Global Report 27.05.05

SPAIN

Al-Jazeera reporter Taysir Alluni has denied charges linking him to
an alleged leader of a Spanish al-Qaida cell accused of helping to plot
the 9/11 attacks.

Alluni told a Spanish court that his ties with Syrian-born Spaniard
Imad al-Din Yarkas – also on trial – “had never been intense or
continuous”. Because of a heart condition, Spanish authorities released
Alluni on bail in March after a stretch of 119 days in solitary
confinement. Morocco Times Online

IRAN

The dossier on Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, who was killed
in state custody in Tehran in June 2003, remains open and will be
re-examined on 25 July, claims Iranian judiciary spokesman Jamal
Karimi-Rad. Iranianborn Kazemi, 54, was arrested after taking photos of
demonstrations outside Tehran prison. She died in hospital two weeks
later after falling into a coma, believed to have been brought on by
head injuries sustained during more than three days of interrogation.
Iranian officials maintain the injuries were the result of an accident.
Radio Free Europe

BANGLADESH

Three journalists’ associations have held a rally in protest against
the “false case” against Daily Sangbad journalist Hasibur Rahman Bilu,
the attack on photojournalist Bimu Rahman, and the police failure in
identifying the killers of Dipankar Chakraborti, vice-president of the
Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ).

The rally, held in Bogra, was organised jointly by the Bogra Union
of Journalists, Bogra Reporters Forum, and the Uttaranchal Federal
Journalist Parishad and attracted a crowd of over 200 journalists from
the northern districts. BFUJ general secretary Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul
said that a grand rally will be held in Dhaka in protest against
repression on journalists in the country. The Daily Star web edition

CHINA

The health of Jiang Weiping, an investigative journalist now serving
his fifth year in prison, is said to be deteriorating. Prison
authorities have also barred Weiping from making phone calls during
recent months and have denied him permission to read books. The
Committee to Protect Journalists has said it is appalled by the recent
deterioration of prison conditions and relatives of Weipang, who
suffers from a serious stomach disorder which has gone untreated in
jail, have noted a visible worsening in health. Weiping, a former north
east China bureau chief for the Hong- Kong-based Wen Hui Bao newspaper,
was arrested in December 2000 after writing a series of articles for
the Hong Kong publication Qianshao exposing corruption among officials.
He was secretly tried in 2001 and sentenced to eight years in prison
for “revealing state secrets”. This was later reduced to six
years. CPJ News Alert

BRAZIL

Sports commentator Jorge Kajuru has been convicted of criminal
defamation and sentenced to 18 months of overnight detention. Kajuru
has been ordered to stay at a prison dormitory in Goiânia every night
from 8pm to 6am. The criminal defamation against Kajuru, who works for
television station SBT in São Paulo, stemmed from comments he made in
January 2001 on the Goiâna-based Rádio K, which he then owned.

Kajuru alleged that television station TV Anhanguera had won state
football broadcasting rights due to its close relationship to the state
government – damaging the honour and reputation of station owner, media
group Organizações Jaime Câmara, and its president, Jamie Câmara Júnior.

Ann
Cooper, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists,
said: “It’s outrageous that a journalist would go to jail for
expressing an opinion on a subject of clear public interest.” CPJ News
Alert

GAMBIA

Gambian intelligence officials were watching a top journalist
shortly before he was killed, according to a report by media watchdog
Reporters Without Borders.

The report, Murder of a Journalist Under Surveillance, says David
Hydara “was subjected to harassment and surveillance by Gambian
intelligence services”. Hydara, co-founder and editor of the
independent newspaper The Point, was shot and killed in his car last
December. In its ongoing inquiry into the killing, RWB urged President
Yahya Jammeh (pictured) to give the police the means to carry out a
credible investigation. monstersandcritics.com

NIGER

A journalist from independent radio station Anfani FM was locked in
a cell for several hours following orders from the Sultan of Zinder, a
town about 900km from the capital, Niamey. Larwanou Mallam Hami was
taken from the station’s head offices by two guards of Sultan Elhaddji
Mamadou Moustapha the day after the broadcast of a report that said the
Sultan had sold between 50 and 70 lots close to Zinder Airport for the
construction of housing. Mallam Hami alleged in his report that the
lots were too close to the airport to be safely used. He was locked in
a cell at the Sultan’s palace for apparently showing disrespect, before
being released. allafrica.com

NEPAL

Nepal’s royalist government has continued its assault on the media
with the interrogation of a senior journalist and commentator.
Authorities questioned Kanak Mani Dixit after he wrote an article in
popular fortnightly Himal Khabar Patricka which urged King Gyanendra to
be ceremonial instead of active and his army to be more professional.
Since the king assumed absolute power in February the free press has
been targeted, including press censorship and a ban on FM stations
airing news.

Many journalist have been detained for supporting democracy and press freedom. 999 Today

PHILIPPINES

In the latest in a series of attacks on journalists, the columnist
of a Philippine tabloid exchange gunfire with two assailants. Pablo
Hernandez, of the Bulgar, said that he was shot at by two men on
motorcycles in a suburb of Manila. None of the bullets hit and
Hernandez, who is authorised to carry a gun for self protection, was
able to fire back. The motive for the shooting is unclear but may be
linked to a case in February when Hernandez survived a knife attack by
an unidentified man in a billiards hall. Five journalists have already
been killed in a spate of attacks this year. Last week, a gift-wrapped
bomb sent to the home of a radio presenter in southern Philippines
exploded, killing a teenager and injuring one other. Taipei Time Online

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