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Political Interference in Media Reporting in Mongolia

Media Release: Mongolia
April 17, 2012

Political Interference in Media Reporting in Mongolia

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Confederation of Mongolian Journalists (CMJ) are deeply concerned by reports that B. Jargalsaikhan, leader of Mongolia’s Republican Party, interfered with the reporting of the daily newspaper Mongoliin Medee on April 12, 2012.

It is alleged that after having completed an interview with Mongoliin Medee’s B. Davaa, intended for publication the following day, Jargalsaikhan and his supporters took steps to ensure the interview would not be published. The change of heart was apparently connected to the arrest of former Mongolian President N.Enkhbayar by the Independent Authority Against Corruption (IAAC) that same day.

Reports indicate that on the night of April 12, people acting under direction from Jargalsaikhan
called Davaa by telephone to pressure him to pull the interview from publication. Others entered the premises of Mongoliin Medee to ascertain whether the next day’s edition had been published, and then prevented those wishing to collect the paper from entering. Copies of the newspaper which had already been distributed were bought, or seized, from a number of locations.

Article 39 of the Criminal Code of Mongolia states that the “prevention of a journalist’s professional activities that are consistent with law with the view of dissemination or preventing dissemination of any information which affects the culprit’s or others’ interests shall be punishable.”

“Efforts to repress reporting on matters of public importance in Mongolia are an attack on press freedom and promote a climate of fear,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

“Any attempt by political figures or parties to interfere in the independence of the media, and unduly influence their reporting, is unacceptable.”

The IFJ urges Mongolia’s police to investigate these allegations of political interference to help ensure that press freedom is protected.

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

Find the IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific

ENDS

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