14 March 2012

IFEX Communiqué Vol 21, No 11


Reporters Without Borders dubs Bahrain, Belarus new "Enemies of Internet"

Bahrain and Belarus have been added by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) to its "Enemies of the Internet" list on World Day against Cyber Censorship (12 March). Find out which other countries regularly restrict online access and harass their netizens at www.cyber-tag.net, and make your mark literally - by virtually spray painting or tagging a message on the embassies of the 12 worst offenders.

International / Equatorial Guinea

UNESCO supports prize backed by African dictator

UNESCO has decided to support a prize backed by Teodoro Obiang Nguema (above), President of Equatorial Guinea and Africa’s After nearly two years of debate, the executive board of UNESCO last week approved a life sciences prize sponsored by Africa's longest-serving dictator, despite intense lobbying by IFEX members and other international and African rights groups, as well as findings from UNESCO itself that the prize violates the organisation's own rules.


In landmark decision, Senate says attacks on journalists to be federal crimes

IFEX members say the legislation is only the first step in confronting Mexico's near 90 percent impunity rate for journalists' murders. José Armando Rodrígues Carreón, above, was killed with impunity in 2008 The Mexican Senate has finally approved a constitutional amendment that will enable federal authorities to investigate and prosecute certain attacks on the press and calls on authorities to end the widespread impunity for crimes against journalists, report ARTICLE 19, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the Inter American Press Association (IAPA).


Journalist who wrote about genital mutilation forced into hiding

Journalist Mae Azango has been threatened repeatedly for her story on female genital mutilation A woman journalist who reported on the practice of female genital mutilation in Liberia has gone into hiding after receiving death threats, reports the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).


A year after Fukushima meltdown, residents kept in the dark about fallout

Kiyomi Yokota with his two daughters at his home in Koriyama City, approximately 60 kilometres away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant A year after the nuclear plant explosion rocked Fukushima, Kiyomi Yokota still worries about the health of his two girls, ages 3 and 8. He and his family live in Koriyama City, approximately 60 kilometres away from the plant. While the radiation hotline staff ensure him "there is no problem," tests he carried out himself reveal dangerously high radiation levels, reports Human Rights Watch.


Sign the petition to support threatened anti-corruption reporter Khadija Ismayilova

Show your support for anti-corruption journalist Khadija Ismayilova, who has received graphic threats warning her to stop "behaving improperly." The Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS) calls it "a low and ugly act seeking to silence a journalist." Sign the petition here.

International / Awards and other opportunities

Nominations wanted for Hrant Dink Award

The Hrant Dink Award is presented annually by a foundation in his name to individuals or groups that work for a world free from discrimination, racism and violence, and who take personal risks to achieve those goals. The deadline for nominations is 15 April.
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