21 May 2009

Volume 10 - 2001 Issue 43 (30 Oct.)


Norway

"CITIES OF ASYLUM" NETWORK NEEDS CHANGE, SAYS NFFE; NFFE CLOSES DOWN

The International Parliament of Writers' (IPW) "Cities of Asylum" network - created in1994 to give safe refuge to persecuted writers - "does not work" and is in need of change, concludes a report recently released by the Norwegian Forum for Freedom of Expression (NFFE).

Mongolia

NEW DOCUMENTARY CHALLENGES FREE PRESS CLAIMS

A new documentary film examining the state of Mongolia's media landscape is raising questions about whether or not the country's press is as free as the government says it is, according to a Transitions Online (TOL) story cited by International Journalists' Network (IJNet). Entitled "Yellow Press: Friends or Enemies?" the film was released in September by Mongolian filmmaker Rentsen Batsaikhan.

Czech Republic

PRIME MINISTER THREATENS TO BANKRUPT MAGAZINE

The prime minister of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, has threatened to bankrupt the independent weekly "Respekt" in retaliation for its reporting on government corruption, report the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) and the International Press Institute (IPI). On 22 October, Zeman announced that he would begin filing a series of lawsuits against the weekly and its editor-in-chief Petro Holub "in order to make sure that "Respekt" finally ceases to exist," according to IPI.

Venezuela

CHÁVEZ "MUZZLES THE VOICE" OF CRITICAL MEDIA, SAYS IPI

In what the International Press Institute (IPI) says is an attempt to "muzzle the voice" of media critical of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, the state-run National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) is continuing its investigation of private news channel Globovision for reporting "false" news. According to IPI, Globovision issued a correction on 29 September for wrongly reporting that nine taxi drivers were attacked and killed the previous night by criminals. In fact, only one had been killed.

Sri Lanka

UPCOMING ELECTIONS SPUR PRESS FREEDOM CONCERNS

As Sri Lanka heads towards general elections in December, the Free Media Movement (FMM) is putting the government "on notice" for violating a section of the constitution that prevents publicly owned media from promoting candidates or political parties. In a letter to the Commissioner of Elections, FMM says the government has failed to prevent four media companies from violating the 17th amendment to the Constitution since it approved the new amendment on 3 October.

Togo

GOVERNMENT RELEASES PROMINENT JOURNALIST

Prominent Togolese journalist Lucien Messan has been released today after receiving a presidential pardon, reports the World Association of Newspapers (WAN). Messan, the editorial director of "Le Combat du Peuple" and an outspoken critic of President Gnassingbé' Eyadéma's government, was originally sentenced in June to 18 months in prison. According to Reporters sans frontères (RSF), he was accused of "falsehood and the use of falsehood" by a government minister and charged with having added his signature to a press release issued by the Togolese Private Press Publishers Association (ATEPP). The press release had called attention to alleged extra-judicial killings in Togo in June 1998, according to WAN.

International

BURMESE, TAJIK JOURNALISTS WIN 2001 CJFE PRESS FREEDOM AWARDS

A political prisoner in Burma and an exiled newspaper publisher from Tajikistan, who "demonstrate a commitment to freedom of expression" and who "overcame enormous odds to produce the news," have won the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression's (CJFE) 2001 Press Freedom Awards. CJFE will present the awards to Myo Myint Nyein of Burma and Dodojon Atovulloev of Tajikistan at a banquet on 8 November in Toronto. The guest speaker at CJFE's banquet will be Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada.