutor in charge of the case.The police prevented a seminar about the prospects for democratic dialogue from being held yesterday at Al-Maoukef’s headquarter. None of the invited journalists and intellectuals was allowed to enter the building.The latest wave of harassment, combined with the adoption on 1 July of a bill designed to criminalise the activities of Tunisian human rights defenders and Boukadous’ arrest two weeks ago, suggest that the regime is becoming increasingly intolerant of journalists and others who defend basic freedoms. TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa July 28, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalists harassed Help by sharing this information December 26, 2019 Find out more Newscenter_img Receive email alerts Follow the news on Tunisia to go further November 11, 2020 Find out more TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” Tunisia : RSF asks Tunisian president’s office to respect journalists Eleven organizations from civil society create the Forum on Information & Democracy, a structural response to information disorder Newslast_img read more

Journalist from irreverent website bakchich.info expelled

first_img TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa to go further RSF_en Tunisia : RSF asks Tunisian president’s office to respect journalists Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” Organisation Reporters Without Borders has criticised the Tunisian authorities for expelling French journalist Léa Labaye, of the satirical website Bakchich.info, who was sent back to Paris immediately after arrival in Tunisia on 16 September 2006, without any official explanation.“This expulsion demonstrates once again that journalists who criticise President Ben Ali are not welcome in the country,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said. “It recalls the banning of our secretary general from attending the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunisia in November 2005.”Bakchich.info, an “irreverent” website about Africa, the Maghreb, the Middle East and France, was launched by a group of French journalists in May 2006. It is filtered in Tunisia and can only be accessed through proxy servers (for proxy servers, see).After Labaye landed in Tunis on an afternoon flight from Paris, airport officials prevented her from leaving her seat and sent her back to France in the same plane. The young journalist had written a by-lined article about Tunisia in Bakchich.info on 23 August in which she attacked the latest book by Antoine Sfeir, editor of Cahiers de l’Orient, as a “work of propaganda” in favour of the Tunisian government. She was also in phone contact with several political dissidents living in the country.”In Tunisia, online journalists who cause annoyance are sent back at the border, local cyber-dissidents are imprisoned and independent websites are filtered: this pay confirms every day that it fully deserves its place on our list of the “15 Enemies of the Internet”, the organisation said.Let us not forget that it would be impossible to maintain a website like Bakchich.info from inside Tunisia. Mohammed Abbu, who has been in jail since March 2005 for using a website to criticise the president found that out the hard way”.Abbu, a lawyer and human rights activist, was arrested overnight on 1st March 2005 after posting an article online comparing the politics of President Ben Ali with those of then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. He was sentenced on 29 April to three years and six months in prison in a travesty of a trial. The authorities have also been harassing his family. His wife, Samia, has been subjected to lengthy questioning very time she visits the prison in which her husband is being held.Dissident judge Mokhtar Yahyawi has also continued to suffer harassment. His blog was hacked into at the beginning of August and is now closed. He was invited to the EU headquarters in Brussels to talk about the political situation in Tunisia on 28 September but the authorities have banned him from leaving the country Yahyawi strongly condemned Labaye’s expulsion, adding that in Tunisia, “We badly need the humour and independence of a site like Bakchich.info”.On 17 November 2005, Tunisian police in plain clothes physically prevented Robert Ménard from leaving the plane on which he had just arrived at Tunis airport to attend the WSIS conference.————-Create your blog with Reporters without borders: www.rsfblog.org News September 18, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalist from irreverent website bakchich.info expelled Receive email alerts December 26, 2019 Find out more Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Tunisia News November 11, 2020 Find out more News TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa News Reporters Without Borders has criticised the Tunisian authorities for expelling French journalist Léa Labaye, of the satirical website Bakchich.info, who was sent back to Paris immediately after arrival in Tunisia on 16 September 2006, without any official explanation. Eleven organizations from civil society create the Forum on Information & Democracy, a structural response to information disorder November 12, 2019 Find out morelast_img read more

Call for Zahra Kazemi murder case to be reopened

first_img News Receive email alerts November 18, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Call for Zahra Kazemi murder case to be reopened Organisation IranMiddle East – North Africa News Reporters Without Borders today called for the reopening of the investigation into the murder of photojournalist Zahra Kazemi after a Tehran appeal court on 16 November upheld the acquittal of Reza Aghdam Ahmadi, the only person accused of killing her while she was in the custody of the Tehran authorities in 2003. Follow the news on Iran Help by sharing this information News After Hengameh Shahidi’s pardon, RSF asks Supreme Leader to free all imprisoned journalists February 25, 2021 Find out more News IranMiddle East – North Africa March 18, 2021 Find out more June 9, 2021 Find out more Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 to go further Reporters Without Borders today called for the reopening of the investigation into the murder of photojournalist Zahra Kazemi after a Tehran appeal court on 16 November upheld the acquittal of Reza Aghdam Ahmadi, the only person accused of killing her while she was in the custody of the Tehran authorities in 2003.Lawyers for the family of the victim, who had Iranian and Canadian dual nationality, have also expressed their desire for the case to be reopened while, according to Ahmadi’s lawyer, the appeal court ordered that the case be sent back to the prosecutor’s office.“This terrible case must not be shelved following the acquittal of Ahmadi, who was just a scapegoat,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We are relieved to hear that the judicial authorities are now officially supposed to reopen the case, but we fear that it will be re-assigned to Tehran state prosecutor Said Mortazavi, who is suspected of being personally involved in Kazemi’s death.”The press freedom organisation continued: “For this reason, we support the request of the Kazemi family’s lawyers who are demanding that the case be investigated by an independent judge who has no connection with the prosecutor’s office. We also insist on the need for a fair trial that clarifies once and for all how Zahra Kazemi died while in the custody of the Iranian authorities.”Reporters Without Borders added: “Until now, there has been no response to her family’s requests for the past two years for her body to be exhumed and repatriated to Canada. While we wait for the Iranian authorities to finally grant this request, it is essential that all those involved in this premeditated murder are identified, tried and punished.”Ahmadi, who was one of the intelligence officers who interrogated Kazemi while she was in custody, is widely regarded as having been chosen as a scapegoat by the ultra-conservative judicial authorities. He was charged with her death following international pressure and an investigation by the Iranian parliament, but he was acquitted in a sham trial on 24 July 2004.Charges were dropped against other suspects, who were not subject to any further investigation thereafter. But that could change if the case were reopened.Usually resident in Canada, 54-year-old Kazemi was arrested on 23 June 2003 as she was photographing the relatives of detainees outside Evin prison in northern Tehran. She was beaten while in custody and died of her injuries on 10 July 2003. After trying to cover up what happened, the Iranian authorities issued a report on 20 July 2003 recognising that Kazemi’s death was the result of violence. But the report failed to explain how the blow that caused her death was inflicted. Only an autopsy could now clear this up.Against the wishes of her son, Stephan Hachemi, who has French and Canadian nationality and lives in Canada, Kazemi’s body was hastily buried on 22 July 2003 in Shiraz, in southern Iran.Her mother publicly acknowledged that pressure was put on her to authorize the burial. Since then, Canada’s requests for the body to be exhumed and repatriated to Canada have been ignored. RSF_en last_img read more

Did Gao Zhisheng die under torture in detention?

first_img News China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison Follow the news on China News to go further April 27, 2021 Find out more RSF_en Reporters Without Borders calls on the Chinese authorities to produce evidence that detained human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, of whom there has been no news since 4 February 2009, is still alive.“We fear the worst,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The authorities must provide his relatives with proof that he is still alive. They must give the family details about his current place of detention and must allow his wife to have direct contact with him.”The press freedom organisation added: “If anything has happened to him while in detention, the authorities will be held responsible and those who had a direct hand in it must be identified and punished. The uncertainty about his fate has gone on long enough.”After being sentenced for the first time to three years in prison in 2006, he was released and then rearrested several times. He was arrested for the last time in his home in Shaanxi by Public Security Department officials on 4 February 2009. When later asked what had happened to him, the police said he “disappeared” in September 2009.As a defence attorney, Gao’s clients included Zheng Yichun, a journalist and former professor who was sentenced in 2005 to seven years in prison because of what he had written. Recognised by the justice ministry as “one of the country’s 10 best lawyers” in 2001, Gao also defended members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement and Cai Zhohua, a protestant pastor who was given a three-year sentence for printing and distributing bibles.He was one of a group of activists (including Hua Jia) who staged a rotating hunger strike for human rights in 2006. Participants in a total of 29 provinces and abroad took it in turns to fast for 24 hours. Several of them were arrested.In an open letter written in November 2007 and published in February 2009, he described one of the torture sessions he underwent as follows: “ ‘Gao Zhisheng! You mother****er! Your date with death is today! Brothers! Let’s show the bastard how brutal we can get. Kill the bastard.’ A leader of the group screamed. Then, four men with electric batons started to beat my head and body with ferocity. Nothing but the noise of the beating and my moaning could be heard in the room. I was beaten so severely that my whole body began shaking uncontrollably on the floor.” News February 5, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Did Gao Zhisheng die under torture in detention? Help by sharing this information center_img News Organisation Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes Receive email alerts March 12, 2021 Find out more June 2, 2021 Find out more ChinaAsia – Pacific China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures ChinaAsia – Pacific last_img read more

In continuing persecution, newspaper publisher arrested and beaten up

first_img Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information to go further RSF_en Chadian radio stations on strike in protest against violent raid Reporters Without Borders condemns Chadian journalist Stéphane Mbaïrabé Ouaye’s arbitrary arrest last week in N’Djamena and the mistreatment he received while detained. Organisation November 27, 2020 Find out more The publisher of Haut Parleur, an independent fortnightly, Stéphane Mbaïrabé Ouaye was arrested by judicial police with no warrant on the night of 2 October and was held in a detention centre attached to N’Djamena police headquarters.While he was handcuffed and blindfolded, plainclothesmen beat him up in an attempt to make him reveal his sources for a story in last week’s issue criticising President Idriss Deby and his brother, customs director-general Salay Deby. It was headlined “Salay Deby, national thief.”Then released without any explanation, Ouaye still bears the marks of the blows he received. He is now waiting to be given a date to appear in court on a defamation charge.“The mistreatment of this journalist is a disgrace and is yet one more example of the government’s persecution of the media,” said Reporters Without Borders “Ouaye is the victim of horrible practices that recall those of former President Hissène Habré’s political police, the DDS. If President Deby or his relatives think Ouaye has defamed them, they should refer the matter to the judicial authorities.”This is not Ouaye’s first run-in with the judicial police. He was arrested without a summons on 12 June after Salay Deby filed a defamation suit against him.Chad is ranked 135th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. ChadAfrica October 7, 2015 – Updated on January 20, 2016 In continuing persecution, newspaper publisher arrested and beaten up News Reports News December 1, 2020 Find out more ChadAfrica The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa News Many historic publications threatened with closure in Chad Follow the news on Chad October 7, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

German journalist Frederik Richter expeled

first_imgNews May 10, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 German journalist Frederik Richter expeled Organisation Help by sharing this informationcenter_img RSF_en The Bahraini authorities accused German journalist Frederik Richter, the Reuters correspondent in Manama since 2008, of bias in his coverage of the pro-democracy protest movement and gave him a week to leave the country. “Reuters regrets Bahrain’s decision to expel its correspondent,” editor-in-chief Stephen Adler said, adding that the agency stood by his reporting. last_img read more

Held incommunicado in western Turkmenistan for past two months

first_img to go further TurkmenistanEurope – Central Asia News News News RSF_en September 8, 2015 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Held incommunicado in western Turkmenistan for past two months Help by sharing this information Four-year jail term for independent website’s correspondent in Turkmenistan Follow the news on Turkmenistan March 13, 2020 Find out more Coronavirus off limits in Turkmenistan #CollateralFreedom: RSF now unblocking 21 sites in 12 countries Where exactly is Nepeskuliev now? Has he or has he not been sentenced to three years in jail? Has he had a lawyer? All of these questions remain unanswered.A resident of Balkanabat, a town 150 km southeast of the western city of Turkmenbashi, Nepeskuliev was last seen by his family on 7 July. They tracked him down to a prison near Turkmenbashi three weeks later but they still have not been allowed to see him.His mother told the Netherlands-based news website Alternative Turkmenistan News (ATN) that she had learned on 4 September that he was sentenced to three years in prison on 31 August. But it has not yet been possible to officially confirm this.The family plans to go to Turkmenbashi (to which they think he was transferred at the end of August) in order to request a copy of the verdict at the courthouse and then file an appeal. But this may prove difficult.ATN editor Ruslan Myatiev told Reporters Without Borders: “The entire region is closed because of the Elders’ Council that will be held on 10 September in Avaza (a resort town on the outskirts of Turkmenbashi). For President Berdymuhamedov’s safety, no unauthorized people will be allowed to travel to Turkmenbashi for any reason.”Myatiev added that he thought the timing of Nepeskuliev’s trial and the belated notification of the verdict to the family was designed to prevent the family from filing an appeal within the 10-day deadline.Nepeskuliev freelances for ATN and the Turkmen service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), mainly covering social and infrastructural issues in and around Turkmenbashi and Balkanabat and often drawing attention to local government incompetence and abuses.The government media have been waging a smear campaign against him, giving credence to the drug possession charges apparently brought against him. At the same time, the authorities are said to be putting a lot of pressure on his relatives.“The continuing silence from the authorities about Saparmamed Nepeskuliev’s fate is completely illegal,” said Johann Bihr, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk.“The silence is a nightmare for his family and increases our concern about his safety. We yet again call on the authorities, as a matter of urgency, to provide full details about his current status and his possible conviction, and to free him without delay.”Media freedom is non-existent in Turkmenistan, which is ranked 178th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index, above only North Korea and Eritrea.The only independent media are based abroad, and reporting for them from inside the country is very risky. When journalists are arrested, they are usually tortured and the authorities usually fail to confirm their arrest.Read the previous Reporters Without Borders press release about Saparmamed Nepeskuliev (30.07.2015)(Photo: ATN) News March 31, 2020 Find out more TurkmenistanEurope – Central Asia December 18, 2020 Find out more Organisation Freelance journalist Saparmamed Nepeskuliev has been held incommunicado for the past two months and has been denied all contact with his family. Even his possible three-year jail sentence cannot be confirmed. How can a government make a journalist disappear like that? Receive email alertslast_img read more

Publication director of Le Canard déchaîné jailed again

first_imgNews The conviction of Niger newspaper editor Moussa Aksar is an attack on investigative journalism Abdoulaye Tiémogo was remanded in custody on 20 June and transferred tothe civil prison in Niamey. He was not told when he would be tried._________________________________________________________________ NigerAfrica Abdoulaye Tiémogo, publication director of the satirical weekly Le Canard déchaîné, was arrested on 18 June 2002 further to Prime Minister Hama Amadou’s filing of a complaint for “defamation”. Reporters Without Borders has urged the prime minister to withdraw his complaint and see to it that the journalist is released immediately.”Abdoulaye Tiémogo has been arrested three times since October 2001 and has spent almost two months behind bars. A member of the government has been behind the legal action each time,” deplored Reporters Without Borders Secretary-General Robert Ménard. The organisation asked the prime minister to demonstrate his commitment to press freedom by reigning in his ministers, who “unrelentingly try to silence an investigative journalist who is especially critical of them.” Ménard also recalled that, “as a sentence for the crime of defamation, imprisonment constitutes a serious human rights violation.”According to information collected by Reporters Without Borders, Criminal Investigation Department officers in Niamey placed Tiémogo in police custody on 18 June, in the late afternoon. The prime minister filed a complaint against Tiémogo because he felt “defamed and insulted” by three highly critical articles that were published in the latest issue of Le Canard déchaîné. The journalist notably accused Amadou of seeking to bribe the speaker of the National Assembly in order to retain his post as prime minister.Just over one month ago, Tiémogo was jailed for two weeks after Amadou filed a complaint. He was placed in police custody on 17 May, one week after hosting a debate on the private radio station Tambara FM. During the debate, Sanoussi Jackou, president of the Parti Nigérien pour l’Autogestion (PNA), a small opposition party, accused the prime minister of ethnic and regional discrimination in the appointment of high state officials. Jackou was also arrested, as was Abarad Mouddour Zakara, publication director of his newspaper La Roue de l’histoire, following the commerce minister’s filing of a complaint for “defamation”. They were released on 29 May after being sentenced to a four-month suspended jail sentence and a fine of 100,000 CFA francs.On 19 October 2001, the Niamey First Instance Tribunal sentenced Tiémogo to six months’ imprisonment for “defamation”. Agriculture Minister Wassalké Boukari had filed a complaint against Le Canard Déchaîné following its publication of an article alleging that he had embezzled 200 million CFA francs (approx. US$294,000; 305,000 euros) from a gold-mining area in the west of the country. The minister withdrew his complaint on 7 December, at the start of the appeals trial, and the journalist was subsequently released. Organisation Help by sharing this information NigerAfrica June 20, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Publication director of Le Canard déchaîné jailed again Follow the news on Niger Niger: Two journalists arrested in disturbing setback for press freedom November 27, 2020 Find out more RSF_en May 11, 2021 Find out more News to go further The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa Reports Receive email alerts News July 16, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more