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DHS: Fears over journalist database ‘fit for tin foil hat wearing … conspiracy theorists’

DHS: Fears over journalist database ‘fit for tin foil hat wearing … conspiracy theorists’ By Clare Foran, CNN  Fri April 6, 2018 (CNN)The Department of Homeland Security is pushing back on reaction to More »

palestinina injured

PHOTOS: Gazans Protest Again; Palestinian Officials Say 8 Killed By Israel https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/04/06/600157230/photos-gazans-protest-again-palestinian-officials-say-7-killed-by-israel

PHOTOS: Gazans Protest Again; Palestinian Officials Say 8 Killed By Israel Updated Saturday 9:42 a.m. ET Palestinian health officials say eight Palestinian protesters were shot dead by Israeli fire at border demonstrations More »

Murtaja killed

Palestinian Journalist Wearing Press Jacket Killed by Israeli Army in Gaza

Association of N. American (Canada_US ) Ethnic Journalists and writers condemn killing Palestinian Photo Journalist  Yaser Murtaja  by Israel Forces. We call on Netanyahu government to bring who killed the journalist before court of More »

Palestinian protesters cover from teargas fired by Israeli soldiers during clashes with Israeli troops along the Gaza Strip border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Friday, March 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Palestinian journalists injured covering mass protest in Gaza Strip

We at North American Ethnic Journalists and WRITERS CALL ON ISRAELI ARMY TO RESPECT JOURNALISTS WHO ARE COVERING THE EVENTS . Palestinian journalists injured covering mass protest in Gaza Strip April 2, More »

Israeli Military Kills 15 Palestinians

Human Rights Watch questions Israel’s use of live ammunition that causing 17 palestinian killed Israel army

Human Rights Watch questions Israel’s use of live ammunition that causing 17 palestinian killed by Israel army Israeli Military Kills 17 Palestinians in Confrontations on Gaza Border NEW YORK, March 31, 2018 More »

DHS: Fears over journalist database ‘fit for tin foil hat wearing … conspiracy theorists’

home land security

DHS: Fears over journalist database ‘fit for tin foil hat wearing … conspiracy theorists’

(CNN)The Department of Homeland Security is pushing back on reaction to reports that it’s seeking access to a database of journalists and bloggers, arguing that the move is “standard practice.”

A solicitation posted to the Federal Business Opportunities website, the main contracting website used by the federal government, outlines a number of requests from DHS related to media monitoring — including 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week access to a “media influencer” database that would be made up of reporters, editors and bloggers.
In a Friday column that was tweeted out by the Committee to Protect JournalistsForbes writer Michelle Fabio referred to the move as “today’s installment of ‘I’m Not Terrified, You Are,'” and said the details of the plan “are enough to cause nightmares of constitutional proportions, particularly as the freedom of the press is under attack worldwide.”
A DHS spokesperson took to Twitter on Friday to emphasize that the request is nothing out of the ordinary.
“Despite what some reporters may suggest, this is nothing more than the standard practice of monitoring current events in the media,” DHS spokesman Tyler Houlton tweeted after the Committee to Protect Journalists tweeted out a link to a Forbes article about the request. “Any suggestion otherwise is fit for tin foil hat wearing, black helicopter conspiracy theorists.”
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DHS is seeking a contractor that can provide “traditional and social media monitoring,” which will help its national protection and programs directorate track reporting and media coverage about the department, according to the solicitation.
“Given this administration’s denigration of most media outlets, I understand why the timing of this bid might look suspicious,” John Kirby, a CNN military and diplomatic analyst, said in an e-mail. “But from what I can tell, this is nothing more than an attempt at media analysis. It’s not at all different from what I have seen other agencies undertake to better understand the communication landscape. In fact, it would be PR malpractice not to put something like this together.”
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PHOTOS: Gazans Protest Again; Palestinian Officials Say 8 Killed By Israel https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/04/06/600157230/photos-gazans-protest-again-palestinian-officials-say-7-killed-by-israel

palestinina injured

PHOTOS: Gazans Protest Again; Palestinian Officials Say 8 Killed By Israel

Updated Saturday 9:42 a.m. ET

Palestinian health officials say eight Palestinian protesters were shot dead by Israeli fire at border demonstrations Friday, including a Palestinian photojournalist wearing a protective vest marked, “Press.” This caps a week of the largest demonstrations and worst violence that Gaza has seen in years.

The Israeli army had no immediate comment on the deaths.

Tthe total death toll from a week of protests is at least 29, according to Palestinian health officials.

On Friday, thousands of Palestinians once again gathered to demonstrate near the border with Israel “for the right to return to lands in today’s Israel,” as NPR’s Daniel Estrin reported from the scene.

An injured Palestinian protester is carried by fellow demonstrators during a protest east of Khan Yunis in Gaza.

Said Khatib /AFP/Getty Images

Palestinians say this is a peaceful demonstration. In a series of protest encampments, families fly kites and food trucks are parked to support the demonstration.

Israel accuses the Hamas militant group, which controls Gaza, of trying to turn the border area into a combat zone. Daniel said he heard gunfire and saw tear gas in the area immediately next to the border. Black smoke billowed from the area, he said, as young Palestinians brought tires down to the border to burn. Some threw rocks at the soldiers.

Palestinian demonstrators burned tires in order to create a smoke screen to block the view of Israel forces.

Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images

“Palestinians are actually calling today the ‘Day of Tires,’ because they said they were going to burn tires to create a smokescreen so that Israeli soldiers on the other side of the border fence wouldn’t be able to see them,” Daniel added.

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Among those reported wounded today was a Palestinian photojournalist, as Daniel reported. “Photos show him wearing a protective vest marked PRESS.”

Palestinian youth brought tires close to the border to burn during Friday’s protests.

Mahmud Hams /AFP/Getty Images

Israel maintains it is simply protecting its border and its troops. It has released video that appears to show several Palestinians trying to break through the border fence.

Rights groups have criticized Israel for disproportionate use of force against people who pose no immediate threat. Videos circulated on social media appear to show Israeli forces firing at Palestinians some distance away from the fence.

And while Hamas is vocally backing these demonstrations, which are intended to last six weeks, many Palestinians are participating because of the dismal living conditions in Gaza.

The area has been under blockade by Israel and Egypt for a decade. Gazans get only a few hours of electricity every day and have extremely limited water. The unemployment rate is at more than 40 percent.

Israeli security forces deployed near the Israeli border with the southern Gaza Strip watch smoke rising from the Palestinian village of Khuzaa.

Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images

“Palestinians said last week when the protest began, hundreds were injured by Israeli fire. Israel has disputed that, said that only tens of Palestinians were injured,” Daniel reported. At a hospital he visited – one of many treating wounded people in Gaza – “they said that they had had at least 100 people in surgery for serious wounds.”

Protest organizers are vowing to continue demonstrating for six weeks, until mid-May.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/04/06/600157230/photos-gazans-protest-again-palestinian-officials-say-7-killed-by-israel

Palestinian Journalist Wearing Press Jacket Killed by Israeli Army in Gaza

Murtaja killed

Association of N. American (Canada_US ) Ethnic Journalists and writers condemn killing Palestinian Photo Journalist  Yaser Murtaja  by Israel Forces.

We call on Netanyahu government to bring who killed the journalist before court of justice immediatley.

April 7 -2018

Murtaja killedMurtaja with rabbit

Palestinian Journalist Wearing Press Jacket Killed by Israeli Army in Gaza

The photographer Yaser Murtaja was shot in the chest and four additional journalists were injured by live fire. Israeli army: We did not intend to shoot journalists, circumstances under investigation

A Palestinian journalist shot Friday during clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces at the Gaza-Israel border died of his wounds later Friday night. The journalist, Yaser Murtaja, can be seen in photos soon after he was shot wearing a protective jacket labeled “PRESS”. Four other journalists were injured by live fire during the demonstrations, one of them critically.

Murtaga, 30, was shot in the abdomen as he covered demonstrations Friday east of Gaza City. According to the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, Murtaja was shot by gunfire while standing 350 meters from the border fence. The Israeli army has said in response: “The IDF does not intend to shoot at journalists, and the circumstances in which journalists were allegedly injured by IDF gunfire are unknown and are being investigated.”

About a month ago, Murtaja wrote on Facebook that he had never left Gaza, sharing an aerial photograph of the Gaza port. Thousands attended his funeral in the Strip.

Palestinian journalists injured covering mass protest in Gaza Strip

Palestinian protesters cover from teargas fired by Israeli soldiers during clashes with Israeli troops along the Gaza Strip border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Friday, March 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

We at North American Ethnic Journalists and WRITERS CALL ON ISRAELI ARMY TO RESPECT JOURNALISTS WHO ARE COVERING THE EVENTS .

Palestinian journalists injured covering mass protest in Gaza Strip
April 2, 2018

 

Beirut, April 2, 2018 — Israeli authorities should independently and credibly investigate reports that Israeli security forces injured journalists covering protests in the Gaza Strip on March 30, 2018, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
At least 10 Palestinian journalists were injured while covering mass protests on the Gaza border, according to the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), the Palestinian press freedom group Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedom (MADA), the regional press freedom group Center for Defending the Freedom of Journalists (CFJ), and news reports.
Thousands of Palestinians joined the protest in Gaza Strip on March 30 against Israel’s refusal to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their pre-1948 homes, news reports said. At least 17 Palestinians have been killed and 1,400 injured in the protest.
“Journalists should be able to cover demonstrations without fearing for their safety,” CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour said from Washington D.C. “We call on Israeli officials to hold to account any security personnel who commit violence against journalists.”
Freelance journalist Ahmed Salem Muammar was hit in his lower abdomen by a live round in an area east of the city of Khan Younis, according to MADA, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, and CFJ.
Muammar told MADA that he was leaving the site of the demonstrations along with his colleague Hatem Omar, a photographer for the Xinhua News Agency, after having covered the protests when he was shot in his abdomen. “By chance I was very close to an ambulance that took me to Nasser Hospital. There were 14 shrapnel in my lower abdomen, I underwent a three-hour surgery, where 30 cm of intestine was removed, bleeding was controlled and I am still under observation in hospital,” he said, according to MADA’s website.
Wisam Mousa, photographer for the Deir al-Balah-based local radio station Fursan al-Aradah, was hit by live rounds in both legs while he was covering the protests from afar at the refugee camp of Al-Bureij, according to MADA, the PJS, and his employer.
“I was more than 400 meters away from the border fence, and while I was standing near the ambulances, I was deliberately targeted and shot with two live fire- bullets, one of which penetrated my right leg and came out of it, whereas, the other bullet penetrated my left leg causing a severe rupture in my leg muscle- just below the knee,” Mousa told MADA.
Israeli Defense Forces did not immediately reply to CPJ’s email requesting comment.
Hala al-Hassanat, reporter for the Gaza-based Nahar News Agency, told CPJ that she was covering the march at Al-Bureij refugee camp in the evening when Israeli soldiers began shooting at civilians. She ran away from the shooting and fell over a pile of stones, breaking her left leg. She was transferred for treatment to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital.
Mahmoud Adnan Mdouj, a photographer for the media production company Media Town, was hit by a live round in his right leg, which was broken as a result, while he was covering the protest march behind the protesters, about 500 meters away from the border fence, according to MADA and pictures posted on Facebook by other Palestinian journalists.
Ahmed Kafa, a photographer for the local news website Deir al-Balah Media, was injured in his right leg by a live round while he was covering the protests in eastern Khan Younis, according to the local press freedom group Journalist Support Committee, news reports, and his employer.
Journalists Amina Dabash, reporter for the independent news agency Media Field Unit, Mohammed Joudeh, reporter for the Palestinian Authority’s official broadcaster Palestine TV, and freelance photographer Hussein Abu Khreis were hit directly in their legs by tear gas canisters in Al-Bureij, Rafah, and eastern Khan Younis, respectively, according to the PJS, news reports, and Facebook posts.
Ali Yousef al-Adwy, reporter and cameraman for the local Lajee TV Channel, was hit by a bullet on his left leg, slightly below his knee, while he was covering the protests near the Gaza border with Israel, according to his employer, pictures of Al-Adwy posted on Facebook, and the CFJ.
For his part, Loay Nahd al-Ghoul, a reporter for Palestine TV, inhaled tear gas while he was covering the protests in eastern Gaza, according to the PJS and a post on his Facebook account.

Human Rights Watch questions Israel’s use of live ammunition that causing 17 palestinian killed Israel army

Israeli Military Kills 15 Palestinians
Human Rights Watch questions Israel’s use of live ammunition that causing 17 palestinian killed by Israel army

Israeli Military Kills 17 Palestinians in Confrontations on Gaza Border

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NEW YORK, March 31, 2018 (WAFA) – Human Rights Watch (HRW) questioned on Friday Israel’s use of live ammunition against Palestinian civilians following the Israeli army shooting and killing 15 Palestinians and injuring over 1400 in one day on the Gaza border with Israel.

Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW’s Middle East and North Africa director, said in a tweet that “the shocking number of Palestinians killed and hurt today by soldiers firing across the Gaza fence raises serious questions about Israel’s longstanding use of live ammunition to police demonstrations.”

Whitson also rejected Israel’s justification for the heavy and unrestrained use of fire arms against civilians taking part in a peaceful rally, saying “Israel’s allegations of violence by some protesters do not change the fact that using lethal force is banned by international law except to meet an imminent threat to life.”

52 Brazilian women sports journalists launch their #MeToo campaign against seuxal harrasment #deixaelatrabalhar

brazilian sport journalsit

Association of North American ( Canada – USA ) Ethnic Journalists and writers support Brazilian women journalist campaign against Sexual misconduct and harassment

wwww.anaj.org support #deixaelatrabalhar
March 31 -2018

 52 Brazilian  women sports journalists launch  their #MeToo moment

A man gave Bruna Dealtry an unwanted kiss as she was reporting on live television. She and other female sports journalists in Brazil made a video about their experiences with sexual harassment and assault on the job.

(CNN)It’s Tuesday night in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Januario stadium is packed with people. The host football club, Vasco, is making its debut in the prestigious Libertadores soccer tournament against visitor Universidad de Chile.

Fans in black and white jerseys pour into the stadium, cheering and pounding cans of beer. Reporter Bruna Dealtry positions herself in the middle of the action for her upcoming live shot. She’s on the air describing the atmosphere for Esporte Interativo’s viewers, when a shirtless man kisses her on the lips mid-sentence. Dealtry shrieks for a second and says on camera “That wasn’t cool. I didn’t really need that, but it happened.”
“I felt humiliated,” Dealtry told CNN. “If this can happen to me with the camera rolling, imagine what other women go through. I couldn’t just stay silent.”
That night, Dealtry wrote about the incident on her professional Facebook page, and posted an excerpt of the video.
“I’ve always been a reporter who loves to celebrate with the fans. I don’t get bothered by people soaking me in beer, jumping around me or stepping on my foot,” Dealtry wrote. “But today, I experienced first-hand the impotence so many women feel in the stadium, on the subway, even walking in the street. I was kissed on the lips, without my permission, while I was doing my job. I didn’t know how to react and couldn’t understand how someone could think they have the right to act that way.”
Dealtry’s post generated an immediate response — especially among other female journalist who cover sports.
“Somebody had to take that first step,” sports producer Paula Pereira Ab told CNN. “We knew we had something in common that went beyond being female journalists. We had all been victims of harassment, mansplaining and sexism in general, as minorities in the sports world.”
For Ab, the issue went beyond what the journalists face from the fans in the stadium. A veteran sports producer, Ab said she was fired from one of her previous employers after speaking out against a superior who she accused of harassment.
“It’s been years since this happened and I still shake when I think about it,” Ab told CNN. “I was at the height of my career and had just come back from an international assignment when I presented my claim against my harasser. I was fired almost instantly and told I wasn’t the right fit anymore.”

#LetHerDoHerJob

Eight women who connected over Dealtry’s Facebook post banded together and formed a messaging group on WhatsApp.
Two weeks later, the group had 52 members. They began discussing strategies to take action, and, inspired in part by the #MeToo movement, decided to use social media to spread their message.
They agreed to make a one-minute video about their experiences with harassment — many of which had been caught on camera — and the hashtag #deixaelatrabalhar (Portuguese for #LetHerDoHerJob).
They published the video on Sunday, March 25; since then, local media reported that it’s been viewed millions of times across different platforms, citing the social media data aggregator CrowdTangle.
Interspersed with clips of harassment and assault — including Dealtry’s unwanted kiss — the women speak to the camera about their experiences, demanding respect and saying they’ve had enough.
“I was pleasantly surprised by the response we got,” Mayra Siqueira, a freelance journalist and commentator, told CNN. “A lot of people retweeted our post, including some of the football clubs and male fans.”
Vasco, the team Dealtry was covering the night a fan kissed her, was among those who shared the video, along with Brazilian character artist Renato Peters and soccer legend Zico.

What’s next

Siqueira said the Whatsapp group has now grown to nearly 100 women, who work in sports journalism all over Brazil. The women have received messages of support from people all over the world and hope to broaden the campaign to include international journalists as well.
“We are part of a global movement,” Siqueira told CNN. “Our fight can be any woman’s fight. We’ve shown that when a group of us come together, our voices become louder and we cannot be ignored.”
Siqueira said the group has no definite plans for a follow-up to the video, but they are discussing their next steps.
Nearly a week after the women posted their video, Brazil’s Sports Ministry and the National Secretariat for Women’s Policies launched a campaign featuring female athletes speaking out against sexual harassment in sport and denouncing it as a crime. It also included a call for action for women to report the incidents to an emergency hotline.
“We’ve been experiencing sexism and harassment in our society for a long time and tolerating it because it was considered normal,” Dealtry said. “I think my experience caused an impact because it happened live, on camera and in the context of football. … I’m hoping this example will leave an impact and make men think twice before doing something like that again.”
www.anaj.org support #metoo campaign 

Terror of Azeri exiled journalist critic of Ilham Aliyev in France

namazov_1323561038

Association of North American ( CANADA _USA ) Ethnic Journalists and writers condemn terror of exiled Azeri journalist Rahim Namazov who was hospitalized and his wife who killed by gun man in France. our condolences to family , Friends.
We Call on French government to bring those who ordered and those who committed the crime before court of Law very soon.
www.anaj.org
March 30 -2018

Rahim Namazov

Gunman shoots exiled Azeri journalist in southern France
TOULOUSE, France (Reuters) – A gunman shot and gravely wounded an exiled Azeri journalist and killed his wife near the southern French city of Toulouse on Friday, in an incident the local mayor said appeared to be a settling of political scores.

Rahim Namazov was an outspoken critic of the Azeri political leadership and served time in prison before seeking exile in France in 2010.

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In a video posted on YouTube in December that year, Namazov said he was jailed after writing stories about brutality against soldiers in units of the Azeri military. He said he had spent six months in solitary confinement.

“It’s the journalistic profession, the father of a family and the freedom of the press that has been attacked today,” Karine Michelet-Traval, the mayor of Colomiers where the shooting occurred, said in a statement. In separate comments to La Depeche newspaper, she said: “You can’t help but think this was a settling of scores.”

Namazov’s wife was killed in the shooting. A police source said she had been shot in the head, apparently at close range. Witnesses spoke of hearing multiple gunshots, local media reported.

The local prosecutor is due to make a statement at 16h00 (1400 GMT).

azeri journalsit

Human Rights Watch said last year the Azeri government continued its crackdown on dissenting voices and that reports of torture persisted. It also said independent media outlets faced harassment and closure and critical journalists faced threats and intimidation aimed at silencing them.

Gatineau police face ethics complaint after arresting journalist

gatinu police

Gatineau police face ethics complaint after arresting journalist
“We cannot tolerate this in a nation of laws. For me, this is an attack on democracy,” said Vania Atudorei

Published on: March 28, 2018 |

A Montreal CEGEP teacher says she’s filed an ethics complaint against the Gatineau police department after it arrested a Radio-Canada journalist.

“We cannot tolerate this in a nation of laws. For me, this is an attack on democracy. Tomorrow, it could be another journalist if we say nothing,” said Vania Atudorei, who teaches microbiology at Gérald-Godin CEGEP and describes the conduct of the Gatineau force as “third world.”

“I have friends at the United Nations who heard the news, it’s gone international, and they asked me: ‘Is it true that in Canada the police arrest journalists?’ ”

Atudorei says that the journalist in question, Antoine Trépanier, was her former student and she respects his integrity. She adds that her complaint is being studied by the province’s police ethics commission

Trépanier was arrested by Gatineau police on March 13 after Yvonne Dubé, who was at the centre of a journalistic investigation, filed a complaint against him for criminal harassment. Dubé is the director of the Big Brothers and Sisters organization in the Outaouais region.

Gatineau police chief Mario Harel has admitted that his personnel “did not adequately evaluate the situation” before placing Trépanier under arrest.

Quebec’s office of criminal prosecutions decided after the arrest that no criminal act had been committed.

Atudorei believes the officer who arrested the reporter didn’t make the necessary checks prior to acting, and hopes her complaint will result in a sanction being levied against them by the ethics board.

“When we make mistakes in our professional life, errors, there are consequences, no? … I’m not targeting an individual, I’m targeting a procedure and I’m targeting a dysfunction in our public services.”

Mozambican journalist critical of gov’t kidnapped, beaten unconscious Ericino de Salema

mozambic journalist

Mozambican journalist critical of gov’t kidnapped, beaten unconscious

Association of North American ( CANADA_USA) call on Police to arrest those responsible for vicious attack of Ericino de Salema
March 28-2018

assailants on Tuesday kidnapped and assaulted a prominent Mozambican journalist and human rights activist who has been critical of President Filipe Nyusi and his government.

Ericino de Salema was snatched in the center of the capital Maputo, beaten and left unconscious on the capital’s ring road, state news agency AIM reported.

Salema is now being treated in hospital, AIM said.

He was abducted by two men and we are currently investigating the incident in order to find who did this

He was abducted by two men and we are currently investigating the incident in order to find who did this,” police spokesman Orlando Mudumane told reporters.

Salema, a veteran journalist and lawyer, criticised alleged corruption and largesse among Nyusi and his family in his regular appearances on independent television station STV.

Nyusi denies allegations his family have benefited unduly from state funds and has pledged to crackdown on corruption that has blighted Mozambique in the past.

Salema had received threatening phone calls the previous day, AIM reported.

In May 2016, another political commentator, Jose Jaime Macuane was also kidnapped and later found on the same Maputo ring road, having been shot in both legs.

No one has faced charges for this abduction and shooting and very few people in Maputo believe in the police’s capability to resolve such crimes.

Three Indian journalists run down deliberately and killed by vehicles

3 indian journalists

Three Indian journalists run down and killed by vehicles
Sandeep Sharma, Navin Nischal and Vijay Singh claimed to be victims of deliberate attacks

#Association of North American( CANADA _USA ) Ethnic Journalists and writers condolences to family , friends and colleagues of Sandeep Sharma, Navin Nischal and Vijay Singh in India

March 28 -2018
Three Indian journalists have been struck by vehicles and killed in recent days in what their families and rights groups claim were deliberate attacks.

The deaths of the reporters Sandeep Sharma in Madhya Pradesh state, and Navin Nischal and Vijay Singh in Bihar state, have underlined India’s status as one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist, particularly in languages other than English and outside large cities.

Sharma, 36, had recently conducted an undercover “sting” that claimed to have produced footage of a senior police official in his area agreeing to accept a 25,000-rupee (£272) bribe each month in exchange for allowing sand mining in a protected crocodile sanctuary.

“After that he was getting lots of threats from people,” said Rizwan Ahmad Siddiqui, editor-in-chief of News World, the local television news channel where Sharma worked.

“He was denied police protection and the police asked for the camera he had used to conduct the sting,” he said. “They took the original recording and never gave it back.”

CCTV footage has been released showing Sharma’s motorcycle disappearing under an accelerating truck on Monday morning on a road in Bhind district, about 310 miles from the state capital, Bhopal.

Police in the district formed a special investigative team and arrested the driver, Ranbir Yadav, on Monday. The Madhya Pradesh chief minister, Shivraj Singh, on Tuesday ordered India’s elite Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate Sharma’s death.

News World has been airing segments on Sharma’s death and tributes to the journalist since Monday morning and Siddiqui called for the CBI to also investigate his claims about the illegal sand mining.

Sand is a key ingredient in modern construction and as India rapidly urbanises, the pursuit of the material has been linked to increasing reports of corruption and violence.

The amount of sand used for construction in India has tripled since 2000 by some estimates and supplies around major cities have been depleted. Developers have been travelling to more remote regions to source the material, often bringing them into conflict with communities that complain the dredging process severely damages rivers and coasts.

Villagers pay tragic price as Indian building boom drives demand for sand
Read more
Organised sand mafias, often alleged to have close ties to authorities, are believed to be involved in most of the illegal extraction, and Reporters Without Borders has noted that journalists “who cover India’s sand mafia are often the victims of violent reprisals”.

“The shocking manner in which Sandeep Sharma was murdered is a terrible warning to journalists who investigate the sand mining mafia phenomenon,” the group said in a statement.

The day before Sharma was killed, Nishchal and Singh were also run down by a vehicle allegedly driven by an ex-village chief, Mohammad Harsu.

Police said on Monday they had arrested Harsu and were investigating the circumstances of the incident.

The pair had finished reporting on a Hindu festival for their publications when they got into an argument with Harsu at a tobacco stand, said Rakesh Kumar Singh, bureau chief of the newspaper Dainik Bhaskar, where Nishchal worked.

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“As they were leaving the tobacco stand they were rammed by a car driven by the ex-village head,” Singh said. “[Harsu] used to pressure local journalists to write in his favour and had lots of grudges against these two journalists.”

Singh said journalists in small Indian cities and villages were frequently threatened by local authorities. “These local dons are the big figures,” he said. “If you don’t greet them with a smile you get four slaps. They want you to fear them. They put a lot of pressure on us journalists.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in a report last year that 27 journalists had been killed “with complete impunity” in India since 1992. It listed another 25 murders it was investigating to ascertain a connection to the journalists’ work. At least another six journalists have been killed in the time since the report was published.

The CPJ ranks India 13th in its global impunity index, highlighting countries where the murders of journalists are least likely to be punished. The organisation claims not a single journalist’s murder in the country has been solved in the past 10 years.

In September the journalist and editor Gauri Lankesh was gunned down on her doorstep in Bengaluru. Earlier this month police arrested a man with close ties to Hindu nationalist groups.

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