January 2017

days since last accident 182
January 2017

The following are links to articles related to media safety. The stories compiled here are from other sources and for informational purposes only. SAG-AFTRA does not verify their accuracy and posting them here does not imply an endorsement of the source.

Speaker of Chechen parliament threatens journalist Grigory Shvedov
Jan. 9, 2017 — Committee to Protect Journalists
New York, January 9, 2017--Russian federal authorities should ensure the safety of Grigory Shvedov, the editor of the independent news website Kavkazsky Uzel (Caucasian Knot), and should hold accountable Magomed Daudov, the speaker of Chechnya's parliament, for publicly threatening the journalist, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
Daudov on January 4 posted a photograph of a dog with its tongue tied in a knot to the social media website Instagram, using crude language to compare Shvedov to a dog in need of discipline. "It is past time to call a veterinarian," the post said, "to pull out [Shvedov's] wisdom teeth and to cut his tongue to standard size. Then, behold, he might even tell us something good and informative."
To read the entire article, click here.

Sri Lankan PM Security Division seizes TV’s drone camera
Jan. 10, 2017 — International Federation of Journalists 
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Free Media Movement (FMM) Sri Lanka in condemning the seizing of a drone camera used by the Hiru TV to report on a demonstration in Mirijjawila, Hambantota on January 7.
Hiru TV used the drone camera to film the demonstration against the inauguration of the Sri Lanka–China industrial zone in Hambantota, which was attended by Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe. During the demonstration the police fired tear gas shells and launched water canons to disperse the demonstrators.
The camera was returned to Hiru TV after a few hours but without the memory card containing the recording of the incidents. The FMM called it a grave violation of the professional rights of journalists and urged the Media Ministry to investigate the incident, punish the perpetrators and take necessary steps to avoid such incidents in the future.
To read the entire article, click here.

Pakistani TV reporter unlawfully detained for hours
Jan. 10, 2017 — International Federation of Journalists
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) in expressing serious concerns over the unlawful detention and alleged torture of a television reporter in Sukkur of Sindh Province in Pakistan.
Imdad Phulpoto, the station head of SAMAA TV in Sukkur, was forcibly detained on the morning of 5 January by dozens of police officers without any warrant or legal document before being released later that evening. He said that he was tortured and was taken around the city throughout the day and was neither questioned nor given a reason for his detention.
To read the entire article, click here.

Turkey: journalists detained following reports on Erdogan's leaked emails
Jan. 10, 2017 — International Federation of Journalists
The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) are deeply concerned by the ongoing detention without any official explanation of journalists and media workers Tunca Öğreten (freelance), Mahir Kanaat (accountant for BirGün daily), Ömer Celik (DIHA news director), Metin Yoksa (DIHA correspondent) Eray Saygin and Derya Okatan (journalist at ETHA) in Turkey.
According to the information received by the IFJ-EFJ, all of them were detained as part of a Turkish police operation on 25 December at 04:30 from their homes in Istanbul, Ankara and Diyarbakir. Derya Okatan has been on hunger strike against the “state of emergency rulings” since 25 December and Ömer Celik was beaten during his arrest.
Under the state of emergency, Turkish authorities have extended the detention period from 4 to 30 days and lawyers have had no access to the journalists for more than 5 days.
To read the entire article, click here.

IPC Condemns Attacks On Journalists
Jan. 11, 2017 — Leadership
The International Press Centre (IPC) has condemned recent attacks on three Nigerian journalists as well as the clampdown on media organizations in The Gambia.
IPC, in its recent update report on monitoring of the safety of journalists, disclosed that not less than three journalists have been arrested in Nigeria and two private radio stations shut down in The Gambia.
A statement from the centre and made available to Leadership yesterday, recalled that Teranga FM and Hilltop Radio stations in Banjul Gambia were closed on the 8th of January by the Gambian security forces under the instruction of President Jammeh, adding that three  Nigerian Journalists comprising of, Nsebiet John of The Ink, an Akwa-Ibom based newspaper; Jerry Edoho, News Editor of Ibom Nation, a local newspaper based in Akwa-Ibom State and Daniel Ekiugbo, Publisher of Ugheli Times Magazine, in Delta  State, were recently arrested by security agencies.
To read the entire article, click here.

In Bahrain it is dangerous to defend quality journalism
Jan. 16, 2017 — International Federation of Journalists
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the world's largest journalists’ organisation, has again denounced the pressure and attacks suffered by Nazeeha Saeed, the correspondent in Bahrain of France 24 and Monte Carlo Doualiya (part of France Médias Monde).
Nazeeha Saeed, accredited journalist working for international media from Bahrain for 12 years, was accused last June of violating registration laws and was refused permission to work as a foreign correspondent and had a travel ban imposed on her.
To read the entire article, click here.

Journalist killed every four days in 2016
Jan. 16, 2017 —UNESCO
According to UNESCO, 101 journalists were killed in the pursuit of a story in 2016, which on average constitutes one casualty every four days. This represents an increase when compared to the average annual trend over the previous decade (2006-2015), set forth in the latest UNESCO Director-General’s Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity published in November 2016, where every five days a media worker paid the ultimate toll for his or her work. “Even though the number of journalists killed in 2016 is slightly lower than in the previous year, the perils and challenges faced by media workers worldwide show no sign of abating,” stated Frank La Rue, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information. “The profession of a journalist is not a safe one, and a press accreditation card or display of media equipment has often served as an extra reason to be targeted.”
The 2016 figure compares to 115 in 2015 as recorded by UNESCO, 98 in 2014 and 90 in 2013. Each killing is condemned by the UNESCO Director General who calls for a judicial investigation to bring the killers to book.  The most lives were lost in the Arab States, where the armed conflicts in the Syrian Arab Republic, Iraq and Yemen have claimed the largest share. Media operating in Latin America and the Caribbean saw 28 casualties, including bloggers and freelancers, constituting the region as second deadliest in 2016.
To read the entire article, click here.

One journalist killed every four days in 2016, UN agency finds
Jan. 17, 2017 — UN News Centre
More than 100 journalists were killed last year while doing their jobs, according to the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom.
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said 101 journalists were killed in 2016, the equivalent of one journalist every four days.
“The profession of a journalist is not a safe one, and a press accreditation card or display of media equipment has often served as an extra reason to be targeted,” said Frank La Rue, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information.
The UN agency coordinates the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, which aims to aid media workers and journalists working in conflict and non-conflict situations.
To read the entire article, click here.

Iraq: journalist beaten by party officials
Jan. 18, 2017 — International Federation of Journalists
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Kurdistan Journalists Union (KJU) have condemned the brutal attack on a journalist by armed militia from the ruling party in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
On 15 January, Iraqi journalist Karwan Haji, working for Afro and Kanky-Lash newspapers, was brutally attacked by armed militia from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which leads the region.
Militiamen entered his house in the morning, beat him and took him to the party’s headquarters in the city of Duhok. Reports said he suffered head injuries and damage to one hand and that some of his fingers were broken.
To read the entire article, click here.


Journalist gets six-month suspended jail sentence on appeal
Jan. 19, 2017 — Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) deplores this week’s appeal court decision to uphold Algerian freelance journalist Hassan Bourras’ criminal conviction, although the court reduced his sentence to a six-month suspended jail term, with the result that he was freed yesterday afternoon.
In its decision issued on  January 17, the appeal court in the southwestern city of El Bayadh confirmed Bourras’ conviction on charges of “insulting judicial officials,” defamation and causing offence by interviewing three people who talked about cases of alleged corruption in El Bayadh.
Bourras, who had been detained since November, was sentenced to a year in prison at the original trial.
“The prison sentence is regrettable even if suspended,” RSF editor-in-chief Virginie Dangles said. “The court should have overturned Hassan Bourras’ conviction on all the charges. By imposing this kind of sentence, the Algerian authorities discourage all journalists and whistleblowers from informing the public about cases of corruption.”
To read the entire article, click here.

Well-known Honduran journalist killed in coordinated attack in San Pedro Sula
Jan. 19, 2017 — Knight Center Journalism in the Americas
Igor Abisaí Padilla Chávez, a well-known Honduran journalist, was killed in San Pedro Sula on Jan. 17.
La Prensa reported that the 38-year-old journalist received a call to leave a shop where he was filming a commercial. When he left, four people began to shoot him. The newspaper added that bullets from an AR-15 rifle were found at the scene and that initial reports indicated the attackers used bulletproof vests and wore masked hoods. According to AFP, they were dressed as police.
Witnesses said they heard 20 shots and a doctor quoted by La Prensa said Padilla was shot multiple times.
To read the entire article, click here.

CPJ Safety Advisory: Trolls and Online Abuse
Jan. 20, 2017 — Committee to Protect Journalists
Today the Committee to Protect published a blog post detailing increased online harassment to journalists in the United States. Trolling and online abuse of journalists and bloggers, however, is a global threat. At a time when use of Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms are a job requirement for media workers, trolls have become a serious occupational hazard. CPJ's Emergencies Response Team (ERT) issued the following safety advisory for journalists facing issues of online abuse. Trolls want to incite a reaction. They choose their words to upset their victim. They often denigrate the individual on a personal level, spew profanity and hate speech, issue violent threats, and use sexual language. This malicious approach should distinguish a troll from an audience member who disagrees with you and wants to be heard.
For your own mental health, it is important to note that the vast majority of trolls are all mouth and no action. Their goal is to upset you. While you should take any violent threats seriously, be aware that most trolling is simple bluster. That said, an important first step in preventing online harassment is to protect the personal information that you share online. One of the most dangerous threats trolls pose to a journalist is a form of harassment known as doxxing, which involves publishing a person's personal information online.
To read the entire article, click here.

Project Exile: Azeri journalist fled after warning
Jan. 29, 2017 — Global Journalist
Gulnur Kazimova was at a relative’s birthday party with her five-year-old son when the warning came.  It was Dec. 28, 2014, and the Azeri journalist had worked for eight years as a correspondent for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Ganja, the country’s second-largest city. Just two days earlier, police in the capital Baku had raided the U.S.-backed radio service’s bureau there and shuttered it without giving justification. Earlier that month, RFE/RL’s noted investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova had been jailed on trumped-up charges. At the party, friends of Kazimova told her police were preparing to arrest her. There was no time to waste. Kazimova was unprepared, but she left the party with her son and headed out of the country. They arrived in the Georgian capital Tbilisi, 124 miles (200 km) from Ganja, at 11 p.m. that night.
To read the entire article, click here.

Reporters in the Crosshairs
Jan. 30, 2017 —Inter Press Service
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas located on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border remain one of the most perilous places in the world to be a reporter, with journalists walking a razor’s edge of violence and censorship. FATA has been a bastion of Taliban militants since they crossed over to Pakistan and took refuge when their government was toppled in neighboring Afghanistan by the U.S.-led Coalition forces towards the end of 2001. Militants have used the area as a base to target security forces as well as journalists whom they perceive as pro-government.
Muhammad Anwar, who represents FATA-based Tribal Union of Journalists (TUJ), said that excessive violence, threats and intimidation remain a fact of life. “There are two options with FATA’s journalists: either to face death or stay silent over what is going on there,” he said.
To read the entire article, click here.

Iran: Flogging Sentences Against Journalists Amount to a Flagrant Violation of Human Rights
Jan. 30, 2017 — International Federation of Journalists
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today joined its affiliate, the Association of Iranian Journalists, in calling for setting aside a court ruling ordering flogging two Iranian journalists who have been convicted with “inaccurate reporting” conviction.  Local reports said that Iranian journalists Mustafa Barari and Arash Shoaa, from Gilan Noveen and Gilan No news websites, have received flogging sentences and a fine by the Revolutionary Court in Rasht city, north of Iran, following the complaint of one member of the Iranian Parliament over their publications
To read the entire article, click here.