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.
- Authorities in Venezuela detained Jesus Medina Ezaine, a freelance Photojournalist, at a subway station after he finished reporting on a hospital on 29th Ezaine was charged with crime of inciting hate by a court in Caracas and sentenced to military prison two days later.
- In July, Chinese authorities Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region arrested the deputy Editor, Ilham Weli, of the Xinjiang Daily for being a ‘twofaced’ official who secretly opposes government policies in the region. It is unclear whether Weli has been formally charged. Last year at least 41 journalists were in Chinese jails, making it the second largest jailer of journalists worldwide. 15 of those incarcerated journalists are of the Uighur ethnic group, including Ilham Tohti, founder of the website Uighurbiz, and freelance journalist Gulimire Imin. Both of whom were sentenced to life in prison.
- Roman Sushchenko’s sentence of 12 years in a maximum-security prison camp has been upheld in a recent verdict by Russia’s supreme court. The Ukrainian Journalist’s, Sushchenko’s, Supreme Court hearing was held behind closed doors not unlike his initial hearing. Sushchenko was charged with spying. Russia is ranked 148th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index.
- Austrian journalist Max Zirngast, who writes for the leftist magazine Re:volt, was recently arrested in Ankara on suspicion of support for terrorist groups. No precise reasons have been given for the arrest however; it is known that Zirngast has reportedly been critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government. He has also been vocal on the Kurdish issue in his recent contribution to a book called “The Fight for Kobanê”. From the 180 journalists, arrested in Turkey since the July 2016 coup attempt, 164 remain in prisons around the country, according to IPI’s comprehensive Free Turkey Journalists database. Nearly all face or have been convicted on terror-related charges that IPI views as a politically motivated attempt to crack down on dissent. The Turkish government has also forcibly closed nearly 200 media organizations, including 53 newspapers, in a bid to silence independent journalism in the country.