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IFJ Asia-Pacific Regional eBulletin: September 2011

In this bulletin:

1. Journalist in Pakistan’s Balochistan Province Murdered
2. IFJ Demands Investigation into Murder of Philippines Broadcaster
3. Afghan Reporter Killed in Oruzgan Province
4. IFJ Joins Australian Journalists in Mourning Loss of News Crew
5. Swift Action Urged to Locate Abducted Journalist in Pakistan
6. Solidarity for Press Freedom Mission to Jaffna
7. Call to Uphold Press Freedom in Hong Kong
8. Call for Applications: Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellowships

1. Journalist in Pakistan’s Balochistan Province Murdered

The IFJ was alarmed to learn of the killing of another journalist in Pakistan’s Balochistan province on August 14. According to the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Muneer Shakir was attacked by unknown persons who opened fire on him at 12.20pm as he headed home from the press club in Khuzdar, in central Balochistan. Shakir died at District Headquarters Hospital in Khuzdar. Shakir, who was aged in his early 30s, worked for Online News Network and was a correspondent with Balochi television station Sabzbaat. Members of the Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ) reported that Shakir was not known to have received any threats.

See: http://asiapacific.ifj.org/en/articles/ifj-condemns-killing-of-journalist-in-balochistan

2. IFJ Demands Investigation into Murder of Philippines Broadcaster

The IFJ joined its affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in calling for an immediate investigation into the murder of broadcaster Niel “Lito” Jimena in Negros Occidental province in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines on August 23. Jimena was shot five times by unknown assailants. Sources cited in local media reports suggested his murder is not related to his work as a broadcaster. Police are yet to establish a motive.

See: http://asiapacific.ifj.org/en/articles/ifj-demands-investigation-into-murder-of-philippines-broadcaster

3. Afghan Reporter Killed in Oruzgan Province

The IFJ joined its affiliate the Afghan Independent Journalists’ Association (AIJA) in condemning the killing of journalist Ahmad Omaid Khpalwak in an armed attack in Uruzgan province in southern Afghanistan on July 28. Khpalwak, 25, a reporter with the BBC Pashto Service, Pajhwok Afghan News Agency and the state broadcaster Radio Television of Afghanistan (RTA), was killed in Tarin Kowt, the capital of the troubled province. Up to 19 people were killed and 37 others injured in a coordinated triple bomb blast and shooting attack near the city’s market and the local RTA offices.

See: http://asiapacific.ifj.org/en/articles/ifj-condemns-killing-of-afghan-reporter

4. IFJ Joins Australian Journalists in Mourning Loss of News Crew

The IFJ joined the Australian Media Alliance and journalism community in expressing great sadness to learn of the deaths of a highly respected three-man reporting team for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Senior journalist Paul Lockyer, cameraman John Bean and pilot Gary Ticehurst died when their helicopter crashed near Lake Eyre on the evening of August 18. The IFJ joins the Alliance in offering sincere condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the three men, all of whom earned the respect of their industry for their work, their commitment and their compassion.

See: http://asiapacific.ifj.org/en/articles/ifj-joins-australian-journalists-in-mourning-loss-of-news-crew

5. Swift Action Urged to Locate Abducted Journalist in Pakistan

The IFJ joined the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) in demanding authorities in Pakistan take swift action to locate and safely recover a senior tribal journalist who was abducted in North Waziristan on August 11. Rehmatullah Dawar, who works with AAJ TV and the Urdu daily Ausaf, was abducted at a bazaar in Miranshah, the capital of the militancy-gripped agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), by unidentified men travelling in two cars with tinted windows. The men fired shots in the air to keep people away as they bundled Dawar into one of the cars, according to reports. The motivation for the abduction is unclear, and no one has claimed responsibility.

See: http://asiapacific.ifj.org/en/articles/ifj-urges-swift-action-to-locate-abducted-journalist-in-pakistan

6. Solidarity for Press Freedom Mission to Jaffna

The IFJ welcomed a mission to Jaffna by affiliate the Free Media Movement (FMM) and other partner organisations in Sri Lanka, between August 15 and 17. A team of activists from FMM travelled to Jaffna in the northern province of Sri Lanka with several other media freedom organisations. On August 16, the team from Colombo joined local groups in a protest demonstration commencing at Jaffna’s main bus stand. The team made inquiries after the health of Gnanasundaram Kuhanathan, news editor of the Tamil daily Uthayan, who was brutally attacked while on his way home in Jaffna on July 29.

See: http://asiapacific.ifj.org/en/articles/ifj-solidarity-for-press-freedom-mission-to-jaffna

7. Call to Uphold Press Freedom in Hong Kong

The IFJ delivered an open letter to Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-Kuen after a series of incidents in the Special Administrative Region since July 1. Several press freedom violations were reported during the Hong Kong visit of Chinese First Vice Premier Li Keqiang in August. The response of Hong Kong police and restrictions on media coverage by the Government Information Office were questioned by the IFJ and its affiliate, the Hong Kong Journalists’ Association, in a special meeting of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council Panel. The IFJ expressed concerns that police in Hong Kong are employing similar tactics as those used by security personnel on the mainland.

See: http://asiapacific.ifj.org/en/articles/call-to-uphold-press-freedom-in-hong-kong

8. Call for Applications: Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellowships

The Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program at the Washington, D.C. based National Endowment for Democracy invites applications for 2012-2013 fellowships. This federally-funded program enables democracy activists, practitioners, scholars, and journalists from around the world to deepen their understanding of democracy and enhance their ability to promote democratic change. Dedicated to international exchange, this five-month, residential program offers a collegial environment for fellows to reflect on their experiences and consider best practices; conduct independent research and writing; engage with colleagues and counterparts in the United States; and develop professional relationships within a global network of democracy advocates.

Deadline for applications: November 1, 2011.

For more information see http://www.ned.org/fellowships/reagan-fascell-democracy-fellows-program.

*******

ENDS

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