1999

  

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Jailed journalist freed

December 30, New York — The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release from prison today of Joseph Mbakulu Pambu Diana, a Congolese broadcast journalist who had been in jail since 1998 for allegedly collaborating with rebel forces during their occupation of the town of Matadi. In early August 1998, rebels from the Congolese Rally…

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Cuba: Government frees jailed journalists

New York, December 21, 1999 — Cuban state security officers today released four journalists arrested last Thursday afternoon, according to information received by CPJ. The journalists were apparently arrested to prevent them covering an anti-government demonstration scheduled for last Friday in Havana. Sources in Cuba reported that Juan González Febles, Adela Soto Alvarez, María del…

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Panama: President signs bill eliminating gag laws

New York, December 21, 1999 — Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso signed a bill yesterday eliminating two of the country’s “gag laws,” which have been used to stifle press freedom. Moscoso described the gag laws as a “sword of Damocles hanging over the media in Panama” and pledged to work for the elimination of the other…

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Sri Lanka: Two journalists killed in bomb blast

New York, December 21, 1999 — Two Sri Lankan broadcast journalists were among 22 people killed in an assassination attempt against President Chandrika Kumaratunga at an election rally on Saturday, December 18. Five other journalists were injured by the blast, which also injured Kumaratunga and scores of onlookers. According to reports, a suicide bomber detonated…

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Czech Republic: Journalist faces jail for making “false accusations”

Your Excellency: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is greatly alarmed by the criminal prosecution of broadcast journalist Zdenek Zukal for allegedly making false accusations against public officials. If he is found guilty on all three charges filed against him, Zukal could be jailed for up to nine years.

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Cuba: Ten journalists detained before anti-government protest

New York, December 17, 1999 — CPJ has learned that Cuban state security officers arrested four journalists yesterday afternoon and placed six more under house arrest this morning in an apparent attempt to prevent them from covering an anti-government demonstration scheduled to take place today in Havana. Sources in Cuba report that Juan González Febles,…

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Azerbaijan: Parliament adopts restrictive new media law

Your Excellency: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is greatly concerned by the Azerbaijani parliament’s December 9 adoption of a new media law that severely restricts press freedom in your country. Although the new law formally forbids censorship, it outlines several provisions that limit the internationally-recognized right of journalists to practice their profession. The legislation:

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Peru: Fujimori regime cracks down on investigative press

Your Excellency: The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to protest your government’s ongoing legal campaign against the Peruvian journalists group Asociación Prensa Libre, and in particular against Prensa Libre member Guillermo Gonzales Arica. We believe this campaign is designed to quell investigative journalism in Peru.

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Argentina set to repeal criminal defamation law

New York, December 14, 1999 ­ Argentina seems likely to become the first Latin American country in which journalists cannot be jailed for criticizing public officials. In the course of next week, an Argentine senate commission is expected to approve a bill decriminalizing libel and defamation. “This will affirm the press freedom that Argentine journalists…

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Court suspends Yemeni opposition weekly for inciting “sectarianism” and “regionalism”

Your Excellency: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) strongly protests the closure of the opposition weekly newspaper Al-Haq.

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