Libya releases Al Jazeera journalist

Al Jazeera reporter Lotfi Al Masoudi has been released after being detained by Libyan forces. He was one of four journalists who were arrested on 19 March. They were released on the 31 March, then rearrested later the same day.  The Libyan officials offered no explanation as to why they were detained and would not reveal where they were held. Al Masoudi has now returned to his native Tunisia, and has said that they were not mistreated.

Zimbabwe: Journalist faces charges over protest coverage

A newspaper journalist who photographed a Roman Catholic protest is facing charges of “practising journalism without accreditation“. Flata Kavinga was arrested at the demonstration on 10 October and detained for over 24 hours. His camera was confiscated. Although he has been released, Kavinga’s lawyer said that police are considering charging him under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA). The controversial legislation, enacted in 2002, has been heavily criticised by media rights groups.

Gambia: Scottish “sedition” prisoner released

A Scottish missionary, who was jailed in 2008 for criticising the Gambian president, has been released. David Fulton was charged with sedition after emails he sent to friends in the UK were deemed offensive to President Yahya Jammeh. The 61-year-old and his wife spent 20 months in the notorious Mile 2 prison, facing hard labour and solitary confinement. The couple were also fined £6250 each.

Writer Zhang Jianhong released on medical parole

Zhang Jianhong, prominent writer and member of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre, was released on medical parole on 5 June.  Zhang was sentenced to six years in prison in March 2007  for writing articles critical of the government. He had been diagnosed with a progressive degenerative disease of the central nervous system and his condition rapidly deteriorated in prison.  Repeated requests for medical parole had previously been denied.