Press freedom in the news 11/19/08

A new turn in the Anna Politkovskaya murder trial is making news today across the wires. It was initially going to be held behind closed doors, but had been opened to the public on Monday. However, stories from APReutersAFP, and RFE/RL all report that the court has repealed that ruling and will now close the trial to outside observers. Reports claim that jurors felt the presence of media would jeopardize their personal safety.

In news from Africa today, the Web site ITWeb has coverage of continued media intimidation in Zimbabwe, and quotes our alert on the recent harassment of media lawyer Harrison Nkomo. “Zimbabwe’s security forces are using intimidation tactics against the press and those who defend the media,” said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Tom Rhodes. “There is no reason for Nkomo to be charged. He should be allowed to continue his work without harassment or the threat of criminal charges.”