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In this image made on April 27, rival Taiwan newspapers Apple Daily, top, and The China Times, bottom, are seen depicting their owners in a fight to control key Taiwan media outlets. (AP)

A media buyout in Taiwan which would put independent news outlets critical of China into the hands of a pro-Beijing media tycoon is cause for concern for the island's press. Jimmy Lai, the outspoken mogul behind Hong Kong-based Next Media and the Apple Daily tabloid, is selling his Taiwan holdings to a group of businessmen that includes Tsai Eng-meng, whose China Times Media group is supportive of China, according to local and international news reports.

The Taiwanese flag was obscured or erased in some Chinese publications that published photos like this one, of activists being arrested by Japanese police as they  landed on islands claimed by China, Japan, and Taiwan. (AP/Yomiuri Shimbun, Masataka Morita)

It's a big news day in China, and state-controlled media are purposely dropping the ball to escape controversy and censorship. 

As business relations develop between China and Taiwan, concerns are growing that Taiwan's media freedom may be compromised. The culprits include some journalists themselves, promoting China to preserve their own business interests, and Taiwan's Kuomintang (KMT) government, apparently attempting to exert control over the media through legislation.  

China Daily filed an appeal on July 2, 2009, challenging the Taiwanese government's decision to revoke distribution rights of the Beijing-based English-language newspaper in Taiwan, according to international news reports. 

March 2008
News from the Committee to Protect Journalists
Attacks & developments throughout the region

Dear Mr. Secretary-General: The Committee to Protect Journalists is greatly concerned about the United Nations' refusal to accredit journalists from states not recognized by the U.N. General Assembly. In its rigid application of this policy, the organization excludes these journalists from entering any U.N. facility anywhere in the world and prevents them from performing their work. Journalists from Taiwan are particularly affected by this policy and were unfairly excluded from covering this year's World Health Organization annual assembly on May 14, as they have been since 2004.

ALGERIA: 2

Djamel Eddine Fahassi,
Alger Chaîne III
IMPRISONED: May 6, 1995

Fahassi, a reporter for the state-run radio station Alger Chaîne III and a contributor to several Algerian newspapers, including the now-banned weekly of the Islamic Salvation Front, Al-Forqane, was abducted near his home in the al-Harrache suburb of the capital, Algiers, by four well-dressed men carrying walkie-talkies. According to eyewitnesses who later spoke with his wife, the men called out Fahassi's name and then pushed him into a waiting car. He has not been seen since, and Algerian authorities have denied any knowledge of his arrest.

ALGERIA: 2

Djamel Eddine Fahassi,
Alger Chaîne III
IMPRISONED: May 6, 1995

Fahassi, a reporter for the state-run radio station Alger Chaîne III and a contributor to several Algerian newspapers, including the now-banned weekly of the Islamic Salvation Front, Al-Forqane, was abducted near his home in the al-Harrache suburb of the capital, Algiers, by four well-dressed men carrying walkie-talkies. According to eyewitnesses who later spoke with his wife, the men called out Fahassi's name and then pushed him into a waiting car. He has not been seen since, and Algerian authorities have denied any knowledge of his arrest.


AFGHANISTAN: 1

Ali Mohaqqiq Nasab, Haqooq-i-Zan (Women's Rights)
Imprisoned: October 1, 2005

The attorney general ordered editor Nasab's arrest on blasphemy charges after the religious adviser to President Hamid Karzai, Mohaiuddin Baluch, filed a complaint about his magazine. "I took the two magazines and spoke to the Supreme Court chief, who wrote to the attorney general to investigate," Baluch told The Associated Press.

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