Tag: free press

In Angola, two journalists charged over report on corruption

Angolan authorities should immediately drop charges against two journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Rafael Marques de Morais, who runs the anti-corruption website Maka Angola, and Mariano Bras, of the weekly, O Crime, were charged with “crimen injuria,” which is similar to insult laws, the journalists told CPJ.

Marques de Morais told CPJ a prosecutor questioned him for three hours on December 27 before charging him with crimen injuria over an article he wrote and published on Maka Angola in October. The article alleged wrongdoing by Angola’s attorney general, João Maria de Sousa, in his purchase of state-owned land.

Turkey: Journalists, Writers Face Terrorism, Separatism Charges

Trial Begins for Newspaper Advisory Board, Writers, Editors in Istanbul

The prosecution of writers and journalists charged with terrorism and separatism for their association with a newspaper raises serious concerns for freedom of expression in Turkey, Human Rights Watch said today. The first trial hearing begins on December 29, 2016, for four defendants detained since August and five others who are also being tried.

The four jailed defendants are the well-known novelist Aslı Erdoğan, the writer Necmiye Alpay, and newspaper editors İnan Kızılkaya and Zana Kaya. The prosecutor’s indictment accuses the four – and five others who are at liberty – of “spreading propaganda” for and being members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and of attempting to destroy the unity of the state. If convicted of the latter offense, they would face life in prison without parole.

Journalist Flees Kazakhstan Fearing Persecution

The chief editor of a leading news website in Kazakhstan has announced that he has left the country out of concern that he may be targeted for prosecution.

Bekzhan Idrisov, who edits Radiotochka.kz, made the announcement on his Facebook page on December 26. The publisher of his website and editor of Central Asia Monitor newspaper, Bigeldy Gabdullin, was detained by the authorities in mid-November on suspicion of committing fraud.

Stories of reporters feeling compelled to flee Kazakhstan are a stark reminder of the problems face by independent media in the country as they negotiate financial constraints and pressure from the government to refrain from critical coverage.

Turkey: Silencing the Media

Ruthless Assault on Press Freedom Shields State from Scrutiny

Turkey’s government has all but silenced independent media in an effort to prevent scrutiny or criticism of its ruthless crackdown on perceived enemies, Human Rights Watch said today. The assault on critical journalism sharpened in 2014 but accelerated after the failed coup attempt in July 2016, denying Turkey’s population access to a regular flow of independent information from domestic newspapers, radio, and television stations about developments in the country.

The 69-page report, “Silencing Turkey’s Media: The Government’s Deepening Assault on Critical Media,” documents five important components of the crackdown on independent domestic media in Turkey, including the use of the criminal justice system to prosecute and jail journalists on bogus charges of terrorism, insulting public officials, or crimes against the state. Human Rights Watch also documented threats and physical attacks on journalists and media organizations; government interference with editorial independence and pressure on media organizations to fire critical journalists; the government’s takeover or closure of private media companies; and restrictions on access to the airwaves, fines, and closure of critical television stations.

Crimea: freedom of speech turns to freedom of silence

Crimea has had no independent media for two and a half years now — a Crimean journalist speaks about the situation on condition of anonymity.

The author, a Crimean journalist, has requested that we publish this article anonymously.

In March 2014, after the referendum on Crimea’s “unification” with Russia that was not recognised beyond the latter’s borders, Ukrainian legislation was gradually squeezed out by Russian law. The official transition period was supposed to end on 1 January 2015, but there were exceptions in some areas. Free registration for Crimea’s media companies by Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor was, for example, extended to 1 April of that year. Crimean media could effectively continue to function up until then, but many found their access to government bodies already closed and officials refusing to talk to them.

Iraqi Forces Recover Saudi And US Supplies From ISIS Mosul Positions, Corroborates Older claims

Since the beginning of Operation: Inherent Resolve, the Islamic State has shown itself to be a very shadowy force. Many people assume they know where the group originates, with some admitting to it’s connection to US foreign policy decisions and regional allies. Others ignore this, and even the curious will only go so far. Now, as the group’s stronghold in Mosul is surrounded, Iraqi forces find yet more IS stockpiles of Saudi and American weapons and supply.

Mosul has been under assault by Iraqi forces for around a month now, as they clash with IS. The offensive followed a surge in US troops to Iraq, the majority being special forces and accompanying marines. Exactly what those forces will be doing is unclear. Shortly after the battle’s activation, a US Navy SEAL was reported KIA (Killed In Action) by an IED blast. Officials were careful not to directly connect the operatives death with the Mosul battle.

Five other Americans–three marines, a Delta Force operative and another Navy SEAL–and a Canadian special forces soldier have died since 2014. This is only that we know of, since the statuses of thousands of military contractors and other forces are unknown.