1 February 2012

IFEX Communiqué Vol 21, No 05


Twitter policy that restricts tweets sparks outrage

Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei, who was jailed last year for challenging authority, denounced Twitter's new censorship policy Twitter announced last week that it would begin restricting tweets in specific countries if they violated local laws, setting off claims of censorship by IFEX members Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) and the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR).


Copyright agreement will restrict online free expression, say French MEP and IFEX members

Poland's support for ACTA sparked a series of demonstrations after the signing, including by members of the left-wing Palikot's Movement, who wore masks in Parliament to show their dissatisfaction A French member of the European parliament (MEP) who was in charge of negotiating an international copyright agreement quit his role, calling the agreement's passage a "masquerade" on the same day that it was signed by members of the European Union, reports ARTICLE 19. The agreement would restrict online free expression, say ARTICLE 19 and Reporters Without Borders (RSF).


More journalists get jail time on anti-terrorism charges

In another sign of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's worsening repression, a U.S.-based journalist was sentenced to life in prison on anti-terrorism charges, while two other journalists were given heavy prison sentences, report the Ethiopian Free press Journalists' Association (EFJA), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the International Press Institute (IPI) and other IFEX members.


Journalist's murder highlights country's notoriety as most dangerous place in Africa for media

Hassan Osman Abdi The director of the leading private radio and television network in southern Somalia was murdered last week, report the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) and other IFEX members. Hassan Osman Abdi, a senior journalist and director of Shabelle Media Network, was shot dead outside his home in Mogadishu on 28 January, after being followed by five men in a sedan, says NUSOJ.

Sri Lanka

Journalists worldwide commemorate Black January

A leading editor killed, a popular TV channel raided and accused by the state media of "unpatriotic" coverage of the war, a political columnist disappeared, and still other journalists forced to flee the country or close down their websites. All these incidents happened in the past four years in Sri Lanka, all in the month of January - leading journalists the world over to pick up the call from the Free Media Movement (FMM) and other Sri Lankan groups to commemorate "Black January" this year on 25 January.


Knight International Journalism Award open for nominations

Nominations are now open for the 2012 Knight International Journalism Award, which recognises reporters, editors, media managers, bloggers and citizen journalists worldwide who have taken bold steps to keep citizens informed despite great obstacles. The deadline for nominations is 27 February 2012.
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