9 November 2011
IFEX Communiqué Vol 20, No 44
As a verdict draws near for five activists charged with "publicly insulting" United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) officials in an Internet forum, IFEX members and partners have joined forces to raise indignation about the unfair trial and once again call for the activists' release. The coalition of seven groups, including IFEX members the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), Human Rights Watch and Index on Censorship, is also deeply concerned by reports of threats against the activists, their families and lawyers.
As government officials were interrupting various news programmes attempting to discredit FUNDAMEDIOS, the IFEX member in Ecuador, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) was wrapping up a press freedom mission that concluded independent media workers in the country face a general "climate of hostility." Even more alarming are death threats sent to staff of the Andean Foundation for Media Observation & Study (FUNDAMEDIOS) at the same time.
A journalist was killed in the crossfire between police and a drug gang while accompanying an early morning police operation, report the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (ABRAJI), the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
The office of a satirical French weekly was firebombed just before an edition that pokes fun at Islamists was due for release, report IFEX members. At 1am on 2 November, unidentified attackers threw a Molotov cocktail through a window of the "Charlie Hebdo" offices, acting on rumours about the issue.
In the wake of run-off elections in Liberia, seven broadcasters were closed down after three people died during fighting between riot police and opposition supporters, reports the Center for Media Studies and Peace Building (CEMESP). The radio and television stations, which are perceived to be pro-opposition, have been accused of "disseminating hate speech."
On this day (9 November) in 2004, 45-year-old Dilip Mohapatra, the editor of India's "Aji Kagoj", was discovered on the side of a highway with a fatal head wound and his hands and legs bound. Reports at the time suggested he may have been killed for publishing exposés on the timber and narcotics mafia in the region in his paper, but the motive was never confirmed.
Over the past few weeks, IFEX has been running a poster contest for the International Day to End Impunity. We asked applicants to depict impunity in some way. And you answered: we received an overwhelming 298 entries from 55 countries! Now it is your turn to choose the top 10. To vote, "Like" the International Day to End Impunity Facebook page
, then "Like" the poster(s) you think should win!