Bangkok, November 20, 2014--A state witness in the mass killing of 57 people, including 32 journalists and media workers, in the Philippines in 2009 was shot dead by assailants on Tuesday while traveling in a remote area of southern Maguindanao province, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the killing and calls upon Philippine authorities to identify, apprehend, and prosecute the attackers.
This week, members of UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication will meet to discuss the director general's biannual report, which examines the cases of nearly 600 journalists killed around the world from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2013. The report, and lacklustre response from member states who had been asked to provide status updates to the cases, highlights why the campaign to end impunity is so vital.
New York, November 17, 2014--Military authorities in Thailand have forced the suspension of a broadcast reporter for violating orders under martial law that bar critical reporting on the country's ruling junta, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls for an end to intimidation and harassment of journalists and a lifting of all martial law orders that censor the press.
Chinese President Xi Jinping issued tough words on the visa woes of international media outlets today, arguing that journalists facing visa restrictions had brought trouble on themselves and signaling that there will be little respite for the international media in China.
The well-known and controversial Pakistani television talk show host Hamid Mir survived a murder attempt on April 19, even though he was hit with six bullets--two of which are still in his body. "I can move, I can walk and I can talk, but I am still undergoing physiotherapy and taking medication," he emailed to a small group of associates, including CPJ, over the weekend.
New York, November 7, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists is greatly concerned about the safety of Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, who has been repeatedly questioned by local police in Nha Trang about her activity on Facebook, and says that she fears arrest. Vietnam currently imprisons 17 journalists, most of them bloggers, according to CPJ research.
Dear President Obama: The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to express its deep concern about the recent killing, jailing, and harassment of journalists in Burma. During your upcoming visit to the country on November 11-12, we urge you to impress upon Burmese President Thein Sein that future U.S. engagement will be predicated on a renewed and genuine commitment to press freedom.
On October 14, as Japan prepared to mark Newspaper Week--an event set up to promote the public right to know--Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet publicly announced guidelines on how the country's security law, which was passed in December 2013, is to be implemented. This date will be remembered as the point at which the public's access to government information was decimated. Under the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets Act (SDS), whistleblowing civil servants face up to 10 years in prison and the journalists who work with them could face up to five years for leaking state secrets. The guidelines will come into force on December 10, with no opportunity before that date for the public or lawmakers to change them.
Political tensions are rising in Taiwan ahead of local and municipal elections due at the end of November. The vote is expected to test the popularity of the ruling Kuomintang Party (KMT), which advocates greater integration with China and which earlier this year sparked protests when it tried to pass a new economic cooperation deal with the mainland. The vote also comes as the Taiwanese are closely watching how Beijing responds to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
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