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Link to: Three “The Point” journalists detained

On 30 March 1995, Pape Sane, Badara Sowe and Ibrahima Ernest, journalists with the newspaper “The Point”, were detained by Gambian security forces. The journalists were arrested reportedly in connection with articles published in the 30 March edition of “The Point”. The articles concern a prison revolt at Mile Two, and the holding of four […]

Link to: UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi and FNLA’s Holden Roberto both speak out for media freedom

MISA’s Angola representative reports that Jonas Savimbi, leader of the UNITA rebel movement, and Holden Roberto, who heads the opposition FNLA, have both spoken on the need for media freedom in their country. Speaking on the rebel movement Radio Vorgan on 15 March 1995 in a speech delivered to mark the 29th anniversary of the […]

Link to: Charges dropped against “Mmegi” journalists; MISA remains concerned with effect of National Security Act on press freedom

Secrecy charges against two journalists working for the weekly “Mmegi” newspaper were dismissed by the Lobatse High Court on 28 February 1995. The two journalists, “Mmegi” managing editor Titus Mbuya and freelance reporter Professor Malema, were accused in the early 1990’s under the National Security Act of unlawfully receiving “an official document marked `secret’” and […]

Link to: Joao de Barros, editor-in-chief of “Correio da Guine-Bissau”, beaten and arrested

On the morning of 8 March 1995 at approximately 9:00, Joao de Barros, editor-in-chief of the weekly “Correio da Guine-Bissau”, was beaten and arrested at the Bissau airport as he was waiting to board a plane to Cape Verde. Police officers detained Joao de Barros, claiming he did not have permission to leave the country. […]

Link to: Editor Deyda Hydara interrogated

Deyda Hydara, editor of “The Point” and President of the Gambia Press Union was interrogated for three hours by agents from the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), the national information service in The Gambia. The reason given by the NIA was the publication, in the 27 February edition of “The Point”, of an open letter addressed […]

Link to: “Free Press” journalists fined and sentenced to jail; publishing company fined

Two journalists from the weekly “The Free Press” were sentenced to jail by the Supreme Court on 21 February 1995. Kwabena Mensah- Bonsu, a columnist for the weekly, was sentenced to one month in prison. “Free Press” editor-in-chief Eben Quarcoo was sentenced to one day in jail and fined 100 000 cedis (equivalent to 550FF […]

Link to: Ken Saro-Wiwa hearing; further details

**Updates IFEX CH alerts dated 17, 8 and 6 February 1995** Ken Saro-Wiwa’s lawyers report that they were attacked in court after the case against him resumed on 21 February 1995. They say the court was surrounded by military personnel who were screening people who entered the court. They reportedly refused to permit journalists from […]

Link to: Four journalists and three media workers on trial for publishing pornography expose

Four journalists and three print shop production staff are on trial for publishing photographs of naked women. The photographs were used to illustrate an expose on Dar es Salaam’s lucrative, illegal pornography industry. The story, an investigation into the production of back-street pornographic photographs and videos, appeared in the 28 December 1994 edition of “Mwana-Mama” […]

Link to: Official Secrets Act criticized

Journalists charge that the government has been using the act to victimise private newspapers. “The Official Secrets Act makes democracy meaningless because it prohibits meaningful participation of citizens, who are supposed to know what their government is doing in their name,” Fred M’membe, editor-in-chief of “The Post” newspaper, told IPS. “They cannot indulge in public […]

Link to: Media council act back on the government’s agenda

Legislation which, in its original draft form, gave the government powers to license journalists, has resurfaced, prompting media workers’ fears that such a law could be used to restrict the media in the run-up to general elections, scheduled for October. However, the government’s Acting Principle Secretary of Information and Broadcasting, Bwire Musalika, says media workers […]

Link to: Truth Commission bill under fire

Secrecy provisions within draft legislation for a commission to investigate human rights violations during South African liberation struggle have met strong criticism from non-governmental organisations and the families of some of the victims. Journalists’ and media freedom organisations are amongst those opposed to the bill, both because of the draft law’s secrecy clauses, but also […]

Link to: Further details on Ken Saro-Wiwa hearing; health concerns; receives award

Sources: lawyers, press agencies, Amnesty, various **Further to IFEX CH alerts dated 8 and 6 February 1995** The trial against jailed Nigerian writer Ken Saro-Wiwa is due to begin on 21 February 1995, after its postponement on 6 February. Saro-Wiwa is charged with four counts under the Civil Disturbances Tribunal Decree of 1987. The charges […]

Link to: Edouard Mutsinzi, editor-in-chief of “Le Messager- Intumwa”, attacked in assassination attempt

On the evening of 29 January 1995, an attempt was made on the life of Edouard Mutsinzi, editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Le Messager-Intumwa”. He was attacked in a bar in Nyamirambo (Kigali), while in the company of his wife, and several friends and journalists. A group of approximately five men armed with knives and fire […]

Link to: Ken Saro-Wiwa’s trial further adjourned to 26 February; individual claims responsibility in murder of four Ogoni leaders

**Updates IFEX CH alert dated 20 January 1995; for background, see IFEX alerts of 11 January, 21, 2 December, 17 November, and various 1994** The trial against Nigerian writer and human rights campaigner Ken Saro-Wiwa has been adjourned to 26 February 1995 in order to allow him more access to his lawyers. The case against […]

Link to: “Finance Magazine” offices set on fire

Source: Network for the Defence of Independent Media in Africa (NDIMA), Nairobi On 1 February, two armed men burst into the office of the “Finance Magazine”, owned by Githunguri Member of Parliament Njehu Gatabaki, doused it in petrol and set it ablaze. The reception area, a fax machine, a typewriter and some office furniture were […]

Link to: Ken Saro-Wiwa’s trial postponed until February

**For background, see IFEX CH alerts and press releases dated 11 January 1995, 21, 2 December, 17 November, and various alerts through 1994** The trial against Nigerian writer and minority rights activist Ken Saro-Wiwa was postponed on 16 January 1995 after the prosecution failed to turn up at the court in Port Harcourt. Mr. Saro-Wiwa’s […]