Reporters Without Borders
Launched by Reporters Without Borders, “Tracker 19” is a tool made for an unprecedented global crisis. So named in reference not only to Covid-19 but also article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this project aims to evaluate the pandemic’s impacts on journalism. It documents state censorship and deliberate disinformation, and their impact on the right to reliable news and information. It will also make recommendations on how to defend journalism.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 19 reads:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) fears that government will take total control over national media and calls on European institutions to take urgent action in order to prevent the elimination of press freedom and, with it, democracy in Hungary.
After yet another smear campaign against independent media, this time accusing them of publishing disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had a “coronavirus” law passed this week, allowing him rule by decree during the state of emergency for an indefinite period. In particular, the legislation includes a provision for sentences of up to five years in prison for spreading fake news.
The courts will have the last word on any possible sanctions, the more complacent ones towards Orbán will say. But in reality it is the government that can, at the outset, arbitrarily decide whether a media report is true or false.Orbán’s Orwellian law paves way for “information police state” in Hungary | Reporters without…
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) fears that government will take total control over national media and calls on European…rsf.org
The government has repeatedly tried to exercise total control over information about Covid-19. On 31 March, it asked the supreme court to “direct” the media to publish nothing about the epidemic “without first ascertaining the facts from the mechanism provided by the government.” This was tantamount to prior censorship, to forcing journalists to publish only government-approved information.
This would clearly have been unconstitutional and the outcry was such that the supreme court did not acquiesce. But it did however make concessions to the government, ruling that, to avoid the dissemination of “unverified news capable of causing panic,” the media must “refer to and publish the official version about the developments” including the government’s daily bulletin.
While disturbing at the national level, this determination to control information has attained extreme proportions in the far-north Kashmir Valley, where the Jammu and Kashmir government announced for the fifth time on 3 April that it was extending its blocking of mobile Internet in the region although the supreme court had ruled as early as 10 January that such blocking was “inadmissible.”How India’s government tries to suppress all Covid-19 reporting | Reporters without borders
Three weeks after India imposed a nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic, Reporters Without Borders…rsf.org
Zimbabwe is currently Africa’s biggest press freedom violator in connection with coronavirus crisis, with no fewer than five arrests of journalists in the past 12 days.
While the Covid-19 pandemic is now hitting Africa with full force, with more than 10,000 cases and nearly 500 deaths, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and 80 rights and press freedom organizations have written to the ten heads of state and government of the African countries which count in their jails journalists arbitrarily imprisoned, asking them to release them without delay.
To: President of Algeria Abdelmadjid Tebboune, President of Benin Patrice Talon, President of Burundi Pierre Nkurunziza, President of Cameroon Paul Biya, President of Chad Idriss Deby, President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, President of Eritrea Isaias Afwerki, Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed Ali, Prime Minister of Morocco Saad-Eddine El Othmani, President of Rwanda Paul Kagame:
We the 81 undersigned media, press freedom, and human rights organizations are writing to call on your respective governments to release all jailed journalists amid the sweeping COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week, the Committee to Protect Journalists published an open letter to world leaders urging the immediate release of all journalists imprisoned for their work. Given that a staggering number of these imprisoned journalists are held in jails across the African continent, we are reiterating that call to your respective countries at this time of grave public health concern.Covid-19 in Africa: RSF joins a coalition of civil society organizations to demand the release of…
While the Covid-19 pandemic is now hitting Africa with full force, with more than 10,000 cases and nearly 500 deaths…rsf.org
Reporters Without Borders calls on Myanmar’s authorities to immediately restore mobile phone access to the 221 news websites they have arbitrarily blocked on the pretext of combatting disinformation during the Covid-19 crisis, in what is a disturbingly authoritarian move.
Without any public announcement, the transport and communications ministry issued orders to Myanmar’s four mobile phone operators in the last two weeks of March to block access to a total of 221 sites on the grounds that they were spreading “fake news,” to use the ministry’s term.
The government has not provided a list of the censored sites, but several leading media outlets are now blocked, as are a number of news sites aimed above all at Myanmar’s ethnic minorities.
In mid-coronavirus crisis, Myanmar blocks 221 sites for “fake news” | Reporters without borders
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Myanmar’s authorities to immediately restore mobile phone access to the 221…rsf.org
FOR FULL COVERAGE OF WORLDWIDE CRACKDOWNS ON PRESS FREEDOM GO TO:
WITH ATTACKS ON JOURNALISM WORLDWIDE, HERE IS THE INTERVIEW WITH EDWARD SNOWDEN.
AS HE SAYS, GOVERNMENTS ARE OPENING UP NEW AVENUES INTO OUR LIVES EVERY DAY, AND NOTHING IS MORE PERMANENT THAN A TEMPORARY MEASURE.