La Voix de Djibouti is not run by “opposition illiterates,” RSF says

first_img Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled by Djiboutian President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh’s defamatory comments in a magazine interview about the only independent media outlet operated by Djiboutian journalists. The sole aim of Guelleh’s lies was to deflect attention from the complete lack of press freedom in his country, RSF says. Guelleh, who might run for a fifth term as president next April, made his defamatory comments about La Voix de Djibouti (LVD), a radio station and Web TV, when asked about press freedom in Djibouti in an interview for the French monthly Jeune Afrique. He called it “an opposition website based in Brussels” and described its journalists as “sometimes barely literate fellows.” He also claimed that he had “imprisoned no one.” It is hard to utter so many falsehoods in just two sentences.But the Djiboutian regime’s propaganda doesn’t bear examination. LVD’s headquarter are in Paris, not Brussels, and its reporters in Djibouti have to work clandestinely to escape the regime’s persecution. They have been arrested at least six times in the past year or so, as RSF has documented and reported at the time.Far from being illiterate, most of LVD’s journalists have university degrees and some have taken journalism courses abroad. And most of them speak several languages.While LVD’s fans may include members of the opposition, it is independently funded and its editorial policy is to allow all viewpoints to be expressed. RSF has seen its financial records for 2018 and 2019 and confirms that it received no funding from the Djiboutian opposition.Its programming and content provide space for independent opinions, debates and reporting that are not tolerated in Djibouti, where only the state media are allowed to operate and are forced to relay the regime’s propaganda.LVD often invites members of the government. For example, Abdourahman Mohamed Allaleh, the ruling coalition’s vice-president, was recently invited to debate the latest developments with a member of the main opposition party. Government supporters and members are repeatedly asked to express their views, but rarely accept, as RSF has been able to confirm by looking at messages received by LVD’s director.Without LVD’s vital reporting, many matters of public interest, such as the impact of recent flooding, police violence and examples of corruption and nepotism would have gone uncovered. It was in recognition of the important work it carries out in extremely difficult conditions that LVD was included in the list of nominees for this year’s RSF Press Freedom Prize, which was awarded yesterday.“No, LVD’s journalists are not opposition illiterates,” said Arnaud Froger, the head of RSF’s Africa desk. “The president’s comments about the only independent media outlet run by Djiboutian journalists are slanderous and are designed solely to deflect attention from the complete absence of press freedom in his country. No matter how serious, these completely mendacious accusations deceive no one. This media outlet produces quality work with few resources and a great deal of courage. Its provision of a space for expression, information and debate is absolutely essential and prevents Djiboutians having to rely on the regime’s propaganda as their only source of information.”When asked by Jeune Afrique why Djibouti has no privately-owned media, Guelleh simply said, “They’re expensive” and “the market is limited.” This is totally duplicitous. No mention of financial problems were raised when LVD requested a licence in 2015. The laconic response from the authorities, which RSF has seen, simply said: “The national communication commission in charge of issuing licences is not yet operational.”Despite repeated subsequent requests, LVD is still waiting for a licence. As for the national communication commission, its creation was envisaged in a law on freedom of communication that dates back to 1992.Djibouti is ranked 176th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index, three places lower than in 2019. Follow the news on Djibouti Djibouti: Detained reporter’s home searched, Facebook account hacked August 4, 2020 Find out more Organisation News December 9, 2020 La Voix de Djibouti is not run by “opposition illiterates,” RSF says July 17, 2020 Find out more News Receive email alertscenter_img DjiboutiAfrica Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsMedia independence ImprisonedFreedom of expression News RSF_en News DjiboutiAfrica Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsMedia independence ImprisonedFreedom of expression Another Voix de Djibouti reporter arrested in Djibouti City Djibouti releases two journalists Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh attends ceremonies marking the 41st anniversary of Djibouti’s independence in Djibouti on June 27, 2018. Houssein HERSI / AFP to go further June 11, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Supreme court judge dismisses charges against The News crime reporter

first_imgNews Receive email alerts PakistanAsia – Pacific Reporters Without Borders today welcomed the findings of a police investigation submitted to supreme court judge Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry yesterday clearing The News journalist Shakeel Anjum of any involvement in the murder of three arms traffickers. The judge, who had ordered the enquiry, dismissed all charges against Anjum.The case dates back to May 2005 when Anjum, a crime reporter, wrote a story implicating a police officer, Idrees Rathore, in the summary execution of two youths. Rathore, who was never investigated in connection with the double murder, saw a chance for revenge when the three arms traffickers were murdered last month. He pressured a witness into saying that Anjum was corrupt and had intervened to get the forensic report changed.Anjum’s investigative reporting is credited with helping to reduce corruption within the police force.———————————————-19.09.06Police beat up, censor and harass journalistsReporters Without Borders expressed indignation after police beat three TV journalists and then forced technicians to pull the plug on a report of the attack being shown on ARYONE World (ARY TV).The assault on the three journalists – Wadood Mushtaq, Zahid Malik and Nazir Awan – and the subsequent censorship of the TV news occurred in Lahore, Punjab province on 16 September.Elsewhere, a police officer accused a journalist on The News of murder in reprisal for an article he had written implicating him in extra-judicial killings.The 16 September incident began when Wadood Mushtaq of ARY TV saw police attack Nazir Awan of ATV during a religious party rally in Lahore. He told his cameraman, Zahid Malik, to film the scene while he tried to intervene. Police then turned on the two journalists from ARY TV, raining blows on them before taking them to a police station.At the insistence of the local authorities they were taken to hospital. Mushtaq had serious injuries to his face and jaw while Awan was left with a broken arm and swelling all over his body. The cameraman suffered a spinal injury.Later the same evening, police from each district of Punjab ordered technicians of all the cable operators to cut the ARY TV broadcast which was showing footage on a loop of the police assault which it described as “torture”.A few hours later, Punjab’s Chief Minister, Pervaiz Elahi, suspended police officers Mukhtar and Younas Shah, who were implicated in the incidents. The organisation which regulates the electronic media, PEMRA, called the police order “illegal and un-constitutional”.”We were disturbed to hear about these press freedom violations committed by Pakistani police officers,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said.”Police assaulting journalists is sadly a common event in Pakistan, but for these same police officers to censor their media is utterly unacceptable. The government’s suspension of the two officers implicated in this case is an encouraging move, but which does nothing to hide the failure to impose more severe penalties in previous cases.”Elsewhere, Shakeel Anjum, who specialises in crime reporting for the daily The News – and whose home was recently targeted – has just been accused by police of involvement in a triple murder. He told Reporters Without Borders, “It’s a continuation of an old case.”He explained that the police officer, Idrees Rathore, was seeking revenge on him – over a May 2005 article about Rathore’s implication in the extra-judicial killing of two young men – by including the journalist’s name on a charge sheet in a murder case. Despite evidence put forward in Anjum’s article, the officer was never questioned.Reporters Without Borders urged the government to take steps to remove the journalist’s name from the file and that Rathore be punished for this abuse of power.”Both these cases reveal the difficult climate in which journalists in this country have to work,” it added.The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) called on the Pakistani government not to allow the country to drift into becoming a police state. Help by sharing this information June 2, 2021 Find out more Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists PakistanAsia – Pacific October 17, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Supreme court judge dismisses charges against The News crime reporter April 21, 2021 Find out more to go furthercenter_img News News RSF_en News Pakistani journalist critical of the military wounded by gunfire Follow the news on Pakistan Organisation Pakistani supreme court acquits main suspect in Daniel Pearl murder January 28, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more