RSF deplores excessive jail term for Myanmar columnist

first_img News He was convicted two weeks after two Reuters journalists, Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone, were each sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for investigating a massacre of 10 Rohingya civilians by soldiers and militiamen. The fact that the two trials were held in close succession, and that the sentences handed down in both cases were the same, raises questions about the extent to which the security forces manipulate the judicial system.     News Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Myanmar Like the secrecy law used to convict Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, the law on sedition dates from the British colonial era. In Myanmar, as well as India, Malaysia and Singapore for example, laws on sedition are used a pretexts by the authorities to silence criticism by journalists. They provide for penalties of up to life imprisonment.     Thai premier, UN rapporteurs asked to prevent journalists being returned to Myanmar “However unacceptable the conviction of the two Reuters reporters may be, the sentence imposed on the columnist Ngar Min Swe is totally disproportionate,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. May 31, 2021 Find out more Ngar Min Swe, who used to write for the pro-government newspaper Global New Light of Myanmar, was arrested on 12 July, after posting a comment on Facebook that day criticising a kiss on the cheek received by Aung San Suu Kyi from Barack Obama during a visit to Myanmar four year ago by the former US president. At the time, she was a reformist member of the Myanmar parliament. Myanmar has fallen six places in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index compiled by RSF and is now ranked 137th of 180 countries. Scapegoats MyanmarAsia – Pacific ImprisonedInternetFreedom of expressionJudicial harassmentNobel Prize RSF_en MyanmarAsia – Pacific ImprisonedInternetFreedom of expressionJudicial harassmentNobel Prize “His posts hostile to Aung San Suu Kyi’s reform movement may have been questionable, but the sentence he has received sets a worrying precedent. It raises serious doubts about the independence of the judicial system in Myanmar. For this reason, we are requesting an immediate review of the charges against him. Above all, it is high time the government repealed the archaic law on sedition that was used to convict him.” Newscenter_img Organisation The disparaging remark was the latest in a long series of critical comments by Ngar Min Swe, who was close to the military-backed government and a critic of the former dissident, now the head of the government.    May 26, 2021 Find out more Manipulation of the law Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Myanmar authorities to reconsider the seven-year sentence imposed on a columnist close to Myanmar’s former military government for posting comments on Facebook deemed to be hostile to the country’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. It also called for the repeal of the archaic sedition law. May 12, 2021 Find out more September 21, 2018 RSF deplores excessive jail term for Myanmar columnist RSF asks Germany to let Myanmar journalist Mratt Kyaw Thu apply for asylum By convicting an anti-reform and pro-junta figure, the military establishment may hope to make a goodwill gesture towards the international community after the harsh criticism that followed the arrest of the two Reuters reporters. Inside the country, the media coverage of the case could repair the damage to Aung San Suu Kyi’s image as an icon of democracy.  Some people have begun to question her silence in the case of the Reuters journalists. News Ngar Min Swe was found guilty of sedition on 18 July by a Yangon court for “writing abusive posts on Facebook against State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, making people get the wrong impression of her”, in the words of the court spokesman. The columnist Ngar Min Swe (right) was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for sedition for “writing abusive posts on Facebook against State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, making people get the wrong impression of her” (photos: Ye Aung Thu / AFP – Sar Min Swe / Mizzima). US journalist held in Yangon prison notorious for torture Receive email alerts to go furtherlast_img read more

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RSF urges NATO to condition dialogue with Taliban

first_img News Organisation Situation getting more critical for Afghan women journalists, report says Receive email alerts May 3, 2021 Find out more AfghanistanAsia – Pacific Condemning abuses Armed conflictsImpunityPredatorsViolence Photo prise le 24 mai 2016/REUTERS/Kacper Pempel ((c) Reuters) RSF asks International Criminal Court to investigate murders of journalists in Afghanistan As the enemies of Afghan democracy and freedom of information intensify their war and their threats against media and journalists, RSF urges the Afghan government and the Atlantic Alliance to defend Afghanistan’s media and journalists in a clear and concrete manner.RSF issues the same appeal to the European Union, which will be represented at the Warsaw summit by the president of the Council, the president of the Commission and the high representative for foreign affairs.“At a time when the international community is wondering what strategy to adopt in Afghanistan, we urge NATO member countries to prioritize respect for media freedom,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.“We believe – and the experience of the past 15 years only confirms this – that peace, security and basic freedoms cannot be assured without independent media and guarantees for journalists’ safety. All negotiations and international aid must be conditioned on a policy favouring freedom of information and an undertaking to combat the impunity enjoyed by those responsible for abuses against journalists.”Thanks to international aid and the efforts of Afghan journalists, the media have been able to develop in Afghanistan and freedom of information enjoys a degree of protection. Afghanistan now has eight news agencies, 48 TV channels, 160 radio stations and 190 publications (including dailies, weeklies, monthlies and those appearing at irregular intervals).Nonetheless, the media have to confront the same problems that threaten the rest of Afghan society. The security, political, economic and (of late) constitutional crises have had serious consequences for the work of the media and journalists, whose role is crucial in defending peace and basic freedoms.Journalists have paid a high price. At least 35 journalists have been killed in connection with their work in Afghanistan since 2001. They include 16 foreign journalists (four Germans, two Americans, two French, two Italians, two Swedes, one Australian, one Canadian, one Norwegian and one Briton).Most of these journalists were killed by the Taliban and most of these deaths have gone unpunished. RSF has registered more than ten cases of violence against media and journalists in Afghanistan since the start of 2016.The single deadliest attack on the media since the fall of the Taliban government in 2001 – the suicide bombing of a Kabura production company bus in Kabul on 20 January 2016 that killed seven Moby Group media workers – was typical of the Taliban policy of undermining peace and democracy.The attack was clearly premeditated because Tolo TV and 1TV – Afghanistan’s two leading privately-owned TV channels – were named as “military targets” in a Taliban communiqué on 12 October 2015.Signed by the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s Military Commission,” it said: “We henceforth regard Tolo TV and 1TV as military targets, not as news media (…) Nothing is safe from our attacks, neither personnel (presenter, reporters or crews) nor the building themselves.”By leading the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, NATO made a long-term commitment to the country’s stability. The goals of the successor mission, called “Resolute Support,” include securing the rule of law and combatting extremism.However, civil society, human rights defenders and above all journalists have been undermined for the past three years by contradictory positions on negotiating with the Taliban.The Taliban openly flout international law and humanitarian law by committing war crimes attested to by the UN and by attacking media outlets as military targets. Yet NATO countries accept the presence of a Taliban diplomatic office in Doha, the capital of Qatar, and in practice protect it. Most of its members are accused of crimes while they were officials in the 1996-2001 Taliban government.RSF finds it unacceptable that NATO’s democratic members and the Afghan government do not condition all negotiations with the Taliban on an explicit prior commitment to respect to respect the basic international treaties of humanitarian law, starting with the Geneva Conventions.RSF is also concerned that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani set no prior condition such as respect for international law and the Afghan constitution when he reiterated an appeal to the Taliban to negotiate yesterday.Afghanistan’s recent history shows that it is impossible to build peace without justice. The violence against journalists is encouraged by the systematic impunity for those responsible for the violence. RSF points out that murders of journalists are not only crimes against freedom of expression but must also be treated as war crimes and, as such, must be punished severely.L’Afghanistan est classé 120éme sur 180 dans le Classement mondial de la liberté de la presse 2016 établi par Reporters sans frontières. On the eve of a two-day NATO summit starting in Warsaw tomorrow, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges NATO’s members to do everything possible to protectjournalists and media freedom in Afghanistan and to refuse to negotiate with the Taliban as long as they do not undertake to respect humanitarian law as defined inbasic international treaties. Follow the news on Afghanistan to go furthercenter_img News July 7, 2016 RSF urges NATO to condition dialogue with Taliban June 2, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information News Afghanistan : “No just and lasting peace in Afghanistan without guarantees for press freedom” RSF_en AfghanistanAsia – Pacific Condemning abuses Armed conflictsImpunityPredatorsViolence News March 11, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

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Delphi girls’ double murder: Police explain mysterious change in person of interest sketch

first_imgIndiana State Police(DELPHI, Ind.) — The Indiana State Police is now clarifying why the first sketch of the person of interest in the mysterious Delphi double murder looks so different from the man in the new suspect sketch released this week: they are two different people.The man seen in the initial person of interest sketch — who was believed to be in his 40s or 50s — is not currently a person of interest in the case, police said Wednesday.Investigators want to the public to focus on this different, younger man pictured in a new sketch released Monday. The suspect is believed to be between 18 and 40 years old, but may appear younger than his age, police said.This young, unknown man is being sought in the killings of eighth-graders Abby Williams, 13, and Libby German, 14, who were killed on a hiking path on Feb. 13, 2017.The shocking crime has devastated the residents of Delphi, a tight-knit community of nearly 3,000 people.The killer is believed to currently or previously live in Delphi, work in town or visit on a regular basis, Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas Carter announced Monday.“We believe you are hiding in plain sight” and even “may be in this room,” Carter said at a news conference.“We likely have interviewed you or someone close to you,” Carter said.Delphi residents “should reflect back on people they know in the community that look similar to the sketch released on April 22nd, especially if that person has changed their appearance since the murders,” state police said in a statement on Wednesday.This new suspect sketch “is representative of the face of the person captured in the video on Liberty German’s cell phone as he was walking on the high bridge” the day of the crime, police said.In 2017, police released a grainy image from Libby’s phone showing someone on the trail the day the girls went missing. On Monday, police revealed a new, brief video clip showing that suspect walking on the bridge near where the girls were last seen.“When you see the video, watch the person’s mannerisms as they walk,” Carter said Monday. “Do you recognize the mannerisms as being someone you might know?”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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