The conviction of Ugandan feminist and activist Dr. Stella Nyanzi for publishing a metaphorical poem about President Yoweri Museveni could have a chilling effect of freedom of expression, according to Dr. Peter Mwesige, co-founder of the Kampala-based African Centre For Media Excellence.
The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Tanzanian authorities to immediately release freelance journalist Erick Kabendera, whom police said is being investigated over his citizenship status.
Freelancer Erick Kabendera was reportedly arrested from his home in Mbweni, Dar es Salaam, Tanziana yesterday afternoon by unknown men.
The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned for the safety of investigative reporter Erick Kabendera
who was forcefully removed from his home today, and called on Tanzanian police to disclose whether they have him in custody.
It is an image of resistance that went viral across the world. Alaa Salah, a young Sudanese student, dressed in a traditional white thobe standing atop a car with an enthralled crowd surrounding her as she and they boldly chanted Al-Thawra
—Arabic for revolution.
The United Nations has condemned an internet shutdown and the blocking of social media channels during Sudan’s political crisis, as fears persisted over a crackdown on media freedoms in the turbulent African country.
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was deliberately killed at the hands of state actors and journalists around the world are increasingly seeing the same fate, said a United Nations expert.
Ibrahim Samura, erstwhile editor and publisher of New Age, an independent Freetown newspaper, was beaten up with “heavy-duty metal chains and sticks” during Sierra Leone's presidential run-off election in March 2018—in front of the police and army. He died from his injuries three months later. But more than a year since the assault the perpetrators are yet to be brought to book.
Speaking in parliament recently, Tanzania’s information minister, Harrison Mwakyembe, wondered why people were still concerned about the whereabouts of Azory Gwanda, a freelance journalist who went missing in November 2017 in the country’s Coast Region.
When former footballer George Weah became president of Liberia in 2018, media practitioners felt they had in him a democrat who would champion media freedoms. “But we were mistaken,” journalist Henry Costa told IPS.
Journalists around the world are increasingly seeing threats of violence, detention, and even death simply for doing their job, a new press index found.
“I’ve never known a time when it was as bad as it is now,” says Beata Balogova, the Vice-Chair of the International Press Institute (IPI) and Editor in Chief of the Slovak publication Sme. “In terms of what’s going on with journalists, we’re in a very unique period,” she adds.
Violence and toxic rhetoric against journalists must stop, say United Nations experts.
The day before Amnesty International released a statement calling on the government of Sudan to end harassment, intimidation and censorship of journalists following the arrests of at least 15 journalists since the beginning of the year, the head of the National Intelligence Security Services (NISS) Salah Goush accused Sudanese journalists, who recently met with western diplomats, of being spies.
In the midst of international outrage over the alleged murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, human rights groups have called for a United Nations investigation into the incident.
Last month, a horrifying video circulated on social media in Uganda. It shows Reuters photographer, James Akena, surrounded by Uganda Peoples Defence Force soldiers who beat him as he raised his hands in the air in surrender. He was unarmed and held only his camera.
JamiiForums was Tanzania’s largest whistleblowing online platform, with one million visitors each day. But now some 90 percent of staff has been retrenched and the owners are considering shutting down their offices since the June implementation of the country’s online content communication law.
Journalists and media activists have cautioned against Sri Lanka’s newfound press freedom as the country heads to the polls in 2020. Separate incidents of hate-speech against a Muslim minority—and the subsequent shutdown of social media platforms—and the harassment of reporters critical of the country’s opposition have led some to believe that the changes in media independence could reverse.
New restrictions on immigrants and refugees coming to the United States are also posing challenges for foreign correspondents covering news in the United States. Some have had to indefinitely postpone plans to report on conflicts in the Middle East while others have found an unfriendly reminder of their past treatment as journalists in less free countries.
With less than half the world’s population online, radio continues to be world’s most widely accessible source of news and information.
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has condemned the killing of more than 800 journalists globally since 2006. A measly seven percent of these murders have been solved.