Posts Tagged ‘media’

Pulitzer prizes for courageous journalists in Myanmar and Philippines

April 16, 2019

Filippo Grandi in Security Council denounces ‘toxic language of politics’ aimed at refugees, migrants

April 10, 2019

Dissecting the term “refugee crisis” itself, Mr. Grandi asked the Security Council to consider to whom, exactly, that applied: “It is a crisis for a mother with her children fleeing gang violence; it is a crisis for a teenager who wants to flee from war, human rights violations, forced conscription; it is crisis for governments in countries with few resources that, every day, open their borders to thousands. For them, it is a crisis.

UN Photo/Evan Schneider. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, briefs the Security Council. (9 April 2019)

But it is wrong, he continued, to portray the situation as an unmanageable global crisis: with political will and improved responses, as enshrined by the Global Compact for Refugees, adopted last December, it can be addressed, and the Security Council has a critical role to play, particularly in terms of solving peace and security crises, supporting countries that are hosting refugees, and working to remove obstacles to solutions.

Conflicts, Mr. Grandi pointed out, are the main drivers of refugee flows: of the nearly 70 million people that are displaced, most are escaping deadly fighting. However, from the point of view of the UN High Commission for Refugees, approaches to peace-building are fragmented; addressing the symptoms, rather than the causes.

..[he goes into more detail on the Libyan situation]…

The UN refugee chief went on to exhort the Security council to step up support for the developing countries that host 85 per cent of the world’s refugees, to avoid leaving governments politically exposed, and refugees destitute. With regards to the return of refugees and migrants to their countries of origin, Mr. Grandi countered the misconception that UNHCR blocks returns: refugees have both a right to return, and also a right to not return, he said, in the absence of security and basic support. The informed choice of refugees must be respected, and returns must be dignified.

Mr. Grandi concluded by returning to the consequences of the toxic language surrounding refugees and migration, citing the example of the recent mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand in March, which left 49 dead. The response of the New Zealand Government should, he said, be seen as an good example of effective leadership and how to respond to such toxicity, in a firm and organized manner, restating solidarity with refugees, and reaffirming the principle that our societies cannot be truly prosperous, stable and peaceful, if they do not include everyone.

https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/04/1036391

Amnesty UK media awards sets good example

April 9, 2019

Amnesty International UK runs a successful series of (national) media awards. Amnesty’s Media Awards, which have been running annually since 1992, celebrate excellence in human rights journalism and applaud the courage and determination of journalists who often put their lives on the line to report on vital human rights issues. Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, said at the 3 April 2019 ceremony: “Media work is vitally important for Amnesty and everything we do. This evening we’ve seen some brilliant journalism that has had enormous human rights impact…Without a free press, it’s extremely difficult to expose wrong-doing and hold leaders to account. But even here in the UK we’re seeing it being threatened – especially with the sinister arrest of Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey in Northern Ireland last year…That’s why our awards are about congratulating the achievements of the media and championing its role in creating a fairer, more open world.” The awards, hosted by Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman, held a moment of silence for the approximately 90 journalists imprisoned last year for doing their jobs. Canada and the USA are undertaking similar events.

The winners of the 2019 AI UK Media Awards include:

News (Broadcast)

Features

Regional Media

  • BBC Northern Ireland – Spotlight: Buried Secrets

Documentaries

  • BBC Two – Escape from Dubai: The Mystery of the Missing Princess

Impact Award

Investigation

For jailed Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo this means yet another award for their work as they continue to fight an appeal against their conviction. The men, who have been behind bars in Myanmar since December 2017. [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2018/11/06/50-human-rights-ngos-address-joint-letter-to-aung-san-suu-kyi-on-reuters-journalists/]

—-

Giles Duley, on assignment for UNHCR, photographs refugees and migrants in Greece in 2016.  © UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis

Humanitarian photographer Giles Duley won a Media Award for his powerful series depicting the plight and resilience of Congolese female refugees in Angola. His photo essay, “We Are Here Because We Are Strong”, was commissioned by UNHCR and published in Humanity magazine. The subjects of his project were forced to flee the Kasai region of Democratic Republic of the Congo after violence erupted in March 2017, triggering massive displacement.

The full Media Awards 2019 shortlist can be found here.

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/amnesty-media-awards-2019-winners-announced

https://www.pressgazette.co.uk/jailed-reuters-reporters-wa-lone-kyaw-soe-oo-honoured-with-amnesty-media-award-during-appeal/

https://www.unhcr.org/news/latest/2019/4/5ca5ff704/unhcr-photographers-essay-congolese-women-refugees-wins-prestigious-award.html

Silvana Meixner winner of Ari Rath Prize for Critical Journalism 2019

April 8, 2019

Vindobona announced on 4 April 2019 that ORF journalist and presenter Silvana Meixner will be awarded the second Ari-Rath Prize for Critical Journalism on 5 May 2019, the Day of Freedom of the Press. This prize was established to honour journalists who have rendered outstanding services to critical reporting on immigration, expulsion and asylum, committed to respect for human rights, in the spirit of the former editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post, Ari Rath who died in January 2017. [see https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2018/05/04/world-press-freedom-day-a-good-time-for-honoring-journalists/] For more on this award and 7 other awards for journalists see: http://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/awards/ari-rath-prize-for-critical-journalism.

Former editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post, Ari Rath, who died in January 2017. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons

Silvana Meixner is the head of the ORF minority editorial office (Minderheitenredaktion) and presenter of the magazine “Heimat Fremde Heimat”. In the spirit of the late Ari Rath, she is honoured as a journalist who has rendered outstanding service in her work to critical reporting on flight, expulsion and asylum, committed to the protection of human rights. Silvana Meixner was born on March 16, 1958 in Split, Croatia; she lives in Vienna since 1986. After graduating from high school, she studied sociology and pedagogy in Zadar. Since 1988 she has been working for the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (Österreichischer Rundfunk), where she was involved in setting up the minority editorial office. On 3 December 1993 Silvana Meixner, who moderated the television programme Heimat, fremde Heimat together with Lakis Iordanopoulos, was injured by a letter bomb from Franz Fuchs. She continued her journalistic work for refugees, ethnic minorities and human rights.

———

https://www.vindobona.org/article/silvana-meixner-receives-ari-rath-prize-for-critical-journalism-2019

Fake news targeted Sakharov award nominee Zefzafi in Moroccan media

April 5, 2019

In September 2018, Nasser Zefzafi, imprisoned leader of Morocco’s Hirak protest movement in the Rif region, was nominated for the European Parliament’s prestigious Sakharov Prize For Freedom of Thought. The annual award was established in 1988 to honor ‘’individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the fight for human rights across the globe.’’ [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2018/09/30/nominees-for-the-2018-sakharov-prize-announced-by-european-parliament/]

Zefazfi is currently serving a 20-year prison term for his role as a leader in the Hirak protests. … Zefzafi made it to the list of three finalists for the Sakharov Prize, but did not win. It was instead awarded to Ukrainian film director and writer Oleg Sentsov. Following the announcement of the winner on 25 October, Moroccan news site Cawalisse published a fabricated story alleging that the European Parliament “withdrew Zefzafi’s name from the list of winners’’ because he is a “criminal who has no link to human rights.”

Screenshot of the fabricated Cawalisse story alleging that the European Parliament deemed Zefzafi  a ”criminal’.

The article (which does not list an author!) states that “a group of lobbies from within the European Parliament, including those that support Polisario separatists and those hired by drug gangs, pressured the prize’s committee to award it to Zefzafi and give his crimes the label of protecting rights.” The story is completely false. It is based on fabricated facts and conspiracy theories. The European Parliament never maintained that Zefzafi was a criminal, nor did they withdraw his name “from the list of winners.” He was simply not chosen to win the prize. In fact, there was no “list of winners” in the first place, but only one winner, Oleg Sentsov…

https://advox.globalvoices.org/2019/04/04/how-pro-government-media-in-morocco-use-fake-news-to-target-and-silence-rif-activists/

 IRIN News officially becomes The New Humanitarian

March 22, 2019

Yesterday, IRIN News (often quoted here) officially became The New Humanitarian.

The new website is already live at thenewhumanitarian.org.

You can follow them on social media: @newhumanitarian on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.  It celebrated the name change with the world premiere of “The New Humanitarian”, a short play by South African playwright Mike van Graan; an interactive discussion with our editors; and an introduction to the new president of our board of directors.

https://mailchi.mp/thenewhumanitarian/say-hello-to-the-new-humanitarian-218573?e=134def3735

Shawkan released in Egypt after 5 years jail for taking pictures

March 4, 2019

Reuters reports that on Monday 4 March 2019 Egypt released photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, also known as Shawkan who spent more than five years in jail after covering a 2013 sit-in that ended with security forces killing hundreds of protesters. “I can’t describe how I feel … I am free,” he told Reuters by phone after being released at dawn on Monday. [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2018/05/04/world-press-freedom-day-a-good-time-for-honoring-journalists/]

Shawkan was released because he had served out his term before being sentenced. But he must still spend his nights for the next five years at a police station, a penalty he said he would challenge. He vowed to continue with his work, saying: “All journalists are at risk of being arrested or killed while doing their work. I am not the first and I will not be the last.

(Shawkan was charged with belonging to a banned group and possessing firearms. He was sentenced to five years in prison last September in a mass trial which saw 75 people sentenced to death and more than 600 others to jail terms. Shawkan denied the charges against him, saying he was simply providing freelance coverage of the protest for a British-based photo agency.)

UNESCO awarded him its 2018 Cano Press Freedom Prize and said his detention was an abuse of human rights. See: http://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/awards/unesco-guillermo-cano-world-press-freedom-prize

Aziz: thank you for the attention but now I have go back to detention…

February 18, 2019

Last Wednesday, 13 February 2019, Abdul Aziz Muhamat was awarded the 2019 Martin Ennals Award for human rights defender in Geneva. Some time earlier Behrouz Boochani was awarded the Australian Victorian Prize for Literature. What they have in common is that they are detained – for almost 6 years – on Manus Island under Australia’s off-shore refugee policy.  Their stories testify to the cruelty of this regime and the humanitarian deficiency of a country that claims a strong liberal tradition and is itself a nation based on immigration. Successive governments have defended this policy as necessary to stop trafficking although it is hard to see how forced stays of such length would attract anybody except the most desperate refugees. And anyway even those recognized as refugees would not be allowed to settle in Australia!

Aziz’ impassioned acceptance speech in Geneva, spoke of the solidarity he feels for his fellow detainees in the face of daily humiliating and degrading treatment. Therefore he vowed to return to his detention centre in the Pacific, return to be a number (“On the island, officials refer to me as QNK002. I have no identity other than that number“). See:

Read the rest of this entry »

World Press Freedom Index 2018 is out – colorful but disheartening

January 30, 2019

The World Press Freedom Index 2018 is out.

Published every year since 2002 by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the World Press Freedom Index is an advocacy tool. The Index is a point of reference that is quoted by media throughout the world and is used by diplomats and international entities such as the United Nations and the World Bank.

The Index ranks 180 countries and regions according to the level of freedom available to journalists. (It is a snapshot of the media freedom situation based on an evaluation of pluralism, independence of the media, quality of legislative framework and safety of journalists in each country and region. It does not rank public policies even if governments obviously have a major impact on their country’s ranking. Nor is it an indicator of the quality of journalism in each country or region.)

Click here for more information

THE PRESS FREEDOM MAP, which is distributed in print and digital versions, offers a visual overview of the situation in each country and region in the Index. The colour categories are assigned as follows: good (white), fairly good (yellow), problematic (orange), bad (red) and very bad (black).

 

https://rsf.org/en/ranking

Forced television confessions in China lead to request to ban CCTV in UK

January 8, 2019

On 8 January 2019 the Hong Kong Free Press reports that Swedish human rights defender Peter Dahlin has filed a complaint with the British telecommunications regulator against Chinese state media China Central Television (CCTV) for contravening the broadcasting code and violating the Human Rights Act. In his complaint to the Office of Communications (Ofcom) yesterday, Dahlin – who is director of human rights NGO Safeguard Defenders – cited his own appearance on Chinese state television in 2016. [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2018/04/12/how-china-extracts-televised-confessions-from-human-rights-defenders/]
China Central Television Building in Beijing

China Central Television Building in Beijing. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Dahlin said in his complaint that the production and airing of his televised “confession” violates a significant part of the privacy and fairness provisions of the broadcasting code, since no consent was given. He added that all statements made during his appearance were done so under duress and were pre-written for him: “I was given a paper with prepared questions and answers, and told to memorise,” he said. “I, like many victims who have later spoken out, was never told or informed, that this was to be a public TV recording, but that it was for internal use only.”….

The complaint stated that CCTV violated paragraph 6 of the Human Rights Act, which governs the acts of public authorities, by denying Dahlin the right to a fair trial. It also states that CCTV violated article 8 of the act, which protects the right to privacy.  The complaint also said that CCTV knowingly produced “lies and [the] intentional distortion of facts…” with the help of the Ministry of State Security in China.

A British fraud investigator also filed a complaint to Ofcom last NovemberPeter Humphrey said he was forced to confess on CCTV for crimes he had been not convicted of in 2013 and 2014. He urged the regulator to revoke the UK licence and credentials of both CCTV and its international arm CGTN.

Peter Humphrey

A drawing of Peter Humphrey’s forced confession. Photo: Handout.

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/01/08/swedish-activist-made-confess-chinese-state-tv-urges-uk-broadcast-regulator-ban-channel/