Global Report 08.07.05

WASHINGTON

An appeal court has upheld civil contempt of court findings against
four journalists who have refused to reveal sources in an investigation
into former US nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee. H Josef Hebert of the
Associated Press, James Risen of the New York Times, Robert Drogin of
the Los Angeles Times, and Pierre Thomas formerly of CNN, were told by
the court that their privilege to protect sources was outweighed by the
key information to a lawsuit being brought by the scientist. Dr Lee
claims the government leaked information about him to reporters.
www.cnn.com

SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO

A journalist for the leading Albanianlanguage daily newspaper Bota
Sot has died from gunshot wounds received on 3 June. Bardehul Ajeti,
who often criticised opposition party officials in editorials, was shot
by gunmen while driving home from Kosovo’s capital Pristina. Reporters
Without Borders is calling on the UN mission in Kosovo to investigate.
IFEX

RUSSIA

An Islamic militant group has claimed it killed a journalist working
in Russia’s turbulent North Caucasus, accusing him of being a Kremlin
lackey.

The Shariat group in Dagestan, which neighbours Chechnya, said it
killed Magomed-Zagid Varisov, a writer and commentator whose views
appeared in local and national press. Varisov was shot outside his home
in Dagestan’s capital Makhachkala. Reuters

GEORGIA

The editor of weekly newspaper Imedi was taken to hospital after
being attacked as he was returning home in the eastern city of
Gurjaani. Gela Mtiulishvili was beaten with a blunt instrument after
being approached by a stranger. He had recently published several
articles investigating the criminal practices of police in the city of
Signagi, linking them with a drug-trafficking network. www.rsf.org

UZBEKISTAN

Uzbekistan authorities have been accused of “systematic
repression” against the media after the bloody suppression of the
country’s recent uprising. Reporters Without Borders said that Radio
Free Europe correspondent Gafur Yuldashev was questioned for four hours
by police after planning to interview opposition activists. The group
also said that independent journalist Ulugbek Khaidarov was brutally
beaten in the southern city of Karshi. www.themoscowtimes.com

SYRIA

Worldwide press freedom group Reporters Without Borders has called
for the secretary general of the Arab League, Amre Moussa (pictured),
to intervene in the harsh prison conditions of a journalist jailed in
Syria. Massud Hamed, a 29-year-old student, was jailed in July 2003 for
taking photos of a peaceful demonstration. It is understood that
he has been repeatedly tortured and is now in poor health. www.rsf.org

IRAQ

The US embassy in Baghdad has apologised to the family of an Iraqi
television journalist killed by US troops on 28 June. Ahmed Wael Bakri,
of Sharqiya TV, was shot after driving too close to a US convoy. The
killing came two days after a news editor of a local TV channel was
shot by US troops after coming under attack in Baghdad. BBC News

IRAN

The US government has demanded that Iran release Iranian journalist
Akbar Ganji, jailed for six years in 2000 for linking officials to
political murders. The US says he was jailed because of his “political
views and peaceful activities” and expressed alarm about reports of his
failing health. Reuters

NEPAL

Maoist rebels in Nepal have threatened to kill a local reporter
unless he joins their cause to topple the country’s ruling monarchy.
Umesh Gunung, who writes for Sutradhar Shree and is a contributor to
state-run Radio Nepal, has also been banned from leaving his village of
Jamuna. Hundreds of journalists have been detained or arrested since
King Gyanendra sacked the government and took absolute power in
February. The China Post Online

CHINA

An unprecedented 2,356 Chinese journalists have petitioned for the
release of colleagues Yu Huafeng and Li Minying, executives of daily
Nanfang Dushi Bao, imprisoned for more than a year in Guangzhou,
southern China. The pair were jailed for eight and six years
respectively for misappropriation of funds after awarding bonuses to
staff following a boost in advertising revenues. Colleagues say the
pair were punished after the paper ran a series of reports
investigating the Sars virus and police brutality. www.rsf.org

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