Global Report 01.07.05

USA

Actress Scarlett Johansson is taking journalism classes and even
learning shorthand as research for an upcoming role. The star of Lost
in Translation is embarking on a crash course in the essentials,
because she is determined to give a realistic performance as a reporter
in Woody Allen’s forthcoming and as-yetuntitled project. A film insider
said: “She’s taking a weekly class to learn the basics ready for the
movie, and she’s finding it fun being able to write secret messages in
shorthand to her friends.” femalefirst.co.uk

FRANCE

The French Government has been accused of asking for a freelance
journalist to be expelled from Iraq. Anne- Sophie Le Mauff, a reporter
working as a stringer for newspapers and radio stations, was told by
Iraqi interior ministry officials that she would receive an expulsion
order last week, according to Reporters Without Borders. The
organisation reported that she said the Iraqi Government was acting at
the request of the French authorities. The claim follows a report last
week in French newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné alleging that France’s
ambassador in Iraq, Bernard Bajolet, had written to Le Mauff asking her
to leave. The Guardian

CHAD

Authorities have jailed three journalists in the capital, N’Djamena,
on criminal charges stemming from critical reporting, sources have told
the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Michaël Didama, publication director of the private weekly Le Temps,
has been charged with defamation and incitement to hatred, violence and
rebellion after reporting on violence in the country. Ngaradoumbé
Samory, editor of the private weekly L’Observateur, and Garondé Djarma,
a freelance, were also arrested on charges of defamation and incitement
to violence. www.cpj.org

RUSSIA

A Russian journalist has been sentenced to seven months in prison
for libel over an article that was never published. Eduard Abrosimov, a
freelance journalist, was sentenced after accusing a regional
prosecutor, Dmitry Petryaikin, of corruption in an article he submitted
to a local paper – charges the official denies. But the story was never
printed, only getting as far as the editor, who decided not to use it.

The unpublished article came to light when police seized Abrosimov’s
computer while investigating him for a separate charge. Moscow Times

IRAN

A court in Iran’s holy city of Qom has sentenced a journalist to 91
days in prison for having insulted the president and the head of the
State Expediency Council, a state-run news agency reported. Farid
Modarressi was found guilty of “writing insulting material” against
incumbent President Mohammad Khatami, pictured, and SEC chief Ayatollah
Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Modarressi was set to be tried separately
last week for writing “illegal material” in a weblog. Iranfocus.com

MEXICO

Members of one of Mexico’s most powerful drugs cartels were
responsible for the death of a Tijuana investigative journalist last
summer, according to a media watchdog group that was briefed by a
Mexican federal prosecutor.

Francisco Javier Ortiz, editor of Zeta newspaper, was fatally shot
on 22 June 2004, in Tijuana. He had specialised in reporting on
organised crime and drug trafficking, and drug lords were immediately
suspected in the killing.

Jose Luis Santiago Vasconcelos,
Mexico’s top drug prosecutor, said three of the more than 100 people
rounded up as part of a crackdown against the Arellano-Felix gang were
tied to Ortiz’s killing. “The true test lies in what Mexican
authorities do to stop the slayings of journalists,” said Miami Herald
columnist Andres Oppenheimer, who took part in the delegation that met
with the prosecutor. AP/Newsday.com

HAITI

Reporters Without Borders expressed serious concern at the plight of
Nancy Roc, presenter of the weekly programme Metropolis on Radio
Métropole, forced to leave the country on 16 June after being
threatened with kidnapping. “The forced exile of a journalist is always
a sign of defeat for press freedom,” said the organisation. ‘The Nancy
Roc case shows yet again that the establishment of the rule of law in
Haiti remains a forlorn hope. The Haitian press is in danger. We call
on the UN international force present in the country to step up its
disbanding of gangs and armed groups and to guarantee the safety of
journalists.” www.rsf.org

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

A TV journalist who became the victim of an attacker known as the
“Sharjah slasher” has slammed reports of her attack in the local daily
newspaper Gulf News.

Speaking at a press conference organised by the Sharjah Police last
month, Iqbal Al Tamimi said: “The report written by Basma Al Jandly was
false and fabricated, and most of the information stated was incorrect
and inaccurate. I have never met the reporter nor did she call me for a
comment.” Al Tamimi lodged a complaint against the Gulf News reporter
on 2 March for defamation and for quoting her without her permission.
Khaleej Times

SUDAN

Three journalists on independent Sudanese newspaper The Juba Post
have been arrested in Khartoum by the police, assisted by security
officials and representatives of the National Press Council. According
to the arrest warrant, the three reporters are charged with defamation
and have been detained in Khartoum prison. The Juba Post is the only
remaining independent newspaper in Sudan after the closure of The
Khartoum Monitor last month.

Reporters Charles Luganya, Angelo Wello and Joseph Aligo were taken
by armed officials from their temporary office in Khartoum North. The
officials refused to explain the case to the reporters. They were due
to be brought to trial in Khartoum last week. SudanTribune.com

INDIA

India’s National Union of Journalists has condemned the killing of a
journalist last month in Uttar Pradesh and demanded that the accused,
including the brother of a local leader of the ruling Samajwadi Party,
be immediately brought to justice. M Sagar, 28, a correspondent of
daily newspaper Shah Times, was working at his office late on the night
of 17 June. At a wedding party downstairs, some people were firing guns
in the air to celebrate. When Sagar asked them to stop, two persons –
Devesh Sharma and Raj Bihari – allegedly opened fire at him, killing
him. Sharma absconded, while Raj Bihari has been arrested. The Hindu

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