Freedom of the press

Seminar: Serbia – On the Fringes of The EU But Media Censorship is in the Dark Ages

S. Dojcinovic KRIK

Scapegoating human rights defenders and journalists has always followed the same methodology. First the tabloids enforce smear campaigns against the organisation or individual, accusing them of being foreign agents working against the State. After a number of such articles, a public official repeats this type of allegation and confirms the previous stories from the tabloid. As a result of this, right wing organisations or individuals take matters into their own hands often posting threats, initiating harassment tactics or even physically attacking these so called “enemies of the state”.

Human Rights Abuses in Laos Must be Tackled Now

Sombeth Somphone has been missing since 15 December 2012

On the eve of the annual ASEAN leaders summit in Vientiane, human rights and advocacy groups called upon the Lao PDR Government to commit to address its widespread violations of human rights, including instances of enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention, and overall denial of basic civil and political rights. Visiting world leaders have a unique opportunity to publicly raise human rights concerns during the ASEAN summit in Vientiane from September 6-8.

(Svenska) Sverige offrar offentlighetsprincipen för god relation till Kubas regering

480

(Svenska) EU och Margot Wallström vägrar offentliggöra avtalsförslaget om politisk dialog och bistånd som EUs och Kubas förhandlingsdelegationer undertecknade i mars i år. “Så fort det här är fullt ut beslutat och signerat så blir det offentligt”, förklarade Margot Wallström för TT. Att EU och Sverige lägger sig för den kubanska regeringens krav att inte offentliggöra avtalsförslaget innebär att man offrar offentlighetsprincipen för att ha en god relation Kubas regering.

Organisations call on international solidarity with the newspaper Azadliq

On 17 October, just a week after the presidential election, the sale of several daily newspapers including the newspaper Azadliq was banned in metro stations in Baku. Azadliq is one of few remaining opposition news outlets in Azerbaijan. “We urge the country’s judicial and political authorities to stop hounding it and we call on international solidarity with the daily”, said Civil Rights Defenders and several other organisations in a joint statement.

Election will not be credible unless people can criticise the government

Photo: Aziz Elkhanoglu, Art for Democracy

In a joint call issued on the eve of the Presidential election, 22 human rights organisations and press freedom campaigners warn that the failure of the government of Azerbaijan to respect human rights, including freedom of expression, undermines the democratic legitimacy of the government. Azerbaijan should take immediate action to ensure fundamental rights are protected ahead of the election.

Future professionals trained in freedom of speech

Photo: Press Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Theoretical and practical insight into national media legislation and European standards in the field make law students better prepared to handle human rights issues in their future work as legal professionals. That is why Civil Rights Defenders, together with one of its long-term partners, the Press Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is conducting trainings for law students in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Journalist in exile receives human rights award

Mesfin Negash Photo Ninke Liebert

As recognition for his work promoting free expression in Ethiopia, Mesfin Negash, together with 40 other journalists and writers, has received the Hellman/Hammett award for 2012. The award is administrated by Human Rights Watch and given to writers who are subject to political persecution and human rights abuses. After being threatened by the authorities, Mesfin Negash fled Ethiopia in 2009 and today he continues his work for human rights in exile from Sweden.

New report: Long road to press freedom ahead

Cover report Press Freedom Serbia

Only 4 of the European Council’s 27 principles for press freedom have been fully implemented in Serbia, the first comprehensive report on the media situation in the country: Serbian Media Scene VS European Standards, suggests. Free press is a cornerstone for democratic development; in this report the challenges lying ahead of the Serbian media scene become evident. This report is a result of a yearlong cooperation between Civil Rights Defenders and local partners.

Mesfin Negash

Ninke Liebert Photography

Being one of Ethiopia’s very few independent journalists, Mesfin Negash was harrassed by the government to the limit that he had to go into exile. Today he lives in Sweden but continues to spread news about human rights and politics in Ethiopia, trying to make the international community alert on the situation in the country: “If you took a balance sheet you would see that we are equal to Burma”, says Mesfin Negash.