Press freedom in the news 11/18/08

RIA Novosti has continued coverage of the Anna Politkovskaya murder trial, which began yesterday in Moscow.

The news agency is reporting that jury selection is complete in the trial, which was opened to the public at the last minute after the court ruled against the prosecution’s motion to keep the proceedings closed in order to protect “classified documents.” The Russian-language news site Kavkazsky Uzel covered our statement from yesterday which welcomed the decision to open the trial to outside observers.

Also in the Russian-language press today, the news site Gazeta has picked up our statement released yesterday condemning the continued cell phone threats against Mikhail Beketov, a Moscow newspaper editor who is comatose after being viciously beaten last week.

In other news, the killing of Philippine radio journalist Arecio Padrigao is making headlines in the global press. Philippine newspapers The Manila Times, The Philippine Star, and the Qatar-based Gulf Times all have coverage of the shooting, which occurred when a gunman pulled up along side Padrigao on a motorcycle after he had dropped off his daughter at school.