WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Tue - 29.07.2014


safety of journalists

Photo by Gawker

“God is great — hang the atheist bloggers,” the protesters chanted, according to Al Jazeera.

Among a list of 13 demands the group presented was legislation that backs capital punishment for blasphemous online writing, which under current law can result in up to 10 years in jail, Al Jazeera reported. While such a law is unlikely to pass, the situation for bloggers in Bangladesh is growing increasingly grim.

Tensions mounted in February when the Bloggers and Online Activists Network called for a sit-in at Dhaka’s Shahbag Square. The hope was to draw attention to unpunished criminals convicted of crimes during the country’s 1971 war for liberation against Pakistan. The group suggested the death penalty for individuals including Abdul Quader Mollah, secretary general of the Islamist party, who was convicted of 344 counts of war crimes, Slate reported.

Author

Kira Witkin's picture

Kira Witkin

Date

2013-04-08 16:55

Georgetown University’s Pearl Project, a three-year investigation into the criminals responsible for Pearl’s murder, named Saeed as one of 27 men connected to the case. As of the project’s report release in January 2011, only four men had been charged.

But a violent streak this year seems to have stirred Pakistani officials to work: In the first six weeks of 2013, six media workers died and about 2,000 journalists have been assaulted or kidnapped in Pakistan. Along with Syria and Somalia, the country is now listed as one of the most dangerous for journalists.

Perhaps as a result, Pakistani paramilitary have been searching for Saeed for three weeks, an anonymous official told The Times, and last Thursday six Taliban militants were arrested in Karachi, Global Post reported.

Author

Kira Witkin's picture

Kira Witkin

Date

2013-03-19 19:35

“You come to expect the vitriol, the insults, the death threats,” Laurie Penny, a contributor to The Guardian, wrote in November. “After a while, the emails and tweets and comments containing graphic [rape] fantasies ... cease to be shocking, and become merely a daily or weekly annoyance, something to phone your girlfriends about, seeking safety in hollow laughter.”

The new blog provides the same hollow laughter: funny only because it’s so true, so relatable to female journalists who’ve become all too accustomed to regular sexist affronts. They’ve become numb to the “feeling of being hunted,” as New Statesman writer Helen Lewis-Hasteley called it in an interview with The Guardian.

Author

Kira Witkin's picture

Kira Witkin

Date

2013-03-01 16:59

The bomb found under the car of Pakistani journalist and TV talk show host Hamid Mir earlier this week highlighted the urgent need for governments to act to ensure the safety of journalists.

Only a month ago, at a symposium on this issue in London, Mir was telling of the death threats he and his colleagues were receiving daily. Messages were being sent directly to journalists' mobile phones and email accounts, because of their support for the blogger Malala. There was no evidence that the state was doing anything to protect the recipients.

“Where are the state security agents?” Mir asked at the time: “Why are they not intercepting these threatening messages and protecting journalists?”

That day Mir put his signature, alongside those of 40 media organizations and individual journalists, to the “London Statement”, an eight-point declaration that condemned killings and attacks against journalists and expressed dismay over the lack of government action.

Author

Cherilyn Ireton's picture

Cherilyn Ireton

Date

2012-11-29 18:33

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