October 2016

days since last accident 181
October 2016

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.

Calais: journalists under surveillance ahead of the "cleaning" of the "jungle" migrant camp  
Oct. 24, 2016 – International Federation of Journalists
French authorities of the Northern department "Pas-de-Calais" decided to strictly regulate journalists' access to the said "Jungle" zone of the city of Calais, during the operations aimed at expelling migrants.
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Iraqi TV journalist killed south of Mosul: channel
Oct. 22, 2016 – The Daily Mail
An Iraqi cameraman was killed on Saturday covering a military offensive to wrest the city of Mosul back from the Islamic State group, his channel said. The young reporter was killed "covering the battle" near the village of Al-Shura, south of Mosul, Al Sumaria TV said in a short news flash on its website. The channel named him as Ali Raysan.
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Somalia Releases 3 Al-Jazeera Journalists
Oct. 20, 2016 – The Associated Press
Somalia's government has released three Al-Jazeera journalists Thursday, two days after they were arrested along with their driver by security forces, the network confirmed. Hamza Mohamed, a Somali-British journalist for Al-Jazeera's English service, and members of his crew were arrested upon their return from areas held by the Islamic extremists of al-Shabab. Mohamed had been in Somalia for a week on a reporting assignment, Al-Jazeera said in a statement.
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Journalists in Polynesia deserve same rights as in mainland France
Oct. 20, 2016 – RSF
By Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges French Polynesia’s parliament to ignore a call by the archipelago’s Economic, Social and Cultural Council (CESC) for changes to a bill that is meant to improve protection for journalists and provide better guarantees for media freedom. The bill contains a series of amendments to the labor code that would ensure journalistic independence and would protect journalists in the event of work contract termination. It would not only ensure that they are compensated when dismissed but would also guarantee their right not to go against their beliefs and their right to compensation if they leave of their own volition when the media outlet they work for is taken over.
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Palestine, first country to adopt Media Safety Curriculum for journalists
Oct. 19, 2016 – International Federation of Journalists
Following a meeting between the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education and the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), an IFJ affiliate, Palestine became the first country to adopt the IFJ/UNESCO Media Safety Curriculum for journalists in public universities. During a meeting with the PJS President, Nasser Abu Baker, the Palestinian Minister of Education and Higher Education, Sabri Saidam, signed on 18 October a decision to adopt the Media Safety Curriculum. It has been developed by the IFJ and UNESCO over the last two years to help prepare journalism students to be able to operate safely when reporting on the violence of the occupation and informing the public objectively.
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Radio journalist killed in Afghanistan
Oct. 18, 2016 – International Federation of Journalists
New York – Afghan authorities should credibly investigate yesterday's fatal shooting of a radio journalist in Qalat and swiftly bring all those responsible to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Unknown assailants shot Yaqoub Sharafat, a journalist for the state-run broadcaster Radio Television Afghanistan in the capital of southern Afghanistan's Zabul province yesterday evening and fled the scene. The journalist died on his way to the hospital, according to press reports.
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Reporters assaulted, threatened and robbed after violent takeover of the Venezuelan National Assembly
Oct. 16, 2016 – Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas
By Silvia Higuera
At least six journalists were victims of different attacks after a pro-government group violently entered the Venezuelan National Assembly (AN) on Oct. 23, according to freedom of expression organization Espacio Público.
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IAPA says violence against journalists, legal processes and cyber attacks are the main threats to press freedom
Oct. 16, 2016 – Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas
By Silvia Higuera
The situation of press freedom on the American continent continues to face threats ranging from violence against journalists to the use of legal mechanisms, the adoption of restrictive laws and cyber attacks. This was the conclusion of the 450 media executives and journalists who gathered at the 72nd General Assembly of the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) in Mexico City from Oct. 13 to 17. Murders of journalists continue to be the most serious threat. Since April 2016, there have been 12 homicides in the region. Mexico is the country with the greatest number of murders with seven of the 12. To this point, there have been 118 murders of journalists and 20 journalists who have gone missing in that country since 2000.
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Judge rejects riot charges for journalist Amy Goodman after oil pipeline protest
Oct. 17, 2016 – The Guardian
Authorities had issued a warrant for her arrest after Democracy Now! host filmed guards for the Dakota access pipeline using dogs and pepper spray on protesters.A North Dakota judge rejected prosecutors’ “riot” charges against Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman for her reporting on the oil pipeline protests, a decision that advocates hailed as a major victory for freedom of the press. After the award-winning broadcast journalist filmed security guards working for the Dakota access pipeline using dogs and pepper spray on protesters, authorities issued a warrant for Goodman’s arrest and alleged that she participated in a “riot”, a serious offense that could result in months in jail.
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Somalia closes Newspaper, Arrest Editor
Oct. 17, 2016 – Committee to Protect Journalists
By CPJ
Nairobi, October 17, 2016 – Somali authorities should immediately release the editor of Xog Ogaal newspaper and allow the newspaper to resume publishing, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Officers from Somalia's National Intelligence Agency raided the newspaper's office and arrested its editor on October 15, according to press freedom advocates and press reports.
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Journalists call for lifting the ban news channels in Turkey at IFJ-EFJ press briefing
Oct. 17, 2016 – International Federation of Journalists
The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) on Friday organized a press briefing at the Brussels’ Europe Press Club to protest the on-going clampdown on media in Turkey and to urge the government to lift the ban on news channels. The Turkish government recently shut down about 20 TV and radio channels, including the Kurdish Channel Med-Nuçe based in Belgium that was removed on 3 October by Eutelsat SA, a French satellite provider, on Turkey’s request.
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Lebanon: IFJ highly concerned about massive lay - off in media
Oct. 17, 2016 – International Federation of Journalists
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today expressed its deepest concerns over the massive lay-off taking place at different Lebanese media following an economic crisis in the region.
Lebanon’s biggest newspapers are on the verge of financial collapse due to political instability in the region which has driven to strong budget cuts. The news industry in Lebanon has been traditionally plagued by political funding and some journalists denounce that most of the media remain backed by political parties or businessmen that are loyal to these parties. Following the current political instability in the region, ten leading media in Lebanon are now struggling with serious economic difficulties, reports said. In addition, the journalists’ union in the country reported that 70% among some 2,600 journalists currently employed risked dismissal in the short term.
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Journalist shot dead in western Afghanistan
Oct. 17, 2016 – International Federation of Journalists
Yaqub Sharafat, senior provincial reporter for the state-run Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA) was shot dead by unknown armed men in Rasala area of the provincial capital Qalat. He sustained serious gunshot injuries and died on the way to the hospital. The police has begun its investigation but is yet to arrest anyone. No group has claimed responsibility for the killing.
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Mexican governor of Veracruz resigns to face corruption charges; 17 journalists have died during his administration
Oct. 16, 2016 – Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas
By Silvia Higuera and Teresa Mioli
Javier Duarte de Ochoa, governor of Veracruz, Mexico who has been the subject of widespread criticism for the high levels of violence against journalists in his state, has resigned from his position as he faces unrelated corruption charges. He announced in an interview with Televisa on Oct. 8 that he would ask the Veracruz Congress for  leave with the objective of confronting charges including illegal enrichment and embezzlement. However, this was done with just 48 days left in his term, according to El Universal. Duarte has denied any wrongdoing.
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New reprisals by Beijing against Chinese media
Oct. 14, 2016 – RSF
By Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) regards a temporary ban on reposting articles from the Caixin Media website, Caixin Online, as not only arbitrary but also a flagrant violation of the Chinese constitution. Issued this week by the Chinese authorities, the ban prohibits other Chinese websites from republishing content from the Beijing-based Caixin website for two months. According to US-based China Digital Times, the banning order said : "Over the past year, Caixin Online has repeatedly violated news and propaganda discipline and published reports with problematic orientations whose republication elsewhere has had a seriously negative influence."
To read the entire article, click here.
 
IFJ presents campaign for Declaration on Media Freedom in the Arab World to UN Human Rights Chief
Oct. 14, 2016 – International Federation of Journalists
The General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Anthony Bellanger, yesterday met with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, (HCHR) in Geneva to present the IFJ’s work and its role in defending human rights and freedom of expression around the world.
With its 170 affiliates the IFJ is committed to support the work of the Office of the HCHR in promoting human rights and freedom of expression and combating violent extremism and hate speech.  Anthony Bellanger briefed the High Commissioner on the worsening crises facing journalists including violence, imprisonment and impunity for the killers of journalists.
To read the entire article, click here.

Online global database of freedom of expression case law in Latin America now available
Oct. 13, 2016 – Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas
By Silvia Higuera
Judicial decisions on freedom of expression and access to information of the highest courts of 16 Latin American countries are available for free consultation now that the Freedom of Expression Case Law online database in Spanish is available.
To read the entire article, click here.

Cuban authorities detain 10 journalists covering effects of Hurricane Matthew
Oct. 13, 2016 – Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas
By Silvia Higuera
At least 10 Cuban journalists were detained while covering the effects of Hurricane Matthew in the town of Baracoa in the eastern province of Guantámo on the morning of Oct. 13, according to news site Cubanet.
To read the entire article, click here.

RSF concerned about “conduct code” for covering terrorist attacks by broadcasting media
Oct. 13, 2016 – RSF
By Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is worried about the “code of good conduct for broadcast coverage of terrorist actions” that France’s Higher Council for Broadcasting (CSA) was instructed to draft by the law adopted on 21 July extending the state of emergency in France. After participating in a consultative meeting organized by the CSA, RSF has serious reservations about this “good conduct code”, as regards both the way it is being drafted and its usefulness.
To read the entire article, click here.

American journalist detained in Turkey for two months is freed
Oct. 13, 2016 – The Guardian
An American journalist who has been detained in Turkey for the past two months after claiming she had been kidnapped by militants in Syria has been freed and was deported back to the US. Lindsey Snell was arrested in Turkey on  August 6 for “violating a military zone” after she crossed back into the country from Syria, where she had been filming civilians affected by airstrikes in the countryside near rebel-held Aleppo and Idlib.
To read the entire article, click here.

Pakistan: Journalist Hit with Travel Ban
Oct. 13, 2016 – Human Rights Watch
Pakistan’s government should immediately drop the travel ban on a leading journalist and respect a free and open working environment for the media, Human Rights Watch said today. Cyril Almeida, a journalist with the major daily newspaper Dawn, has been placed on an Exit-Control List (ECL) by the Pakistani government. On October 10, 2016, the government indicated to his employer and other sources that Cyril Almeida, a journalist with the major daily newspaper Dawn, had been placed on an Exit-Control List (ECL), barring him from traveling outside the country.
To read the entire article, click here.

Senior Afghan Journalist Injured in Assault
Oct. 10, 2016 – Voice of America
Unknown gunmen have attacked and injured the editor-in-chief of a leading newspaper in Afghanistan, the latest such attack in a country where journalists are often subjected to violence and threats. The overnight attack on Abdul Saboor Sarir of the Kabul-based English daily Afghanistan Times took place in a highly secured part of the Afghan capital.
To read the entire article, click here.

Kazakhstan: Two journalists sentenced to jail on tax fraud charges
Oct. 10, 2016 – International Federation of Journalists
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the Federation of Equal Journalists in Kazakhstan (FEJK), in condemning the imprisonment of two journalists, Seytkazy Matayev and his son Aset Matayev who were accused of tax fraud and embezzlement of state funds in Kazakhstan.  Their charges have been dismissed a reprisal measure by the authorities because of the journalists’ independent reporting.
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Hungary: biggest opposition newspaper suddenly shut down
Oct. 10, 2016 – International Federation of Journalists
On 8 October, around 2,000 Hungarians protested in Budapest following the closure of the country’s leading leftist newspaper. Mediaworks, owned by Austrian firm Vienna Capital Partners, said the paper was operating at a “considerable” loss and struggled with dropping circulation. But civil rights groups said the newspaper had been shut down because it had published stories critical of right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban‘s government.
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Justice for Anna Politkovskaya
Oct. 6, 2016 – International Federation of Journalists
On 7 October 2006 Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, a reporter for the Novaya Gazeta, newspaper and a prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was shot dead at her apartment building in central Moscow. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) join their affiliate the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) in commemorating the death of the veteran journalist and calling on the Russian government to renew its efforts to identify those who ordered the journalists’ murder.
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Press freedom bodies call for inquiry into Somali journalist's murder
Oct. 6, 2016 – The Guardian
Press freedom bodies have called on the Somali authorities to investigate the murder of radio journalist Abdiaziz Mohamed Ali Haji.
The host of a morning news programme for Radio Shabelle was shot dead by gunmen on motorbikes while travelling in the north of Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, said one of the station’s producers, Abdirizak Turyare.
To read the entire article, click here.

Colombian Journalist Honored for Tackling Taboos on Wartime Rape
Oct. 6, 2016 – Voice of America
When journalist Jineth Bedoya went to Bogota's maximum-security prison 16 years ago to interview an infamous paramilitary warlord, little did she know the visit would mark her life and convert her into a leading rights activist. Bedoya never made it to the interview but instead was kidnapped, gang-raped, tortured and left on the side of a road. She kept quiet for years but in 2009 broke her silence and began campaigning against the taboos and stigma suffered by victims of sexual violence, which was used as a weapon by all sides in Colombia's 52-year-war. For her activism, Bedoya was awarded on Thursday the annual Reach All Women in WAR (RAW in WAR) Anna Politkovskaya Award.
To read the entire article, click here.

“My guards are almost family:” threatened journalist who has been living under 24-hour protection for 20 years
Oct. 6, 2016 – Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas
By Marina Estarque
Journalist Cándido Figueredo lives with his wife, and seven guards armed with machine guns, in what he likes to call “my prison.” With a mixture of irony and regret, Figueredo describes his house, which also serves as a branch of Paraguay’s largest newspaper ABC Color. For more than 20 years, Figueredo has lived with a 24-hour security escort, the only way to continue working as journalist in the dangerous city of Pedro Juan Caballero, on Paraguay’s border with Brazil.
To read the entire article, click here.

Dutch Journalist Killed in Libyan City of Sirte, IS Bastion
Oct. 2, 2016 – The Associated Press
AMSTERDAM — A sniper fatally shot a Dutch photojournalist on Sunday in the Libyan city of Sirte, the Islamic State's last bastion in the chaos-wracked North African country. Jeroen Oerlemans was killed while accompanying mine-clearing teams in the part of the city that has been freed from IS control, according to fellow journalist Joanie de Rijke, who was reporting with him for the Belgian publication Knack.
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Brazil police arrest journalists reporting on Rio evictions
Oct. 2, 2016 – The Guardian
Brazilian police have arrested a prominent community journalist in the Alemão favela complex of Rio de Janeiro, underlining the authorities’ often weak respect for media freedom, particularly when it comes to coverage of poor neighborhoods.
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Egypt Arrests 3 Reporters Conducting Street Interviews
Oct. 1, 2016 – The Associated Press
By Hamza Hendawi
Egyptian police detained three opposition journalists who were conducting street interviews in downtown Cairo about President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's request for small donations of spare change to fund development programs, security officials said Saturday.
To read the entire article, click here.

Critical Brazilian journalist injured in shooting
Oct. 1, 2016 – Committee to Protect Journalists
By CPJ
São Paulo – Edvaldo Oliveira, who owns and writes for the small newspaper Voz das Cidades, was rushed to the hospital on September 26 after being shot by an unidentified assailant, according to news reports and local sources. The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Brazilian authorities to guarantee Oliveira's safety and ensure that his attackers are brought to justice.
To read the entire article, click here.