15 December 2004
Volume 13 - 2004 Issue 50 (14 Dec. 2004)
On 10 December 2004, IFEX members around the world marked International Human Rights Day by promoting the right to freedom of expression and by calling attention to violations in some of the world's most troubled hotspots.
In Zimbabwe, where the government has a stranglehold on the media, criticising President Robert Mugabe and his policies could carry even direr consequences if a proposed bill becomes law. Parliament is considering a new bill under which journalists and others can be jailed for up to 20 years and heavily fined for publishing "false" information deemed prejudicial to the state.
As the host of the 2005 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), Tunisia would like the international community to believe that it is a leader in providing access to information and promoting human rights. But IFEX members tell a different story. They say Tunisian authorities employ brutal methods of silencing political dissidents, human rights advocates, journalists and Internet users.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is calling for a thorough and detailed investigation into the murder of a Yemeni journalist who has been described as a prominent press freedom advocate.
Fifty-four journalists have been killed so far this year for doing their job, the highest number in a decade, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The majority of the deaths have occurred in Iraq and the Philippines.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) invites free expression supporters to write to the Zimbabwean government to express concern over a proposed law under which journalists and others can be jailed for up to 20 years for publishing "false" information.
The International Press Institute (IPI) will hold its 2005 World Congress in Nairobi, Kenya, in May, where it will focus attention on what it calls "the great strides" the country is making, including press freedom and freedom of expression.
Oxford University's Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy (PCMLP) is offering an intensive three-week training course in July 2005, aimed at giving lawyers more skills for doing legal advocacy in the area of media and freedom of expression.
The International Women's Media Foundation has launched a new journalism fellowship to support women who report on human rights and social justice. Named in honour of the "Boston Globe" reporter killed in May 2003 while covering the war in Iraq, the Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship provides one year of academic research at leading Boston-area universities and reporting opportunities at the "New York Times" and "Boston Globe."