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IFEX Communiqué Vol 19, No 50

Vol. 19 No. 50 | 22 December 2010


Headlines
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Belarus: Journalists and candidates beaten and arrested on election day

Hungary: IFEX members protest new media laws

Venezuela: Legal reforms violate free expression

Sudan: Activists and journalists arrested ahead of referendum

International / Events: UNESCO to host free expression symposium in January

International: Project Censored reveals top 25 censored stories of 2009-2010

Free Expression Spotlight

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BELARUS: JOURNALISTS AND CANDIDATES BEATEN AND ARRESTED ON ELECTION DAY
Tens of thousands of opposition supporters gathered in central Minsk on 19 December protesting fraud in Belarusian elections, and calling for authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko to step down after his re-election victory that day. The demonstration was rapidly smothered by police, with hundreds of activists, journalists and opposition candidates bludgeoned with truncheons and arrested, report IFEX members and the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ). Read more>>

Regional news

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HUNGARY: IFEX MEMBERS PROTEST NEW MEDIA LAWS
Hungary's parliament approved a contentious new media law on 21 December that grants the government strong influence over key media outlets, thereby returning the former Soviet satellite to the "dark days of free media repression," says the International Press Institute (IPI). IPI and its affiliate, the South and East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), have just returned from a two-day press freedom mission to Hungary. Read more>>


VENEZUELA: LEGAL REFORMS VIOLATE FREE EXPRESSION
In the final weeks of the outgoing Venezuelan parliament, controlled by President Hugo Chávez, a series of repressive media bills that limit free expression and threaten human rights are being pushed through for approval, report the Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (IPYS-Venezuela), the Inter American Press Institute (IAPA), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and ARTICLE 19. Read more>>


SUDAN: ACTIVISTS AND JOURNALISTS ARRESTED AHEAD OF REFERENDUM
In the run-up to a January referendum on Southern Sudan's independence, Sudanese human rights defenders and critical journalists are being arbitrarily arrested and disappeared, report the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) and other IFEX members. The regime is particularly hunting down Darfuri activists and journalists. Read more>>

Also in this issue

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INTERNATIONAL / EVENTS: UNESCO TO HOST FREE EXPRESSION SYMPOSIUM IN JANUARY
Join more than 300 media professionals, government officials, policymakers and civil society activists at UNESCO's headquarters in Paris on 26 January 2011 for an international symposium on freedom of expression. The one-day event will focus on the status of press freedom worldwide, the safety of media professionals as well as the changes to the media landscape in the digital age. Read more>>


INTERNATIONAL: PROJECT CENSORED REVEALS TOP 25 CENSORED STORIES OF 2009-2010
Did you know that Cuba provided the greatest medical aid to Haiti after the earthquake? Or that the U.S. Department of Defense is the worst polluter on the planet? That's what Project Censored says in "Censored 2011: The Top Censored Stories of 2009-2010", now available online. Read more>>

ENDS

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