18 May 2011
IFEX Communiqué Vol 20, No 20
Last week journalist Irina Khalip was given a two-year suspended sentence for "organising and participating" in the December protests against the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko, while her husband, opposition candidate Andrei Sannikov, was sentenced to five years for his part in the election protests, report Index on Censorship, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and other IFEX members. While Lukashenko ramps up his attack on pro-democracy forces, the U.S. and EU have joined IFEX members in calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners.
When it comes to access to information, Canada has received an F minus and is positioned last among five leading democracies, says Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) in a new report that is making headlines in the country.
A journalist who reported on corruption and local land disputes was gunned down last week in Honduras, the 10th journalist to have been murdered since March 2010, report the Observatorio Latinoamericano para la Libertad de Expresión (OLA) and other IFEX members. In not one case has the murder been solved, accounting for Honduras's status as one of the most dangerous countries for journalists in the world.
After reporting on WikiLeaks revelations - embarrassing Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli's government - local journalists have been the target of a campaign to sully their reputations in videos posted anonymously on YouTube and through television ads, report the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
At least 10 journalists were attacked by soldiers last week in Uganda while covering the return of opposition leader Kizza Besigye to Uganda. Besigye had arrived from Kenya, where he was treated for injuries received when security forces violently dispersed an opposition demonstration in Kampala last month, say Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). It's just the latest example of the government's hostility to the press as walk-to-work protests continue over spiralling fuel and food prices, report Human Rights Network for Journalists - Uganda (HRJ-Uganda), CPJ and RSF.
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei disappeared into police custody on 2 April. He has not been charged and the state has not disclosed where he is being held. Avaaz is urging you to sign a petition
that calls on international galleries and artists to stop exhibiting art in China until Ai Weiwei is freed.
U.S. reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan in 2002, just four months after 11 September 2001. To honour Pearl, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has established awards in his name that recognise excellence in cross-border investigative reporting and reporting carried out in challenging circumstances. The deadline for entries is 1 July 2011.