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According to Reporters Without Borders, 2018 was the most dangerous year on record to be a journalist. A total of 80 were murdered, 348 were imprisoned and a further 60 were taken hostage.

The International Observatory of Human Rights continuous to pressure governments to release unlawfully jailed journalists worldwide and punish those who have committed crimes against reporters through its #DefendJournalists campaign. Press freedom remains a fundamental core of freedom of expression and democracy that must be respected worldwide.

Joint UPR Submission on Freedom of Expression in Turkey

In July 2019 the International Observatory for Human Rights (IOHR) made a joint submission alongside the Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) and London Advocacy (LAG) to the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The UN UPR involves a periodic review of the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States. The current cycle is the third cycle and Turkey will be reviewed in the 35th Session, that will take place in January 2020. … Read more →

Venezuelan Photojournalist Jesús Medina Ezaine Arbitrarily Detained

On 29 August 2018, Venezuela’s intelligence services detained freelance photographer Jesús Medina Ezaine at a subway station in Caracas after covering a demonstration and he’s been imprisoned since. Medina worked for the website Dólar Today, which is based in the US and publishes articles critical of Venezuela’s socialist government and focuses on monitoring the Venezuelan economy. … Read more →

UK Hosts First Global Conference on Media Freedom

On 10 and 11 July, the first Global Conference on Media Freedom took place in London. The event, organised by the UK government and the government of Canada, is the first of its kind and over 60 ministers attended as well as over 1,000 reporters and members of civil society. The conference is part of an international campaign to shine a global spotlight on media freedom and increase the cost to those that are attempting to restrict it. … Read more →

Amal Clooney to Lead Maria Ressa’s International Legal Team

Prominent rights lawyer Amal Clooney has said she will join the legal team defending Philippines journalist Maria Ressa, whose news site has repeatedly clashed with President Rodrigo Duterte. Ressa, who was named a Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2018 for her journalism, faces several criminal charges along with her website Rappler, in what press freedom advocates have branded an act of “persecution”. … Read more →

10 Yemeni journalists face death charges in front of “bogus” Iranian-backed Houthi court

Trial proceedings are expected to begin this month for at least 10 journalists who have been illegally detained for nearly four years according to a statement from the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS). The trial will take place in front of what the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has labelled an ‘unjust and bogus court’ controlled by the Iranian-backed Houthis. … Read more →

Lyra McKee’s Funeral Brings Unity to a Divided Nation

The funeral of the murdered journalist Lyra McKee – the first journalist to be shot and killed in the UK in 20 years – took place in Belfast on 24 April. It was attended by political leaders from Belfast, Dublin and London including Theresa May, the President of Ireland, the taoiseach (Irish prime minister) and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Arlene Foster, leader of the Democratic Unionist party (DUP), sat beside Mary Lou McDonald and … Read more →

The New Era of Media in Ethiopia

The main celebration of World Press Freedom Day 2019 will take place in Ethiopia the 3rd of May. This is one of the biggest surprises for one who knows Ethiopia’s record in freedom of the press. What has motivated UNESCO to host the celebration in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia? … Read more →

How many journalists are behind bars in Turkey?

Speaking to BBC’s Hardtalk on 17 December 2018, Prof. Gulnur Aybet, a senior advisor to the President of Turkey, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, refuted Stephen Sackur’s question about Turkey being the worst jailer of journalists in the world, on the grounds that she has checked the numbers given by various organisations, including Amnesty International, and that the numbers were contradictory. … Read more →

Award-winning Philippine journalist Maria Ressa released on bail

Maria Ressa, a high-profile Philippine journalist and vocal critic of the country’s president, was arrested on Wednesday 13 February in connection with “cyber libel” charges against Rappler, the news site she founded and oversees. Instead of attending an event on press freedom at the University of the Philippines, she spent the night in jail and arrived in court for bail proceedings on Thursday morning in Manila. After posting bail of … Read more →

Iran: Leaked justice files reveal forty years of lies

A new leaked file reveals that 860 journalists and citizen journalists were prosecuted, arrested, imprisoned, and in some cases, executed in Iran between the revolution of 1979 and 2009. RSF held a press conference in Paris on 7 February to reveal the existence of this leaked file named the ‘Iranian Justice Data’ file that holds 1.7 million records of judicial procedures. The file is a register of all the arrests, imprisonments and executions carried out by the Iranian authorities over the last 40 years. … Read more →

Erdoğan’s Thugs Plot to Kill Turkish Journalist in Denmark

A plot to kill a critical Turkish journalist living in Denmark by a clandestine group tied to the Turkish government exposes the sheer hypocrisy of the autocratic regime of president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has been driving a political campaign to exploit the outrageous murder of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul. … Read more →

IOHR Organises Turkey Human Rights Advocacy Mission in Geneva

IOHR brought civil society activists, exiled journalists, lawyers, and policy makers to the Swiss Press Club in Geneva to raise awareness of the unprecedented threat to human rights in Turkey. The international conference featured a special interview with award winning US journalist Lindsey Snell on her incarceration in Turkey and featured panel discussions with MEPs Julie Ward and Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Vice-President, EP Delegation for … Read more →

Reuters journalists jailed in Myanmar

Activists and prominent journalists call on the Myanmar government to release Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo sentenced to seven years in prison on baseless charges while covering the Rohyinga massacres that left thousands killed and more than 750,00 people displaced. … Read more →

World Press Freedom Day 2018

IOHR in collaboration with the Stockholm Center for Freedom organised a panel discussion in Sweden on World Press Freedom Day with a focus on the crackdown on media in Turkey–the worst jailer of journalists. A number of Turkish journalists living in exile called on President Erdogan to free more than 200 jailed … Read more →

Threats Against Pakistani Journalists

Taha Siddiqui, an exiled Pakistani journalist and founder of safenewsrooms, speaks on censorship of media and the future of press freedom in Pakistan. He recounts his experience of escaping an attempted abduction and having to flee to Paris with his family. … Read more →

RSF Focus on 9th March Trial of Cumhuriyet Journalists

Johann Bihr, from Reporters Without Borders, debates the Cumhuriyet trial with IOHR TV. “Press freedom and freedom of expression have been crushed in Turkey”, said Johann Bihr in the run-up to the next Cumhuriyet hearing, where 3 employees face up to 43 years in prison. … Read more →

Freedom of Expression in Turkey – Cumhuriyet Case

IOHR organised a panel discussion at the Sorbonne University in Paris to debate the ongoing trial of 17 Cumhuriyet journalists. Muratcan Sabuncu, son of imprisoned editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu, and Yonca Şik, wife of incarcerated journalist Ahmet Sik, joined Ernest Sagaga, from the International Federation of Journalists and Johann Bihr, head of Reporters Without Borders central Asia and eastern Europe. … Read more →

Crisis of Press Freedom

Stefan Simanowitz (Amnesty) – The Crisis of Press Freedom – Protect Journalists Campaign Amnesty International’s media manager, Stefan Simanowitz, discusses the growing dangers surrounding the profession of journalism, as well as the importance of the Defend Journalists campaign with IOHR TV. The UN has announced that close to 800 journalists have been killed in the past decade whilst the year 2017 witnessed the imprisonment of a record-breaking 262 journalists. … Read more →

Jailed Turkey Journalists

Muratcan Sabuncu – Son of Murat Sabuncu, incarcerated editor-in-chief of Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet, discusses the mass incarceration of journalists and rights defenders in Turkey. Turkey is the world’s foremost jailer of journalists with almost 150 imprisoned. Muratcan Sabuncu reveals the details of his father’s incarceration and the Turkish state’s neglect of universal human rights and freedoms. … Read more →

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