Time for firm measures to protect reporters against police violence in France

first_img News FranceEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesProtecting journalists ImpunityCitizen-journalistsViolence After French President Emmanuel Macron asked his government for “clear proposals for improving police conduct”, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Interior Minister Christophe Castaner to finally take firm measures to protect journalists against police violence. June 2, 2021 Find out more News May 10, 2021 Find out more June 9, 2020 Time for firm measures to protect reporters against police violence in France June 4, 2021 Find out more Organisation ISA HARSIN / AFP / POOL Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information center_img The past few years have been marked by cases of serious police violence against journalists, which RSF has repeatedly raised with the government and taken to court. After several announcements by the President of the Republic and the Interior Minister that have not been followed by action, strong government measures are long overdue.The President’s request to his Prime Minister on 7 June to “accelerate” proposals for “improving police conduct” is welcome and nees to lead to a complete overhaul of police methods and tactics. Reminding the government of the 10 proposals it submitted to the Interior Minister in June 2019, RSF calls for an overhaul of police training and techniques for policing protests and for the creation of mechanisms for improving relations between police and reporters on the ground.“After spending four years tallying and denouncing cases of police violence against journalists, appealing to the authorities, taking cases to court and drafting proposals, we call on the government to finally adopt concrete and bold measures to end these violations of press freedom and the right to information in France,” RSF Secretary General Christophe Deloire said.Police violence against journalists increased not only during last year’s “Yellow Vest” protests but also from 2016 to 2018 during the nighttime “Nuit Debout” demonstrations and the protests against Labour Law reform. While on duty covering the protests and the demands expressed, journalists were repeatedly insulted and beaten by police which fired flashball rounds or stingball grenades at them.In 2017, RSF asked the French Ombudsman to investigate ten cases of journalists who had been subjected to unwarranted violence by the security forces while covering the “Nuit Debout” demonstrations and protests against the Labour Law reform in 2016 and 2017. RSF then raised these issues with the French President who promised RSF’s Secretary General in a meeting in May 2019 that “action will be taken” to address police violence against reporters at protests.At a meeting the following month, RSF submitted its ten proposals to the Interior Minister, who promised to study them, and an RSF delegation participated in a discussion at the Interior Ministry in November 2019 on a new approach to policing protests which is still awaited.Finally, in December 2019, RSF filed a joint complaint at the public prosecutor’s office in Paris with 13 journalists who were the victims of police violence while covering “Yellow Vest” protests between November 2018 and May 2019.RSF’s Deloire added: “We deplore the fact that the 2019 report by the National Police Inspectorate General, published on 8 June 2020, referred to an increase in ‘deliberate violence’ by the police but did not mention the violence against reporters in the field. This omission suggests that the authorities are trying to deny the facts or the importance of the abuses that have taken place.”France is ranked 34th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index. News RSF denounces Total’s retaliation against Le Monde for Myanmar story Follow the news on France “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says FranceEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesProtecting journalists ImpunityCitizen-journalistsViolence Use the Digital Services Act to make democracy prevail over platform interests, RSF tells EU RSF_en News to go furtherlast_img read more

RSF joins statement reiterating calls for US government to insist on accountability for Khashoggi murder

first_imgNonetheless, the Trump administration has persisted in actions that can only be described as covering for the crimes of Saudi authorities. On October 10, 2018, a bipartisan group of 22 Senators, including the then-chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), triggered Section 1263(d) of the Global Magnitsky Act, which directed the President to report, by February 8, 2019, to that committee on those individuals—including the crown prince—that the U.S. government believes had a role in Mr. Khashoggi’s murder. We applaud Chairman Engel’s decision, in his role at the time as House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) ranking member, to reinforce this determination requirement via a letter dated October 12, 2018, co-signed with then-HFAC Chairman Ed Royce. WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists We, the undersigned organizations dedicated to the promotion and protection of universal human rights, write to commend you for your statements concerning the murder of Saudi journalist, Washington Post columnist, and Virginia resident Jamal Khashoggi, and to request that you continue to pursue accountability for this abhorrent crime as part of a larger re-assessment of the U.S.-Saudi relationship. On February 8, a senior administration official announced that President Trump refused to comply with the congressional mandate required by both the HFAC and SFRC. On the same day, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a letter declining to address the determination requirement or offering any additional information concerning Mr. Khashoggi’s murder. These actions followed a written statement issued by President Trump in November 2018 in which the president pointedly equated Mohammed bin Salman’s denial of involvement in Mr. Khashoggi’s killing with the considered views of the U.S. intelligence community. Specifically, we urge that you demand that the Trump administration provide appropriate members of Congress with the determination of responsibility for Mr. Khashoggi’s murder required under Section 1263(d) of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act of 2016, as well as relevant information documenting how the administration came to its determination. Given the administration’s demonstrated unwillingness to provide members of Congress with the determination required by the Global Magnitsky Act, or to supply information relevant to its decision-making in this matter, we further recommend that you consider holding hearings and/or issuing subpoenas to compel this information, in keeping with Congress’ constitutional oversight role. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) sent a joint letter on March 14 with 10 other press freedom and human rights organizations to the ranking members of the House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee, asking them to ensure to continue to pursue accountability for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. March 14, 2019 Follow the news on Americas Related documents 19.03.14_jk-hfac-letter.pdfPDF – 283.79 KB Further, the administration’s refusal to respect Congress’ constitutionally-mandated role in overseeing foreign policy threatens both U.S. democracy and national security. One branch of government trying to obscure the truth from another on an issue of this magnitude subverts the will of American voters who elect members of Congress to be partners with—not subordinate to—the executive in the conduct of foreign policy. The administration’s position also sows doubt among America’s allies concerning its resolve to uphold universal human rights, while emboldening human rights violators like Iran eager to point to perceived hypocrisy. June 7, 2021 Find out more As you know, on October 2, 2018, a team of Saudi Arabian hit men are credibly alleged to have murdered Mr. Khashoggi after luring him into Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. On December 4, 2018, following a classified briefing by CIA Director Gina Haspel, multiple Senators indicated publicly that the CIA’s findings constituted overwhelming evidence of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MBS) central role in Khashoggi’s murder, and on December 13, 2018, the Senate unanimously passed a non-binding resolution finding MBS “complicit” in Khashoggi’s murder on the basis of “evidence and analysis made available to this institution.” Separately, the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions stated, in early February 2019, that evidence collected during her trip to Turkey “demonstrates a prime facie case that Mr. Khashoggi was the victim of a brutal and premeditated killing, planned and perpetrated by officials of the State of Saudi Arabia.” to go further Mr. Khashoggi’s premeditated killing violated many acceptable norms of human and state behavior. The murder’s authors clearly intended their crime to send a chilling message to Saudis at home and abroad: that those who peacefully criticize the government’s autocratic rule will never be safe, no matter where they flee. Saudi leaders apparently acted under the belief that they could issue this message without repercussion. For Mr. Khashoggi’s sake, and for the sake of human rights defenders the world over, Congress cannot allow this misguided belief to stand. Because the Trump administration will not defend the rights of the persecuted to speak without fear of assassination, Congress must. United StatesSaudi ArabiaAmericasMiddle East – North Africa International bodies News June 3, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information Yasin AKGUL / AFP RSF_en United StatesSaudi ArabiaAmericasMiddle East – North Africa International bodies Reports President Trump’s refusal to comply with the Global Magnitsky Act has rightfully garnered criticism from Democratic and Republican members of Congress in both the House and Senate. Among other reactions, we welcome Ranking Member McCaul’s statement of February 9, in which he said that he was: In defending its refusal to comply with extant law and/or provide information related to Mr. Khashoggi’s murder, the administration has claimed that it is acting consistent with the constitutional separation of powers. Yet, as a trio of former U.S. Justice Department attorneys recently wrote, a president cannot elect to simply decline to accommodate congressional oversight. While legal scholars may differ on the administration’s constitutional obligations under the Global Magnitsky Act’s Section 1263(d), the point remains that in rejecting appropriate congressional oversight in the Khashoggi case, the Trump administration is itself threatening the separation of powers and contesting the role of congressional mandates more broadly. Allowing the administration to simply sweep this matter under the rug, as Saudi officials would prefer, therefore poses a challenge not only to the administration of justice, but to fundamental congressional prerogatives. News “[D]eeply troubled by the letter I received from the Administration regarding the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The letter does not meet the requirements of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act… Everyone involved in this gruesome crime must be identified and held accountable. When the United States fails to lead, we compromise our integrity and abandon those pursuing justice around the world.” We respectfully thank you for your consideration of this important matter. News Dear Chairman Engel and Ranking Member McCaul, Organisation 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies Receive email alerts March 14, 2019 RSF joins statement reiterating calls for US government to insist on accountability for Khashoggi murder Signed, Facebook’s Oversight Board is just a stopgap, regulation urgently needed, RSF says Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in BahrainCommittee to Protect JournalistsFreedom HouseHuman Rights FirstHuman Rights WatchJacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human RightsOpen Society Justice InitiativePEN AmericaProject on Middle East DemocracyReporters Without BordersRobert F. Kennedy Human Rights May 13, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Nepal’s chief justice tries to gag newspaper

first_imgThe chief justice issued his interim order on 25 February when he heard a contempt of court complaint against Kantipur Daily’s editor, Sudheer Sharma, one of its reporters, Krishna Gyawali, Kantipur Publications chairman Kailash Sirohiya, and one of the company’s directors, Swastika Sirohiya. The complaint was prompted by a series of Kantipur Daily articles drawing attention to the different dates of birth that Parajuli has given in several official documents. The fact that the chief justice heard the case himself was a clear sign of a desire to take revenge on the newspaper. “It shouldn’t be necessary to remind a chief justice that you cannot be judge and party at the same time,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “This is a completely unacceptable case of prior censorship that could have dire consequences for media freedom if it sets a legal precedent. We urge Nepal’s parliamentarians to consider an impeachment motion if the chief justice does not rescind this decision at once.” May 29, 2019 Find out more Nepal’s chief justice is trying to gag the Kantipur Daily newspaper after it pointed out discrepancies in his date of birth in official documents (photos: setopati.net – KMG). Organisation Nepalese journalists threatened, attacked and censored over Covid-19 coverage Reporters Without Borders (RSF) firmly condemns an order by the head of Nepal’s supreme court, Chief Justice Gopal Parajuli, instructing the Press Council to ensure that Kantipur Daily, one of the country’s leading newspapers, refrains from publishing any further reports criticizing him. The gag order clearly constitutes a misuse of the judicial apparatus for personal ends and a violation of a fundamental press freedom principle, RSF said. NepalAsia – Pacific Media independence Conflicts of interestJudicial harassmentFreedom of expression RSF_en Nepal is ranked 100th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. NepalAsia – Pacific Media independence Conflicts of interestJudicial harassmentFreedom of expression News News to go further Receive email alerts May 17, 2019 Find out more News June 8, 2020 Find out more Under Chinese pressure, Nepal sanctions three journalists over Dalai Lama story Follow the news on Nepal Nepal: RSF’s recommendations to amend controversial Media Council Bill Under Nepal’s Administration of Justice Act, which is clearly being abused by the chief justice, Kantipur Daily’s reporter and representatives are facing up to a year in prison. His order violates Nepal’s 2015 constitution, which proclaims complete media freedom in its preamble and which bans the censorship of news and information in article 19. News February 28, 2018 Nepal’s chief justice tries to gag newspaper Help by sharing this information last_img read more

Explosive device attacks on Karachi news media

first_img RSF_en PakistanAsia – Pacific to go further Pakistani supreme court acquits main suspect in Daniel Pearl murder News January 28, 2021 Find out more February 19, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Explosive device attacks on Karachi news media June 2, 2021 Find out more April 21, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information Credit: Express Tribune Receive email alerts News Pakistani journalist critical of the military wounded by gunfire Follow the news on Pakistan News Organisation Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists Reporters Without Borders condemns an attack with explosive devices on a building shared by two sister news media, Aaj News and Business Recorder, in the Guru Mandir district of Karachi on 17 February.Thrown by individuals on a motorcycle, the devices caused minor injuries to a security guard and a driver. A similar device was thrown soon afterwards at a nearby building housing three media outlets – Waqt TV, The Nation and Nawa-i-Waqt – but did not explode and was defused.Police said the same group could have been responsible for both attacks, which have not been claimed.“We unequivocally condemn these attacks and urge the police to identify those responsible and bring them to justice,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk.“The climate is clearly deteriorating. Targeted attacks have continued since last month’s fatal shooting of three Express News TV employees. We call on the authorities to deploy security measures appropriate to the dangers to which media personnel are exposed.”In a separate development, Ijaz Mengal, an education ministry employee and stringer for the Intekhab daily newspaper since 2005, was killed in Khuzdar, in the southwestern province of Balochistan on 14 February.The Baloch National Army separatist group claimed responsibility for his death, accusing him of having acted as a spy for national security agencies.The victim’s brother, Intekhab reporter Riaz Mengal, said his own journalistic activities were the reason for the separatist group’s decision to target his brother.Riaz Mengal was himself kidnapped in October 2007, supposedly because of his reporting. After managing to escape from his abductors a month later, he fled Balochistan because he thought it was too dangerous for journalists. Since fleeing he has continued to receive threats, including threats against his family.One of the world’s deadliest countries for journalists, Pakistan is ranked 158th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. News PakistanAsia – Pacific last_img read more

Government urged to respond after shooting attack on radio journalist’s home

first_img Dominican Republic: News presenter and producer gunned down in mid-broadcast News RSF_en June 25, 2015 Find out more News Reporters Without Borders called today for a response from the government after the increased threat of violence to Dominican journalists was confirmed by a shooting attack on the home of radio host Héctor Abreu in the southwestern town of Tamayo on 6 July and threatening phone calls to TV producer Juan Cadena in the capital the same day.“Two weeks after two reporters were attacked and threatened with lynching while covering a demonstration, the attack on Abreu and the threats to Cadena confirm the deterioration in press freedom in the Dominican Republic,” Reporters Without Borders said.“We fear for the safety of Abreu and Cadena and we are astonished that the authorities are taking so long to come up with an appropriate response to these serious, recurring events,” the organisation added. “An initiative is needed at the ministerial level to protect journalists and combat impunity.”A presenter on Radio Azua and a correspondent for Radio Enriquillo, Abreu said he did not know why shots were fired at his house in the early hours of 6 July – leaving impact marks – while he and his family were asleep inside. But he acknowledged that he had reported on several crimes in the region where he works.Cadena, the producer of a daily programme on the Santo Domingo-based TV station Sport Visión, said he was threatened at least four times by phone. An anonymous caller told him he would be executed if he did not stop saying “nonsense” on his programme. Cadena acknowledged commenting on the general strike which several working-class organisations have called for today.Attacks on the press have become more frequent and violent in the Dominican Republic since the start of the year. The National Union of Press Workers (SNTP) and Reporter Without Borders have registered more than 30 cases since 1 January. Dominican RepublicAmericas News Journalists wounded while covering street clashes in Santo Domingo Receive email alerts to go further Dominican RepublicAmericas News July 9, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Government urged to respond after shooting attack on radio journalist’s home Help by sharing this information September 22, 2014 Find out more Hostile climate for Dominican media since start of 2015 February 15, 2017 Find out more The shots fired at the home of radio journalist Héctor Abreu on 6 July in the south of the country mark another escalation in the worsening situation of Dominican journalists. Reporters Without Borders calls on the government to take firm measures to protect them and to combat impunity. Organisation Follow the news on Dominican Republiclast_img read more

Ahead of Hanoi visit, Hillary Clinton urged to raise cases of imprisoned journalists and cyber-dissidents

first_imgNews October 29, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Ahead of Hanoi visit, Hillary Clinton urged to raise cases of imprisoned journalists and cyber-dissidents VietnamAsia – Pacific Organisation News News Follow the news on Vietnam Vietnam sentences journalist Tran Thi Tuyet Dieu to eight years in prison Reporters Without Borders has written to U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton in advance of her visit to Hanoi on 30 October urging the United States to press the Vietnamese authorities to release imprisoned journalists and cyber-dissidents and suggesting that it should raise the cases of Le Cong Dinh, Nguyen Tien Trung and Pham Minh Hoang in particular.Le Cong Dinh, a cyber-dissident and well-known lawyer, was sentenced to five years in prison on January 20. Nguyen Tien Trung, a blogger and pro-democracy activist, is serving a seven-year jail sentence. Their jail terms are to be followed by three years of house arrest. Both were convicted of endangering national security and “organizing campaigns in collusion with foreign-based reactionary groups aimed at overthrowing the people’s government with the Internet’s help.”Pham Minh Hoang, a blogger (www.pkquoc.multiply.com) with French and Vietnamese dual citizenship, was formally charged on 29 September after six weeks in detention, during which his family was without any news of him. He is also accused of activities aimed at overthrowing the government. His wife says the real reason for his arrest was his opposition to bauxite mining by a Chinese company in Vietnam’s central highlands and its impact on the environment. Other journalists and bloggers who have tried to cover this subject, such as Bui Thanh Hieu, have also been arrested.The human rights situation is getting worse in the run-up to the Communist Party congress scheduled for early next year. Vietnam nonetheless agreed to reconcile economic development with respect for its citizens’ fundamental rights when it was admitted to the World Trade Organization in 2006.The government has been reinforcing its control over the media and Internet since last year and there has been an increase in cyber-attacks on websites critical of the government. In her historic speech last January, Clinton very clearly affirmed U.S. support for online freedom of speech and opinion, saying the United States had a duty to defend this tool of economic and social development. Reporters Without Borders urges her to defend these principles now in her contacts with Vietnam, the world’s second-largest prison for netizens with a total of 16 cyber-dissidents and three journalists detained. Three more independent reporters arrested in Vietnam April 27, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts VietnamAsia – Pacific to go further RSF_en RSF laureates support jailed Vietnamese journalist Pham Doan Trang April 22, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information News Related documents Open letter to the american secretary of state Hillary ClintonPDF – 124.57 KB April 7, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Truth still elusive as another Politkovskaya trial ends

first_img Receive email alerts Follow the news on Russia December 14, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Truth still elusive as another Politkovskaya trial ends Help by sharing this information News May 21, 2021 Find out more News RSF_en RussiaEurope – Central Asia May 5, 2021 Find out more RussiaEurope – Central Asia center_img Paris, 1 p.m.: A Moscow court today sentenced retired Moscow police officer Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov to 11 years in prison for his role in Novaya Gazeta reporter Anna Politkovskaya’s murder in 2006. The court also ordered him to pay the victim’s family 3 million roubles (74,500 euros) in compensation.“This rapid trial’s disappointing outcome has failed to reveal the full truth,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “Pavlyuchenkov manipulated the trial or the judicial system let it be manipulated. A guilty person has been punished but the verdict does not reflect the real role that this former police officer played in Politkovskaya’s murder.”“Key questions remain unanswered, including the mastermind’s identity, which Pavlyuchenkov had promised to reveal, and the part played by his former Moscow police colleagues, especially in the elaborate tailing of Politkovskaya before her murder. We hope the appeal hearings will be conducted in a more satisfactory manner, or else the judicial system will give the clear impression of covering up those responsible.”—-Paris, 10 a.m.: After just two days of hearings, judges are due to issue a verdict today in the trial of retired Moscow police lieutenant colonel Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, one of the leading suspects in Novaya Gazeta reporter Anna Politkovskaya’s 2006 murder. Because Pavlyuchenkov cooperated with the prosecutors, the trial has been conducted in a very unusual manner – no witnesses have testified, no evidence has been examined and journalists have been barred from most of the hearings.“We are outraged by way this trial is being held,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Six years have passed since Anna Politkovskaya’s murder but it continues to have a major impact on freedom of information in Russia. Pavlyuchenkov’s arrest was seen as a major advance in the investigation but hopes have been dashed by this guilty-plea deal and the decision to stick to it at all cost. The sudden trial with no witnesses and with the press mostly excluded casts doubt on the existence of any desire to establish the truth and identify all of the perpetrators and instigators.”Charged under criminal code articles 105 (murder) and 222 (illegal carriage of a firearm), Pavlyuchenkov has admitted to arranging for Politkovskaya to be followed and providing the hitman with the murder weapon. The prosecutor has requested a sentence of 12 years in a prison camp, while the defence has requested a suspended sentence. Anna Stavitskaya, who represents the Politkovskaya family, has said she will appeal against the verdict if Pavlyuchenkov is not given the maximum sentence.Pavlyuchenkov was arrested on 23 August 2011 on suspicion of having organized the murder. Under a deal reached in May between Pavlyuchenkov and deputy prosecutor-general Viktor Grin, his case was isolated from the rest of the investigation and given special treatment, including an understanding that he would get no more than two-thirds of the maximum sentence. In return, Pavlyuchenkov agreed to plead guilty, testify against the other defendants and, above all, name the person who masterminded the murder.But, as the victim’s children, Vera Politkovskaya and Ilya Politkovsky, insist, Pavlyuchenkov “has not kept his side of the bargain.” On 8 October, they petitioned the Federal Committee of Investigation and the prosecutor-general’s office calling for the deal with Pavlyuchenkov to be rescinded. They said they have testimony proving that he has been minimizing his role in the murder and that in fact he played a key role. His various reported claims that the London-based oligarch Boris Berezovsky or the Chechen separatist leader Ahmed Zakayev were the mastermind were “politically motivated,” they said.The deal has also been challenged by the lawyer who represents one of the other suspects, former interior ministry official Sergey Khadzhikurbanov. He said “Pavlyuchenkov’s testimony constitutes the basis of the charges against the other defendants.” The presiding judge has rejected these petitions.In a Moscow news conference on the eve of the trial, Novaya Gazeta editor Dmitry Muratov said there was still a “political taboo” about the real mastermind’s identity. “Six years have gone by – it is time to ask difficult questions,” he said. Aside from Pavlyuchenkov and Khadzhikurbanov, four other people are accused in connection with the murder: Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, a Chechen organized crime leader who allegedly recruited Pavlyuchenkov, Rustam Makhmudov, the alleged hitman, and Makhmudov’s two brothers. According to the investigation, Gaitukayev received orders to murder Politkovskaya from an unknown mastermind and passed the job on to Khadzhikurbanov after being arrested in connection with another case.Politkovskaya, who was well known in both Russia and abroad for her outspoken coverage of the Caucasus and her criticism of the Kremlin, was gunned down in her Lesnaya Street apartment building in Moscow on 7 October 2006. Organisation to go further Two Russian journalists persecuted for investigating police corruption News June 2, 2021 Find out more Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown Listed as a “foreign agent”, Russia’s most popular independent website risks disappearing Newslast_img read more

Message of support from Hu Jia for 2010 Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo and wife Liu Xia

first_img China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures RSF_en Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes Organisation December 10, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Message of support from Hu Jia for 2010 Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo and wife Liu Xia China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison Help by sharing this information ChinaAsia – Pacific Ladies and Gentlemen,I send you greetings from Beijing.Today, 10 December, is Human Rights Day, a day dedicated to the basis of freedom, justice and peace throughout the world. It is also the day that the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded. This day, which belongs to all of humanity, honours those all over the world who fight for peace. No other day has this double meaning, affirming the importance of respect for human rights.Firstly, allow me to give you a brief summary of my experience of the Nobel Peace Prize. Two days ago, 8 December, was the third anniversary of the arrest of Liu Xiaobo, the 2010 Nobel peace laureate. It was the coldest day of this winter so far in Beijing. I set off for the neighbourhood where petitioners and homeless people gather because I wanted to help them resist the cold and their hunger. But the Beijing political police arrested me on the way, preventing me from going to this “village.” Why? I still do not understand this authoritarian government’s way of thinking. The Chinese Communist Party’s political police regards humanitarianism as its enemy. Not to speak of human rights.While on my way to hospital to receive treatment on 9 August, I decided go to Liu Xiaobo’s home to visit his wife, Liu Xia, without the political police knowing. I was roughly intercepted by the guards who keep the home under surveillance. I asked them what legal grounds they had for preventing me from visiting friends and for restricting Liu Xia’s freedom. The police in charge of Liu Xia’s surveillance quickly arrived and held me for six hours. This is what happens when free citizens try to visit other free citizens. One of the three orders I received from the police in September was a total ban on going to Liu Xiaobo’s home to visit Liu Xia.As a direct witness, I would hereby like to testify to all the government institutions throughout the world, to all the human rights organizations and to all the media that Liu Xia is being detained in a completely illegal manner and is leading a life bereft of any freedom. Even Liu Xiaobo’s brother cannot contact her. All the Chinese foreign ministry statements about her situation are just lies. When someone becomes a political prisoner in China, their parents, spouse and children become political prisoners as well. The people directly responsible for these human rights violations in Beijing are Zhou Yongkang, a member of the party’s Politiburo Standing Committee, who runs the judicial system, and Liu Qi, the party’s Beijing municipal secretary, who is charge of governing the capital. They have abused their power in order to deprive citizens of their civic and democratic rights.After visiting me in prison seven times in a month, the political police finally asked me on 10 December 2008, on behalf of the foreign ministry, public security ministry and the CCP’s Beijing municipal committee, to issue a public statement rejecting the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and rejecting my candidacy for the Nobel Peace Prize. In exchange, I would be released on bail within two months in order to receive medical treatment, and I would receive double the amount of money of the two prizes. In prison, often with my hands and feet manacled, I repeatedly felt the desire to recover my freedom and be reunited with my parents, wife and daughter, who was then less than a year old. But all this could not happen at the expense of human dignity.I knew that this prize and this nomination did not concern me but all the Chinese citizens who fight for human rights and who, because of that, are stripped of their own civic rights. Human dignity is not for sale. Principles cannot be broken. Morality cannot be compromised. This shows the moral and judicial influence that the Sakharov Prize and Nobel Prize have on the Chinese government. Regardless of its display of contempt and use of violence, it cannot win. The CCP’s leaders are very worried that these prizes could become a torrent of hot water on their frozen ground.On the morning of 10 October 2008, I suddenly found myself being escorted from my cell in the distant Chao Bai prison in Tianjin to a prison in Beijing, on the south side of the city. The distance that my mother, wife and daughter had to travel for their monthly visits was cut by two thirds, reducing their fatigue. A year later, I learned that it was because I had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and because the 2008 winner had been announced that day. I would like the world to know that being nominated for or being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize provides an unquestionable degree of protection for imprisoned dissidents in China, for those whose individual freedoms have been illegally suppressed. It improves the poor conditions in which they are held. Without it, their situation would be much worse. Liu Xiaobo can be expected one day to testify to the effect of the Nobel Peace Prize on his prison conditions.Liu Xiaobo is in prison because he helped draft “Charter 08.” In the three years since its launch, 13,000 people have signed this charter – only one person out every 100,000 in China. This situation is a result of the terror and online censorship mechanisms that the Chinese leaders have imposed on Chinese society. I signed “Charter 08” shortly after my release earlier this year. My wife, Zeng Jinyan, was one of the first to sign it. At the moment of signing, I felt we were back in the era before the Olympic Games, where we signed many petitions about human rights issues. Back then, we often worked with Liu Xiaobo. I had not imagined that he would end up in prison as a reprisal for the charter.In reality, Liu Xiaobo was not targeted personally. The CCP uses his jail sentence to intimidate all the other Chinese citizens who might continue to promote constitutional democracy. The charter describes the project for a Chinese society that is cherished by part of the Chinese population. We are just reaffirming universal values. Everyone is China has the right to express their vision of an ideal society without being intimidated by the Communist Party’s political police. I believe that the universal values outlined in Charter 08 will enter the Chinese constitution within the next 10 years and will be implemented.Last year, in December 2010, the world saw the empty chair when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Mr. Liu Xiaobo, a citizen of mainland China. A Nobel Peace Prize can often be a source of collective pride for a nation, a country or even a continent. The prize had finally come to China, and biggest and oldest authoritarian empire in the history of the world. I thank the Nobel Peace Prize jury for choosing a Chinese dissident. The controversies that have arisen here and there, within China and abroad, do not matter. What counts is the fundamental principle of freedom. Every citizen accused of “inciting the overthrow of state authority” is innocent. They should be released immediately and unconditionally, and their good name should be rehabilitated. If we believe in justice and democracy, then we have a moral duty to Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia to ensure that China becomes a land where the right to personal freedom and free speech prevails.Our adversary is the violent machinery of tyrants. We must resist and change the authoritarian system instead of allowing it to crack down on dissidents and human rights defenders. The authorities exploit our fear, our indifference and the grievances we hold against each other. In the eyes of the dictators, we are all targets for repression. There are no perfect human beings in the real world. Those we call heroes are just ordinary people doing extraordinary things. The hero is often someone who constantly has to overcome his own fears in order to keep fighting for freedom. When we want to criticize others, let us first become the heroes of our own principles. In the face of tyranny, our fears stem from our own disagreements, which in turn exacerbate our fear. Let us put aside the differences in our views and in our behaviour and accept the weaknesses of human nature. When we join together and accept each other, we will form a counterweight to the autocratic pressures and we will restore the balance. During this icy political winter, let us reinforce our solidarity.The Nobel Peace Prize website is blocked in China but the Chinese sense what the CCP’s “Beijing wall” wants to block. Like South Africa’s Apartheid regime in the past, China is now the world’s biggest democratic battleground. We have Liu Xiaobo, the blind civil rights activist Chen Guangcheng, the artist Ai Weiwei, the human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng and others. We also have the hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens online and in the real world, who are fighting courageously for their civil rights. China’s democratization concerns the whole world. It is essential in order to guarantee world peace. China has undergone many wars and fratricidal conflicts. It is only by means of rational and progressive democratization that a peaceful transition will be achieved.Today we celebrate the Arab Springs and we hope and prepare for the Beijing Spring. We thank the Nobel Peace Prize committee again for having chosen China. And we thank the world for supporting the Chinese people in its struggle for freedom.Hu Jia Follow the news on China Reporters Without Borders is relaying a message from the dissident Hu Jia, who is still under a form of house arrest. Issued on the day of the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony, this message is addressed to the Nobel prize committee, the international community and the Chinese population. It expresses the strongest possible support for the imprisoned 2010 Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia, as well as support for all those who are the victims of censorship and who are deprived of their right to free expression. Receive email alerts News News April 27, 2021 Find out more March 12, 2021 Find out more News News ChinaAsia – Pacific to go further June 2, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Belarus authorities slated as file on missing cameraman Dmitri Zavadski is closed for a third time

first_imgNews RSF_en May 28, 2021 Find out more “We welcome opening of criminal investigation in Lithuania in response to our complaint against Lukashenko” RSF says BelarusEurope – Central Asia News News US President George W. Bush met the cameraman’s wife, Svetlana Zavadskaya on 27 February 2006 and expressed his personal support for her quest for justice and her determination, along with others in Belarus, to fight for a return of freedom in the country.——8 July 2005Police hit disappeared cameraman’s wife at demonstrationSvetlana Zavadskaya, the wife of disappeared TV cameraman Dmitri Zavadski, was hit in the face by a member of the interior ministry special forces during a demonstration in his memory yesterday in October Square in Minsk, and the photo of her husband she was waving was thrown to the ground.Zavadskaya, who sustained a bruise to the temple, said she would file a complaint. “Everything that has happened in the past few years and the way the authorities have handled this problem show that people at highest government level participated in his disappearance,” she said. This was the first time the authorities have dispersed a demonstration in her husband’s memory.Anatoli Lebedko, the head of the liberal United Citizen Party and a possible candidate in next year’s presidential election, was one of the approximately 30 people who took part in the demonstration. “We condemn the brutality against Svetlana Zavadskaya and we recall that the Council of Europe’s special rapporteur, Christos Pourgourides, has spoken of very serious suspicions about the implication of the authorities in this journalist’s disappearance and their desire to cover up the truth,” Lebedko told Reporters Without Borders.A cameraman working for the Russian broadcaster ORT, Dmitri Zavadski disappeared on 7 July 2000 at Minsk international airport, where his car was found. Reporters Without Borders today deplored the “silence and inaction” of the Belarus authorities in solving the disappearance of Belarusian TV cameraman Dmitri Zavadski and called for foreign experts to be allowed to join the investigation, which resumed on 4 April, a year after the case file was closed. Zavadski, once President Alexander Lukashenko’s personal cameraman, vanished on 7 July 2000 at Minsk airport, where he had gone to meet a colleague. His body was never found. He had resigned from the government TV station in 1996 to join the Russian station ORT and was later briefly imprisoned for his reporting.The worldwide press freedom organisation, along with the Belarus Association of Journalists (BAJ), noted that Christos Pourgourides, the Council of Europe’s special rapporteur on missing people in Belarus, had voiced strong suspicions that the regime was involved in the disappearance and trying to cover up what happened. The two groups said Zavadski’s family had a right to know exactly what had been done to find him over the past five years.The case has twice been closed by the authorities, first on 27 February 2003, before being reopened on 10 December that year, officially because of “a need to continue the investigation,” and then on 31 March 2004. An official of the public prosecutor’s office, Ivan Branchel, announced on 7 April this year it had resumed again three days earlier.”This latest decision is clearly a bid to head off international criticism of how the case has been handled,” Zavadsky’s wife Svetlana told Reporters Without Borders. “It was announced not long before the UN Human Rights Commission condemned rights violations in Belarus.” May 27, 2021 Find out more – – – – – The family has never properly been involved in the case by the authorities or been told how the investigation is going, and still does not know if two members of the interior ministry’s special police force given life sentences in 2002 for kidnapping and presumably murdering Zavadski pleaded guilty and said what happened to him and where his body is. The family also does not know if the accomplices named at their trial gave any such information to investigators either. “I’m now waiting for the investigators to tell me what they’re planning to do this time,” Zavadski’s mother Olga told Reporters Without Borders.The supreme court sentenced the former head of the interior ministry’s special police force, Valery Ignatovich, and one of his subordinates, Maxim Malik, on 16 July 2002 for presumably killing Zavadski and five other people in 2000. Regime’s failure to solve case of missing cameraman condemned on fifth anniversary of disappearance 7 July 2005Read in russian The authorities claimed Ignatovich decided to kill Zavadski because he felt targeted by an interview the journalist gave the daily Belorusskaya Delovaya Gazeta in 2000 saying he had met Belarusians fighting with independence fighters in Chechnya. The trial did not establish details of the kidnapping or who ordered it.Pourgourides said in a 27 January 2004 report that three top officials were suspected in the disappearance of Zavadski and three other people and charged that action had been taken at the highest government level to deliberately conceal what happened.The Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly urged the Belarus government on 28 April to open an independent enquiry into the disappearances and to sack Viktor Sheyman, the prosecutor-general and former head of national security, who it accused of organising them. The Assembly’s resolution (1371) also called for Sheyman and the then interior minister, Yuri Sivakov, and Dmitri Pavlichenko, head of a special police unit, to be placed under legal investigation. It also urged an enquiry into the involvement of several top officials in obstructing justice so as to protect those who planned the crimes. Reporters Without Borders and the Belarusian Association of Journalist call for a thorough investigation of the part played by top government leaders in the disappearance and presumed murder of TV cameraman Dmitri Zavadski (photo), who vanished in Minsk on 7 July 2000 and whose body has never been found.Read in russian June 2, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Follow the news on Belarus Reporters Without Borders expressed its shock that the file into the 7 July 2000 disappearance of cameraman Dmitri Zavadski has been closed for a third time and accused the Belarus authorities of incompetence. The file was last reopened in April 2005.The victim’s mother Olga Zavadskaya received a letter dated 3 May 2006 from the office of the prosecutor-general explaining that the case had again been closed on 31 March because the body of her son had never been recovered. An article in the Belarus criminal code does allow an investigation to be closed because of a “failure to find a missing person”.Reporters Without Borders has for several years been urging the authorities to open an independent investigation, but instead they have chosen to bury it yet again.Two people were jailed for life for kidnapping Zavadski in March 2002, during a trial condemned as a “farce” by the victim’s family. The trial failed to determine the exact circumstances of the kidnapping of the journalist or to identify the instigators. to go further May 5, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Belarus authorities slated as file on missing cameraman Dmitri Zavadski is closed for a third time Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown RSF at the Belarusian border: “The terrorist is the one who jails journalists and intimidates the public” Help by sharing this information Organisation News BelarusEurope – Central Asia last_img read more

Impunity blamed for a new wave of threats and attacks on provincial journalists

first_img Reporters Without Borders condemns police and judicial laxness towards those responsible for violence against journalists after a new wave of physical attacks and threats on the provincial news media since the end of August. The fight against impunity should not be limited to cases of murders of journalists, the organisation says. to go further April 1, 2020 Find out more News Latin America’s community radio – a key service but vulnerable September 9, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Impunity blamed for a new wave of threats and attacks on provincial journalists RSF_en News December 4, 2019 Find out more Follow the news on Peru Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts News News PeruAmericas Organisation Latin American media: under control of families, economic and political elites February 10, 2017 Find out more China’s diplomats must stop attacking media over coronavirus reporting PeruAmericas Reporters Without Borders is concerned about a new outbreak of physical attacks and threats on the news media since the end of August, which is indicative of the police and judicial laxness towards those responsible for violence against journalists.“Journalists are once again being used as whipping boys by irate officials, disgruntled political and union activists, coca growers upset by threats to their interests, and police who abuse their authority,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The fact that those responsible for these attacks are often officials or politicians tends to discourage prosecutions, which makes it more likely that they recur.”Reporters Without Borders added: “A supreme court decision on 11 June to uphold 17 and 15-year prison sentences for two military personnel convicted of the 1988 murder of Caretas magazine correspondent Hugo Bustíos poses a serious challenge to the prevailing impunity. A similar stand is needed with these attacks on journalists, all of which also constitute press freedom violations.”According to the Press and Society Institute (IPYS), a Peruvian press freedom organisation, and the National Association of Journalists (ANP), at least nine journalists have been the target of threats or violence since the end of August.Reporter Felipe Tipián Ramírez and cameraman Charles Cubas Ojanama of TV Tarapoto, a privately-owned regional television station based in Tarapoto, in the northern region of San Martín, were assaulted on 30 August by lawyer Líster Celis Vela as his client, San Martín University rector Alfredo Quinteros García, was being brought into a police station to be arrested for alleged irregularities in his reelection.Dante Francisco Espeza of La Pegajosa, a regional radio station based near the southern city of Ayacucho, received a threatening phone call on 2 September after criticising illegal coca farming and drug trafficking on the air earlier in the day. The caller threatened to kill him and said he was familiar with all of his family’s movements. Espeza was threatened in a similar fashion on 9 July.Journalist Percy Uriarte was hit several times when around 50 truck drivers stormed into the offices of the daily Ahora in the northern city of Bagua Grande on 2 September and threatened to set fire to the premises because it reported that local road haulers were being used to transport drugs.Cameraman Walter Macuyama of Canal 19, Henry Sánchez of Canal 43 and Gustavo Vásquez and Patricia Macedo of Panamericana Televisión were attacked and beaten on 3 September in the northeastern city of Iquitos by health workers striking for better conditions who clashed with fellow workers opposed to the strike.Radio Frecuencia 1000 manager and presenter Filomeno Quispe Flores was attacked and injured by Justo Mayta Livici, the mayor of Paucarpata (a district near the southern city of Arequipa), while covering a municipal council meeting on 4 September. The mayor had already taken Quispe to task after an interview last June.last_img read more