Press Freedom

OPINION: Contras and Drugs, Three Decades Later

In late 1986, Washington was rocked by revelations that the Ronald Reagan administration had illegally aided a stateless army known as the contras in Central America.

Cash-Strapped Human Rights Office at Breaking Point, Says New Chief

After six weeks in office, the new U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein of Jordan launched a blistering attack on member states for insufficient funding, thereby forcing operations in his office to the breaking point "in a world that seems to be lurching from crisis to ever-more dangerous crisis."

Half a Century of Struggle Against Underdevelopment

The idea of creating Inter Press Service (IPS) arose in the early 1960s in response to awareness that a vacuum existed in the world of journalism, which had two basic aspects.

OPINION: This Flower Is Right Here

Where have all the flowers gone? Yes, of course, those are the opening words of a beautiful song made famous by such illustrious singers as Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, Vera Lynn and the Kingston Trio, among others. It was a great number made greater by the different styles in which singers of different musical temperaments belted it out.

OPINION: International Relations, the U.N. and Inter Press Service

In 1979, I had a debate at the United Nations with the late Stan Swinton, then the very powerful and brilliant director of Associated Press (AP). At one point, I furnished the following figures (which had been slow to change), as an example of Western bias in the media:

Azerbaijan: Human Rights Plummet to New Low

Azerbaijan in recent months has launched a clear assault against various civil society activists and non-governmental organisations. While rough treatment of critics is nothing new in this energy-rich South-Caucasus country, one question remains unanswered: Why pick up the pace now?

Iran, One Year Under Rouhani

When Hassan Rouhani was declared Iran’s president last year, large crowds gathered in the streets of Tehran to celebrate his surprise victory. But while hope for a better life persists, Iranians continue to face harsh realities.

Human Rights Low on U.S-Africa Policy Summit

As the White House prepares to host more than 40 African heads of state for the upcoming U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, civil society actors from the U.S., Africa and the international community are urging the Barack Obama administration to use the summit as an opportunity to more thoroughly address some of Africa’s most pressing human rights violations.

Touaregs Seek Secular and Democratic Multi-Ethnic State

The government of Mali and Touareg rebels representing Azawad, a territory in northern Mali which declared unilateral independence in 2012 after a Touareg rebellion drove out the Malian army, resumed peace talks in Algiers last week, intended to end decades of conflict.

Malnutrition Hits Syrians Hard as UN Authorises Cross-Border Access

Gaunt, haggard Syrian children begging and selling gum have become a fixture in streets of the Lebanese capital; having fled the ongoing conflict, they continue to be stalked by its effects.

OPINION: Why Asia-Europe Relations Matter in the 21st Century

Hopes are high that the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting – or ASEM summit – to be held in Milan on October 16-17 will confirm the credibility and relevance of Asia-Europe relations in the 21st century.

Honduran Secrecy Law Bolsters Corruption and Limits Press Freedom

The new official secrets law in Honduras clamps down on freedom of expression, strengthens corruption and enables public information on defence and security affairs to be kept secret for up to 25 years, according to a confidential report seen by IPS.

Syrian Kurds Have Their Own TV Against All Odds

Rudi Mohamed Amid gives his script one quick, last glance before he goes live. "Roj bas, Kurdistan (Good morning, Kurdistan)," he greets his audience, with the assuredness of a veteran journalist. However, hardly anyone at Ronahi, Syrian Kurds' first and only television channel, had any media experience before the war.

Battle Stations: Civil Society Fights Radio and TV Spectrum Auctions

Pressure from social organisations has temporarily halted concessions of television broadcasting frequencies in El Salvador, a country where the struggle for spectrum ownership has political and ideological overtones, as well as economic ones.

How EU-Ready Is Tbilisi?

Georgia plans to finalise a pact with the European Union on Jun. 27 that would bring Tbilisi closer to Brussels. Even so, the campaign environment ahead of Georgia’s local elections suggests that the country has quite a bit of distance to cover before it reaches the standards of a European democracy.

Next Page »