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There must be a new public interest defence in the Defamation Bill, scientists, entertainers and campaigners tell Government

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Sudan: Journalists arrested in crackdown

Sudanese security forces have brutally cracked down on protests against government austerity measures, arresting scores of people, including several journalists. Tear gas and rubber bullets were used as police to break up the protests, which have been ongoing since 16 June. Both local and international journalists have been arrested during their coverage of the protests, […]

Turkey: Deaf and mute protester sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment

A court in Turkey has sentenced a man with speech and hearing impairments to eight years in prison for spreading propaganda on behalf of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Mehmet Tahir Ilhan was sentenced after attending a demonstration in in April 2011. Following his involvement in the protest, Ihlan was also charged with “committing a crime on behalf […]

Ecuador: President Correa calls newspaper editor “wicked” in new verbal attack

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa has personally attacked Gustavo Cortez, editor of the leading daily newspaper El Universo. During a TV broadcast on Saturday the President accused the newspaper editor of being “wicked” and “of having bad faith.” Whilst showing a photograph of the editor, Correa called on the people of Ecuador to remember Cortez as a “clear example of the bad […]

Lebanon: TV station attacked by armed men

The headquarters of a leading Lebanese TV station Al-Jadeed were attacked by armed men earlier this week. Five masked gunmen opened fire on the building in Beirut at 9.30pm on 25 June, and set fire to tires in the station entrance. The attack followed the airing of a controversial interview with Sheikh Ahmad Al-Assir, a Salafist Imam, who harshly […]

China: Hong Kong journalists complain about editor’s self-censorship

A prominent Hong Kong newspaper has been criticised for self censorship by members of its staff. Journalists at the South China Morning Post have complained over coverage of the suspicious death of  dissident Li Wangyang on 6 June. A number of emails between senior subeditor Alex Price to the newspaper’s editor Wang Xiangwei described staff concerns, as Price said that the […]

Burundi: Reporter sentenced to life imprisonment

A High Court in Burundi has sentenced a journalist to life  in prison over terrorism charges. Hassan Ruvakuki, a reporter for local radio station Bonesha FM and French government-funded broadcaster Radio France Internationale was found guilty of “participating in terrorist attacks”, along with 13 other defendants. In November 2011, Ruvakuki recorded a statement from former police officer Pierre Claver Kabirigi, […]

Egyptian journalist, Salma El-Wardany, detained in Sudan

An Egyptian journalist was arrested in Sudan this morning, whilst covering protests in the country. Salma El-Wardany from Ahram Online and Bloomberg, was reportedly covering ongoing protests in front of Khartoum University when she was arrested by National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), along with blogger Maha El-Senosy. Senosy has since been released.

Lebanon: At least nine journalists attacked covering clashes

At least nine Lebanese journalists have been attacked whilst covering ongoing clashes in Syria over the last month in four separate incidents. On 10 June, Ghadi Francis from Beirut-based TV station Al-Jadeed was attacked by the bodyguard of a politician participating in the internal elections of the local Syrian Social Nationalist Party. Francis was punched in the face […]

Russia: Judge extends detention of anti-Putin punk group Pussy Riot

A Russian court has ruled that three members of political punk rock group Pussy Riot will remain in prison until late July. The group of feminists performed an unauthorised “punk prayer” at the pulpit of Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral in February, calling for the fall of Vladimir Putin. The court judge ruled that Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina […]

Egypt: Journalist fined for defamation

An Egyptian journalist has been fined for defamation after calling for a changes to the editorial staff of Egypt’s state-run newspapers. Hanan Youssef, deputy editor-in-chief of the local newspaper Al-Messa, was fined 10,000 Egyptian pounds (US$1,654) for defaming the paper’s former editor Khaled Imam. Youssef claimed that many Egyptian news outlets included staff members who maintained links to the […]

Bahrain: Blogger remanded for blasphemous remarks

A Bahraini blogger has been remanded for 45 days, after posting offence remarks towards Aisha, a wife of the Prophet Muhammad. The unnamed blogger, who admitted the charges, was arrested last week for posting comments deemed “highly negative” in an online forum. Public prosecutor Ali Al Buainain said that the blogger regularly used the same forum to […]