Media Tracker lists the challenges and achievements of the journalists and media organisations worldwide. Here’s a list of journalism at risk stories in the recent month. We would like to thank international media protection organisation and news outlets for their content.
- Rasheed, 29, a prominent blogger and social media activist advocating for rule of law, human rights and social justice in the Maldives, was found with multiple stab wounds in the stairway of his apartment building at 3am on Sunday, April 23. He succumbed to death soon after due to excessive bleeding. Rasheed was an outspoken critic of the government and religious intolerance in the Maldives, popularly known for his satirical English blog, “The Daily Panic”. (IFJ)
- A recent order issued by the Home Department of the Indian government, directed all Internet service providers to block users’ access to 22 platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and YouTube. The government said the order was in “the interests of peace and tranquility in the state” and that social media was “misused by anti-national and anti-social elements. The state of Indian Kashmir has been the site of renewed protests since Indian government forces killed a separatist leader last July and earlier this month eight protesters during a by-election. The order followed a spate of videos purportedly showing Indian soldiers committing human rights abuses spread widely on social media i.e., strapping a Kashmiri man to the front of an army jeep as a human shield. According to a 2016 report from the U.S. think-tank the Brookings Institution, India blocked access to the Internet in various regions in an attempt to prevent demonstrations 22 times from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016, more often than did Syria, Pakistan, and Turkey combined. The Kashmir Reader was among the publications state authorities censored in July 2016, amid a government-imposed blackout of mobile data services
- Ahmed Abba, a Hausa-language reporter for Radio France Internationale, was given a ten-year prison sentence by Yaoundé military court on 20 April after a 20-months detention and fined 55 million CFA francs (about 85,000 euros). Abba was arrested on 30 July 2015, tortured and held incommunicado for seven months, in connection with his coverage of attacks by the terrorist group Boko Haram in the north of the country. Cameroon is ranked 126th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World. (RSF)
- The Indian Express daily newspaper risks legal charges from the Indian Supreme Court for defying its order of prior censorship by reporting statements of a whistleblowing Kolkata High Court judge CS Karnan who had, earlier this year, accused senior judges of corruption. The editorial was printed after the Indian Supreme Court banned news media from quoting judge Karnan. CPJ Asia personnel accused the SC for needlessly exercising overly broad measures to silence allegations of significant public interest. Kumar, a representative of the newspaper, said, “If that (legal action) happens, they should say that the order is illegal.” (CPJ)
- A local photographer who works with AFP was seriously wounded in a missile strike on Sunday in southwest Yemen. According to a media source, Saleh al-Obeidi was in an armoured car with a pro-government officer when their vehicle was hit by a heat-guided missile near the government-controlled Red Sea town of Mokha, Yemen. Obeidi suffered severe burns to his face and hands. It was not immediately possible to identify the source of the missile. At least eight journalists were killed in Yemen in 2016, according to the International Federation of Journalists. (IFJ)
- Rama Reddy, a TV reporter and a freelance journalist from Eluru district of Andhra Pradesh state in India, was attacked in apparent retaliation for his reporting on illegal sand mining. He was questioned about his reports and the assailants reportedly tortured him and his mother with iron rods. (CPJ)