RSF urges Kosovar authorities to protect journalist after death threats

first_img August 18, 2017 Find out more Follow the news on Kosovo KosovoEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses News “UCK hunting” – title of Gazeta Express’s documentary. Kosovar investigative journalist assaulted in Pristina Help by sharing this information to go further KosovoEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the death threats, insults and baseless accusations that have been levelled against Leonard Kerquki, the editor-in-chief of the Gazeta Express website, since a documentary he directed was premiered on the site on 23 October. The documentary, for which Kerquki also did the voiceover, addresses a rarely discussed aspect of the Kosovo War of 1998-2000 – atrocities against Serbian and Bosniak minorities. The day after it was screened, a photomontage of Kerquki with his forehead riddled by bullet holes in Serbian colours was posted on the Facebook page of the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK), a paramilitary group that opposed the Serbs during the war. The UCK is accused in the documentary of carrying out war crimes against civilians in the name of Kosovar patriotism. “We condemn this public lynching of Leonard Kerquki and we call on the authorities to quickly adopt measures to protect this journalist and his colleagues,” RSF programme director Lucie Morillon said. “We also call for an investigation with aim of identifying those responsible for these threats and bringing them to trial.” The documentary was the second in a new series of documentaries and investigative reports about Kosovo’s contemporary history recently launched by Gazeta Express, an Albanian-language news portal. Kosovo is ranked 90th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index. October 26, 2016 – Updated on October 27, 2016 RSF urges Kosovar authorities to protect journalist after death threats Nearly half of UN member countries have obstructed coronavirus coverage RSF_en News June 29, 2020 Find out more Organisation Concern about investigative reporter’s disappearance in Serbia June 14, 2018 Find out more News Receive email alerts Newslast_img read more

Opposition TV channels finally get airing on cable — for 60 days

first_img RSF_en Organisation Receive email alerts News Follow the news on Georgia News News July 9, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Opposition TV channels finally get airing on cable — for 60 days GeorgiaEurope – Central Asia Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders welcomes as a first step the approval by Georgia’sParliament on 29 June of an amendment to the electoral code obliging all cablenetworks to carry all television channels for a 60-day period in the run-up to anelection.“We acknowledge this decision by Parliament, which will temporarily extend thecoverage of opposition stations at national level,” the press freedom organization said.“On the plus side, it will encourage pluralism and will finally give subscribers amore representative choice of programming. However, we strongly deplore thefact that this provision is for a limited duration. We fear that, once the pre-election period is over, opposition stations will once again be subjected to pressure and boycotts.“The amendment as formulated by members of Parliament offers them no long-term guarantee of protection against censorship. In such a polarized mediaenvironment, it is essential that action be taken to guarantee pluralism of opinion in the broadcast sector.”As the October election approaches, 103 of Georgia’s 150 members ofParliament agreed to modify the electoral code by introducing this amendmentknown, as “must-carry”. Inspired by similar legislation in the United States,from which it gets it name, it legally obliges cable providers to include in theirpackages all channels with an audience share of more than 20 percent.This will allow more than 170,000 subscribers to access for approximatelytwo months three of the country’s opposition stations normally only availablevia satellite. These are Channel 9, co-owned by the wife of the leader of theopposition Georgian Dream party, Bidzina Ivanishvili, as well as Maestro TV and Kavkasia TV.Normally, Maestro TV is not part of the programming package offered by the two biggest cable providers, Silk TV and Caucasus TV. As regards Channel 9, all providers had refused to carry it except Global TV, which is owned by Alexander Ivanishvili, the brother of Bidzina Ivanishvili. The amendment is aimed at ending a long-standing controversy involving GlobalTV. Since March this year, pro-government channels have been exerting strongpressure on tens of thousands of viewers against Global TV’s plan to carryChannel 9 programmes.The managements of Rustavi 2 TV and Imedi TV threatened in writing towithdraw from the package unless Global TV gave up its intention to include theopposition station.Furthermore, tens of thousands of satellite dishes belonging to Global TV wereseized by the authorities on June 22 in a series of raids on warehouses. Thepublic prosecutor who ordered the move ruled that the free distribution of dishesby Global TV just months before an election could be construed as vote buying.An investigation was also launched into the leader of the opposition for illegalvote buying. Under the penal code, such an offence is punishable by a heavy fine or a prison term of between one and three years.After Parliament approved the must-carry amendment, the opposition hadhoped to extend the time that it remains in effect to 80 days, i.e. throughout thecampaign and ending with the announcement of the election results. However,Parliament did not take this request into account.Figures from the National Telecommunications Commission show the number ofcable subscribers rose from 135,369 at the start of 2011 to 171,641 by the end of the year. Three companies share most of the cable market — Silknet, with 43,027 subscribers at the end of 2011, Super TV with 37,936 and GNN with 19,140. There are about 70 providers for the country as a whole, concentrated mainly in the main towns and cities.Georgia is ranked 105th of 179 countries listed in the latest World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders.Photo : center_img Mounting pressure on Georgia’s media in run-up to elections At least five journalists attacked while covering Georgia’s election campaign GeorgiaEurope – Central Asia Concern about alleged plot to murder Georgian TV host October 1, 2020 Find out more July 20, 2020 Find out more News to go further June 18, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Website accused of contempt in another sign of decline in Malaysia

first_img February 22, 2021 Find out more News News MalaysiaAsia – Pacific Protecting journalistsMedia independence InternetFreedom of expressionJudicial harassment News RSF_en Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Malaysian justice system to drop the spurious contempt of court proceedings against the news website Malaysiakini and its editor-in-chief Steven Gan over readers’ comments critical of the judiciary, and calls on Malaysia’s new government to show that it is determined to defend press freedom. When a federal court hears the case on 13 July, there is no limit to the length of the prison sentence it could impose on Steven Gan or the size of the fine it could impose on Malaysiakini if it finds them guilty of contempt.Initiating the proceedings, attorney-general Idrus Harun accused Malaysiakini of “facilitating” the posting of “unwarranted” and “demeaning” attacks on the judiciary by readers beneath an article on 9 June reporting that the courts were going to reopen after the coronavirus lockdown.Malaysiakini’s moderators took the comments down as soon as the police drew them to the website’s attention two days after they had been posted.When Gan logically called for the proceedings to be withdrawn at a pre-trial hearing on 2 July, the judge ruled: “By virtue of Section 114A of the Evidence Act 1950, the respondents are presumed to have published the impugned comments.” He added that, “the presumption is a rebuttable one.” Grotesque charges“We call on the federal court’s judges to immediately abandon these utterly grotesque charges against Steven Gan and Malaysiakini,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “Malaysia’s ranking in the World Press Freedom Index that RSF published earlier this year improved more than any other country, but we have seen an alarming surge in violations of journalistic freedom since the new coalition government took over four months ago. We call on Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s government to halt this dangerous trend by rejecting the past practice of censoring and harassing reporters.”After a change of government through the polls in May 2018, the first in modern Malaysia’s history, the overall environment for journalists improved dramatically, above all because they were no longer being subjected to the prosecutions that the previous prime minister, Najib Razak, had orchestrated against them.But press freedom violations have risen since the fall of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s reformist government in February. The latest is yesterday’s intimidatory announcement by the police, which RSF condemned in a tweet, that they are going to investigate Al Jazeera’s Kuala Lumpur bureau over a report last week about a wave of migrant worker arrests during the government’s efforts to combat the coronavirus epidemic.Information heroThe Qatari TV broadcaster’s report could contain “seditious elements,” the police inspector-general said yesterday. The claims being made by the police and other officials are so serious that an Al Jazeera journalist in Kuala Lumpur, speaking on condition of anonymity, told RSF that he feared the bureau could be closed down.Tashny Sukumaran, the Kuala Lumpur correspondent of the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, was questioned by the police in May for covering the same wave of arrests of migrant workers and is now facing a possible two-year jail sentence on a charge of “insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace.” RSF included her in its list of 30 coronavirus “information heroes.” Although police dropped the initial case against Sukumaran, she was summoned again on July 1  for her contribution to a book on the 2018 general elections entitled “Rebirth: Reformasi, Resistance and Hope in New Malaysia”. Her hearing followed Home Ministry’s order of banning the book issued on the same day. New Malaysian ordinance threatens very concept of truth Record fine for Malaysian news site over readers’ comments MalaysiaAsia – Pacific Protecting journalistsMedia independence InternetFreedom of expressionJudicial harassment July 8, 2020 Website accused of contempt in another sign of decline in Malaysiacenter_img News Receive email alerts Follow the news on Malaysia Help by sharing this information March 17, 2021 Find out more Organisation Malaysia is ranked 101st out of 180 countries and territories in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index. Muhyiddin Yassin, Prime Minister of Malaysia (left), Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan (photos: Mohd Rasfan / AFP – Azneal Ishak / to go further Malaysian cartoonist Zunar facing possible sedition charge again January 29, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Liberia’s Political Transformation is Irreversible’

first_imgAmbassador Designate Lewis G. Brown, former Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICAT), has said that Liberia’s political transformation is irreversible. Speaking during the MICAT regular Tuesday press briefing in Monrovia, Mr. Brown, who was on Wednesday appointed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as an ambassador, said that the new governance model of increasing accountability to the people through steadier commitment to the democratic principle of checks and balances is being institutionalized. “Liberia’s transformation is indeed on its trajectory to build a more just and equitable society for all. This can be fashioned on the works of each of us. I thank the Legislature and the Judiciary for their cooperation. I understand that the tangibles- roads, ports and electricity- have understandably commanded public interest.“But I have seen our society leap forward on account of the changes in the intangibles. This is through the coordinated efforts of the three branches and evolution and consolidation of the new governance model in which the legislature has gotten stronger and judiciary more independent.“Even though politics prevents the public from admitting to this, the new democratic order continues to unfold, Liberians and friends of Liberia are settling in the truth that Liberia’s political transformation is irreversible.“I thank the Liberian media for their cooperation and support. Of course we have had our ups and downs but like we partnered against Ebola, I leave with the impression that that partnership can grow beyond the sidelines of the ‘watchdog’ into one which elevates the Liberian journalist to a place around the table of national decision making,” he said. Ambassador Brown said Liberia and the African continent need journalists who are partners in development because it is no longer enough that “you watch out for and merely report the news, but that you are in partnership with the government.”“The simple truth is that each action or inaction of the government affects all journalists, their families and friends. This, then, is why journalists must continue to advocate for that which makes our country better,” he noted.However, he said, such advocacies must be pursued fairly and justly so that the society can continue to be better, more peaceful and prosperous for all Liberians.“Over the course of my service, I became increasingly aware of various pressures on journalists. One important pressure is that more often than not, journalists are internationally celebrated by the deterioration in relations, or for the lack of a better descriptive, the perceived levels of antagonism between the government and the media,” he said.Amb. Brown said the evolving truth is that the government and the media must work together for the good of society, adding: “This is demanded in a democracy if either partner intends to succeed.” Ambassador Brown served as Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICAT) for four years. He was yesterday appointed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as an ambassador. He has yet to be assigned a diplomatic post.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more