Investigative journalist Taha Siddiqui, who was forced to flee to France recently after a failed abduction attempt, talks about why he left Islamabad and his SAFE Newsrooms initiative which aims to highlight freedom of expression issues in newsrooms across South Asia.
With a $5 million funding budget, the new platform is dreamily promising a new “canvas on which journalists can paint the future of their industry.” But it isn’t clear how the blockchain-based technology will generate the cold hard cash needed to sustain the industry’s revenue-starved publications, writes Rowan Philp for GIJN.
Non-state media in Cuba defy the constitution of the country, which explicitly prohibits the existence of private media in Article 52. But that hasn’t stopped these 14 independent media houses – most of which started up after 2014 – from winning international awards.
The Bell illustrates a growing trend in which Russian journalists and media managers are finding ways of building news organizations that are not financially dependent on rich businessmen vulnerable to Kremlin pressure.
The Bahraini constitution guarantees freedom of expression and the press, excluding opinions that undermine the fundamental beliefs of Islam or the “unity of the people” and those that promote “discord or sectarianism.” However, the Law of Press, Printing and Publishing of 2002 is used to restrict free speech.; Law 47/2002 includes 17 categories of offenses, three of which allow for prison sentences. The freedom of expression climate in Bahrain has changed significantly since 2011, when protests influenced by the “Arab Spring” started taking place. The Bahraini authorities responded by prosecuting journalists and critics that covered political events or reflected the voices of protesters and voices of dissent.
Freedom of speech in Kuwait is protected according to Articles 36 and 37 in the country’s constitution. However, that freedom is limited according to what is “specified by the law.”
Criticizing the Emir of Kuwait is illegal and could lead to more than five years in prison, physical abuse, extreme interrogation or badeportation. It is also illegal to publish work that insults Islam, the prophets or God. Publishing work that discusses them negatively could lead to more than a $50,000 fine and a year (or more) in prison.
Often referred to as the only independent radio station in Russia, Echo Moskvy has been subjected to state pressure for some time, but 2017 was particularly bad. One radio host was almost killed, two journalists went into in exile and several more were detained in the course of their work.
Graffitied pigs, a viola player, a painting of a war zone, underground music, a president as a clown. These are just some of the subversive art works that in the last year have resulted in artists’ imprisonment, prosecution, bans and threats.
Governments have arsenals of weapons to censor information. The worst are well-known: detention, torture, extra-judicial killing or surveillance. Another form of censorship gets limited attention, a kind of quiet repression: the travel ban.
As we prepare to gather in Johannesburg for #GIJC17, it’s worth noting the many challenges African journalists face. From South Africa to Somalia, July was a particularly ominous month for free expression on the continent.