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IFEX Communiqué Vol 19, No 48 - 9th December 2010

Headlines

Côte d'Ivoire: Officials ban news broadcasts in wake of election chaos

International: WikiLeaks - Don't shoot the messenger, say IFEX members

Pakistan: Three journalists die, two in twin suicide blasts

Zimbabwe: Journalists' arrests raise concerns

China: Get Liu Xiaobo out of prison now

International: WPFC's 2009 insult laws survey: steps forward, steps back

China: Freedom House launches weekly China media bulletin

International: U.K. libel reform group puts out libel guide for bloggers

Free Expression Spotlight
CÔTE D'IVOIRE: OFFICIALS BAN NEWS BROADCASTS IN WAKE OF ELECTION CHAOS
The authorities in Côte d'Ivoire have banned some international news broadcasts and blocked the movement of the media amid continuing chaos following the presidential election, report the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Both the incumbent and an opposition leader have claimed victory. Read more>>

Regional news
INTERNATIONAL: WIKILEAKS - DON'T SHOOT THE MESSENGER, SAY IFEX MEMBERS
Since online whistleblower WikiLeaks started publishing classified U.S. embassy cables on 28 November, it has come under fire on several fronts, from hacking attacks to hosting companies pulling the plug. Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Index on Censorship and other IFEX members have condemned the attacks for "threatening the core principles of freedom of speech." Read more>>

PAKISTAN: THREE JOURNALISTS DIE, TWO IN TWIN SUICIDE BLASTS
Two journalists who were covering an anti-terrorism strategy discussion at a council meeting in the northwest Pakistani border town Ghalanai were killed on 6 December in a double suicide bombing, report the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and other IFEX members. Read more>>

ZIMBABWE: JOURNALISTS' ARRESTS RAISE CONCERNS
A recent spate of journalists' arrests in Zimbabwe has compelled the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) and more than 100 journalists to petition Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to stop the harassment of the media. Read more>>

Also in this issue
CHINA: GET LIU XIAOBO OUT OF PRISON NOW
There are still a few days left to sign the petition to get Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo out of jail in time for him to pick up his Nobel Peace Prize at the ceremony on 10 December in Oslo, Norway. Sign the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) petition here. Find out more here.

INTERNATIONAL: WPFC'S 2009 INSULT LAWS SURVEY: STEPS FORWARD, STEPS BACK
Spreading defamatory information through the Internet can land you in jail for up to six years in Indonesia - a greater crime than if you defamed someone through traditional means. It's just one example where new media has fuelled restrictive governments to seek even more special protection for public officials, says the World Press Freedom Committee (WPFC) in its just-published annual survey of insult laws. Read more>>

CHINA: FREEDOM HOUSE LAUNCHES WEEKLY CHINA MEDIA BULLETIN
Did you hear how Li Changchun, China's fifth most powerful man, was named by U.S. diplomats as the brains behind the hacker attacks on Google's email systems last year? Or how China blacked out a Japanese news report on the Nobel Peace Prize this week? Find these stories - all in one place - in Freedom House's "China Media Bulletin", a new weekly digest of press freedom and censorship news on China and its neighbours. Read more>>

INTERNATIONAL: U.K. LIBEL REFORM GROUP PUTS OUT LIBEL GUIDE FOR BLOGGERS

Picture this: someone writes, emails or phones you to say that something you wrote on your blog is libellous and is threatening to sue. Do you take it seriously? Do you take down your material? Do you say you're sorry? Or do you face your nemesis in court? The independent charitable trust Sense About Science has put together a guide entitled "So you've had a threatening letter. What can you do?" Read more>>


ENDS

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