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.
- Jean-Claude Nshimirimana, who works for privately owned Radio Isanganiro, was recently summoned and threatened by the governor to have him jailed for 12 months on a charge of disturbing public order if he ever reported anything about the province again. The radio station carried Nshimirimana’s report by him about discontent among school principals and teachers in Ruyigi at being asked to pay an additional “voluntary” tax to help fund general elections in Burundi in 2020.
According to the journalist the governor and the National Intelligence Service (SNR) pressurized him into disclosing the names of the teachers opposed to paying the additional tax.
Burundi is ranked 160th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index.
- Last week, Abdul Raheem Abdullah, the deputy leader of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and a parliamentarian, during a press conference, called on the security forces to immediately shut down opposition-aligned Raajje TV. The politician made the call after accusing Raajje TV of giving airtime to the former President Mohamed Nasheed and other opposition leaders.
The Maldives Broadcasting Commission (MBC) had warned earlier in February that warned that media stations will face closure without warning if cover the national security critically.
- Ethiopian journalists Eskinder Nega and Woubshet Taye are free from prison after each served nearly seven years after being arrested in 2011 and convicted in 2012 in terror-related charges the journalists fabricated in retaliation for their critical reporting.
According to the news, Eskinder, a prominent columnist and editor of now-shuttered newspapers, and Woubshet, a former editor with the weekly newspaper Awramba Times, were among 746 prisoners promised a pardon by the Ethiopian government last week.
International media organisations are now urging the Ethiopian government to drop charges against other journalist to allow free media to flourish.
- Al-Watan columnist Saleh al-Shehi, who was critical of corruption in his work, was recently sentenced to five years in prison by a specialized criminal court in Saudi Arabia for “insulting the royal court.” According to a news report, he court also imposed a five-year travel ban on the journalist that will go into effect on his release. Saudi security forces arrested al-Shehi earlier in January in connection with his appearance on the Rotana Channel’s show “Yahalla,” criticising the corruption of the royal court