10 August 2011
IFEX Communiqué Vol 20, No 31
Guinea's first democratically elected President survived an assassination attempt on 19 July after gunmen surrounded his home and pummeled it with heavy artillery. Three people were killed during two separate attacks. But President Alpha Condé immediately clamped down on any media coverage of the attack, a censorship that IFEX members report is emblematic of his contempt for the media, despite promises for positive change. During a May fact-finding mission to Guinea, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) found a thriving media landscape hindered by repressive media laws with journalists targeted by security forces and political interference.
Three journalists were killed and 21 others injured in Tripoli after North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) warplanes bombed three transmission towers on 30 July in an effort to take Libyan state television off the air. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have condemned the attack.
A critical Dominican journalist was kidnapped by gunmen and found dead hours later on 2 August. As the director of a magazine and host of a television programme, José Agustín Silvestre had accused political figures in the city of La Romana of involvement in drug trafficking, report the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
A Radio Simba staff member was killed by a sniper last week in the midst of fighting between insurgents and the Somali government and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces in Mogadishu, report the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
Two newspapers critical of the Cambodian ruling party were shut down permanently, while five men were convicted of "provocation" for distributing pamphlets critical of the state last week, reports the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights (CCHR). In another part of the country, an outspoken land rights activist was shot at last month.
Malaysian cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ul Haque (Zunar) has fiercely resisted state censorship, deployed creative strategies to keep his cartoons alive for the Malaysian public, and courageously fought all the institutions of state power that have worked against him. Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI) presented its annual Award for Courage in Editorial Cartooning to Zunar on 7 July at a ceremony in St. Petersburg, U.S.