Press freedom in the news 9/23/08

Reuters is reporting that Iraqi Kurdistan’s Parliament has passed a revised media law that protects the rights of journalists in the region and abolishes criminal defamation. CPJ travelled to the region in May to protest a much harsher version of the media law, and presented recommendations to Kurdish President Masoud Barzani.

Also making news this morning is the release of Afghani freelance journalist Jawed Ahmad from U.S. detention at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. The Canadian Press reports that Ahmad, who has worked for CTV, was freed yesterday after 10 months in detention as an “enemy combatant.”  The legal Web site Jurist and the Canada-based Edmonton Sun have coverage of his release. CPJ called for the U.S. military to reveal the evidence against Ahmad or release him when he was initially detained in February.

Finally today, the Web site of the World Association of Newspapers reports that 79-year-old Burmese journalist U Win Tin has been released from prison after 19 years. According to reports gathered by the Southeast Asian Press Alliance, the journalist was released by Burma’s military junta along with 9,000 other prisoners earlier today.