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IFJ Asia-Pacific E-bulletin: December 2010

Welcome to the IFJ Asia-Pacific’s monthly e-bulletin. The next bulletin will be sent on February 1, 2011, and contributions from affiliates are most welcome.
In this bulletin:

1. IFJ General Secretary Aidan White To Leave In 2011
2. IFJ Outraged By Murder Of Journalist In Balochistan
3. Global Day Of Action Marks Anniversary of Philippines Massacre
4. Journalists Threatened And Attacked In Indonesia
5. New Report on Collective Action for Press Freedom In South Asia
6. New Zealand Search And Surveillance Bill Undermines Journalists’ Rights
7. Former Journalist Jailed For Accepting Media Interviews In China
8. IFJ Asia-Pacific Launches New Facebook Page

1. IFJ General Secretary Aidan White To Leave In 2011

IFJ Asia-Pacific salutes IFJ General Secretary Aidan White, who has announced he will depart his position with the IFJ in March 2011. “Aidan White has been a fearless crusader for press freedom, pluralism and the rights of working journalists for decades - his absence from the helm of the IFJ will be sorely missed,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said. “We wish Aidan well in his future endeavours, where he is certain to continue championing democracy, social justice and the rights of journalists.” The Executive Committee of the IFJ, meeting in Brussels on November 27-28, finalised a separation agreement with Mr White and agreed the process for his succession and the appointment of a new general secretary in the early part of next year.

See: http://asiapacific.ifj.org/en/articles/ifj-general-secretary-to-leave-in-2011

2. IFJ Outraged By Murder Of Journalist In Balochistan

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) demanded an immediate investigation into the murder of journalist Abdul Hammed Hayatan in Balochistan, including a full inquiry into allegations of involvement of Pakistani security agencies. Known also as Lala Hammed Baloch, Hayatan, 25, was found dead on November 18 in a canal alongside his friend, Hamid Ismail, after they disappeared from Gwadar, in Balochistan’s west, on October 25. According to IFJ Asia-Pacific affiliate the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Hayatan had been shot in the head and chest and appeared to have been tortured. Local media reported that Hayatan, a reporter with Daily Intekhab and a founder of the Gwadar Press Club, was allegedly abducted with his friend by state security agents. Hayatan was also reported to be active in the Balochistan Nationalist Movement. The murder of Hayatan brings to 11 the number of reported deaths of media workers in Pakistan this year. Four of these deaths have been in Balochistan.

See: http://asiapacific.ifj.org/en/articles/ifj-outraged-by-murder-of-journalist-in-balochistan

http://asiapacific.ifj.org/assets/docs/095/088/799f95f-26a7258.pdf

3. Global Day Of Action Marks One-Year Anniversary of Philippines Massacre

A Global Day of Action, coordinated by IFJ Asia-Pacific, was held on November 23 to mark the one-year anniversary of the Ampatuan Town Massacre in the southern Philippines, when 58 people including 32 journalists and media workers were brutally murdered. Journalists from around the world expressed their outrage at the slow pace of achieving justice, and their solidarity with their colleagues in the Philippines, by sending letters and postcards to President Benigno Aquino III, visiting Philippines consulates and embassies, initiating condolence motions in home parliaments, and issuing statements to deplore the long-running culture of impunity for the killings of journalists in the Philippines.
Twenty-eight international press freedom and union organisations meeting at UNESCO headquarters in Paris issued a statement calling on national governments around the world to exert pressure on the Aquino administration to ensure perpetrators of human rights abuses are brought to justice, regardless of their place or status within society or government. IFJ Asia-Pacific affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) organised a wide-ranging program of commemoration activities throughout the country. The national program included rallies, vigils, conferences and photo exhibitions, while IFJ Asia-Pacific and a large contingent of NUJP members from across the country accompanied the families of the victims to the site of the massacre in Maguindanao province. President Aquino declared a national day of remembrance to mark the atrocity. Send your photos and reports from your Global Day of Action activities to ifj@ifj-asia.org.

See: http://asiapacific.ifj.org/en/articles/solidarity-message-philippines-ampatuan-town-massacre-the-lessons-we-can-never-forget

http://asiapacific.ifj.org/en/pages/global-day-of-action-to-mark-one-year-since-massacre-of-journalists

http://asiapacific.ifj.org/en/articles/unions-and-media-support-organisations-demand-urgent-action-in-philippines

http://asiapacific.ifj.org/en/articles/ifj-demands-philippines-congress-resolve-media-safety-crisis

4. Journalists Threatened And Attacked In Indonesia

Journalists were threatened and attacked while reporting at a shelter for Indonesian migrant workers in Condet, East Jakarta, on November 23, according to reports. Bottles were thrown at journalists covering an unscheduled inspection of the shelter by the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry. A cameraman from SCTV was asked to hand over all of his footage or be killed, a reporter from Trans 7 television station was quoted as saying by newswire Tempo Interaktif.

5. New Report on Collective Action for Press Freedom In South Asia

IFJ Asia-Pacific issued a new report, Freedom in Solidarity: Media Working for Peace in South Asia, which presents the results of an 18-month process working with affiliates to assess capacity to respond collectively in crises involving media freedom. The report presents the outcome of this process of evaluation of past efforts in defence of press freedom in situations of conflict in five countries of South Asia: Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Situations analysed cover the wide range of conflict situations encountered by media practitioners in these countries and their efforts to collectively work to establish an environment conducive to free reporting. The report, conducted with the financial support of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), is available in English, with versions in Bangla, Hindi, Nepali, Sinhala, Tamil and Urdu to be posted online soon.

See: http://asiapacific.ifj.org/en/pages/ifj-asia-pacific-reports

6. New Zealand Search And Surveillance Bill Undermines Journalists’ Rights

IFJ Asia-Pacific is concerned that a proposed law in New Zealand will undermine the long-held right of journalists to protect confidentiality of sources. If the Search and Surveillance Bill proceeds in its present form, it will force the country’s journalists to answer police questions or hand over documents such as media sources and notes. Those who refuse will face penalties of up to one year in jail.

See: http://asiapacific.ifj.org/en/articles/new-zealand-search-and-surveillance-bill-undermines-journalists-rights

7. Former Journalist Jailed For Accepting Media Interviews In China

IFJ Asia-Pacific is disturbed to learn that a former journalist in China has been jailed for more than two years, on charges of accepting media interviews about the tainted milk scandal that rocked the country. Zhao Lianhai, whose son suffered from kidney stones after consuming tainted milk manufactured by Sanlu, was convicted by a court in Beijing for “disturbing social order”. He was sentenced to two years and six months in jail on November 10.

See: http://asiapacific.ifj.org/en/articles/former-journalist-jailed-for-accepting-media-interviews-in-china

8. IFJ Asia-Pacific Facebook Page Launches

The IFJ Asia-Pacific Facebook profile has been replaced by a new page, where you can follow latest updates, see photos and upcoming events, and participate in discussions. The existing IFJ Asia-Pacific profile will close on December 3.

See: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/IFJ-Asia-Pacific/144789058887748.

ENDS

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