New York, May 25, 2011--Police raided the offices of the independent, Luganda-language weekly, Gwanga, Tuesday, arresting two senior editors and two other staff members on criminal libel charges, local journalists told CPJ. Twelve officers came to their offices in a suburb of the capital, Kampala, arresting Managing Editor Kizito Sserumaga, Coordinating Editor Alex Lubwaga, reporter Patricia Serebe and security guard, James Lukyamuzi. Police released the journalists and their guard from the Old Kampala Police Station at 8:30 p.m. on police bond. They reported back today, local journalists told CPJ.
Hassan Mohamed, nicknamed "Jaeyl" by his colleagues, used to be a jack-of-all-trades for Somalia's first independent broadcaster, HornAfrik. He was a journalist, a producer, and a librarian. He was even a dramatist. His most powerful professional role was keeping HornAfrik running when most senior staff members fled the country, fearing for their lives.
New York, May 24, 2011--The new government of freshly sworn-in Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara must launch a serious investigation into alleged harassment of journalists, including the killing of a reporter, by the republican forces of the Ivory Coast (the French acronym is FRCI), the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The FRCI backed Ouattara against his political rival Laurent Gbagbo.
New York, May 20, 2011--The Libyan government should immediately release the body of South African photographer Anton Hammerl, at left, and investigate the role of the armed forces in his death, Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
Hammerl, 41, was shot and killed by government forces near Brega in eastern Libya on April 5. Three journalists traveling with him were detained by Libyan authorities until May 18 and announced Hammerl's death after their release.
We write a lot at CPJ about the terrible things that happen to journalists because of their reporting, but we don't often get a chance to show you what happens to them after they are forced to flee their homes and land abroad. This video, about three such journalists, is worth watching.
New York, May 18, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns President Yoweri Museveni for publically criticizing local and foreign media outlets. Museveni expressed anger over the outlets' coverage of protests by the opposition over rising fuel prices. In a letter published Tuesday in the state-owned daily New Vision, Museveni accused Al-Jazeera, the BBC, the Kenyan broadcaster NTV, and the local independent Daily Monitor of being supporters of recent opposition protests and "enemies of Uganda's recovery."
New York, May 17, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release of online editor Jean-Claude Kavumbagu of Net Press on Monday but still questions the original charges placed against him. The High Court dropped charges of treason on May 13 but sentenced Kavumbagu to eight months in prison and a fine of 100,000 Burundian francs (US$80) for publishing "information that discredits the state and economy," according to defense lawyer Gabriel Sinarinzi. Authorities released Kavumbagu on Monday since he had already spent 10 months at Mpimba Prison in the capital, Bujumbura.
President Paul Kagame is a leader who draws sharply divided opinions--praise from some for rebuilding Rwanda after the 1994 genocide and criticism from others over a record of repression of dissent and the press. On Saturday, a tweet critical of Kagame by British columnist Ian Birrell sparked a heated exchange about press freedom between the two men on the social networking site.
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