Journalists continue to be victims of political tension : six injured in retaking of Santa Cruz airport

first_img Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information Organisation News BoliviaAmericas to go further Reporters Without Borders voiced concern today about physical attacks on six journalists at Viru Viru airport in the eastern department of Santa Cruz during an operation on 18 and 19 October by police and troops to oust demonstrators in the pay of the Santa Cruz government. Public and privately-owned media were again the victims of political tension, which is growing in violence, especially in Santa Cruz.“Journalists have again been caught in the crossfire in clashes between supporters of the central government and radical opposition activists in the provinces who want independence,” the press freedom organisation said. “We appeal to both government and opposition representatives to ensure respect for state and privately-owned media by appealing to their activists for calm,” Reporters Without Borders added. “A dialogue needs to get underway at the highest level between President Evo Morales’ administration and the departmental authorities.”The major operation by 600 air force troops and 60 police officers on 18 and 19 October to retake control of the Santa Cruz airport, in which six journalists were injured, was launched without judicial approval, Reporters Without Borders has been told. It highlights the tension between La Paz and the regional government, led by a Civic Committee consisting mostly of local businessmen. The conflict erupted after the departmental government refused to hand over the taxes collected from the airlines operating in Viru Viru.The worst-injured journalist was Uriel Gutiérrez of the TV station Sitel, who was choked and poisoned by tear-gas, and then beaten and trampled by troops during a clash with demonstrators trying to enter the airport. He had to be rushed to hospital with convulsions and difficulty breathing.Analía Alvarez of the daily La Estrella del Oriente was beaten with a baton as well as being kicked and punched, and sustained contusions to the arms and legs. “They pushed me against a rock and I have bruises and scratches,” she told Reporters Without Borders. “We just wanted to get out of the way of the skirmish but the troops indicated they were going to carry out arrests and attack us.”Aydeé Rojas of the daily El Nuevo Día sustained a minor arm injury, as did Christian Peña y Lillo of the newspaper El Deber. A journalist with Activa TV and woman reporter working for Periodistas Asociados de Televisión (PAT), another TV station, were also roughed up during the operation.The Santa Cruz journalists staged a demonstration the next morning in protest against these attacks. Local leaders of the Federation of Press Workers condemned the behaviour of the troops and police as well as the overall increase in violence against journalists. In a statement, they declared a “state of emergency” and called on the government, security forces, political parties, civil society organisations and trade unions of all tendencies to respect the press as an essential tool for “consolidating democracy.”In the cental city of Sucre, which is the constitutional capital (but not the seat of government), journalists employed by public media have complained of being the target of threats and violence by people opposed to the constitutional reform process launched by the government in August 2006. Nancy Vacaflor, the correspondent of the radio educational network Erbol, said three journalists with Televisión Bolivia and Radio Red Patria Nueva were recently “threatened with lynching” and freelance photographer Jonathan Condori was physically attacked.Bolivia fell from 16th to 68th place in this year’s Reporters Without Borders world press freedom index because of the surge in violence against the press in a generally fraught political climate, especially in the four departments that want autonomy or independence – Santa Cruz, Tarija, Pando and Beni. In Santa Cruz, the Unión Juvenil Cruceñista, a radical opposition group, has claimed several attempted bombings and attacks on public media. Follow the news on Bolivia RSF_en October 25, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalists continue to be victims of political tension : six injured in retaking of Santa Cruz airport BoliviaAmericas News Reporters Without Borders calls for dialogue between La Paz and provincial authorities that are opposed to the central government after new clashes in the eastern province of Santa Cruz in which several journalists were injured. The public and privately-owned media should not become the victim of the growing political tensions, the organisation says. February 1, 2018 Find out more June 12, 2020 Find out more News Bolivian journalist hounded after accusing boss of sexual harassment Covid-19 emergency laws spell disaster for press freedom News Editor still unable to return to Bolivia after six months in exile November 18, 2016 Find out morelast_img read more

Islam Salih released

first_img Sudan : Press freedom still in transition a year after Omar al-Bashir’s removal Receive email alerts News Organisation SudanAfrica March 29, 2020 Find out more Covid-19 in Africa: RSF joins a coalition of civil society organizations to demand the release of imprisoned journalists on the continent April 27, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Islam Salih released SudanAfrica ——————————————————————————–13.04.2004Call for release of Al-Jazeera bureau chief and end to blackout on reporting in Darfur Follow the news on Sudan Help by sharing this information center_img Islam Salih, Al-Jazeera’s bureau chief in Khartoum, was released from prison on 25 April 2004, after having served half his sentence.A court in Khartoum had sentenced him to one month in prison on 10 April but the appeal court cut his sentence by half and reduced his fine to 500,000 dinars (about 1,600 euros at the official rate) after his lawyer Ali Mahmoud Hassanain decided to take the case to the High Court.Reporters Without Borders strongly regretted that Salih’s release was not followed by the reopening of the Al-Jazeera offices in Khartoum, closed since December 2003. News Coronavirus infects press freedom in Africa RSF_en News April 10, 2020 Find out more April 6, 2020 Find out more News to go further Reporters Without Borders today called for the immediate release of Al-Jazeera’s bureau chief in Khartoum, Islam Salih, who was convicted on 10 April of disseminating false information and sentenced to a month in prison, a fine of 1 million Sudanese pounds (about 3,200 euros at the official rate) and a further month in prison if he does not pay the fine.The organisation also urged the Sudanese authorities to lift their news blackout on the tragic situation in the western Darfur region, which is the underlying reason for Salih’s unacceptable arrest and imprisonment.”This imprisonment is just one more example of the intolerable policy pursued by the Sudanese authorities, especially the security services, who are trying to cover up the horrors being committed against the civilian population in Darfur by the government forces and the armed Arab militia they support,” Reporters Without Borders said.The organisation described the blackout that has been imposed on the press as “criminal” and said it had aggravated the crisis. “We have lost count of the number of newspapers closed and journalists detained over the past year for trying to defy the blackout,” the organisation said.”We urge the government to release Salih and to allow all journalists to work freely so that both the Sudanese people and the rest of the world can be told about the situation in Darfur,” the organisation added.Salih and an Al-Jazeera cameramen were detained on 18 December 2003, a day after the security services searched the Khartoum offices of the Qatar-based TV news network despite not having a warrant. The authorities claimed that customs duty had not been paid on material brought into the country. But Salih produced evidence showing the duty had been paid. The Al-Jazeera bureau was closed.A few days before this, members of the security forces had threatened Al-Jazeera with reprisals if it did not change its coverage of Sudan. A report on Darfur had above all upset the authorities, who accused the network of disseminating false information.The Khartoum court referred to article 66 of the 1991 criminal code – concerning the dissemination of false information – and article 199 of the Custom Authority Act when convicting Salih on 10 April. Salih, who has appealed, was immediately taken to Omdurman prison.The fighting that has pitted the Sudanese army and government-backed Arab militias against the rebels in Darfur has reportedly left a toll of 10,000 dead, 670,000 internally displaced and 10,000 refugees in Chad since February. The authorities have sought to hush up the atrocities committed by the Janjaweed (armed Arab militia riding horses or camels) against members of the Fur African community (including the Masalit, Dajo, Tunjur, Tama and Zaghawas tribes). Human Rights Watch has referred to the situation as a “crime against humanity” while the World Organisation Against Torture has voiced concern about the “spectre of a new genocide.”last_img read more

Shannon mayor’s concern for airport’s future

first_imgLinkedin WhatsApp Email “The airport is a terminally ill patient at this point.” THE deserted terminals in Shannon last week, due to the presence of volcanic ash in Irish airspace indicates what the future could hold for the airport,Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up This is the view of Shannon’s mayor, Cllr Sean McLoughlin, who is also an airport taxi driver. “I left the airport after the last transatlantic flight landed on Thursday morning, April 15 and there was no work for us for a full week after that,’ he said.“This has been an incredibly bad week on top of two bad years. I’d say this year will be a complete right off for taxi drivers, because we have to look ahead to the following year financially.He said that the past week had provided an insight into what would happen if the airport were to close completely.“Thing’s are bad enough on an average day when there are only eight or nine flights arriving and departing and I’m seriously worried about the airport’s future”.Pointing out that last week’s disruption at the airport had not only impacted on air passengers but on those who work at the airport and rely on a day to day wage, Mayor McLoughlin said:“People don’t realise how the situation affected those with no regular income, like taxi drivers, car hire company owners and shop owners, as well as catering management.“Shannon Airport Authority is also losing out on landing fees at a time when they can scarcely afford to.“I understand that safety had to come first but Shannon is a terminally ill patient at this point. We need to get rid of the DAA who are prioritising Dublin for funding and resources”.The mayor called on SAA board members to meet with the Shannon Town Council last January to discuss the “haemorrhaging of services” at Shannon, but said as of yet they had failed to do so.He also said that the local authority was informed by Airport Director Martin Moroney in mid-February that neither he nor Brian O’Connell, the recently appointed SAA Chairman, were in a position to meet with town councillors in relation to the loss of Ryanair services.“The SAA needs to adopt a more visible and proactive approach to addressing the issues that effect the airport’s very survival.”.Calling on the Department of Transport to investigate the possibility of handing shared responsibility for the airport’s management to Shannon Development, he said:“While full autonomy for Shannon Airport might not be feasible at the present time, as the financial structures are not yet in place to support such a move, it would be feasible to suggest that management of the airport could be shared equally by Shannon Development and the SAA.“Shannon Development’s background in promoting tourism in and attracting new business to the region would complement the expertise that has been built up by the current management team at Shannon Airport.”“Every effort must be made to ensure that Shannon Airport’s viability is not dependent solely on income generated from the US Military’s use of the facility.“I look forward to hearing what the new Chairman of the Airport Authority has in mind for developing new business at the airport.”. Print Advertisementcenter_img Facebook NewsLocal NewsShannon mayor’s concern for airport’s futureBy admin – April 30, 2010 707 Twitter Previous articleCranberries to perform in Thomond Park for 2010 Special Olympics Ireland Games Opening CeremonyNext articleTeen role models poised for Great Limerick Run adminlast_img read more

Date set for Afghanistan’s maiden Test

first_imgBy Amlan ChakrabortyNEW DELHI, India (Reuters) – Afghanistan will play their inaugural Test match between June 14 and 18 in Bengaluru against neighbours India, the cricket boards announced yesterday.Afghanistan and Ireland joined the ranks of full-member nations of the International Cricket Council last June, taking the total number of Test-playing countries to 12.The Indian board (BCCI) has consistently backed Afghanistan, who played a home match against Ireland last year at a stadium in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi.“Afghanistan and India have been traditional friends, even diplomatically, for ages and it’s only appropriate that Afghanistan opened its international innings in India,” BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary told reporters.Choudhary said Bengaluru was the obvious choice to stage the match bearing in mind the expected weather conditions in other parts of the country in June.“At that point of time in the year, there will be rains almost everywhere, and where there will not be rain, there will be such heat that cricket would be practically impossible during day time,” he said.Cricket has a long history in Afghanistan but the country only gained full one-day international (ODI) status in 2011.In 2015, still suffering from the impact of war and conflict, Afghanistan took part in their first 50-over World Cup and they have also played in the World Twenty20 competition.“The historic friendship and relations between India and Afghanistan go back to centuries. I‘m glad that cricket is now added as another layer,” Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) chairman Atif Mashal said.“The support BCCI has provided to ACB in the last several years has been tremendous – whether it’s backing Afghanistan in ICC while our application for full membership was under consideration or making the facilities available for us, technical assistance. We really recognise it and appreciate it.”ACB chief executive Shafiq Stanikzai said the June Test will be a dream-come-true for the Afghanistan players, and would trigger the sport’s growth.“Cricket has a bright future in Afghanistan. We have raw talents, the only thing is we need is to polish them and give them proper exposure,” he said.“Our target is to be a competitive side in Test cricket in the coming three years.”last_img read more