29 June 2011
IFEX Communiqué Vol 20, No 26
The release of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei last week was a welcome surprise, as was the release a couple of days later of his lesser-known associates, and that of renowned activist Hu Jia. But it also leaves troubling, unanswered questions about his arrest, detention and conditions of release - and what is happening to other jailed dissidents who do not have the benefit of an international campaign behind them, say IFEX members.
Exactly 18 months after they were abducted in northeastern Afghanistan, French journalists Hervé Ghesquière and Stéphane Taponier and their Afghan interpreter have been released, say Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and news reports.
A journalist who had recently reported about the arrest of locals accused of trafficking weapons for criminal activity was found shot to death last week in the eastern town of Kirumba in the Democratic Republic of Congo, report Journaliste en danger (JED) and other IFEX members.
Ethiopian authorities have held a newspaper columnist incommunicado for at least eight days under what appears to be Ethiopia's anti-terrorist law, report the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of PEN International. Reeyot Alemu, a regular contributor to the independent weekly "Feteh", was arrested on 21 June. She is the second reporter to be picked up and held without charge in less than a week.
Journalists from around the world are invited to apply for the 2011 Bastiat Prize for Journalism, which awards articles that "explain, promote and defend the principles and institutions of the free society." The deadline for entries is 31 July 2011.