Monthly Archives: March 2016

Happy Nowruz 2016


South Sudan journalist kidnapped and tortured


Guardian- A South Sudanese journalist has been abducted, tortured, burned and dumped near a graveyard, according to local media reports, in the latest attack on the media in the country.

The assault on Joseph Afandy came as he recovered from being held for two months in detention without charge by security forces, after criticising the government’s handling of a two-year civil war.

Afandy, who was reportedly kidnapped on Friday by unknown men in a white vehicle with tinted windows, phoned for help after he was dumped near the graveyard.

Analysis South Sudan’s media crackdown is an ominous sign for its brittle peace
Despite a recent ceasefire life in the world’s newest country remains intolerable, while journalists report atmosphere in the capital is ‘Orwellian’
Read more
“We found him in a bad condition – beaten and burned in his legs,” colleague Ibrahim Awuol told Juba’s Eye Radio on Tuesday.

The journalist is now recovering in hospital.

“We call on authorities to credibly investigate this horrible crime against our colleague, Joseph Afandy, to hold the perpetrators to account, and to ensure the journalist’s safety,” said Robert Mahoney of the Committee to Protect Journalists CPJ’s deputy executive director. “No one should have to endure what this young man has survived.”

Rights groups have accused the security forces of cracking down on journalists, stifling debate on how to end a civil war in which tens of thousands of people have been killed since December 2013.

Seven journalists were killed last year while covering the conflict. Some were caught up in the fighting but a reporter was shot in August in an apparently targeted attack. Peter Julius Moi was killed days after president Salva Kiir announced that journalists who reported “against the country” would be targeted.

Journalist George Livio, who worked for the UN-backed Radio Miraya in the town of Wau, has been in detention since being arrested in August 2014.

 Joseph Afandy

Joseph Afandy

Reporters in Juba have described an Orwellian atmosphere in the country, saying only good news about the government is tolerated.

“It is very hard to maintain any level of professional standards here,” said a radio reporter who asked to remain anonymous. “We are only allowed to report about the positives without pointing out weaknesses or what needs to be corrected.”

Reporters Without Borders ranks South Sudan as 125th out of 180 countries in its 2015 world press freedom index.

• This article was amended on 10 March 2016 to clarify the meaning of the final sentence.

At Donald Trump rally, Indian-origin journalist heckled, detained

Sopan Deb

Indian-origin journalist detained at Donald Trump rally

An Indian-origin journalist with a US television network was heckled by Donald Trump’s supporters and briefly detained by police during a protest at the Republican presidential frontrunner’s campaign rally here, media reports said.
CBS News reporter Sopan Deb was detained by police while covering the protest that broke out last night following the cancellation of Trump’s rally in Chicago.
Deb was covering the clash between protesters and the Republican front-runner’s supporters when he was detained, the news organisation said.

Ethnic Media Coalition Demands Parliamentary Access, Journalistic Safeguards


Ethnic Media Coalition Demands Parliamentary Access, Journalistic Safeguards
MRAUK U, ARAKAN STATE — Ethnic media organizations discussed access to regional parliaments, future government funding and the protection of journalists at Burma News International’s (BNI) 4th Ethnic Media Conference this week in Arakan State.

BNI invited organizations from across the country to the ancient Arakan city of Mrauk U from February 14 to 16. About 280 representatives from various civil society organizations, political parties and media outlets participated in the conference.

After three days of discussions, the conference culminated with the release of a five-point statement addressing future financial assistance, the advancement of women in ethnic media, and a demand to the Myanmar Press Council (MPC) and the government to enact laws safeguarding journalists.

Nai Ka Sauh Mon, co-executive director of BNI, said that Burma’s incoming government must ensure guaranteed access to information in the regional parliaments.

“As far as I know, in some regions, the small ethnic media houses were not allowed to attend the state legislature,” said Nai Ka Sauh Mon, adding that ethnic media groups’ journalists often face Burma Army threats when they contact government officials to verify the news.

Small ethnic media houses are also facing financial challenges, and conference participants broached the topic of future support from Burma’s government. Some attendees expressed a willingness to receive such aid; the majority of organizations voted in favour of government assistance if it would not interfere with independent editorial policies of the media houses.

But, according to Khine Mrat Kyaw, a member of BNI’s board of directors, a decision on the issue has not yet been made.

Nai Ka Sauh Mon acknowledged that BNI will need to make “a policy for collaboration with the government.”

The Irrawaddy previously reported that the Ministry of Information had offered to provide financial support to ethnic media groups; BNI’s co-executive director, Nan Paw Gay, pointed out that member organizations had never received such funds.

Bengaluru TV journalists’ association launched

Members of the media, particularly television, were on Sunday cautioned against converting prime-time shows into media trials.

Members of the media, particularly television, were on Sunday cautioned against converting prime-time shows into media trials.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who launched the Bengaluru TV Journalists’ Association by giving a ‘point-to-camera’ speech, as oft done by TV journalists at the end of their segment, said, “Seeing these shows, it seems like the journalist is the lawyer and the judge is the anchor of the show. Instead of doing good to society, these people are creating a sense of fear.”

Union Law Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda concurred, and added that there seemed to be no space for politicians or thinkers in television debates when anchors themselves do all the talking. He requested journalists to list out the laws that need to be amended to help journalism flourish.

Referring to the recent attack by lawyers on journalists covering the sedition cases against a few Jawaharlal Nehru University students in New Delhi, veteran journalist Rajdeep Sardesai said it was necessary to ensure basic protection for journalists from threat, intimidation and physical assault.


ormo protest

Press freedom in Ethiopia is dwindling in light of recent anti-government protests and the severe drought in the Horn of Africa state, according to a journalists’ association.

Two journalists and a translator were arbitrarily detained for 24 hours on Thursday when reporting on the protests in Oromia, according to a statement issued by the Foreign Correspondents’ Association of East Africa (FCAEA) on Monday. Bloomberg correspondent William Davison and freelance journalist Jacey Fortin, along with their translator, were not given any reason for their detention. Their phones and identification cards were taken during the arrest.

Protests among the Oromos, who constitute Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, have been ongoing since November 2015 and were originally directed against plans by the federal government to expand the capital Addis Ababa. At least 140 protesters were killed between November 2015 and January, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). The Addis expansion plans were dropped in January but the protests—which have morphed into a general expression of dissatisfaction with the government among Oromos—have continued and demonstrators are still being subjected to “lethal force,” HRW said on February 22. The Ethiopian government has said that “destructive forces” —including some from neighboring Eritrea—have hijacked the protests and would be dealt with decisively.
ethiopia_presser_oromia_protest_1ormo protest

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