03/04/2017
 

Asia Pacific Bulletin: April

The women and men who participated in the IFJ Byte Back Campaign.

Tagged in:

Asia Pacific, News, News, ASIA PACIFIC, Campaigns, Reports, Events, Meeting, Workshop, Conference

Welcome to the IFJ Asia-Pacific’s monthly e-bulletin. The next bulletin will be sent on May 1, 2017 and contributions from affiliates are most welcome. To contribute, email ifj(at)ifj-asia(dot)org

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In this bulletin:

1.       IFJ Byte Back Campaign: demands action against online harassment

2.       Online harassment for Indian journalist exposing illegal sand mining

3.       Media cooperate in two more televised “confessions”

4.       Second journalist killing under President Duterte

5.       BBC crew attacked by thugs in Hunan, China

6.       Fiji Times staff facing possible sedition charges

7.       Xinjiang police say media have no right to ask questions

8.       Photojournalist detained in Odisha, India

9.       Exposing police corruption gets Bangladeshi journalist arrested

10.   Myanmar journalist harassed following critical reporting

11.   Police assaults photojournalist in Kashmir

12.   IFJ Blog: Sexually Explicit Abuses Land in my Inbox - Neha Dixit

13.   Are you insured? We week your opinion!

14.   Nepalese journalist attacked for timber smuggling report

15.   Afghan journalist assaulted by police covering New Year celebrations

16.   Cartoonists protest Australian embassy in London: The Outline

17.   Facebook blocking content following Pakistani govt complaints: Daily Mail

18.   Interview with John Mortimer: Return to Oz: Index on Censorship

 

1.       IFJ calls for action to defend women’s voices online in Asia-Pacific

On March 8, International Women’s Day, The IFJ launched the IFJ Byte Back campaign demanding action to end online harassment of women. The campaign is intended to emphasize the necessity of a critical media to help defend a woman’s right to use her voice freely and safely in online spaces. The IFJ Byte Back Campaign is intended to raise awareness to document, share information, and shame trolls; encourage support for all journalists to develop skills to combat threats online and support others; to drive media and government policy reform and to push for strong commitments by governments and online platforms to take strategic approaches to dealing with threats and abuse in a meaningful way.

As part of the campaign, the IFJ has launched Byte Back: A Journalists’ Guide to Combat Cyber Harassment in South Asia and an Online Harassment Social Media Policy for Media.
Read more here, here and here.   

 

2.       Online harassment for Indian journalist exposing illegal sand mining

An independent Indian journalist, Sandhya Ravishankar has been victim of several abusive phone calls and threats of violence on Twitter and Facebook after a four part series in the Wire implicating Tirunelveli based mining business man Vaikundarajan in illegal beach sand mining in Tamil Nadu, India. The articles were published in January. On March 14 she approached the city police commissioner and has since been provided with protection.

Read more here.

 

3.       Media cooperate in two more televised “confessions, China

On March 1 Chinese state owned media reported that two detained human rights lawyers Xie Yang and Jiang Tianyong had fabricated reports of their torture. The so called “confessions”, Xie denies that he had suffered from torture, stating the reports were fabricated by Jiang. Jiang admitted in these televised reports that he did this in order to appeal to “the taste of western media”. Jiang’s wife and lawyer have denied the reports have any substance. Both stated they believe the confessions were made under duress and plan on suing the media outlet for defamation.

Read more here.

 

4.       Second journalist killing under President Duterte

Tabloid columnist Joaquin Brinoes was shot dead on March 13 in Masbate in the central Philippines. In 2000 Briones was sentence to twelve years prison following six guilty charges of libel. He was released after five years on parole and has since suffered harassment by local authorities. Briones is the fourth Masbate journalist to be murdered since 2003 and the second under the Duterte administration.
Read more here.

 

5.       BBC crew attacked in Hunan, China

A BBC crew were attacked on March 3 in Hunan China by an unidentified group of people while attempting to conduct an interview with a petitioner. The same day the National Congress of China started its two plenary meetings in Beijing. BBC journalist John Sudworth described the event stating his TV crew were attacked, harassed and forced to sign a statement admitting they had conducted an “illegal interview” with the petitioner. Sudworth’s report details a group of people blockading the petitioner’s house, assaulting the crew and destroying their camera equipment as they attempted to proceed with the interview. When the BBC crew eventually left, they were followed and forced by the police to delete some of their footage and sign a statement admitting to an “illegal interview” and being guilty of “behaviour causing a bad impact”.
Read more here.

 

6.       Fiji Times staff facing possible sedition charges

On March 7 the Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions, Lee Burney informed Fiji’s High Court that his department was considering filing fresh charges against 4 previously accused media professionals. The previous charges occurred in August 2016, accusing  Anare Ravula, Fred Wesley, Hank Arts, and Josaia Waqabaca of inciting communal antagonism over an article which was published by the newspaper’s i-Taukel language Nai Lalakai paper in April 2016.

Read more here.

 

7.       Xinjiang police say media have no right to ask questions

Radio Free Asia has reported on March 2 that a netizen in Xinjiang was detained for 15 days for using a VPN to access the RFA’s station. When a RFA reporter attempted to follow up the basis for detention, they were told by a police officer “You have no right to ask”.
Read more here.

 

8.       Photojournalist detained in Odisha, India

On March 6, Subhendu Kanungo, a photojournalist  with leading Odia-language daily Prayabekhyak was arrested in the Sailashree Vihar area on the charge of ‘misbehavior’. The charge originates from a phone call Kanungo placed to with Ayub Khan, a member of the the ruling party, the Legislative Assembly on February 14. The Odisha Union of Journalists have termed the arrest a ‘deep-rooted conspiracy’ that seeks to suppress journalists.

Read more here.

 

9.       Exposing police corruption gets Bangladeshi journalist arrested

Binoy Krishna Mallik, the former vice-president of the Jessore Press Club and a human rights activist in Bangladesh was arrested on March 13 on what the police claim is a charges of fraud. The arrest came eight hours after he had held a press conference at Jessore Press Club raising allegations of corruption and misuse of power by the Superintendent of Police.
Read more here

 

10.   Myanmar journalist harassed following critical reporting

On March 14 Myanmar Now chief correspondent, Ko Swe Win, after a dinner with the US Ambassador was approached by three men who attempted to assault him. His reporting has seen him receive multiple death threats on social media and is now often accompanied by security.
Read more here

 

11.   Police assaults photojournalists in Kashmir

On March 16 in Srinagar, Kashmir reports have emerged that the police assaulted Tauseef Mustafa, a photojournalist for Agence France Presse and manhandled other photojournalists while they were covering a press conference outside the residence of politician Syed Ali Geelani. Journalists were barred from covering the conference and were assaulted as leaders were escorted into cars.  The  Kashmir Editors Guild have condemned the incident as well as the Kashmir Press Photographers Association. Both organizations along with working journalists staged a demonstration protesting the treatment of Mustafa and other journalists present that day.

Read more here.

12.   IFJ Blog: Sexually Explicit Abuses Land in my Inbox - Neha Dixit

Neha Dixit details in her acceptance speech for the Chameli Devi Award for Outstanding Woman Journalist of 2016 the abuse she faced for after her investigative work in Outlook magazine was published, which exposed the trafficking of 31 tribal girls from five border districts of Assam in Northeast India.
Read more here.

 

13.   Are you insured? We seek your opinion!

Have you ever sought  insurance? Are you planning to use ‘insurance for journalists' supported by the IFJ? Take part in the ‘Insurance for Journalists' survey and help them improve and deliver the best insurance services to the community of news professionals the world deserves.
Take the survey here and read more here.

 

14.   A Nepalese journalist attacked for timber smuggling report

In the Bara district of Nepal on the 21 March an attempted attack on journalist Upendra Yadav was made by government employees. Upendra attempted to gain information from the District Forest Office at Simara regarding an incident of timber smuggling. It was at this junction that the employees of said office attempted to attack him.

Read more here

 

15.   Afghan journalist assaulted by police covering New Year celebrations

On March 22, in the Balkh Province of Afghanistan Ahmad Bashir Attayee, a news reporter for Ariana News TV, was assaulted by a police officer while he was covering Nowroz (Persian New Year) celebrations. The cameraman assisting, Ahmad Waled Sediqi was also beaten for recording the assault and his camera was broken. Afghan Independent Journalist Association has reported that authorities have failed to investigate the assault.
Read more here

 

        16. Cartoonists protest Australian embassy in London: The Outline

On March 27, , a group of cartoonists gathered in front of the Australian embassy in London, drawing on the sidewalk with chalk in support of a 25-year-old Iranian editorial cartoonist who goes by Eaten Fish. Eaten Fish signs his cartoons “Ali Dotani” and “RUF-115,” the number he was given at Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, an offshore detention center run by the Australian government that has been slated for closure because its existence was ruled “unconstitutional and illegal” by the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court. He arrived there after seeking asylum in Australia in 2013. He was awarded the Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award by the Cartoonists Rights Network International in 2016 for his work from inside the detention center.

Read more here.

 

       17. Facebook blocking content following Pakistani govt complaints: Daily Mail

Facebook is now blocking blasphemous content posted on its Pakistan website, a Pakistan government minister has revealed. The company has already blocked 62 blasphemous webpages, and 45 in the past several days alone, the minister said. This accounts for 85 per cent of all blasphemous content on Facebook's Pakistan site. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered Facebook to remove or block blasphemous content earlier this month, and said that anyone posting such material should be punished.

Read more here.

 

      18. Interview with John Mortimer: Return to Oz: Index on Censorship

In 2009, just before his death, barrister Sir John Mortimer talked to Index on Censorship about the 1971 Oz trial. Oz was a satirical, underground magazine founded in Australia in the 1960s. The editors of the London edition – Richard Neville, Jim Anderson and Felix Dennis – were prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act in 1971 for an issue edited by teenagers.

Read more here.  

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