Rising violence against journalists a cause for concern as climate polarizes

first_imgThe three visitors spent two hours on the premises searching computer files for the original recordings of Parra’s programmes, meanwhile preventing the station from broadcasting. The mayor made his intentions clear when he said later: “I have to silence them one way or another.” Goye, a member of the Front for Victory (FpV) party, has a reputation for clashing with the news media in Río Negro province. Three weeks earlier, he did the same thing to another station, Radio KMFM. On that occasion his representatives, armed with a warrant signed by Carlos Cuellar, visited the Radio KMFM studios twice, carrying out searches and seizing recordings of programmes by Santiago Rey, who also runs the online news portal Agencia de Noticias de Bariloche (ANB). Goye previously took legal action against ANB for “psychological distress” after the publication of an article criticizing the way the city council managed advertising billboards. Letters were also sent to Mensajero Digital and El Cordillerano, who had reprinted the article. The mayor recently lost an appeal against the province’s biggest newspaper, Río Negro, which published a story by the journalist Daniel Marzal on 16 June this year questioning his financial practices. His attacker, identified as Nicolás Ayuso, was immediately arrested by the police and sacked by his employer. The attack followed an altercation a few minutes earlier between a group of protesters and C5N staff. Finally, Argentina still has one journalist in prison — Néstor Pasquini who was jailed six years ago in Cordoba province and has been the victim of all-out judicial persecution. An open letter sent by Reporters Without Borders to the federal justice ministry has as yet had no response. Fedorischak, who works as a photographer for the newspaper Primera Edición and as a commentator for the TV station Misiones Cuatro, was taking pictures from the top of a gate outside the police station when three police offers came over and pulled him down. He was dragged along the ground for about 15 metres then into the station where several officers beat him and tried to suffocate him. His life was threatened and he was forced to strip and hand over his photographic equipment. A complaint was made against Fedorischak for verbally assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. For his part, he filed a complaint about his treatment at the hands of the officers. Unfortunately such violence is not confined to this province. Attacks on journalists took place during a day of demonstrations against the President Cristina Kirchner’s government on 8 November, the most dramatic and shocking of which involved Néstor Dib from the TV station Canal 5 Noticias (C5N), who was struck from behind while he was live on air: The journalist received no prior notice from the judge. “It was a clear breach of freedom of information and meant to intimidate us because we had been critical of the mayor’s administration. Such an unannounced search of a news organization is unheard of.” ArgentinaAmericas Reporters Without Borders notes with concern and regret that there has been an upsurge in assaults on journalists and breaches of freedom of information in Argentina, in its provinces especially. This has occurred against the backdrop of growing polarization in the media in the run-up to 7 December, the deadline for the Clarín media group, which is in dispute with the federal government, to appeal against the country’s new law on Audiovisual Communication Services (SCA). Reporters Without Borders, which supports the law in principle, will return to the issue before that date. “At the end of last year, Argentina had a pretty good track record in freedom of information and journalists’ safety compared with many other countries in the region,” the press freedom organization said. “However, safety has deteriorated this year, particularly in the provinces, thanks to the failure of the public authorities to take action against all-too-frequent assaults carried out by local elected officials.“Such impunity must end, as must attacks on journalists from national news organizations who are associated with the editorial line taken by their employers as a result of growing polarization. It is the responsibility of those on all sides of the political spectrum and the justice authorities to work together on behalf of constitutional freedoms, including the freedom to report the news and hold peaceful debate.” In the city of Bariloche in Rio Negro province, just as the station Radio Horizonte (AM 94.5) was about to start a news broadcast at 9 a.m. on 23 November, the journalist Marcelo Parra saw three people enter the studio. They were a court official, a lawyer and a police officer and had been sent by the city’s mayor, Omar Goye. “They arrived with a search warrant signed by judge Jorge Serra to carry out a precautionary seizure of our archives,” Parra told Reporters Without Borders.“They wanted to see if they could find anything prejudicial to Omar Goye that might enable them to launch legal proceedings against us.” On eve of the G20 Riyadh summit, RSF calls for public support to secure the release of jailed journalists in Saudi Arabia December 4, 2019 Find out more News November 30, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Rising violence against journalists a cause for concern as climate polarizes July 6, 2020 Find out more Follow the news on Argentina Journalists face archaic sanction of capital punishment in some parts of the world Station closes after threats on airThree days earlier, on 20 November, the journalist Javier Rivarola, a commentator on the station FM Radio 21 was insulted and threatened on air by the member of parliament and FpV leader Ruben Contreras. The politician telephoned the station in mid-programme and accused the journalist of “inciting violence” and accused him of being responsible for an act of vandalism carried out at his home by a group of neighbours angry at water shortages in the town. The MP said: “You are all sons of whores. You are the son of a whore. This will not go on. What would you do if something happened at your house tomorrow? You just wait …” The journalist reported the MP for making criminal threats. Contreras played down the incident and said he would make a public apology. In the town of Aristobulo del Valle in the northeastern province of Misiones, Daniel Polaczinski, the owner of Radio U was forced to close the station and take time off from journalism after receiving threats from the chairman of the town council, Luis David Kochen. The journalist had reported a car accident involving the councillor, who appeared to be intoxicated. He got out of his car and threatened the other driver with a machete.“Kochen has a reputation for violence,” Polaczinski told Reporters Without Borders. “But I started to come under pressure after I broadcast the story of a road rage incident in which he was involved. He went to hit a guy with a machete. We broadcast the story, then I started getting abusive and threatening text messages on my cell phone, although I didn’t think they were important.” The threats intensified, and on 18 November the journalist received the following text: “You will be killed unless you drop the story about the accident.” Most of the messages were anonymous but were identified as coming from Kochen’s cell phone. Polaczinski immediately went to the police and lodged a complaint about the threats. On the same day, Kochen visited him at his home. “He asked me to withdraw the complaint, which would damage him politically, but I didn’t do it,” Polaczinski added. An investigation is under way but meanwhile the journalist and father of two fears for his family and has closed the radio, which he has owned for six years. These cases are the latest in a long list of recent attacks on journalists and media outlets. Also in Misiones province, the journalist Mario Fedorischak was assaulted by the local police on 10 November as he covered the arrival of a group of prisoners at a police station. Latin American media: under control of families, economic and political elites Organisation News Help by sharing this information November 19, 2020 Find out more RSF_en News ArgentinaAmericas to go further Receive email alerts Newslast_img read more

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Investigation drags its heels after two burglaries at offices of free speech NGO

first_imgNews The Venezuelan organization Espacio Público, which defends free speech, has suffered two successive break-ins at its offices, on 16 and 26 November.On the second occasion, video recordings that were evidence of the first burglary were stolen. Computer equipment donated in response to an appeal by the NGO after the first robbery was also taken.Reporters Without Borders, while remaining cautious about a possible motive for these crimes, is surprised at the slow progress of the investigation. We hope that this reluctance owes nothing to the government’s expressed hostility towards Espacio Público in the current highly polarized atmosphere. Espacio Público is regularly branded in official propaganda as “a counter-revolutionary agency acting on behalf of a foreign power” – by implication the United States – because of the source of some of its funding.It was the direct target of a new law on international co-operation which is supposed to “protect national sovereignty and self-determination” and which was rushed through parliament with other controversial bills on 22 December 2010. The legislation means Venezuelan NGOs are banned from accepting donations from abroad.Around that time, Carlos Correa, head of Espacio Público, was assaulted on the premises of the National Assembly. No charges were brought as a result of the attack.“A lawyer from our team will contact the public prosecutor’s office to find out if an investigator has been assigned to both of these complaints,” Correa told Reporters Without Borders after the second break-in, when no clues were left unlike on he first occasion. “No-one has contacted us to offer support or any form of protection.” He did not rule out a possible political motive.Reporters Without Borders declared: “Since no more can be said on this latest case, we nevertheless demand that the legal system show evidence of the fairness and impartiality required to investigate the matter. No ideological criteria or suspicion directed at Espacio Público should get in the way of the search for the truth.“Aware of the critical, but serious and well-argued, work carried out by the organization, we hope that, in these circumstances, a halt will be called to the outrageous allegations made against it.“This hope also applies to the Press and Society Institute (IPYS), which is based in Peru but has a permanent office in Caracas and has been the target of similar propaganda.”Photo: SNTP Follow the news on Venezuela News January 13, 2021 Find out more New wave of censorship targeting critical media outlets August 25, 2020 Find out more Help by sharing this information December 2, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Investigation drags its heels after two burglaries at offices of free speech NGO VenezuelaAmericas VenezuelaAmericas center_img Coronavirus “information heroes” – journalism that saves lives Organisation RSF_en to go further Two journalists murdered just days apart in Venezuela News News Receive email alerts June 15, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

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‘Too Late To Approach Court’ : Supreme Court Dismisses Plea Against Dismantling Of ‘INS Viraat’

first_imgTop Stories’Too Late To Approach Court’ : Supreme Court Dismisses Plea Against Dismantling Of ‘INS Viraat’ Radhika Roy12 April 2021 2:00 AMShare This – xThe Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the SLP filed by a private firm seeking for the staying of the dismantling of decommissioned Indian Navy aircraft carrier ‘INS Viraat’ and handing it over to them for conversion into a maritime museum.A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde informed Rupali Sharma, the representative of the petitioner-company M/s Envitech Marine…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the SLP filed by a private firm seeking for the staying of the dismantling of decommissioned Indian Navy aircraft carrier ‘INS Viraat’ and handing it over to them for conversion into a maritime museum.A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde informed Rupali Sharma, the representative of the petitioner-company M/s Envitech Marine Consultants Private Limited,that she had approached the Court too late and that as the Ministry of Defence had already refused the request of the firm, the Court could not interfere in the matter. The CJI informed the Petitioner, “We are with you as far as the spirit of nationalism is concerned, but you are already too late in this case. 40% of the ship has been dismantled. We cannot interfere now. Government has already taken a decision”. Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing on behalf of Shree Ram Group of Industries who have purchased the ship in an open purchase agreement, submitted to the Court that the Bombay High Court had granted liberty to the Petitioner to approach the Ministry of Defence to get their permission. However, the Ministry of Defence had refused the same. “I am pointing this out because it connects with the High Court judgment. The only relief that was given was to go to the Ministry of Defence. They have refused. The matter should end right there”, submitted Dhavan. The CJI then stated to the Petitioner, “You have come too late. You have not even challenged the order. What is this? High Court has already given you a relief and that has been rejected. You cannot do this.” Accordingly, the plea was dismissed. On February 10, the Top Court had stayed the dismantling of decommissioned Indian Navy aircraft carrier ‘INS Viraat’ while issuing notice on a petition filed by a private company, who offered to preserve the iconic ship in national interest. The Court was considering a petition filed by M/s Envitech Marine Consultants Private Limited, which was interested in buying the ship from its present owner to convert it into a maritime museum.The ship was sold to Shree Ram Ship Breakers in an auction last year. It is now beached at Alang in Gujarat where it is being dismantled. The owner of the Company had previously submitted to the Bench that they were willing to offer 100 crore rupees for the ship which was auctioned off for nearly Rs. 65 crores. The Bench had sought the responses of the Ministry of Defence and the present owner of the ship. Envitech Marine Consultants had earlier approached the Bombay High Court with the prayer. On November 3 last year, a Division Bench comprising Justices Nitin Jamdar and Milind Jadhav directed the Ministry of Defence to take a decision on the representation made by the company for NOC to acquire the ship. On November 27, the Ministry rejected the request for NOC. The 65-year old aircraft carrier INS Viraat was inducted into the Indian Navy in 1987, after being acquired from UK, and decommissioned in 2017.CASE: Envitech Marine Consultants Private Limited Vs. Union Of India CITATION: LL 2021 SC 214Click here to Read/Download OrderNext Storylast_img read more

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