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29 June 2011

IFEX Communiqué Vol 20, No 26

Also available in: Français, Español, عربي

| China

Ai Weiwei and other dissidents released, but questions remain

Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei waves from the entrance of his studio on 23 June after being released on bail in Beijing 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.

French reporters freed after 18 months

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.

Journalist gunned down amid rising attacks on press

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.

Anti-terrorism law used to suppress dissent

Detained journalist Reeyot Alemu 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.

Call for end of trial of democracy petitioners

Human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor with Human Rights Watch's Sarah Leah Whitson at a press conference in Dubai in January 2011 Five pro-democracy activists are on trial in the United Arab Emirates for signing a petition demanding free elections for all citizens. The verdict is expected on 27 November. Join Human Rights Watch in calling on U.A.E. ambassadors to ensure the trial is halted and the activists are freed.

Apply now for US$70,000 Bastiat Prize for Journalism

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.

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