Posts Tagged ‘radio journalist’

Raed Fares Assassinated in Syria [“What can they do? Kill me?”]

November 26, 2018

Raed Fares
Raed Fares’ radio station defied threats from jihadist groups and resisted orders to stop playing musicPresentational white space

Raed Fares, a well-known Syrian activist, was killed in the north-western town of Kafranbel, in the in the rebel-held Syrian province of Idlib. Fares and fellow activist Hamoud Jneed were attacked in their car. Jneed died immediately, while Fares was transferred to Orient Hospital, where he later died. It was not the first time the founder of Radio Fresh, an independent radio station broadcasting from inside opposition-held areas in the country, had been targeted. His activism had earned the ire of both militants and the Syrian government. Four years ago, two gunmen for the Islamic State (IS) militant group shattered several bones and punctured his lung in a failed attempt to silence Fares. More attempts on his life would follow and yet the former estate agent was determined to carry on.

It was not just Fares the militants took issue with. The radio station – with its music and female presenters – also angered the groups which overran the town and surrounding area. Four years ago, when IS had a presence in Idlib province, the station’s office was raided by militants. In 2016, Fares was detained by the Nusra Front, the former al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria.

The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham alliance, which currently controls most of Idlib province, had ordered Radio Fresh to stop broadcasting music. The station’s response was to play long sequences of other sounds, such as tweeting birds, clucking chickens and bleating goats. “They tried to force us to stop playing music on air,” Fares told the BBC in 2017. “So we started to play animals in the background as a kind of sarcastic gesture against them.”

Among the many expressions of concern is the Human Rights Foundation as Fares spoke at its 2017 Oslo Freedom Forum: “We are deeply saddened and disturbed by the assassination of Raed Fares, a dear friend and esteemed member of the Oslo Freedom Forum community. Raed worked tirelessly to counter fundamentalist narratives through journalism and to empower his fellow Syrians to build a better future. His work, bravery, and determination to succeed despite the many threats on his life make him a hero of the Syrian revolution,” HRF Chairman Garry Kasparov said. … Fares first became known outside of Syria in early 2014, when he started writing eye-catching, often sarcastic protest signs and sharing photos of them on social media. ….He quickly became one of the most trusted sources of on-the-ground footage and information on Syria’s continuing conflict. With his death, many reporters outside Syria have lost a vital and increasingly rare source, and agents of misinformation will grow that much stronger in his absence.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-46320355

https://mailchi.mp/db20e9d559e0/off-speaker-raed-fares-assassinated-in-syria?e=f80cec329e

Uganda: Killing of human rights defender Erasmus Irumba by security forces

June 30, 2017

 reports that on 23 June 2017, Erasmus Irumba was shot and wounded during an alleged altercation with a commanding officer of the local Uganda People’s Defence Forces and other security officials in Ntoroko District, western Uganda. He was then driven to a more rural area where he was shot again at close range and killed. Erasmus Irumba <https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/erasmus-irumba>  was the coordinator of Twerwaneho Listeners Club (TLC) in Ntoroko District. TLC is a non-governmental organisation based in Fort Portal, in western Uganda. TLC carries out human rights advocacy through weekly radio programmes centred on human rights education, capacity building of human rights defenders, civic education, the monitoring and documentation of human rights violations and the challenging of unlawful government actions in court. TLC radio programmes generally aim at holding public leaders and corporations more accountable. Erasmus Irumba was particularly active in TLC’s Village Budget Clubs, a project that sought to scrutinise the allocation and implementation of district budgets and ensure proper management of public funds at the local level.

[On 23 June 2017, at approximately 7.30pm, Erasmus Irumba was reportedly summoned to go to Butungama trading centre for a meeting with senior security officials in his region, including the Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Richard Muhangi of Uganda People’s Defence Forces 3rd Mountain Battalion, with two of his escorts, the Ntoroko District Police Commander and the District Internal Security Organ Officer. During this meeting, Erasmus Irumba and another civilian who was with him were shot in the leg in an altercation that has been this far presented as arising from his attempt to resist arrest. Whilst still alive, but severely bleeding, Erasmus Irumba and his colleague were put in the boot of a private car and driven to a more rural area where they were shot dead. Erasmus Irumba’s body, which presented a gun wound in the forehead, was later taken to Buhinga Regional Referral Hospital in Fort Portal. In response to the killings, it is reported that some senior security officials including Lt. Col. Richard Muhangi and the Ntoroko District Police Commander have been arrested.]

Front Line Defenders is concerned that the killing of Erasmus Irumba is linked to the corruption of the security officials involved and believes he was targeted due to his peaceful and legitimate work at TLC.

 

 

New campaign in Macedonia and Honduras makes use of radio announcements for LGBTI rights defenders

October 25, 2013

A post of 24 October in LGBT Weekly informs about a cooperation between Front Line Defenders and the LGBTI Support Centre of the of the Helsinki Committee for human rights of the Republic of Macedonia and the ACI-Particpa in Honduras in a new campaign RADIOHRD.  LGBTI rights defenders attempt to increase their recognition and capacity to carry out their work by sharing a clear message on Public Service Announcements [PSAs] in each country in order to change societal attitudes and institutional frameworks that lead to violence and discrimination. This new campaign utilizes radio as one of the most powerful tools for awareness raising and reform. “In a time where technologies of information play an increasingly important role in the processes of social change, we find that the radio is still the most reliable, trusted and widely used media amongst all sectors of society all around the world, and Honduras and Macedonia are no exception to this”, explains Kocho Andonovski, program director of the LGBTI Support Centre in Macedonia. Through this awareness raising campaign, eight human rights defenders give their testimony to illustrate the reality faced by the LGBTI communities and those working to promote their rights and end violence and discrimination. During the coming months, national and local radio stations in Macedonia and Honduras will broadcast the series of Public Service Announcements PSAs, short radio spots aimed to promote the recognition that LGBTI rights defenders are engaged in legitimate and valuable work to promote human rights. The campaign will also be broadcasted via the website http://www.radiohrd.org, where video interviews, petitions in support of the defenders and further information are also available.

via Front Line Defenders uses radio to promote the security of LGBTI rights defenders | LGBT Weekly.

 

Radio journalist Julio Ernesto Alvarado in Honduras resigns in fear of his life.

March 11, 2013

Front Line report s that on 4 March 2013, human rights defender and prominent radio and television journalist Mr Julio Ernesto Alvarado announced his resignation from presenting the week night news commentary programme Medianoche on national radio station Radio Globo, due to serious fears for his life. Julio Ernesto Alvarado, who is also Director of Mi Nación, an hourly news programme transmitted nightly by television station Globo TV, has been subjected to continuous threats and surveillance since he began presenting the radio programme in 2011, the most recent incidents of which occurred on 1 and 2 March 2013. Frontline NEWlogo-2 full version - cropped

On 1 March 2013, a vehicle prevented him from entering the tunnel which gives access to the car park of the premises of Radio Globo and Globo TV. The journalist was subsequently forced to park elsewhere. Upon entering the building, Julio Ernesto Alvarado was informed by security guards that an unknown man had entered the premises of Radio Globo. When the journalist went to investigate, he was unable to locate the individual. It is believed that the man had entered the building in order to inspect Julio Ernesto Alvarado’s work environment and system of security.

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Cambodian radio journalist Mam Sonando in appeal gets slightly better deal

March 11, 2013

800 people gathered for a day and a half in front of the Phnom Penh Court of Appeal to support Mam Sonando.

(800 people gathered in front of the Phnom Penh Court of Appeal to support Mam Sonando (c) Clothilde Le Coz)

Arrested on July 15th 2012, Beehive Radio journalist and director, Mam Sonando, was sentenced in the first instance to twenty years in prison in October 2012. He was charged with instigating villagers and peasants to protest against lands expropriation, in Kratie province. He was convicted and sentenced for “aggravating circumstances rebellion, unlawful interference in the performance of public functions, insurrection, inciting people to take arms against the state authority”. After spending already eight months in prison, his appeal started on 5 March 2013.

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Less bad: on appeal Somali journalist gets 6 months instead of 1 year for reporting a rape case

March 8, 2013

On 7 February I reported via Front Line Defenders that journalist and human rights defender Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim – nicknamed Koronto – in Somalia was arrested convicted to one year jail for ‘fabricating’ – i.e. reporting on – a rape case and allegedly entering the house of the reported rape victim without consent. The charges (!) against the rape victim were dropped by the appeals court on 3 March 2013, but Koronto’s sentence was upheld, albeit with a reduction to 6 months.Frontline NEWlogo-2 full version - cropped