Global Report 24.06.05

LOS ANGELES

Detectives in Los Angeles are investigating whether they can charge paparazzi with “conspiracy”.

To do so the police would have to prove that photographers are
working together to create situations in which a targeted celebrity
will react in an angry or distressed way. Police concern was prompted
by an incident on 31 May when a photographer’s car rammed into the
Mercedes driven by the actor Lindsay Lohan in Hollywood. As the star of
The Princess Diaries stopped her car, three other paparazzi arrived on
the scene. Lohan says she narrowly avoided another collision with a
photographer’s car last week. San Jose Mercury News

LIBYA

Amnesty International has called on the Libyan Government to provide
details of the official enquiry held into the murder of journalist
Dhaif al-Ghazzal, who worked for four years for al-Zahf al-akhdar,
official newspaper of the Revolutionary Committees.

He resigned in March this year, reportedly because of his concern
about corruption and continued to denounce corruption on news website
Libya Jeel. www.amnestyusa.org

CHECHNYA

Russian prosecutors have determined that a Chechen man ordered the
killing of Paul Klebnikov, the editor of Forbes magazine’s Russian
edition. A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office identified the man as
Khozh Akhmed Nukhayev, the subject of a book by Klebnikov and a key
figure in Chechnya’s rebel government. www.thestar.com

UZBEKISTAN

Uzbekistan’s Government has been urged to end its harassment of
journalists in a report issued by the 55-nation Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe. The report criticised several
instances where journalists were prevented from moving freely during
the recent unrest. www.newsday.com

RUSSIA

Journalist Nikolai Goshko has been convicted of criminal defamation
and sentenced to five years in a prison colony by a court in Smolensk.
Goshko was found guilty of defaming three Smolensk officials in a July
2000 broadcast on the independent station, Radio Vesna. Goshko accused
the officials of masterminding the murder of Sergey Novikov, owner of
Radio Vesna. “Nobody expected an actual prison sentence for Goshko, let
alone a five-year one,” said Aleksandr Asadchy, editor-in-chief of
Odintsovskaya Nedelya. The defence will appeal in the next 10 days.
www.cpj.org.news

IRAN

Iran’s judiciary has returned prominent dissident journalist Akbar
Ganji to jail after a short period of leave on medical grounds. “I will
resume my hunger strike,” Ganji told reporters as he entered Tehran’s
Evin prison. “All political prisoners must be freed.”

He was jailed in 2001 for linking some senior figures in Iran to
killings of political dissidents in the 1990s. www.iranmedia.com

EQUATORIAL GUINEA

Equatorial Guinea’s authorities allow no space for non-government
news media, said Reporters Without Borders, reacting to the seizure
last week of 200 copies of La Verdad, a small political party newspaper
that is the country’s sole opposition publication. Equatorial Guinea,
often called Africa’s Kuwait because of its oil deposits, “is one of
the continent’s forbidden zones for free expression and an unchanging
hell for journalists,” Reporters Without Borders added. The copies of
La Verdad, published by Convergence for Social Democracy, had been sent
for distribution on the mainland part of Equatorial Guinea, but were
seized by airport police on 9 June in Bata, Equatorial Guinea’s second
city. www.noticias.info

BURUNDI

A journalist was arrested this week following a story he wrote about
the health of President Domitien Ndayizeye. Atienne Ndinkuriyo, who is
director of the Zoom Net news agency and also works for the independent
radio station Bonesha FM, was taken to the national intelligence
agency’s office, said Leon Masengo, chief editor at Bonesha FM.
Ndinkuriyo published a story on 9 June saying President Ndayizeye has
suffered from depression since his party lost local elections earlier
this month.

Parliamentary elections are to be held on 4 July, returning democracy to the country after a 12-year civil war. www.sfgate.com

INDIA

A journalist and photographer were accused of conspiracy, trespass
and cheating by impersonation after a failed “sting” operation against
Maharashtra deputy chief minister R Patil. Varsha Gopinathan, a
journalist with the newspaper Lajwanti D’Souza, had posed as a bar girl
while photographer Shadab Khan took pictures of her with Patil. Aakar
Patel, editor of Lajwanti D’Souza, said that their intention was to
know what steps the Government had taken to rehabilitate bar girls.
www.presstrust.com

HONG KONG

Government officials and a number of politicians have given their
signatures in the past week in efforts to free the chief China
correspondent for the Singapore-based Straits Times, accused of
espionage by the Chinese government. The officials who signed to show
their support for the journalist Ching Cheong are among more than 400
people who have signed an open letter to President Hu Jintao organised
by a group of University of Hong Kong alumni to express concern about
Cheong’s Beijing detention. http://news.monstersandcritics.com

JAPAN

Japanese broadcast news stations are under fire for hiring
celebrities to present news programmes. Tokyo’s Evening Five is
presented by Akio Ishii, a well-known comedian, while Ichiro Furutachi,
a popular talk show host, is anchorman of TV Asahi’s flagship nightly
news programme.

The major media “doesn’t consider its profession seriou abcnews.go.com

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