21 September 2011
IFEX Communiqué Vol 20, No 37
Last week, a young man and woman were found hanging from ropes off a pedestrian bridge in Nuevo Laredo, northern Mexico. Accompanying their lifeless, mutilated bodies were handwritten signs that declared the two were killed for posting denouncements of drug cartel activities on a social network. With few reporters daring to cover Mexico's ongoing drug war for fear of becoming victims themselves, the murderers appear to have a new target: those using social media networks to cover the story, say the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) and ARTICLE 19.
An Ethiopian journalist was forced to flee the country earlier this month after being named in a WikiLeaks cable - the first time a leaked cable has caused direct repercussions for a journalist, says the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). His case is part of a broadening crackdown on dissent in Ethiopia, say CPJ and other IFEX members.
Despite the change promised by the revolution, Egypt's transitional government, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), continues to employ excessive force and repressive laws against those who share information and opinions and who take part in peaceful demonstrations, leading three IFEX members in the country to liken it to the Mubarak regime.
Numerous IFEX members are stepping up pressure on the new government of Burma, which still detains approximately 2,000 political prisoners despite its interest in convincing the international community to end economic sanctions and support its chairing of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2014.
Two unemployed Chinese residents have been arrested today, 21 September, in the fatal stabbing of 30-year-old TV journalist Li Xiang. While police in the central city of Luoyang, Henan province, are calling the murder a robbery, IFEX members are urging Chinese authorities to investigate possible links between the killing and the journalist's investigative reporting.
IFEX congratulates Edetaen Ojo and Malcolm Joseph, the leaders of IFEX member groups in Nigeria and Liberia, for winning Africa's first awards for activism on access to information. The awards were handed out at the inaugural Pan African Conference on Access to Information, held in Cape Town, South Africa, this week, which was attended by numerous IFEX members involved in campaigning on the issue.