Turkey remains world’s worst offender against press freedom

A group of journalists hold a banner reading "Justice"during a demonstration at the courthouse in Istanbul on March 15, 2018. (File/AFP)
Updated 13 December 2018
0

Turkey remains world’s worst offender against press freedom

  • A report by the Committee to Protect Journalists said that a near-record number of journalists around the world are behind bars for their work
  • The CPJ said there are dozens of reporters missing or kidnapped in the Middle East and North Africa

Turkey remains the world’s worst offender against press freedom, the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Thursday, with at least 68 journalists imprisoned for anti-state charges.

Turkey has previously said its crackdown is justified because of an attempted coup to overthrow the government in 2016.

The report said that a near-record number of journalists around the world are behind bars for their work, including two Reuters reporters whose imprisonment in Myanmar has drawn international criticism.

There were 251 journalists jailed for doing their jobs as of Dec. 1, the CPJ said in an annual study. For the third consecutive year, more than half are in Turkey, China and Egypt, where authorities have accused reporters of anti-governmental activities.

“It looks like a trend now,” the report’s author, Elana Beiser, said in an interview. “It looks like the new normal.”

The number of journalists imprisoned on charges of “false news” rose to 28, up from 21 last year and nine in 2016, according to the CPJ, a U.S.-based nonprofit that promotes press freedom.

The report criticized U.S. President Donald Trump for frequently characterizing negative media coverage as “fake news,” a phrase that is also used by leaders against their critics in countries like the Philippines and Turkey.

In Egypt, at least 25 journalists are in prison. Authorities say this is to limit dissent are directed at militants trying to undermine the state.

Meanwhile, when asked about journalists being jailed, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said: “Legal measures are not taken because of these suspects’ or criminals’ professions. This is unrelated.”

The overall number of jailed journalists is down eight percent from last year’s record high of 272, the CPJ said.

The total does not take into account journalists who have disappeared or are being held by non-state actors. The CPJ said there are dozens of reporters missing or kidnapped in the Middle East and North Africa, including several held by Houthis in Yemen.

(With Reuters)


Drake takes time out of Paris concert to ‘share prayers’ for victims of New Zealand terror attack

Updated 17 March 2019
0

Drake takes time out of Paris concert to ‘share prayers’ for victims of New Zealand terror attack

LONDON: Hip-hop superstar Drake shared a message of support for the victims of the New Zealand terror attack during a concert in Paris on Saturday.
The “Hotline Bling” star took time out of his “Vacation Assassination” concert in the French capital to send out prayers for the 50 victims in the Christchurch massacre.
He said: “I saw some really terrible things happened in New Zealand, I just want to talk about it because a lot of my friends and a lot of people I work with are from a Muslim background.

“I want you to know, that when there’s terrible things going on in the world, you know, we can still look around this room tonight and see something beautiful because we’ve got all people of all races, all places, all religions and look, we’re in here showing love tonight.
“So, I want send my love to all the families that were affected. We’re praying for you and will spread more love just like this across the world. Paris, I’m proud of you all tonight. I love you all.”
The white supremacist terrorist responsible for the attack livestreamed 17 minutes of his rampage at the Al-Noor mosque in the city, where he sprayed worshippers with bullets.
Facebook, Twitter and Google scrambled to take down the video, which was widely available on social media for hours after the bloodbath.
The second attack took place at the Linwood mosque about 5 kilometers (3 miles) away.