September 2017

days since last accident 165
September 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.

Iranian Journalist Loses Eye and Part of His Face to Cancer Untreated While in Prison
September 4, 2017 – Payvand (Iran)
Prominent journalist Alireza Rajaee had his right eye and part of his jaw removed due to cancer which was left untreated when he was in prison in Iran between 2011 and 2015, his wife told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). "When he was in Evin Prison, the authorities did not allow him to receive treatment," said Leila Liaghat. "Every time he went to the prison clinic, they sent him back to Ward 350 after only getting a shot or some pills. If he had been allowed to go to the hospital and get some tests, his illness could have been diagnosed and treated and he would not have lost an eye and part of his face."
CHRI's review of dozens of cases shows that Rajaee's case is not an isolated one, but rather one among many in a pattern of systematic state denial of full and timely medical care to prisoners.  CHRI calls on President Hassan Rouhani to immediately initiate an investigation into Rajaee's case to determine responsibility for his medical condition. CHRI also asks the Iranian parliament to establish an independent committee to investigate the pattern of denial of medical care to prisoners by Iran's judicial and prison authorities. "The catastrophic illnesses suffered by numerous prisoners in Iran is a direct result of state policy," said Hadi Ghaemi, CHRI's executive director. 
To read the entire article, click here.  

Bolivian Radio Journalist under House Arrest, Facing Charges after Covering Protest
September 5, 2017 – Committee to Protect Journalists
Bolivian authorities must drop charges against a radio journalist arrested while covering a violent demonstration last week in the capital city of La Paz, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.  Police detained Agustín Aldo Mamani, a reporter for the Radio del Valle station in the town of Mecapaca, for four days, and are now holding him under house arrest on charges of destruction of property, according to news reports.
Mamani was covering a demonstration on August 29 of Mecapaca residents who marched 15 miles to La Paz to demand that authorities pave the dirt road that connects their town to the capital, Franz Chávez, director of Bolivia's National Press Association in La Paz, told CPJ. "Filming a protest is not a crime," said CPJ Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney in New York City. "Bolivian authorities should immediately release Agustín Aldo Mamani from house arrest, and drop all charges against him."
To read the entire article, click here.

How Newsrooms Can Fight Online Harassment Targeting Female Journalists
September 5, 2017 – International Journalists’ Network
Online tormentors have called Swedish broadcaster Alexandra Pascalidou a “dirty whore," a "Greek parasite" (a reference to her ethnic heritage), a "stupid psycho," "ugly liar" and "biased hater.” They have threatened her with gang rape and sexual torture in hideous detail. But Pascalidou has chosen to fight back by speaking out publicly, as often as she can, against the online harassment faced by female journalists. In November 2016, she testified before a European commission about the impact of gender-based trolling.  “[The perpetrators’] goal is our silence," she told the commission. "It’s censorship hidden behind the veil of freedom of speech. Their freedom becomes our prison.”
In April 2017, she appeared on a panel at the International Journalism Festival in Italy, discussing how to handle sexist attacks online. She described the vitriol and threats as “low-intense, constant warfare.”  "Some say switch it off, it's just online," she told The Sydney Morning Herald. "It doesn't count. But it does count, and it's having a real impact on our lives. Hate hurts. And it often fuels action IRL [in real life]."
To read the entire article, click here.

French Court Hears Case of Journalists Accused of Calling Azerbaijan 'Dictatorship'
September 6, 2017 – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
A French court began hearing a lawsuit by Azerbaijan’s government against two French journalists it accuses of defamation, in a case described by the defendants and media freedom activists as an attempt by Azerbaijani authorities to export censorship beyond the country’s borders.  The defendants in the lawsuit before a court in the Paris suburb of Nanterre are broadcast journalists Elise Lucet and Laurent Richard on September 5.  They are accused of defaming the Azerbaijani government by referring to it as a "dictatorship" two years ago, when then-French President Francois Hollande was visiting the Caspian Sea country.
It appears to be the first time that a foreign government has brought a defamation suit against journalists before a French court.  In an interview with RFE/RL ahead of the court session, Richard said "we do think that it is a dictatorship and not a land of tolerance as they are pretending." “I am not sure that's a very good idea from them to sue some reporters because we are going to talk about the real, very critical things that are happening in Azerbaijan," he added.  Richard also expressed concern about what he called the Azerbaijani government’s strategy "to export the kind of censorship abroad, on French soil."
To read the entire article, click here.

‘Who is Next?’: Killing of Indian Journalist Gauri Lankesh Sparks Protests
September 6, 2017 – The Washington Post
The killing of a prominent journalist and government critic outside her home in Bangalore prompted protests in major Indian cities Wednesday and a national uproar about the shrinking space for free speech in the world’s most populous democracy.  Gauri Lankesh, 55, was shot in the head and chest Tuesday on her doorstep by motorcycle-riding gunmen.  Although police have not yet identified suspects or possible motives, Lankesh’s death is widely being attributed to her work as a journalist and activist.
“They want us to be intimidated,” said Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, former editor of the academic journal Economic and Political Weekly, speaking at the Press Club here. “I hope that a thousand Gauri Lankeshes will be born and will rise among us.”  Lankesh was a vocal critic of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the rising far-right Hindu nationalism associated with his party. Her death follows a string of recent killings that targeted leftist academics and scholars, activists said.
The activist was given a state funeral in Bangalore, where her body was displayed in a glass case adorned with marigolds.  Activists gathered at the Press Club and in cities across India holding signs that read, “#IamGauri” and “Who is next?” They shouted, “May Gauri Lankesh remain immortal.”
To read the entire article, click here.

Rights Group Documents 84 Violations against Palestinian Media in August
September 6, 2017 – Middle East Monitor
The Committee to Support Palestinian Journalists said it had documented 84 attacks against media freedoms in the occupied Palestinian territories during August.  The Committee pointed out that 40 attacks were committed by the Israeli authorities and 44 violations were committed by Palestinian parties in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  The committee said in its report that “suppression of media freedoms in the Palestinian territories increased at a high rate after the Palestinian Authority issued the cybercrime law”.
“The state of division has clearly affected press freedoms and contributed to the increase in violations against Palestinian journalists” the report said, calling for an end to all violations against journalists and that they should not be used for political clashes.  The committee called for the cessation of the cybercrimes law and to amend its articles, describing it as “a sword on the necks of all journalists”.
The report pointed out that the Palestinian authorities in the West Bank have arrested ten journalists, and extended the detention of four others, and called another four journalists for questioning.  According to the report, the Palestinian security forces’ violations included eight cases of storming the houses of journalists, confiscating telephones and personal belongings of nine journalists and forcing five journalists to pay a fine.
The cybercrime law entered into force on 11 July, after the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ratified it at the end of last month.
To read the entire article, click here.

Journalism Safety Wiki Tracks Press Freedom Groups Worldwide
September 6, 2017 – International Journalists’ Network
A new website allows journalists to compare and contrast organizations worldwide that aim to protect media workers from threats.  Founders say they hope this resource will help journalists gain a better understanding of how different press freedom groups are pursuing their goals, what impact they’ve had, and what challenges they’ve faced.  Currently, the Journalists Protection Wiki profiles 15 press freedom organizations in countries that include Afghanistan, Mexico, Iraq and Colombia. Users can view country profiles that summarize the threats facing the local press, as well as profiles of various press freedom groups that include case studies and contact information.
The resource is an initiative started by Colombian press freedom group the Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP), with backing from the Open Society Foundations and International Media Support.  As FLIP Executive Director Pedro Vaca puts it in an introductory video that accompanies the site, “We want to know what [press freedom groups are] there, what has been successful and what can we learn?” Journalists can use the wiki to compare the different approaches adopted by press freedom groups in a wide range of countries, and which ones involve partnerships with civil society groups, government agencies, non-governmental organizations or the media.
In the site's introductory video, FLIP coordinator Jonathan Bock explained that they want to help media workers more easily compare the various ways press freedom groups have pursued their goals, and what are the common challenges they’ve faced when doing so.  “[The wiki lets users] see what works in one context and another [so] we can have better tools and improve protection mechanisms for journalists’ protection,” Bock said.
To read the entire article, click here.

Reporter Gunned Down outside Home Becomes 11th Journalist Killed in Mexico this Year
September 7, 2017 – PressGazette (UK)
A reporter gunned down outside his home has become the 11th journalist to be murdered in Mexico this year.  Juan Carlos Hernandez Rios was attacked by two armed men who were waiting for him at his home in the city of Guanajuato in the central Mexican state of the same name.  Paramedics managed to pick up the 29-year-old alive but he died later in hospital.  The reporter had recently published a story about peasants dispossessed of their land taking legal action against the local government body that took it.
His wife stated that on at least 10 occasions she had arrived home and on opening the garage door seen two hidden people flee.  Two other recent killings fanned fears of corruption in Mexico’s local governments.
Two policemen from Salamanca, in the western autonomous community of Castile and Leon, accused their bosses of corruption in a video that went viral.  Their bodies were found on a road shortly afterwards, showing signs of being brutally beaten before they were killed.
In its latest report on press freedom in Mexico, British human rights organisation Article 19 reported that a journalist is attacked in the country every 15.7 hours.  In the first half of the year, it reported a 23 percent increase in attacks on media workers compared to the same period in 2016.  Non-governmental organisation Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontieres) says on its website that Mexico is “the Western Hemisphere’s deadliest country for the media”.
To read the entire article, click here.

Turkey Holds Second Hearing for Staffers of Opposition Daily Cumhuriyet
September 11, 2017 – PressTV
The staff members of Turkey’s main opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet have attended a second court hearing amid rising criticism of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s lack of tolerance for dissent. The state-run Anadolu news agency said Monday that the group of 19 media workers, whose trials were held at the Silivri prison court on the outskirts of Istanbul, faced various charges with sentences ranging from seven to 43 years in prison.  Among the staff members were prominent Turkish journalists, including editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu and columnist Kadri Gursel, who have been behind bars for almost a year, and investigative journalist Ahmet Sik, also in jail for 255 days. More than 50,000 people have been jailed in Turkey since a failed coup against Erdogan last year. Many of them are accused of having links to Fethullah Gulen, an opposition cleric based in the United States whom Ankara accuses of having masterminded the July 2016 coup plot.  Gulen has denied any role in the coup.
To read the entire article, click here.

Journalism and War, the Difficult Search for Truth
September 11, 2017 – ANSAmed (Italy)
It's becoming so dangerous for journalists to report on the Syrian civil war that large media outlets no longer send correspondents, and, as a result, no longer even accept pieces by freelance journalists, who are willing to travel to the front lines on their own expense in order to get the story. This is the situation of the Syrian civil war as told by American freelance journalist Shelly Kittleson, who has lived in Italy for 20 years and traveled to the front lines in Syria several times between 2012 to 2015, until Turkey closed the border used by reporters headed to the zones held by anti-Assad rebels.
Kittleson spoke at the Festival of Mediterranean Journalists in Otranto, where she received the Caravella Prize. Behind her, on the screen set up in the evocative Largo Porta Alfonsina, was a video made up of photos she had taken among militants and civilians in the areas closest to many fronts of the long and bloody war. Because the front lines in Syria are many, as are the various sides in the conflict (from the various rebel militias to the many types of jihadism, from Kurdish combatants to numerous regional and international "sponsors"), in a conflict in which the apparent imminent defeat of ISIS seems not to simplify but rather to complicate the puzzle of alliances. To read the entire article, click here.

Human Rights Watch Demands that Iran Release Unjustly Held Journalists
September 13, 2017 – Iran News Update
Human Rights Watch have called on the Iranian Regime to release two unjustly imprisoned journalists or to charge them with “recognizable criminal offenses”, as opposed to charges of insulting god or the Regime, and allow them a fair trial.  The two journalists, who have been detained without formal charges since August, include arrested Sasan Aghaei, 34, deputy editor of the reformist paper Etemad, and Yaghma Fashkhami, a journalist for the Didban Iran website.
Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said: “Iran’s judiciary and intelligence agencies have a longstanding pattern of prosecuting journalists on dubious national security charges. The latest journalists to be arrested have not been accused of doing anything beyond exercising their right to free speech, and should be freed immediately…Iran’s various intelligence agencies seem to agree on at least one thing: their repressive approach towards journalists and press freedom.”
To read the entire article, click here.

Journalist from Mexico Denied Entry to U.S. for D.C. Press Event
September 14, 2017 – CBS News
A well-known journalist from Mexico was denied entry to the United States this week to be a panelist at a journalism event in Washington, D.C., according to Reporters Without Borders, in a case that calls out America's "once-high post as a beacon of press freedom."  Martin Mendez Pineda, 26, was scheduled to be at the "Press Freedom: Lessons Learned from Around the World" panel discussion hosted by Digital Content Next in partnership with the Newseum and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Wednesday. Those on the panel were to describe the dangerous conditions under which they work to cover news in their country.
Mendez spoke to RSF and said, "I am angry and disappointed that I was not able to attend the events with everyone in Washington D.C. this week."  He's a former reporter for "Novedades Acapulco" in Guerrero, Mexico, where he received threats after writing a story about local police violence, RSF reports. Mendez tried to seek asylum in America earlier this year, but was unsuccessful.
To read the entire article, click here.

Sudan: Editor-in-Chief Beaten by Sudan Security Service
September 14, 2017 – AllAfrica
The editor-in-chief of the newspaper Akhbar El Watan was beaten during her arrest by the Sudanese security service in Khartoum on Tuesday evening.  The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) released Hanadi El Siddig after three hours of detention that evening, during which she was subjected to "beating and verbal abuse". "The personnel was forced to use violence against me by the operations police," El Siddig told Radio Dabanga yesterday.
NISS members on motorcycles intercepted her and her car on Tuesday evening, on her way back from El Falah club in El Jareif West.  "I went to the club as a journalist and a member of the committee for the development of El Jareif West," El Siddig explained. She wanted to determine the repercussions of the demonstrations that broke out in El Jareif West, after a death sentence was issued against four people on charges of killing the former director of a cotton company three years ago. She pointed out that the security personnel was forced to use violence by the operations police. "I refused to comply with their orders because there was no arrest warrant. After that I was beaten, slapped and thrown on the ground by members of the operations police, before they handed me over to members of the security service."  In addition El Siddig's vehicle and mobile phone were damaged. "I had to contact my relatives who took me home at 10pm."
To read the entire article, click here.

Honduran Journalist Critical of Irregularities in His Town is Killed by Hitmen
September 14, 2017 – Knight Center for Journalism in the America
Hitmen on motorcycles shot and killed journalist Carlos Williams Flores in the town of Tegucigalpita, Honduras on the afternoon of Sept 13.  Flores, who worked at Canal 22 in Cuyamel and directed the program Sin pelos en la lengua (Without mincing words), was shot upon returning to Cuyamel from an assignment covering agriculture, reported La Prensa. The newspaper added that hitmen on motorcycles were reportedly “waiting to kill him.”  At the time, he was with a female employee from Canal 22 who was injured, but survived. Flores died after being taken to a medical center.
A police spokesperson, deputy commissioner Luis Osavas, identified the journalist killed as Carlos William Juárez, although various media outlets have reported his last name as Flores, according to AFP.  On his program, Flores reported on irregularities in the municipality and country, according to La Prensa’s reporting. Honduras’ Committee for Free Expression (C-Libre) said Flores was critical of “ ‘the companies dedicated to sowing grass to generate energy and companies of African palm.’” “It appears that these companies have deforested thousands of hectares of forest in the Cuyamelito, Cuyamel and Motagua River wetlands,” C-Libre reported.
https://knightcenter.utexas.edu/blog/00-18807-honduran-journalist-critical-irregularities-his-town-killed-hitmen

CPJ Urges Government to Release Two Myanmarese Journalists
September 17, 2017 – The Daily Star (Bangladesh)
The Committee to Protect Journalists yesterday asked Bangladesh to immediately release two Myanmar journalists arrested by police on September 7, and drop all charges against them.  The arrest of Minzayar Oo and Hkun Lat was made in Cox's Bazar when they were on an assignment for German magazine GEO, Juergen Schaefer, deputy editor-in-chief of GEO, told the CPJ, a New York-based non-profit, non-government organisation that works for press freedom.  The journalists travelled to the town to report on the influx of Rohingyas from Myanmar.
Cox's Bazar Additional Police Superintendent Afruzul Haque Tutul told The Daily Star yesterday police arrested the duo on September 13 on charges of taking photographs and collecting secret state information in the bordering areas of Cox's Bazar and providing false identity to the government officials here.  The arrestees violated immigration rules by coming in as tourists to work as journalists, he said, adding that police on Thursday filed a case against them and produced them before court. Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua said he sought bail of the two journalists, but the court rejected the plea and sent them to jail in Cox's Bazar.  "I will go to the higher court to challenge the court order," he said.
To read the entire article, click here.

Azerbaijan Sentences Journalist to Nine Years in Prison
September 18, 2017 – Al-Arabiya
A court in Azerbaijan on Monday sentenced opposition journalist Elchin Ismayilli to nine years in prison for extortion, in a case his supporters slammed as politically motivated.  The 39-year-old journalist -- whose website has often criticized local authorities in the tightly-controlled country -- was arrested in February for allegedly trying to coerce money from a top culture ministry official.  Allies of the reporter, who is also a member of the opposition party National Front, insist he is just the latest reporter to run afoul of the authorities for investigating rampant corruption. “The case has been fabricated and he was arrested for his professional activity,” Ismayilli’s lawyer, Elchin Sadygov, told AFP.
Oil-rich Azerbaijan has repeatedly been accused by rights groups of using spurious charges to crack down on dissent against President Ilham Aliyev’s authoritarian regime. Journalist rights group Reporters Without Borders has called Ismayilli “one of a long list of journalists in Azerbaijan arrested on fabricated charges”.  Azerbaijan ranks 162nd out of 180 countries on the group’s 2017 press freedom index.  Aliyev took control of the country after the death of his father Heydar in 2003, a former KGB officer and communist-era leader who had ruled Azerbaijan with an iron fist since 1993.
To read the entire article, click here.

Jailed Journalist Ayşenur Parıldak Given Courage Award by Norwegian Rights Group
September 18, 2017 – Turkey Purge
Ayşenur Parıldak, a 27-year-old reporter from Turkey’s now-closed Zaman newspaper who has been behind bars for 13 months, was named the recipient of the first Shahnoush Award by the Oslo-based Vigdis Freedom Foundation (VFF).  “The Vigdis Freedom Foundation is proud to announce that its inaugural Shahnoush Award will be given this year to Ayşenur Parıldak, a young reporter from the now-closed Zaman newspaper who is among hundreds of journalists and writers jailed after the July 2016 failed military coup attempt in Turkey,” Marina Nemat, a board member at the rights group, said during a press conference on Monday.
“I was subjected to violence and sexual abuse. I was interrogated day and night for eight days. They [police officers] were questioning me while they were under the influence of alcohol […] I am afraid of being forgotten here,” Parıldak said in a letter to the Cumhuriyet newspaper in October 2016 as quoted by Nemat.
“The Shahnoush Award will be given every year to a female prisoner of conscience whose courage has not been internationally acknowledged. By doing so, Vigdis brings attention to the suffering of women who languish behind bars for speaking out and whose human rights have been violated. They are not forgotten; they are not alone. Hope is sometimes the difference between life and death. May the [Shahnoush] Award give hope to those who need it most.”
To read the entire article, click here.

UN Must Do More to Protect Journalists around the World
September 19, 2017 – The Hill
When you imagine the most dangerous jobs in the world, soldiers, police officers, firefighters and coal miners are often the first professions that come to mind. But sadly, journalists and media workers are increasingly at risk. In just the past two years, more than 100 members of the media have been killed for simply doing their jobs. Whenever a person dies, there is a profound sense of loss, but when a journalist is murdered while on the job, there is also a real fear that our right to information and freedom of expression is being threatened.
From President Trump’s demonization of the media in America, which many claim have contributed to an atmosphere of aggression against journalists, to President Erdogan’s imprisonment of journalists in Turkey, to the countless assassinations of journalists in Mexico, no matter where in the world you are, the peril of being a journalist has never been greater.
The targeting and assassination of journalists and media workers is horrific, but the blow is worsened when these crimes are not met with the appropriate judgments, and they almost never are. Impunity is the norm for these attackers, which leads to self censorship and fewer journalists covering critical issues where their work is most needed.  The assassination of journalists is a global phenomenon. It happens in war zones and urban areas, in democracies and authoritarian countries. It happens to reporters covering local, national, and international issues alike. Attacks on journalists undermine the right to information and freedom of expression for people all over the world.
To read the entire article, click here.

In Mexico, ‘It Is the State, Not the Cartels, that Poses the Biggest Threat to Journalists’
September 20, 2017 – Columbia Journalism Review
Marijose Gamboa has one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. She’s a journalist in the Mexican state of Veracruz, and the things she has endured for her work are comparable to the brutalities suffered by prisoners of war, including imprisonment, torture, and sexual assault.  As I’m leaving her brightly lit, well-scrubbed office near the Port of Veracruz, she takes my hand and places it on her midsection, saying, “Feel.” Under the fabric of her purple dress is a hard mass of scar tissue the size of my whole hand. “They used a power drill,” she says.
Veracruz, a humid, mountainous region on the Gulf of Mexico, is “the most dangerous place to be a reporter in the entire Western Hemisphere,” according to The New York Times, and “the epicenter of violence against journalists in Latin America,” according to Insight Crime. Twenty-one  journalists have been murdered here in recent years, but the culprit isn’t a drug cartel — it’s the state government.
The drug war in Mexico, fueled by money and guns from the United States, has killed well over 100,000 people in the last decade, and Mexican journalists have been especially hard hit. Reliable statistics are hard to come by, but according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, only in Iraq and Syria are reporters more likely to be killed on the job. In April, in Ciudad Juárez, the newspaper El Norte shut down outright rather than see any more of its employees killed. In May, gunmen assassinated Javier Valdez, one of the most famous and respected journalists in the country.
To read the entire article, click here.

Sentenced to One Year in Prison for ‘Inciting Protest,’ a Moroccan Journalist Goes on Hunger Strike
September 20, 2017 – Global Voices (Netherlands)
Moroccan journalist Hamid El Mahdoui has gone on hunger strike after a court of appeal increased his prison sentence to one year.  In the early hours of 12 September and after a trial that lasted more than nine hours, the appeal court of Al Hoiceima issued a verdict that increased El Mahdaoui's sentence from three months to one year in jail, for giving a speech that they say incited others to protest and break the law under the country's penal code.  El Mahdoui is the director and editor-in-chief of the independent news website Badil.info. He was arrested by Moroccan authorities on 20 July in the Rif region, where he had traveled to cover protests, and was later convicted of inciting protest.
The primary piece of evidence used against him was a 19 July video filmed by a police officer that allegedly shows Mahdaoui inciting people to take part in a 20 July protest that had previously been banned by Moroccan authorities.  The rights to protest and assembly are guaranteed under the Moroccan constitution and the Law on Public Assemblies. Organizers are not required to apply for a prior authorization, but they should notify the authorities of the place, time and date of upcoming protest. However, authorities can ban a protest if they believe that it could disturb public order.  After the court announced a verdict on 12 September, Mahdoui decided to go on hunger strike to protest his unfair trial and the violation of his right to freedom of expression, his wife Bouchra El Khounchafi told the Moroccan edition of the HuffPost.
To read the entire article, click here.

Report: Cameroon Using Anti-terror Law to 'Silence Critics'
September 20, 2017 – Voice of America
Cameroon has been using its 2014 anti-terror law to "silence critics and suppress dissent," according to a report released Wednesday by the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists.  Members of the media who report on the Boko Haram insurgency or controversial topics such as the ongoing strike in English-speaking zones have been arrested or threatened by the government, according to CPJ.  Bruno Nkwemo of the Cameroon Union of Journalists says reporters fear practicing their profession.  Cameroonian journalists are not criminals, he says, adding that his union recommends the strict respect of ethics and professional norms.
The Committee to Protect Journalists says at least five journalists in Cameroon have been arrested and charged under the law, which introduced hefty punishments including the death penalty for involvement or complicity with terrorism.  RFI Hausa reporter Ahmed Abba was sentenced to 10 years in prison earlier this year. He was arrested in northern Cameroon while covering the war against Boko Haram, and rights groups say he was tortured during his two-year pretrial detention. His lawyers are appealing his sentence.  Four other reporters arrested under the 2014 law were recently released. They had been detained regarding their coverage of the government's response to the anglophone strike.
To read the entire article, click here.

Political Reporter Beaten and Stabbed to Death in Northeast India, Triggering Tensions
September 21, 2017 – International Business Times
A TV journalist who was covering a rally in the northeastern Indian state of Tripura was beaten and stabbed to death by a mob on Wednesday (20 September), triggering tensions. As fellow journalists took to the streets following Shantanu Bhowmik's murder, the government has assured that swift action will be taken against the perpetrators.  Bhowmik's death occurs a few weeks after senior journalist and editor Gauri Lankesh was killed in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru in the state of Karnataka. Her murder by unidentified gunmen sparked widespread protests both inside and outside Karnataka.
Bhowmik, 28, who was a reporter with a local TV channel, was covering political demonstrations in Mandai, Tripura when clashes broke out between two different groups – the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) and the Tripura Rajaer Upajati Ganamukti Parishad (TRUGP).  "He [Bhowmik] was first hit on his legs with a stick... when he fell down on the road, they hit him on his head. The mob later dragged his body and hid it behind the local stadium. It was gruesome," another journalist who was covering the event, told the Indian Express.  The victim was eventually rushed to hospital with serious stab wounds, but was declared dead on arrival by doctors. Four men have been detained by the police following the incident, although it is unclear whether the suspects have any direct connection to Bhowmik's death.
To read the entire article, click here.

Syrian-American Journalist and Activist Mother Killed in Istanbul
September 21, 2017 – TRT World (Turkey)
A Syrian opposition activist and her journalist daughter have been found murdered in their apartment in Istanbul, the Istanbul police department said on Friday.  The bodies of 60-year-old Orouba Barakat and her US-born 23-year-old daughter Halla were found overnight in their apartment in Istanbul's Uskudar neighbourhood in the Asian side of the city.
Halla Barakat, an American citizen, had just graduated from Istanbul's prestigious Sehir University and was working for the Istanbul-based Syrian opposition-run television channel Orient News.  She was the cousin of Deah Barakat, who was one of three murder victims in what came to be known as the Chapel Hill shootings in the US state of North Carolina in February 2015.  Turkish media reports said Orouba Barakat was investigating alleged torture in prisons run by the Syrian regime.
To read the entire article, click here.

Azerbaijani Journalist Khadija Ismayilova Wins 2017 Allard Prize
September 21, 2017 – The Globe and Mail (Ontario)
When investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova asked an Azerbaijani court to let her travel to Canada for an award ceremony honouring her work, her request was denied. She appealed, and the court responded by scheduling her hearing for the month after the ceremony. And so, Ms. Ismayilova – who spent a year and a half in jail after she reported on corruption involving the President of Azerbaijan – was absent Thursday when she was named the winner of the 2017 Allard Prize for International Integrity during an event at the University of British Columbia. In a phone interview, Ms. Ismayilova said she never considered giving up her work when she was released from prison. She said the $100,000 Allard Prize will further her investigations. "I think it's important to keep doing what we are doing. We shouldn't be scared," she said.
Intimate video of Ms. Ismayilova, shot by cameras that were secretly installed inside her home, was posted online in 2012. She described the incident as "the most awful thing that could be done to a woman in Azerbaijan.  "If I lived through that, I guess nothing else is scary for me."
To read the entire article, click here.

St Louis Protests: Journalists Say They Were Beaten and Arrested by Police while Covering Demonstrations
September 23, 2017 – The Independent (UK)
Reporters say they were pepper sprayed, beaten, and arrested by St. Louis police while covering protests in the midwestern city. Police arrested more than 200 people over the weekend, as protesters took to the streets to decry the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley in the fatal shooting of a young black man. Among those arrested were newspaper reporters, documentary makers, and livestream journalists who say they were just trying to do their jobs.
Jon Ziegler, a journalist who livestreams under the name “Rebelutionary Z”, described arriving at a largely peaceful protest on Sunday night. By that time, he said, "most of the casual protesters and onlookers were just hanging around". Authorities say most of the protesters were peaceful, but some groups branched off and began destroying property. The group wandered through downtown, passing shops and restaurants littered with patrons. Suddenly, Mr Ziegler said, they noticed they were surrounded on all sides. Lines of riot police were closing in, rhythmically banging the ground with sticks as they advanced. Someone gave an order to disperse, Mr Ziegler recalled – but the protesters had nowhere to go. In the journalist’s video from the night, someone can be heard yelling: “Where are we supposed to go?” “I live down the street!” someone else yells.
To read the entire article, click here.

Journalist Facing Persecution in Uzbekistan Detained after Seeking Asylum in Ukraine
September 25, 2017 – Kyiv Post (Ukraine)
There are compelling grounds for assuming that 51-year-old Narzullo Okhunzhonov would be in danger if forcibly returned to Uzbekistan and that the charges against him are linked to his journalist activities. 51-year-old Narzullo Okhunzhonov was detained on September 20, 2017, shortly after the Uzbek journalist arrived at Zhulyany Airport in Kyiv, together with his wife and five children, and immediately applied for political asylum.  Border guards had apparently found Okhunzhonov’s name on the Interpol wanted list, supposedly on charges of fraud.  There are strong grounds for believing that Okhunzhonov was facing persecution for his journalist activities, and would be in real danger if forcibly returned to Uzbekistan.
According to Oleksiy Fedorov, a lawyer from the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, Okhunzhonov was in charge of political and educational problems for the state broadcasting company in Uzbekistan.  While working there, he made public information about investigations into crimes and human rights abuses committed by members of the authorities in Uzbekistan. It was this which reportedly prompted his persecution by the authorities, with the journalist and his family subjected to persecution and threats. They managed to leave Uzbekistan, and had been living for four years in Turkey, where Okhunzhonov continued to report on crimes of the Uzbek regime and published a report on these.
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Spike in Attacks on Journalists amidst Entrenched Impunity in India
September 28, 2017 – IFEX.org
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) expresses serious concern over the increasing number of crimes against journalists and incidents of press freedom violations in India. The IFJ urges the Indian government to institute measures to ensure the safety of journalists around the country.
Three journalists were murdered in September 2017, a month that also saw a sharp rise in the number of attacks and threats on journalists. Senior journalist KJ Singh was murdered in Mohali, Punjab on September 23 while Shantanu Bhowmik was killed by a mob in Tripura on September 20. Gauri Lankesh was the victim of a targeted killing in Bengaluru on September 5, and her killers are yet to be identified.
On the night of September 24, journalist Sajeev Gopalan was hospitalized after being allegedly assaulted by police officials, including an inspector, in front of his house in Varkala near Kerala's state capital Thiruvananthapuram. Gopalan, who works for Malayalam newspaper Kerala Kaumudi, had published a story criticizing the police in a case about the alleged abduction of two women. The policemen reportedly mentioned the story during the assault.
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Chinese Police Detain Journalist Who Wrote about Missing Wuhan Students
September 29, 2017 – Radio Free Asia
A Chinese journalist who wrote an article about dozens of university students who have gone missing in recent years in the central city of Wuhan has been detained on suspicion of "rumor-mongering."  The 39-year-old journalist, identified only by his surname Wang, has been detained on suspicion of "faking the facts and spreading rumors" after he wrote an article titled "32 Students Mysteriously Disappear in Wuhan," featuring interviews with their family members, the Beijing Youth Daily newspaper reported.  Wuhan police issued a directive on Thursday saying that the content of his article was inaccurate and had been deleted at the request of the father of missing Wuhan student Lin Feiyang, the paper said.  It said police in Wuhan's Jianghan district had detained a male, 39 years old, surnamed Wang, under administrative detention.
"When our son had just gone missing, he interviewed me, and the report came out around the same time," Lin Feiyang's father Lin Shaoqing told RFA on Friday. "Everything [in the article] was factually correct."  Lin went missing after his China Southern flight from Moscow to Wuhan landed in the city in November 2015.  Parents of the missing students say police have been reluctant to accept missing persons reports in such cases, arguing that the students are legal adults who have the right to disappear if they want to.  Lin said police had initially run a search of surveillance footage, but investigators had lost track of his son after he entered a blind spot not covered by the city's cameras.  "They didn't bother looking after that, and now the recordings no longer exist, because it was too long ago," he said. "The police claim that there wasn't enough evidence that harm had come to him."
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Police Leave Daily News Reporters for Dead
September 30, 2017 – Daily News (Zimbabwe)
Two journalists from the Daily News were yesterday left for dead after police fired rubber bullets at them while they were covering a demonstration that rocked parts of Harare’s central business district. The police, who were indiscriminately firing pellets at civilians, seriously injured Daily News senior reporter Mugove Tafirenyika and photo-journalist Brighton Goko who were on duty. Both Tafirenykia and Goko were admitted at a private hospital yesterday. The Editor-in-Chief of the Daily News Hama Saburi said it was by the grace of God that the worst did not happen. With the help of good Samaritans, he said they were able to rush the two to a local private hospital where they are currently admitted in the intensive care unit.
Saburi said the brutal conduct by the riot police should have no place in a civilized society such as Zimbabwe. “It is deplorable, shameful, disgraceful and totally uncalled for. It is absurd in the extreme to criminalise the work of journalists in the 21st century and inflict the most grievous pain on members of the fourth estate when all they will be seeking to do is to go about their professional duties as society’s most trusted eyes and ears,” said Saburi.
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Turkish Police Detain 2 for Syrian Activists' Slayings
September 30, 2017 – Midland Reporter-Telegram (Texas)
Turkish police have detained two suspects in connection with the slayings of a prominent Syrian activist and her U.S.-born daughter, the country's official news agency said Saturday. Arouba Barakat, 60, and her 23-year-old daughter, Halla, were stabbed in their Istanbul home last week. Halla Barakat worked as a journalist for the opposition's Orient news. Anadolu news agency reported that security cameras led police to a Syrian citizen in the western province of Bursa. The main suspect is allegedly the grandson of Arouba Barakat's uncle. Anadolu said police also detained the suspect's former roommate, another Syrian.
According to the agency, police inspected over 100 hours of footage and found that the main suspect travelled from Bursa to Istanbul on Sept. 19 by boat and took public transportation to the district where the victims lived. He returned to Bursa the following day. Police are now investigating his shoes to match a print found at the scene of the double homicide.
The slayings shook the Syrian opposition community and prompted U.S. State Department condemnation.
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When a Journalist is Arrested Covering a Protest, What Should the News Outlet Do?
October 2, 2017 – Columbia Journalism Review
St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Mike Faulk was knocked down, pinned to the ground, pepper-sprayed, arrested, held in jail for 13 hours, and charged with a misdemeanor—all at the hands of St. Louis police. His offense? Daring to document the September 17 protests that followed the acquittal of Jason Stockley, the white ex-police officer who fatally shot Anthony Lamar Smith, a black man, in 2011. Although Faulk was wearing press credentials and told the arresting officers he was a reporter, he was zip-tied and taken in, along with some 100 protesters rounded up for failing to disperse. The Post-Dispatch was quick to respond. It sent an editor to the jail to facilitate Faulk’s release, and an attorney for the paper wrote a letter to several St. Louis officials criticizing how the police treated the reporter. Post-Dispatch editor Gilbert Bailon blasted the police in a statement, as did the News Guild-CWA and the St. Louis chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Reporters at the paper tweeted about the arrest. Following his release, Faulk tweeted a screenshot of an email his sister sent to the mayor while he was still in jail, objecting to his confinement.

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