Secrecy law deals major blow to public’s right to be informed

first_img Reports HondurasAmericas The imprecise, discretionary and hastily-approved Law on Secret Information that the Honduran parliament adopted on 13 January constitutes a major new blow to freedom of information in one of the western hemisphere’s most dangerous countries for news and information providers.Reporters Without Borders hopes that this law, which turns state-held information into a private reserve, will be overturned on the grounds of unconstitutionality.“This law strips the Institute for Access to Public Information (IAIP) of all the powers that are the very reason for its existence, namely, determining and justifying the classification of information of public interest,” Reporters Without Borders said. “These powers have been indiscriminately transferred to each state agency, which will be able to classify information as secret without having to account their decisions. We can only repeat IAIP president Doris Madrid’s objections. How much power will citizens now have for challenging the actions and decisions of public authorities? On the basis of what specific imperative will information be ‘restricted’ under the new law?“Even the way this parliamentary initiative was adopted raises questions. Dangerous in content and contrary to international law, including the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, it is a political disaster coming as it does less than two months after the controversial general elections.”Submitted to the National Congress by Rodolfo Zelaya, a representative of conservative right National Party, and passed with virtually no debate, the law states:“Any information, documentation or material relating to the internal strategic framework of state agencies and whose revelation, if made publicly available, could produce undesirable institutional effects on the effective development of state policies or the normal functioning of public sector entities, is restricted. The power to impose this classification lies with the representative of each state entity.”Valid for five years, a “restricted” classification can be imposed unilaterally by both centralized and decentralized government entities. They also have the power to classify information as “confidential” for ten years in cases of “imminent risk or direct threat to public security and order.”A third “secret” classification for 15 years can be imposed by the National Defence and Security Council in such cases as possible threats to “constitutional order.” The Honduran president has the power to classify information as “ultrasecret” for 25 years in cases of “direct threat to territorial integrity and sovereignty.”Honduras is one of the hemisphere’s deadliest countries for journalists, with a total of 38 killed in the past decade, two thirds of them since the June 2009 coup d’état. RSF_en December 28, 2020 Find out more RSF begins research into mechanisms for protecting journalists in Latin America January 16, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Secrecy law deals major blow to public’s right to be informed Help by sharing this information to go further RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” Newscenter_img May 13, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Honduras News 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies News April 27, 2021 Find out more Organisation Receive email alerts HondurasAmericas last_img read more

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Reporters Without Borders condemns ransacking of Gaza weekly newspaper offices

first_img Follow the news on Palestine Organisation May 28, 2021 Find out more Israel now holding 13 Palestinian journalists News Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders demanded an early and full investigation after the offices of the weekly newspaper Al-Daar in Gaza City were ransacked during the Muslim Id festival between 1-3 February.The Palestinian Authority should act decisively to prevent attacks against journalists and the media in the territories under its control, the international press freedom organisation said in a letter to the Palestinian interior minister Hakam Balaawi.Contacted by Reporters Without Borders, editor in chief of d’Al-Daar, Hassan Al-Kachef, said that the offices had been ransacked and computers damaged but nothing had been stolen, which ruled out a normal burglary. “I think it is more likely a warning to the newspaper because we broach subjects like corruption within the Palestinian Authority,” he said.The correspondent for Al-Arabiya satellite TV was assaulted in Gaza on 8 January 2004. Four months earlier on 13 September a group of armed men ransacked the offices of the same television station in Ramallah. The Palestinian Authority publicly condemned the incidents and announced the opening of an investigation, but nothing more has been heard of it publicly since then.”There has been an alarming rise in acts of vandalism against the media and physical attacks against journalists in the Palestinian territories since September 2003,” said Reporters Without Borders in its letter to the minister. “Our organisation calls on you to take action so that these repeated violations of press freedom do not go unpunished.”The interior ministry should in future guarantee the safety of the media, particularly from harassment from paramilitary groups and settling of scores by politicians,” it concluded. Reporter Without Borders also asked to be kept informed of the outcome of investigations into previous attacks against Al-Arabiya. Al-Daar is a privately owned weekly that was launched at the end of August 2003. Al-Kachef said it printed around 5,000 copies in Gaza and on the occupied West Bank and also scored around 30,000 weekly hits on its website : www.aldaar.com. PalestineMiddle East – North Africa May 16, 2021 Find out more to go further Newscenter_img RSF_en WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists PalestineMiddle East – North Africa RSF asks ICC prosecutor to say whether Israeli airstrikes on media in Gaza constitute war crimes Receive email alerts February 4, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Reporters Without Borders condemns ransacking of Gaza weekly newspaper offices June 3, 2021 Find out more News Newslast_img read more

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Pigeons Playing Ping Pong Reveal Summer ‘Pleasure’ Tour Schedule

first_imgBaltimore-based funkers Pigeons Playing Ping Pong have revealed dates for a major summer tour. Coming on the heels of their recently-released Pleasure album, the summer dates will take them throughout the country, hitting many major festivals along the way.The band’s summer dates begin later this month, when they host their very own Domefest from May 19th through the 21st. They’ll also appear at Summer Camp, Revival Fest, Disc Jam, Great Outdoors Jam, Merryland Music Festival, Camp Barefoot, The Big What?, Buffalove Music Festival, Deep Roots Mountain Revival and, last but not least, Catskill Chill. Is that a lot of festivals or what?!Of course the schedule features some standalone headlining performances, including sets at the NorVA, Terminal West, and more. You can catch the full schedule below, and head to the band’s website for more information.Pigeons Playing Ping Pong Tour Dates5/19-21 Bedford, PA Domefest 5/27 Chillicothe, IL – Summer Camp  5/29 Harmony Park, MN – Revival Fest 6/9-12 Stephentown, NY – Disc Jam 6/29 Asheville, NC – Asheville Music Hall 6/30 Atlanta, GA – Terminal West 7/1-2 Branford, FL – Great Outdoors Jam 7/3 Charleston, SC Charleston Pour House 7/10 Columbia, MD – Merryland Music Festival 7/21 Mebane, NC – The Big What? 7/22 Norfolk, VA – The NorVA 7/29 Burlington, VT – Nectar’s7/30 Utica, NY – Saranac Brewery (w/ Moe.) 7/31 Westfield, NY – Buffalove Music Festival 8/18-20 Elkins, WV – Camp Barefoot 8/26 Lancaster, NH – NH Hempfest 9/16 Masontown, WV – Deep Roots Mountain Revival9/22-24 Thornville, OH – Resonance Music Festival 9/23-25 Lakewood, PA – Catskill Chilllast_img read more

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