Press freedom in the news 9/8/08

In the news today, Reuters is covering the provisional weekend release of American filmmaker Andrew Berends in Nigeria. Berends was arrested on espionage charges by the Nigerian military along with his translator Samuel George on August 31. VOA News and The Lower Hudson News are also running stories about his release.

In other news from Africa, Sierra Leonean Web Site The Patriotic Vanguard has a story about recent violence against journalists in West Africa and quotes our alert on the recent ransacking of two independent newspapers in Senegal.

The Ethiopian blog Nazret has a posting about the rule of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. The post examines various aspects of his rule, including Ethiopia’s approach toward the independent press, and quotes our “Backsliders” report that lists the African nation among the top 10 countries where press freedom has deteriorated the most in the past five years.

Lastly this morning, the U.S. military’s paper, Stars and Stripes, has an article about a South Korean filmmaker who was banned from working in Iraq by her government. Kim Young-me has been forced to return to Seoul due to a law that prohibits South Korean nationals from traveling to a number of war-torn nations, including Iraq. The site quotes CPJ’s Bob Dietz: “The government must balance its concern between security and the right of journalists to pursue a story wherever it takes them.”

CPJ released an alert on the law and Kim Youn-me’s ban from Iraq in August.