26 November 2002
Volume 11 - 2002 Issue 46 (26 Nov. 2002)
The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) is inviting senior journalism students and journalists from Canada and the United States to apply for its 2003 scholarship program.
The Central Asian and Southern Caucasus Freedom of Expression Network (CASCFEN) has launched a new website, providing information about free expression developments in the region. The site contains country reports on press freedom conditions in eight countries, upcoming conferences, online polls and a discussion forum.
The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) has awarded its 2003 Golden Pen of Freedom prize to the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) in recognition of the group's "courageous resistance to the repression of the media by President Aleksandr Lukashenko."
Governments should uphold human rights in the fight against terrorism by maintaining a free press and ensuring access to information, said experts who spoke at an International Press Institute (IPI) meeting in Austria last week.
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has approved three new media laws ARTICLE 19 warns will result in significant self-censorship amongst the country's press. The organisation says the Press Council Ordinance, Registration Ordinance and Defamation Ordinance are "clearly aimed at controlling the media" and serve to undermine Pakistan's process of democratic transition.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has vetoed amendments to two laws that, if signed, would have posed a "grave danger" to press freedom in the country, report the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF).
While killings and disappearances of journalists in Algeria have decreased in recent years, journalists continue to be the target of threats by local officials, business people and guerrilla movements, and impunity remains widespread, says Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF). The organisation recently released its findings from a mission to Algeria in October.
Press-freedom groups have raised concerns over conditions in Nigeria after a death sentence was issued against a journalist whose article about a Miss World beauty contest sparked violent protests and the destruction of a newspaper's offices.
Hong Kong (China)
As international pressure mounts over the impact on free expression of a proposed national security law in Hong Kong, 19 IFEX members issued a joint appeal last week urging Hong Kong authorities to scrap repressive provisions and release the draft legislation for public comment.
Ram Chander Chaterpatti, the editor of a newspaper in India's northern state of Haryana, died on 23 November from wounds sustained a month earlier when he was shot by a suspected member of a religious sect. Chaterpatti, 52, was shot four times outside his home on 24 October by an unidentified man reported to be part of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect, says Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF). He died in a New Delhi hospital.
Press freedom world-wide has deteriorated in the past year, marked by an increased number of jailed journalists and little progress in countries where freedom of expression has long been restricted, says a new report released this week by the World Association of Newspapers (WAN).