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.
- The Lahore high court, Pakistan, has issued the “non-bailable arrest warrant” on 24 September on the grounds thatCyril Almeida, Deputy editor Dawn failed to respond to a summons to appear at a hearing earlier the same day in the judicial investigation into Sharif – now one of the bugbears of Pakistan’s military establishment – and another former prime minister on suspicion of treason.
The case has its origin in the interview that Sharif gave to Dawn on 11 May in which he suggested that “people from Pakistan” may have been involved in the major terror attack in the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008. For this, he is being investigated for treason and Almeida is now being treated as an alleged accomplice to treason.
- Two journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, were sentenced to seven years in prison for violating the colonial-era Official Secrets Act in Myanmar. According to the Ministry of Information in Myanmar that the journalists were arrested for illegal possession of acquired secrets: government information and documents, allegedly given to them by the two police officers at the restaurant, which are also suspected of violating the Official Secrets Act. The two reporters had pled not guilty and stated that they had been set up by the police while investigating mass killings of Rohingyas in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state.
- In Yemen the journalists face another grueling challenge from governments partaking the war. Recently, Saudi-led coalition airstrike killed three staff members and a farmer, as they targeted Radio Hodeida,using warplanes, in the city of Marawha, in the western province of Hodeidah. Consequently, the transmission tower and a warehouse were destroyed.
- In Honduras, Nina Lakhani, a Mexican freelance journalist, is threatened by a campaign of intimidation following her coverage of a notorious murder trial of the Honduran indigenous activist leader Berta Caceres, killed in March 2016 after opposing a hydroelectric dam project on the Gualcarque River, an area considered by indigenous communities as sacred.
Lakhani, a member of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK is the only international journalist covering the trial against the eight men charged and which was delayed after the judges were formally accused of abuse of authority and a cover-up.
After reporting on the complicity between criminal structure and the Honduran judicial system, Lakhani was subject to a smear campaign that accuses her of participating in violent and drug-trafficking activities. This intimidation and defamatory campaign aimed at silencing her reporting and forcing her to leave the country. Recently a press release targeted her for using journalism to cover up illegal activities.
- Pakistan’s oldest newspaper, Dawn,is under growing pressure to comply with the army’s wishes on editorial policy and to respect its red lines, which include the role of the intelligence services and Pakistan’s policy towards its Indian neighbour. The Dawn Leaks, famous interview with Sharif, which Dawn published on 12 May, resulted in the newspaper’s distribution being blocked throughout almost the entire country – an effective way of undermining its finances.