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28 September 2011

IFEX Communiqué Vol 20, No 38

Also available in: Français, Español, عربي

Right to Know Day honoured around the world

Thanks to large protests in South Africa, the government has been forced to withdraw its Protection of Information Bill Right to information (RTI) advocates around the world have much to celebrate on today's Right To Know Day (28 September) with the launch of numerous tools, initiatives and reports that will make it more difficult for governments and public institutions to avoid their duty to promote information sharing and openness.
| Yemen

Dozens of protesters and a cameraman killed in Sanaa massacre

Cameraman Hassan al-Wadhaf is carried to a makeshift clinic after he was shot by a sniper while filming clashes in Sanaa The camera of Hassan al-Wadhaf captured some of the bloody protest that killed dozens of protesters in Yemen in mid-September. It also captured the attack that lead to his death. After taking sniper fire to the head while filming the protests, al-Wadhaf died in hospital on 24 September, report Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The killer has not been identified.
| Mexico

News editor beheaded for condemning drug gangs on social media

At a time when the murderous spree of drug cartels in Mexico seemed it couldn't get any more horrific, the decapitated body of María Elizabeth Macías, news editor of "Primera Hora" was found on 24 September, report the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Adding to the atmosphere of despair, another journalist is missing, according to IAPA and RSF.

Correa's hypocrisy on display amid assault on media

Shortly after a provincial court in Guayas, Ecuador, upheld a bankrupting US$40 million fine and three-year jail sentences for three "El Universo" newspaper directors and one writer, President Rafael Correa insulted his critics during a public speech at Columbia University in New York, report the Andean Foundation for Media Observation & Study (FUNDAMEDIOS), the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Police drop attempt to use Official Secrets Act against journalist in phone hacking scandal

After threatening to use the retrograde Official Secrets Act to force a "Guardian" journalist to reveal her sources in the phone hacking scandal, the Metropolitan Police is holding a closed-door meeting with members of parliament to explain the move, report Index on Censorship and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Sign a petition to end dangerous computer-related crimes laws

Chiranuch Premchaiporn, director of independent news site "Prachatai", is calling for worldwide support as she faces jail time of up to 20 years. Premchaiporn is the latest victim of Thailand's antiquated lèse-majesté laws, which were set up to protect the monarchy from insult, and are being used in modern times to silence dissent.

Launch of INSI-North America to reduce risks to frontline journalists

The official launch of the International News Safety Institute (INSI) - North America office, which will provide safety training and additional support to North American journalists, will take place in New York on 14 October.

Eastern Europeans invited to apply for the Gerd Bucerius Free Press award

Journalists and media in Eastern Europe that support press freedom are invited to apply for the Gerd Bucerius Free Press award. The deadline for applications is 24 October 2011.

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