Global Report - 25.02.05

HAITI

Reporters Without Borders have voiced alarm about the climate of violence in Haiti in which journalist Raoul Saint- Louis, a co-presenter on the privately-owned radio station Megastar , had to go into hiding, change his residence and stop working as a result of a shooting attack.

“The consequences of the attack on Saint-Louis have been disastrous and constitute a serious press freedom violation,” the organization said.

Pointing out that this was the third attack against a journalist since the start of the year, Reporters Without Borders called on the authorities “to quickly do everything possible to put an end to this situation of danger for journalists, who must be able to work in complete safety.”

ITALY

An appeal to free an Italian journalist abducted in Iraq was launched in football stadia across Italy at the weekend in an outpouring of support following a video showing the captive pleading for her life. La Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy’s largest sports paper, said that the appeal to free Giuliana Sgrena sounded over loudspeakers as well as appearing on video boards during Serie A and Serie B matches. ‘Free Giuliana, Woman of Peace’ was the appeal, while players walked on the pitch sporting white T-shirts and calling for the journalist’s release.

GERMANY

Germany’s Welt am Sonntag ‘s editor, Christopher Keese has said there had been a misunderstanding with regard to press coverage in Turkey about the interview he had conducted with Prime Minister Erdogan in Davos recently.

The prime minister was reported as saying the interview had never taken place. However, after speaking with his colleagues in Ankara PM Erdogan recalled the interview.

“While traveling in Asia, Prime Minister Erdogan could not remember our interview at Davos which took place the week before. Considering Erdogan has so many interviews, this situation is understandable. After talking with friends in Ankara, he confirmed the interview. Turkey reported that I had referred to the Prime Minister as a liar. I made no such expression either written or verbally.” Keese said in a letter to the Cuneyd Zapsu, the PM’s adviser.

RUSSIA

A journalist ordered to be deported by the Russian security service was allowed to stay in Russia temporarily because officials in the passport office told him they could find no legal basis to expel him.

Yuri Bagrov, who has covered the north Caucasus for The Associated Press and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) , was summoned to the Interior Ministry’s Passport and Visa Service in the North Ossetian capital of Vladikavkaz last week. An official showed Bagrov a letter from the head of the Federal Security Service (FSB) in North Ossetia to North Ossetia’s acting interior minister ordering Bagrov’s deportation because he does not have Russian citizenship. But according to Bagrov, officials at the Passport and Visa Service have not found him to be in violation of any laws that could lead to deportation.

Bagrov was not allowed to copy the letter, which contained no information about when or to where the journalist should be deported.

 

ISRAEL

A prominent Israeli journalist has lambasted the criminality and racism of the Israeli justice system. Amira Hass, who writes for the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, criticised the exoneration of an Israeli soldier who murdered a Palestinian school child last October.

The soldier shot and killed 13- year-old Iman al-Hams in broad daylight while she was walking to school on 5 October.Minutes later, the same soldier emptied 17 bullets into Iman’s body to ensure she died.

NEPAL

Security forces in Nepal have taken into custody a journalist and three Nepali Congress workers in western Pyuthan district.

D R Panta, the Dadeldhura correspondent of Kantipur Publications, was detained by security personnel, the Kathmandu Post reported.

Security personnel have also arrested Raghubar Bhatta, Lok Raj Bhatta and Ganesh Datta, all district-level workers of the NC in a raid on the party’s HQ , party sources said. Earlier, security men had arrested two journalists working with government media.

A journalist associated to the National News Agency and another attached to the Gorkhapatra , a government daily, were arrested from Chitawan district.

PTI

THAILAND

Unidentified gunmen have shot and killed Pongkiat Saetang, editor of the bimonthly newspaper Had Yai Post, near a market in Had Yai, in southern Thailand.

The Committee to Protect Journalists is investigating to determine whether he was killed for his journalistic work.Two assailants shot Pongkiat twice in the back while he was riding his motorcycle, according to The Nation newspaper.

The Bangkok-based Southeast Asian Press Alliance reported that Pongkiat was pronounced dead on the scene, and the gunmen fled by motorcycle.

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