After 15 long years of public campaigns and debates in which different political, social and business sectors held marches and counter-protests, Argentina finally has a new law that guarantees access to public information.
“For too long we have been afraid to speak out against injustices and all sorts of atrocities happening in Cameroon, thinking it [the silence] will protect us. If I were to repeat what I have done on Canal 2 English [television], I will do it again. I now stand ready for any eventuality,” says Cameroonian journalist Elie Smith.
Aimal Khan, 27, an airman in Pakistan's Air Force, warns the country will end up in the throes of mayhem if the state does not do something about the abuse of the blasphemy laws. "People will use it to settle personal scores," he said.
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas located on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border remain one of the most perilous places in the world to be a reporter, with journalists walking a razor’s edge of violence and censorship.
Four years ago, a faceless writer using the nom de guerre Baba Jukwa set Facebook agog with detailed exposes of machinations within the ruling Zimbabwe National People’s Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF).
It took Eritrean journalist Estifo* seven years to save up enough money to pay a fixer to get him and his family from the capital, Asmara, to the shared border with Ethiopia. After they crossed the border by foot, they turned themselves in to the Ethiopian authorities and claimed asylum as refugees.
The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) advanced its commitment to the safety of journalists after adopting a groundbreaking resolution with measures for states to ensure journalist protection. But this is only the first step, many note.
Like the living room of any proud family, the one in Ajoy Roy’s house boasts photos of the eldest son, Avijit.
“How would you like it if you were just expressing your feelings and someone just put you in jail?” This is how an eight-year-old American schoolchild asked King Salman of Saudi Arabia not to flog imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi.
Pierre Claver Mbonimpa is not permitted to get close to an airport, train station or port without authorisation from a judge. He cannot travel outside of the capital of his native Burundi, Bujumbura. Whenever called upon, he must present himself before judicial authorities.
The Southern Africa Litigation Centre, Amnesty International and over a dozen other human rights organisations including the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights have signed an open letter demanding justice for crusading Angolan journalist Rafael Marques de Morais, whose exposés have offended several military officials and other higher-ups.
What happened in Paris on Jan. 7 – known all over the world – is totally unacceptable and inexcusable.
Flogging a dead horse, as the old idiom goes, is far removed from flogging a live Saudi blogger.
In the wake of last week’s attack on French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo
that left 12 people dead, a heated battle of opinion is being waged in France and several other countries on the issue of freedom of expression and the rights of both media and the public.
“They are cowards who react to satire by going for their Kalashnikovs.” That was how renowned French cartoonist Plantu described the killers of 10 media workers and two policemen in Paris Wednesday.
It looks like Tajikistan is following a regional trend by drafting legislation that may sharply restrict the activities of foreign-funded non-governmental organisations. Activists say the bill threatens to hinder the operations of hundreds of organisations working on everything from human rights to public health.
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.
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
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.
Aliakbar Mousavi is a former member of the Iranian parliament and an internet freedom and human rights advocate now living in Washington, DC. In 2006, he was arrested and jailed by the Iranian government for urging human rights reforms.
"We have to understand that information, above all else, is a social service. If we lose sight of that dimension we begin to regulate it as merchandise, but the state has many other obligations, such as to guarantee freedom," said Frank La Rue.