IFJ Asia’s Monthly e-bulletin – December 9, 2005

December 9, 2005

To IFJ Asia affiliates and friends
Welcome to IFJ Asia’s monthly e-bulletin. The next bulletin will be sent on February 1, 2006 and contributions from affiliates are most welcome. To contribute, email ifj@ifj-asia.org

Please distribute this bulletin widely among colleagues in the media. In this bulletin:
1. Journalist death toll in Asia hits 43
2. Tenth journalist killed in the Philippines in 2005
3. Associated Press International Day of Action – Friday December 9
4. IFJ Executive Committee meets in Sydney
5. Free Media in a Democratic Society
6. PFUJ protests against US plans to bomb Al Jazeera
7. Five missing journalists found in Pakistan
8. Journalists censored in Pakistan
9. BBC Nepali service off air in Nepal
10. Government of Bangladesh uses unfair tactics to disrupt journalists’ conference
11. WTO conference in Hong Kong
12. Hong Kong – Australia Skills Exchange
13. Newspaper editor arrested for defamation in Cambodia
14. Sixth annual AJI Congress, November 25-27, 2005
15. IFJ appoints media researchers for HIV/AIDS project
16. IFJ to conduct train the trainer in HIV/ AIDS reporting in the Philippines
17. NUJP safety office opens in the Philippines
18. Public service broadcasting law introduced in Kyrgyzstan
19. IFJ attends ILO trade union training in Kuala Lumpur
20. IFJ launches results of global survey into atypical work
21. Gender meeting in Trivandrum, India
22. Web site monitors attacks on Sri Lankan media
23. Journalism and Media within Globalisation
24. IFJ report on journalists and media staff killed in 2005
25. Australia Day of Action – November 15 – thanks for your support
26. IFJ Asia-Pacific Office closed over Christmas – New Year period
27. Latest protests

1. Journalist death toll in Asia hits 41

The IFJ has declared safety as the priority for journalists working in Asia following the shooting of journalist Nasir Afridi in Pakistan. On Sunday December 4, 2005, Nasir Afridi the president of Darra Adam Press Club and journalist for a daily Urdu language newspaper was shot and killed while driving in his car in northern Pakistan. Afridi’s death follows the murder in Bangladesh on November 17 of Gautam Das. The deaths bring the global death toll of journalists and media workers during 2005 to 105, and the total for Asia to 43, with 25 of these occurring in South Asia. See http://www.ifj-asia.org/page/pakistan.html for more information.

2. Tenth journalist killed in the Philippines in 2005
Three journalists have been killed in the Philippines over a two-week period bringing the number of journalists killed in the Philippines to ten this year. On December 1, 2005, George Benaojan, reporter for DYDD radio and Bantay Balita columnist in Talisay City, Cebu, was shot by an unidentified attacker. Radio announcer, Ricardo “Ding” Uy, was gunned down outside his home in Sorsogon City on November 18, 2005 and Robert Ramos, a reporter for Katapat based in Laguna was shot in front of a market in Barangay Loc, Cabuyao, Laguna on November 20. Meanwhile on November 29, Cebu City Regional Trial Court convicted former policeman, Guillermo Wapile, for the May 13, 2002 murder of print, radio and television journalist, Edgar Damaleiro. For more information see http://www.ifj-asia.org/page/philippines.html.

3. Associated Press International Day of Action – Friday December 9
The IFJ is calling on all affiliates to send letters to Associated Press chief executive Thomas Curley on Friday December 9 to protest the dismissal of five Associated Press workers in Mexico City. The workers were dismissed by the company as part of a plan to void the collective bargaining contract it has with the Mexican journalists’ union Sindicato Nacional de Redactores de la Prensa (SNRP). The Mexican union is launching a legal challenge to this action in an effort to maintain the collective bargaining agreement in Mexico and ensure that any replacement workers will still be covered by the agreement. For more information, and to view the template letter, go to http://www.ifj.org

4. IFJ Executive Committee meets in Sydney
The IFJ’s affiliate in Australia, the Media Alliance, and the IFJ Asia-Pacific Office jointly hosted the IFJ’s Executive Committee meeting on December 2-3 in Sydney, Australia. The meeting coincided with the 50 th Anniversary of the Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism and the Media for a Democratic Society Conference. IFJ’s Executive Committee heard presentations on Australia’s recently introduced anti-union laws, the safety crisis in the Philippines, the institutionalisation of clamp downs against press freedom in Nepal, IFJ’s work in Sri Lanka and a discussion on China. For more information contact ifj@ifj-asia.org.

5. Free Media in a Democratic Society
Prior to the IFJ Executive Committee meeting, the IFJ and the Media Alliance hosted a conference of international and Australian journalists on November 30 and December 1 to discuss attacks on press freedom around the world and the role of a free media in a democratic society. IFJ speakers t the conference included IFJ general secretary Aidan White, vice president Linda Foley, executive committee member Nikos Megrelis from the Journalists’Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers, Sunanda Deshapriya from the Free Media Movement in Sri Lanka and Michael Yu from the Association of Taiwanese Journalists. Other international guests included Steven Gan from Malaysiakini, Siddharth Varanjarn, deputy editor, The Hindu from India and International News Safety Institute (INSI) board member, Max Uechtritz. Approximately 100 Australian journalists attended the conference supported by the Myer Foundation. Visit http://www.alliance.org.au/freemediaconference.

6. PFUJ protests against US plans to bomb Al Jazeera
IFJ’s affiliate in Pakistan, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) organised a protest against the alleged plan of the United States to bomb independent Arab Tv station, Al Jazeera as
reported by the British newspaper the Daily Mirror. The PFUJ has condemned the statement and called for the Pakistani Government to protect the Al-Jazeera offices in Pakistan and also provide security to its journalists and for a full investigation into the news report. Meanwhile on December 6, 2005, masked kidnappers took Hayatullah Khan, reporter for Urdu language daily Ausuf and photographer the European Pressphoto Agency (EPA). For more information see http://www.ifj-asia.org/page/pakistan.html.

7. Five missing journalists found in Pakistan
According to the PFUJ all journalists who were initially reported missing after the Pakistan earthquake on October 8, have been accounted for and are currently being treated for injuries in
hospitals in Abbottabad and Muzzafarabad. The final death toll for the earthquake is estimated at 54,000 in the Kashmir region. Three journalists lost their lives as a result of the earthquake and close to 50 were injured or lost their homes. The IFJ has donated funds to victims from a special IFJ disaster relief fund set up partly with funds donated in memory of former IFJ senior vice president Gustl Glattfelder. For more information contact ifj@ifj-asia.org.

8. Journalists censored in Pakistan
Seven journalists continue to face charges in Pakistan under the censorship law, despite the Sindh Home Minister Rauf Siddiqui’s repeated assurances that all cases against journalists would be dropped. Journalists with cases still against them include; Afzal Nadeem, a reporter for the daily Awam, Asad Ibne Hasa of the Daily News, Abdul Latif Abu Shamel and Yahya Bin Zakreya of the Weekly Friday Special, Mohammad Nasir Jehangiri of Zarb-e-Islam, Mohammad Tahir of the Weekly Wajood and Rasheed Channa. Visit http://www.ifj-asia.org/page/pakistan.html for more information.

9. BBC Nepali service off air in Nepal
The BBC Nepali service has been off air since Sunday November 27 when police raided Radio Sagarmatha and ordered staff not to use the phone, seized its transmission equipment and took into custody five journalists and technicians working at the station. Police raided the station as it
was airing relay transmissions of BBC Nepali Service live from London and it is thought to be connected to the airing of an exclusive interview with Maoist chairman Prachanda alias Pushpa
Kamal Dahal – the first radio interview given by him in ten years, despite Sagarmatha airing music instead of the Prachanda interview. For more information see http://www.ifj-asia.org/page/nepal.html.

10. Government of Bangladesh uses unfair tactics to disrupt journalists’ conference
On November 11, the national convention against the repression of journalists, terrorism and militancy, organised by the Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ), was to be held at the auditorium of the Diploma Engineers’ Institute, before the National Security Intelligence (NSI) requested the venue authorities cancel all reservations from November 10 -14 for security reasons. In response to the cancellation, the BFUJ scheduled a sit-in demonstration on November 11 at the National Press Club. Visit http://www.ifj-asia.org/page/bangladesh051111.html.

11. WTO conference in Hong Kong
The Sixth World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference will be held in Hong Kong on
December 13–18, 2005. During the conference IFJ affiliate, the Hong Kong Journalists’ Association (HKJA), will run a hotline giving legal advice and assistance for journalists covering the conference and the planned protests surrounding the conference. In the lead up to the conference the HKJA has organised workshops for journalists on issues relating to the WTO, such as intellectual copyright, medicine, employment issues and reducing poverty. For more information contact hkja@hk.super.net.

12. Hong Kong – Australia Skills Exchange
IFJ affiliates the HKJA and Australia’s Media Alliance participated in a skills exchange from November 30 to December 8, with the support of the IFEX Outreach Program. HKJA general sectary Lauren Ho spent one week in the offices of the Media Alliance in Sydney gaining experience in fundraising, recruitment, organisational management and campaigning. While Australian colleagues learnt about the work of the HKJA and their press freedom campaigns.

13. Newspaper editor arrested for defamation in Cambodia
On Friday December 2, Hang Sakhorn, 44, editor of Ponleu Samaki newspaper, was arrested following a defamation lawsuit lodged by the prosecutor of the Kompong Speu provincial court.
Sakhorn was accused of defaming prosecutor Ven Yoeun alleging he took a 3,000 USD bribe. This follows the jailing of Mam Sonando, the owner of Beehive Radio FM 105, who was denied bail and remains in prison since his arrest on October 11. Sonando is facing charges of defamation and inciting people to commit crime. See http://www.ifj-asia.org/page/cambodia.html for more
information.

14. Sixth annual AJI Congress, November 25-27, 2005
The IFJ’s affiliate in Indonesia, Alliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI), held their sixth annual congress on November 25-27 in Jakarta where they elected Heru Hendratmoko, production director of Radio 68H and Abdul Manan, journalist of Tempo magazine president and general secretary. Hendratmoko and Manan replace the leadership team of Eddy Suprapto and Nezar Patria who led AJI from 2003-2005. Hendratmoko in his opening address as president, laid out AJI’s priorities over the next three years, which includ the promotion of freedom of the press and media professionalism in Indonesia. The AJI congress discussed strengthening the institutional capacity of AJI and the national research results into journalists’ lives.

15. IFJ appoints media researchers for HIV/AIDS project
The IFJ has appointed media researchers in Cambodia, India and the Philippines to work on a
project supported by the Swedish LOTCO, to highlight the vital role journalists and the media can play in combating the HIV/AIDS crisis. The IFJ has appointed Mr Lay Chansok in Cambodia
contactable on ifjcambodiaaids@hotmail.com, Mr Arul Selvan in India contactable at ifjindiaaids@hotmail.com and Ms Diosa Labiste in the Philippines contactable at ifjphilaids@hotmail.com. The researchers will be conducting two surveys (one for journalists and
one for HIV/AIDS NGOs) along with a two-week media monitoring exercise on the quality and
quantity of HIV/AIDS reporting. For more information, contact ifj@ifj-asia.org

16. IFJ to conduct train the trainer in HIV/ AIDS reporting in the Philippines
IFJ Asia-Pacific will be running a three-day train the trainer seminar on HIV/AIDS reporting as part of the LOTCO funded HIV/AIDS project running in Africa and Asia. The workshop will be run by IFJ trainer, Emma Walters, and will be hosted by IFJ’s affiliate in the Philippines, the NUJP, in Manila from January 20-22. For more information contact ifj@ifj-asia.org.

17. NUJP safety office opens in the Philippines
The NUJP have recently opened a Safety Office in Manila to respond to the safety crisis facing
Filipino journalists. The office will provide information and training to journalists on safety, union
building and ethics and provide support to journalists who are under attack. The office is supported by funds raised by Australian journalists. For more information contact ifj@ifj-asia.org.

18. Public service broadcasting law introduced in Kyrgyzstan
A draft public service broadcasting law is currently under discussion before the Kyrgyz parliament which would transform the National Television / Radio Corporation (NTRK) into a true public service broadcaster, producing impartial and reliable high quality programming. However there are concerns that the draft law doesn’t go far enough to protect TRK from political and commercial interests or to guarantee the public’s right to know and freedom of expression.

19. IFJ attends ILO trade union training in Kuala Lumpur
National Union of Journalists, Malaysia (NUJM) president Norila Daud represented the IFJ at an ILO workshop on Trade Union Training for Global Union Federations (GUFs) in Asia and the
Pacific Region. The workshop called, Globalisation, Workers’ Rights and Corporate Social
Responsibility, ran in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from November 28 – December 2.

20. IFJ launches results of global survey into atypical work
The IFJ thanks all affiliates who completed the survey on atypical work in the media industry. The survey results were presented to the IFJ Executive Committee meeting in Sydney. The survey is the first phase in a global research project being undertaken by the IFJ, with the support of the International Labour Organisation, to determine the impact of atypical work and produce strategies for combating the increased use of casual and/or contract labour. The survey found that employment in the media industry has become more precarious and less secure with a trend away  from collective bargaining towards individual, short-term contracts. The complete survey report will be released in early February. For more information contact ifj@ifj-asia.org.

21. Gender meeting in Trivandrum, India
On October 9, the Bangalore Newspaper Employees Union (BNEU) hosted a seminar in
Trivandrum, Kerala as part of the European Commission funded project, Building Paths to Equality in Journalism. The seminar was attended by women journalists and members of the Central Working Committee of the All India Newspaper Employees Federation (AINEF). Pamela Moriniere, gender project officer of the IFJ, was also present. For more information contact
pamela.moriniere@ifj.org.

22. Web site monitors attacks on Sri Lankan media
IFJ member Free Media Movement (FMM) launched a website to monitor attacks on press
freedom and freedom of expression in Sri Lanka. Along with documenting recent attacks against
journalists, the FMM site serves as an informational resource by providing IFJ guidebooks on
conflict reporting and safety training. The site also reports on recent media reform activities taking place in the country. For more information visit http://www.freemediasrilanka.org.

23. Journalism and Media within Globalisation
The European Union is offering study grants for a Masters program. Five internationally orientated institutes in Northern Europe, concentrating on Journalism Education have set up a Masters program called “Journalism and Media within Globalisation: The European Perspective”. The European Commission is offering stipends and grants to journalists from the Asia-Pacific region to take part in the program. Applications close on January 20, 2006. For more information see
https://freemailng0801.web.de/jump.htm?goto=www.mundusjournalism.com/admittance_stipends.htm

24. IFJ report on journalists and media staff killed in 2005
The IFJ is currently compiling its annual list of journalists and media staff that were killed as a
result of their work as a journalist during 2005. If you have any information or updates on cases of journalists or media workers killed during 2005 please send it through to ifj@ifj-asia.org.

25. Australia Day of Action – November 15 – thanks for your support
On November 15, Australian journalists joined hundreds of thousands of Australian workers in rallies around the country to protest the proposed repressive new industrial relations legislation,
which passed the Australian Senate on December 7. IFJ’s affiliate in Australia, the Media Alliance, has pledged to support the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) campaign of collective action, organising and campaigning to protect Australian workers’ rights at work. For more information see http://www.alliance.org.au/rightsatwork

26. IFJ Asia-Pacific Office closed over Christmas – New Year period
The IFJ Asia-Pacific office based in Sydney, Australia will be closed from December 23 until
January 16, 2005 for the Christmas and New Year period. During this time if you need to contact IFJ Asia, please contact Laxmi Murthy ifjsouthasia@hotmail.com or IFJ headquarters in Brussels on ifj@ifj.org. The IFJ Asia staff would like to thank you all for your support this year and we send our best wishes and look forward to working with you all in 2006.

27. Latest protests
Cambodia: Newspaper editor arrested for defamation in Cambodia – 08/12/2005
Pakistan: IFJ deeply concerned over kidnapping of Pakistani journalist – 08/12/2005
Pakistan: Safety dominates journalists’ working lives in Asia following the death of a reporter in
Pakistan – 05/12/2005
Philippines: 2005 Media Death Toll Tops 100 After Tenth Journalist Killed in the Philippines – 03/12/2005
Philippines: 2005 Media Death Toll Tops 100 After Tenth Journalist Killed in the Philippines -Page 6
Nepal: Attack on FM Station in Nepal – 28/11/2005
The Philippines: Two journalists killed in the Philippines in 60 hours – 21/11/2005
Bangladesh: Journalist found murdered in his office in Bangladesh – 18/11/2005
Australia: IFJ Unions Back Journalists in Day of Action Over Australia’s Legal Threat to Rights At Work – 14/11/2005
Indonesia: Journalists attacked in Indonesia -14/11/2005
Indonesia: Indonesia: IFJ has grave fears for Indonesian reporter’s safety – 14/11/2005
Nepal: Nepalese Government stands by new media restrictions – 11/11/2005
Bangladesh: Government of Bangladesh uses unfair tactics to disrupt journalists’ conference –
11/11/2005
Sri Lanka: Web site monitors attacks on Sri Lankan media – 09/11/2005
Sri Lanka: IFJ welcomes historic show of solidarity amongst media in Sri Lanka – 07/11/2005
Thailand: IFJ concerned over escalating trend of violence against the media in Thailand –
07/11/2005
Thailand: Thai authorities bring criminal charges against community broadcaster – 07/11/2005
Cambodia: Cambodian radio owner denied bail – 04/11/2005
Australia: Terror Laws in Australia and Britain “Chilling for Democracy and Press Freedom” Warns IFJ – 03/11/2005
Australia: Anti-terror Legislation Threatens Freedom Of Expression – 03/11/2005
Taiwan: Taiwan Government threatens cable network – 03/11/2005

If affiliates have any information on a press freedom violation, please make sure you immediately contact staff at IFJ Asia so action can be taken.

Jacqueline Park
Emma Walters
Lara Hook
Laxmi Murthy
Lensi Mursida
IFJ Asia-Pacific
http://www.ifj-asia.org
ifj@ifj-asia.org

http://www.ifj-asia.org/files/bulletin05december.pdf 

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