Prior censorship and expulsion of foreign journalists deal “mortal blow” to press freedom

first_imgThe staff of the national television station also protested about the censorship on 12 April, whenFijians saw the following message on an otherwise black screen: “Viewers please be advised that there will be no 6 p.m. news tonight.” to go further Asia – Pacific Organisation News Help by sharing this information June 2, 2021 Find out more RSF_en Follow the news on Asia – Pacific According to the Public Emergency Regulations introduced under a 30-day state of emergency on 10 April, the permanent secretary for information now has complete control over what the news media report in Fiji, and officials have urged the media to report “positive” news. The measures have been widely condemned by regional press freedom groups such as the Pacific Media Centre, which has talked of an “Orwellian era of ruthless censorship and intimidation.”The authorities have also targeted the international media in the capital, Suva. Reporter Sia Aston and cameraman Matt Smith of New Zealand’s TV3 and Australian Broadcasting Corporation reporter Sean Dorney were forced to leave Fiji today. While not formally arrested, they were given no choice and were escorted to the airport. The police confiscated the material that Aston had filmed on censorship. He said the Fijian media were under “very strong pressure” from the government. Edwin Nand, a journalist with the Fijian TV station Fiji One, was detained at Suva police headquarters for interviewing an Australian journalist. “The military government is heading dangerously towards a Burmese-style system in which the media are permanently subject to prior censorship and other forms of obstruction,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We appeal to the international community, especially the European Union and United Nations, to respond to this manifest desire to restrict the free flow of news and information by speaking out and firmly condemning media censorship.” Reporters Without Borders appeals to President Ratu Josefa Iloilo and Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, the head of Fiji’s military government, to repeal measures taken on 10 April that institutionalise media censorship and violate Fiji’s international undertakings to respect the rule of law. Greg Baxter, a spokesman for the company that owns the Fiji Times, News Ltd, said: “We are at this stage making the decision not to publish anything rather than publish something that has been censored.” The newspaper’s editor, Netani Rika, and its publisher were summoned by the information ministry on 12 April and reprimanded for being “uncooperative”. It stopped printing blank pages the next day but seemed to be boycotting all political news. Asia – Pacific Two Fiji Sun editors were summoned for questioning yesterday for publishing a front-page article announcing that the daily newspaper would refuse to cover politics in protest against the censorship. An online chat forum, Sotiacentral.com, decided to close rather than let its members be censored.center_img June 2, 2021 Find out more Mongolia : RSF urges presidential candidates to voice support for press freedom Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists Tuiloma Neroni Slade, the secretary-general of the Pacific Islands Forum, said: “The curtailment of media access and freedom of speech and the disregard for judicial independence are especially worrying.” Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Fiji had become a “military dictatorship.” New Zealand foreign minister Murray McCully said Fiji’s suspension from the Commonwealth and the Pacific Islands Forum was “inevitable”. According to the Public Emergency Regulations introduced under a 30-day state of emergency on 10 April, the secretary for information has complete control over what the news media report in Fiji. “The military government is heading dangerously towards a Burmese-style system in which the media are permanently subject to prior censorship and other forms of obstruction,” Reporters Without Borders said. June 7, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts President Iloilo suspended the constitution on 10 April and announced a “new legal order”. The next day, he reappointed the head of the armed forces, Commodore Bainimarama, as prime minister, a position Bainimarama has held since a December 2006 military coup.Since then, soldiers and information ministry personnel have taken up positions inside the print and broadcast media. Officials say their job to prevent the publication or broadcasting of reports that could cause “disorder”, “disaffection” or “public alarm” The media have been told they must “cooperate” and must not criticise the new regime or carry stories that could regarded as “incitement”. News News China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison April 14, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Prior censorship and expulsion of foreign journalists deal “mortal blow” to press freedom News The media have responded with protests. The Sunday edition of the Fiji Times was published on 12 April with pages that were completely blank except for this note: “The stories on this page could not be published due to government restrictions.”last_img read more

Two Tibetan documentary filmmakers held for past six months in Tibet

first_img News Follow the news on China Reporters Without Borders calls on the Chinese authorities to release Dhondup Wangchen (picture), who made a documentary about Tibet, and Jigme Gyatso, his friend and camera assistant. They have been unjustly detained since March 2008 for filming interviews with Tibetans, above all in the Amdo region of Tibet Receive email alerts China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures RSF_en April 27, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders calls on the Chinese authorities to release Dhondup Wangchen, who made a documentary about Tibet, and Jigme Gyatso, his friend and camera assistant. They have been unjustly detained since March 2008 for filming interviews with Tibetans, above all in the Amdo region of Tibet”The case of Wangchen and Gyatso is a tragic example of what happens when Tibetans take the risk of trying to interview people about the situation in the province,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The Chinese government decided to reopen Tibet to foreign tourists, and now it must show clemency towards those who have been detained solely because of what they or others said.”Wangchen’s wife, Lhamo Tso, told Reporters Without Borders that she still does not know exactly why they are being held. A resident of the northern Indian city of Dharamsala, Tso said her husband was reticent about the purpose of his proposed long trip when he set off for Tibet in October 2007. After losing touch, she was told at the end of March that Wangchen and Gyatso were arrested on 23 March in the Siling area.The film produced from what Wangchen and Gyatso filmed is a 25-minute documentary entitled Leaving Fear Behind (www.leavingfearbehind.com). It shows Tibetans in the Amdo region expressing their views on the Dalai Lama, the Olympic Games and Chinese legislation. Wangchen managed to send his videocassettes out of Tibet before he and Gyatso were arrested. Neither of their families has had any news of them for the past five and a half months.Wangchen was born in the Amdo region in 1974. A Buddhist monk, Gyatso is from the Kham region.Tso told Reporters Without Borders that her husband has always been “a very active man who has always wanted to do something for Tibet.” Before his arrest, Wangchen said: “It is very difficult for Tibetans to go to Beijing and express themselves freely. This is why we decided to show the real feelings of the Tibetan people in a documentary.”Screened for foreign journalists in Beijing during the Olympic Games, the documentary shows Tibetans expressing their disillusionment with the erosion and marginalisation of the Tibetan language and culture, the destruction of the nomadic lifestyle by forced resettlement, the lack of religious freedom and attacks on the Dalai Lama, and the Chinese government’s broken promises before the Olympic Games to improve the situation in Tibet.In Dharamsala, Tso has to take care not only of her four children but also her husband’s parents. “I get up in the night to bake bread which I myself then sell,” she said. “I feel the pressure mentally more than physically (…) I have to cope with a lot of difficulties but the biggest problem is the fact that my husband is in prison.”Tso said her husband was aware of the risks he was running when he made the documentary. “Yes, he knew,” she said. “But that does not mean he does not love his family and his parents. He did it for the Tibetan people and Tibet.”Ngawang Choephel, a Tibetan ethnomusicologist and documentary filmmaker, was released on “medical grounds” from Chengdu prison in China in 2002 after being held for six years. He had been given an 18-year-sentence on charges of subversion, spying and counter-revolutionary activities. ChinaAsia – Pacific March 12, 2021 Find out more ChinaAsia – Pacific to go further News China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison Help by sharing this information News News Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes Organisation June 2, 2021 Find out more September 16, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Two Tibetan documentary filmmakers held for past six months in Tibetlast_img read more

U.S. National Guard Officers Help Renovate School in Suriname

first_img The 155th soldiers are putting their skills to use in this partnership by renovating the Pater van der Pluym School, comprised of three buildings and a courtyard, located in the District of Brokopondo, south of Paramaribo, Suriname’s capital city. The next rotation of 155th engineers will finish the renovations before a medical exercise scheduled to 15 August. New Horizons is a cooperative humanitarian mission between the Suriname government and U.S. Southern Command with the goal of helping to improve the quality of life for the people of Suriname. The school serves over 400 Surinamese students and also functions as a community center. Everyday situations at this work site include challenges such as working together with faculty and students on the building project while school is in session, overcoming language barriers, working in high heat, and staying hydrated. center_img “This mission provides an opportunity for soldiers who haven’t been deployed to gain some understanding of what that process is like,” said 2nd Lt. Chris Schimke, a platoon leader for the 155th Engineering Company. “This isn’t a dangerous environment, but they are away from home, in a foreign place and don’t speak the language. They have to find their way through everyday situations.” By Dialogo August 05, 2011 Twenty-one service members from the South Dakota National Guard’s 155th Engineering Company, of South Dakota, United States, arrived in Suriname as part of New Horizons 2011. last_img read more

Trump urges slowdown in COVID-19 testing, calling it a ‘double-edge sword’

first_imgA White House official said Trump was joking about his call for a slowdown in testing.”He was obviously kidding. We are leading the world in testing and have conducted 25 million + in testing,” the official said.Trump said his actions in blocking travelers from China and Europe had helped save “hundreds of thousands of lives.” But he said the “radical fake news” media had not given him credit for doing what he called “a phenomenal job” responding to the outbreak.In fact, several US states are reporting troubling spikes in coronavirus infection rates, mainly in the South and West, as Trump addressed America’s largest indoor gathering in months. US President Donald Trump on Saturday told thousands of cheering supporters he had asked US officials to slow down testing for the novel coronavirus, calling it a “double-edged sword” that led to more cases being discovered.Trump said the United States had now tested 25 million people, far more than other countries.”When you do testing to that extent, you’re gonna find more people you’re gonna find more cases. So I said to my people slow the testing down, please,” Trump told a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where many supporters were not wearing face masks. Health experts say expanded diagnostic testing accounts for some, but not all, of the growth in cases. They also call it a key tool in fighting the spread of the disease, which had been detected in at least 2.23 million people across the United States as of Saturday.COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has killed more than 119,000 Americans to date, according to Reuters’ running tally. A mounting volume of infections is elevating hospitalizations in some places.In his remarks, Trump used terms such as “Kung Flu” virus and “Chinese virus” to refer to COVID-19. “That name gets further and further away from China, as opposed to calling it the Chinese virus,” he said.Trump’s response to the outbreak has sapped his popularity.The US president initially dismissed the threat of the coronavirus, and sparred with state governors as they tried to slow its spread. His approval ratings have dropped in recent weeks, and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden now has a 13-point lead over Trump.Seventy-six percent of Americans remain concerned about the spread of COVID-19, according to the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll. Topics :last_img read more