Global Report 13.05.05


US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
has met the family of an American editor murdered last year in Moscow
and pledged to keep pressing Russia to solve the killing. Rice met the
widow and brother of Paul Klebnikov, editor of the Russian edition of Forbes,
who was shot dead outside his Moscow office last July. State Department
spokesman Richard Boucher said Rice assured them the US was committed
to getting answers. “She reaffirmed our interest in the case and our
intention to continue to pursue it with Russian officials so that those
responsible for the murder can be brought to justice,” he told
reporters. Russian authorities have arrested two people in connection
with the death of Klebnikov, a US citizen of Russian origin who had
worked for Forbes since 1989. Reuters


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The South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) has condemned the
baton charge on the journalists’ rally in Lahore on World Press Freedom
day. It has also criticised the government for arresting more than 50
media people. SAFMA had arranged a meeting on the day to express
solidarity with Nepalese journalists who were fighting for press
freedom in the Himalayan kingdom. SAFMA had also arranged similar
meetings in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. However, reports that the
police had baton charged rallies here as well as in Lahore created
problems, with the speakers targeting the federal government for its
unwarranted action. SAFMA also accused the government of trying to
stifle press freedom. “It appears that our military dictator and the
Nepalese king decided to celebrate World Press Freedom Day in their own
dictatorial manner,” Ziauddin, the resident editor of Dawn, Islamabad,
was quoted as saying.


A radio broadcaster in the southern Philippines has died after being
shot five times in an ambush, becoming the fourth Filipino journalist
to be killed this year.

Klien Cantoneros of DXAA
radio was declared dead at a hospital in Dipolog city hours after he
was attacked, said Chief Superintendent Vidal Querol.

are reviewing the tapes of radio programmes hosted by the victim to
determine if his commentary could have provided a motive for his
murder. Khaleej Times Online


A judge has found a British journalist guilty of libelling a
Peruvian businessman identified by the US government as Peru’s “drug
kingpin”. Judge Alfredo Catacora ordered Sally Bowen, a former correspondent for the BBC and Financial Times,
to pay Fernando Zevallos $3,070 after she quoted a former US drug
informant saying he was a major cocaine trafficker. “Not only am I not
in agreement with the sentence, I am indignant,” Bowen told the judge.

Catacora found insufficient proof of intentional malice to give
Bowen a jail sentence. But he said she had failed to evaluate Zevallos’
character properly, given that he has never been convicted of a crime.

the past 25 years, Zevallos has been charged in Peru and Chile with
contract murder, cocaine trafficking, witness tampering and money
laundering. Associated Press


Zimbabwe Journalists for Human Rights (ZJHR) has appealed to the
government to bring back the four independent newspapers that have been
shut down in the past three years. In a statement to mark World Press
Freedom Day, the ZJHR said it was saddened by the government’s
continued crackdown on foreign and local journalists working for the
private media. The organisation noted that, in 2004 alone, the
government of President Robert Mugabe committed 72 offences against
media workers from the private media. Four newspapers considered
enemies of the state were shut down for contravening various sections
of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).
These are The Daily News, The Daily News on Sunday, The Tribune and The Weekly Times.


Reporters Without Borders is
“astounded” by the abuse of authority displayed by the wives of
President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya and President Olusegun Obasanjo of
Nigeria in response to critical press reports. “We are stunned the
presidents’ wives went so far just to seek personal revenge,” the
organisation said. “We therefore call on Lucy Kibaki to apologise to a
cameraman she hit and we call on Stella Obasanjo to have the Midwest Herald’s publisher released from prison immediately.” Orobosa Omo-Ojo
was arrested on Obasanjo’s orders when security forces burst into the
paper’s office on 2 May. His arrest was prompted by an article
headlined “Greedy Stella”. In Nairobi, Kibaki went to the premises of
the Nation Media Group with six bodyguards and the Nairobi police chief
and spent five hours in the offices of the daily The Nation
complaining about “unfair” reports. She had the
journalists’ cameras, notebooks and mobile phones confiscated. She
also leapt at Kenya Television Network cameraman Clifford Derrick,
slapped him and tried unsuccessfully to take his camera. Reporters Without Borders


A Sudan newspaper editor appeared before a court last week on
charges of publishing an article that tarnished the image of Islam and
the Prophet Mohammed. Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed Taha,
editor-in-chief of the al-Wifag daily, appeared before the court in
Khartoum on charges of blasphemy, inciting public opinion and religious
hatred. An angry mob gathered outside the courthouse demanding the
editor be executed. Outraged Muslims also stormed the premises of
al-Wifag and set the editor’s car on fire.



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