A group of 46 human rights organisations led by IFEX calls on member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council to urge Bahrain to release human rights defenders and peaceful opposition activists.
UPDATE: The president of IFEX member Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), Nabeel Rajab, was re-arrested and sentenced to three years in prison on 16 August. Many other human rights defenders remain in prison, including BCHR’s founder Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, and his daughter, Zainab Al-Khawaja.
On 1 May, jailed journalist Eskinder Nega, facing the death penalty, receives in absentia the 2012 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award. Thirty-two IFEX members are calling for his release, and an end to the use of national security legislation against all writers and journalists.
After hearing rumours of the death of Dawit Isaak, an Swedish-Eritrean journalist held without charge for ten years, 31 members of IFEX are asking President Isaias Afewerki to confirm that he is still alive and if so, to release him from prison.
Thirty-six IFEX members, along with Centre for Law and Democracy and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, expressed concern about the 12 April resolution of the Court of Appeals, Manila Special Division of Five, requiring Monette Salaysay and Rowena Paraan to explain why they should not be held in contempt for comments attributed to them in a “Philippine Daily Inquirer” article regarding the Ampatuan Town Massacre trials.
Representatives from the international community of journalists’ organisations and press freedom defenders gathered in Lebanon for IFEX’s bi-annual conference and urged the Pakistani government and its law-enforcement and security agencies to take immediate action to implement all appropriate measures to protect media personnel and to prosecute murderers of journalists.
The groups urged President Rajapaksa to invite the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue, to Sri Lanka, while expressing deep concern for journalists who continue to be subjected to threats, harassment and assaults with alarming regularity.
IFEX members note with alarm the efforts of China’s authorities to restrict freedom of expression in regard to debate on political reform in China, following reform movements in the Middle East and North Africa since late 2010.
The detained journalists are held without charges and forced to endure terrible conditions such as extended periods in the sun and denial of medication.
Even though a new government has been formed in Burma after the elections in November 2010, there is still no guarantee of improvements in the country’s media environment.
IFEX members condemn the increased attacks and judicial harassment against Somali journalists and media organisations.
IFEX members express their concern over the current situation of press freedom in Ecuador and the conditions of extreme hostility in which the country’s journalists and private media must do their work.
Forty-two IFEX members and 15 partners appealed for global attention to stop detention, torture and threats to journalists and free expression activists, including to IFEX member Bahrain Centre for Human Rights.
The implications for journalists covering demonstrations are unclear, and their ability to move around freely and safely cannot be guaranteed.