Political Interference in Media Reporting in Mongolia

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Confederation of

Mongolian Journalists (CMJ) are deeply concerned by reports that B.

Jargalsaikhan, leader of Mongolia’s

Republican Party, interfered with the reporting of the daily newspaper Mongoliin Medee on April 12, 2012.

 

It is alleged that

after having completed an interview with Mongoliin

Medee’s B. Davaa, intended for publication the following day, Jargalsaikhan

and his supporters took steps to ensure the interview would not be published.

The change of heart was apparently connected to the arrest of former Mongolian

President N.Enkhbayar by the Independent Authority Against Corruption (IAAC) that

same day.

 

Reports indicate that

on the night of April 12, people acting under direction from Jargalsaikhan

called Davaa by

telephone to pressure him to pull the interview from publication. Others

entered the premises of Mongoliin Medee to ascertain whether the next day’s edition had been published, and then

prevented those wishing to collect the paper from entering. Copies of the

newspaper which had already been distributed were bought, or seized, from a

number of locations.

 

Article 39 of the Criminal

Code of Mongolia states that the “prevention of a journalist’s professional

activities that are consistent with law with the view of dissemination or

preventing dissemination of any information which affects the culprit’s or

others’ interests shall be punishable.”

 

“Efforts to repress reporting

on matters of public importance in Mongolia are an attack on press

freedom and promote a climate of fear,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline

Park said.

 

“Any attempt by political

figures or parties to interfere in the independence of the media, and unduly

influence their reporting, is unacceptable.”

 

The IFJ urges Mongolia’s

police to investigate these allegations of political interference to help

ensure that press freedom is protected.

 

For

further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0950

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

 

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the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

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