Yemeni journalist Fuad Rajeh, who is based in Jordan, decided to expose threats to freedom of expression in his country by looking into the cases of two activists and two journalists who faced online threats — and, in one case, ended up being killed — for speaking their minds on social media. Here’s how he did it.
When Clare Rewcastle Brown founded the Sarawak Report in 2010, it was designed to highlight issues affecting indigenous communities in Malaysia, but it soon became instrumental in breaking what the US attorney-general has described as the worst form of kleptocracy in history — the 1MDB scandal involving the plundering of state funds allegedly by Malaysia’s then prime minister and his associates.
Journalism has never been easy in Kazakhstan. The outspoken newspaper Uralskaya Nedelya has rarely known a moment’s peace. But it is usually the lawmaker’s pen and the judge’s gavel that are the main enemies of the independent press.
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.
At a time when press freedom is deteriorating in many states participating in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, having a voice to raise journalist cases and hold governments to account is vital. In a recent interview, the organization’s new Freedom of the Media representative Harlem Désir discusses his plans and explains why he is prioritizing journalist safety, fighting impunity and combating violent extremism online.
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.
Last month, Javier Valdez Cárdenas became the sixth member of the Mexican press to be killed in a two month period. It’s time to let the Mexican government know the international journalism community is watching: #ourvoiceisourstrength and #nuestravozesnuestrafuerza.
Today, on World Press Freedom Day, GIJN was honored with its first award, the Difference Day Honorary Title for Freedom of Expression. Awarded by two prominent Brussels universities, VUB and ULB, the Honorary Title is given annually “to a journalist, writer, artist, cultural thinker or any other person, association or institution that has made a vital contribution to protect and promote freedom of thinking and expression in an ever changing, democratic society.”
To secure the work of independent media, direct assistance from either individual contributions or funding agencies are important as a bloodstream to keep us alive. Here are five reasons why direct assistance is so important to the success of independent media.
On Wednesday, the UN and press freedom groups worldwide will mark International Day to End Impunity, commemorated since 2014 to highlight the glaring number of unresolved journalists’ murders and the lack of punishment for their perpetrators. As part of a series to mark the occasion, GIJN is pleased to excerpt “The Assault on Reporting” from a new report by David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression.