4 April 2012

IFEX Communiqué Vol 21, No 14

EDITOR'S NOTE: Join our call to save Bahraini human rights defender Abdulhadi al-Khawaja: Al-Khawaja, renowned human rights advocate and past president of IFEX member the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), is entering his ninth week of a hunger strike in prison to protest a life sentence for peacefully expressing his right to freedom of expression. He pledged to continue his protest until "freedom or death." His life is now in serious danger and there may be irreparable damage to his health. Please sign this petition urging his release.


Five reasons why IFEX members are sceptical about Burma's progress

A man reads the newspaper near the ballot station during the by-elections in Rangoon. The government still has a long way to go to make media freedom a reality, say IFEX members Aung San Suu Kyi's landslide victory and other key media reforms in recent months have led many in the international community to go gaga for Burma. But IFEX members are cautiously optimistic - especially about the media freedom situation. Here are five reasons why.


Seven journalists among those seriously injured in suicide bombing

An ambulance is seen outside Somalia's national theatre in Mogadishu after an explosion. Seven journalists were seriously wounded in the blast At least four people were killed and scores were wounded, including seven journalists, when a bomb exploded at Somalia's national theatre at a ceremony to mark the one-year anniversary of Somali National Television, report ARTICLE 19 and Reporters Without Borders (RSF).


Police crush anti-government critics

An Angolan rights group, Omunga, has launched a campaign for the right to protest amid a state crackdown on anti-government demonstrations Angola has been gearing up for its 10-year anniversary of peace on 4 April by cracking down on anti-government critics and arresting protesters. This year alone, the authorities have put down five anti-government rallies and arrested at least 46 protesters, says a new report by Human Rights Watch.


Authorities rid city of dissent ahead of ASEAN summit

Cambodia's commitment to the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) claim that the regional body is "people-oriented" rang hollow as authorities prevented a workshop on Burma's human rights situation from happening at an ASEAN conference in Phnom Penh, reports the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR).


Court bans media from reporting on water pollution claims

A Venezuelan court has ruled that the press cannot report on water contamination issues without using government-approved information, report the Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (IPYS-Venezuela), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

International / Awards and other opportunities

Nominations now open for Freedom to Publish Prize

The International Publishers Association (IPA) is calling for nominations for its annual Freedom to Publish Prize, which honours a person, organisation or institution that has shown courage in upholding freedom of expression and defending the freedom to publish. Nominations are due on 4 May 2012.
IFEX is a global network of committed organisations working to defend and promote free expression.
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