CPJ announces 2010 press freedom awards
Media repression in Iran, Ethiopia, Russia and Venezuela will be under the spotlight next month when CPJ presents the 2010 International Press Freedom Awards in New York City. CPJ announced the winners this month:Dawit Kebede of Ethiopia, Nadira Isayeva of Russia, Laureano Márquez of Venezuela and Mohammad Davari of Iran. All have put their personal freedom and security on the line to report the news. CPJ's Burton Benjamin Memorial Award will go to Aryeh Neier, president of the Open Society Institute, to mark his long career in defense of press freedom and human rights.
With a push from CPJ, Jordan moves away from repressive cyber law
Embracing a global trend, the Kingdom of Jordan, a relative bastion of press freedom in the Middle East, sought to enact a restrictive cyber crime law that would have criminalized "sending or posting data or information via the Internet or any information system that involves defamation or contempt or slander."
CPJ wrote to King Abdullah on August 17 expressing concern about the vague nature of the law, which includes provisions that would have permitted warrantless searches of offices that host websites. "We fail to see the urgency with which this law is being enacted," CPJ wrote in the letter. "According to Article 94 of Jordan's constitution, the government has the right to issue provisional laws on urgent matters in the absence of a parliament. Since the Jordanian parliament was dissolved in 2009 following widespread criticism of ineffectiveness and corruption, the next parliamentary elections are scheduled for November."
Honduras report citing official failures draws a response
In a few short months, seven journalists were gunned down in Honduras. While the country has been beset by crime and political turmoil, it had not been known as a particularly dangerous place for the press. Is someone targeting the media?
CPJ dispatched consultant Mike O'Connor to Honduras to find out. His detailed report chronicling all seven murders paints a complex picture in which journalists covering crime and corruption are also tainted by it. While there is no evidence of a government conspiracy in the killings, there are plenty of indications of official indifference and incompetence in carrying out investigations. The failures, CPJ found, may be fueling additional violence.
For weeks, CPJ staff had been getting hints that
UNESCO responds to protests
UNESCO's plan to bestow the Obiang International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences, named for and financed by the most repressive leader of Equatorial Guinea, was met with an outcry from the human rights community. When UNESCO announced they would be bestowing the prize, press freedom organizations - including CPJ - UNESCO/Cano World Press Freedom Prize laureates, and South Africa's Bishop Desmond Tutu protested. The message got through to Irina Bokova, UNESCO's director-general: the very credibility of UNESCO was at stake.
Two Victories for Press Freedom Online
Danny O’Brien, CPJ’s new Internet Advocacy Coordinator, joined
us with a brief to defend online journalists and the Internet itself as a
medium for global press freedom. In his first month, he helped reform a weak