From Beirut, IFEX members demand action
The following joint actions were agreed upon by dozens of IFEX member groups at the IFEX conference in Beirut:
On 1 June, the King of Bahrain has promised to end the state of emergency he imposed in mid-March to quell pro-democracy demonstrations. This would be a welcome occasion for the Bahraini government to end human rights abuses including lifting the travel ban on Nabeel Rajab so that he can join us in Beirut.
Even though a new government has been formed in Burma after the elections in November 2010, there is still no guarantee of improvements in the country’s media environment.
IFEX members note with alarm the efforts of China’s authorities to restrict freedom of expression in regard to debate on political reform in China, following reform movements in the Middle East and North Africa since late 2010.
IFEX members express their concern over the current situation of press freedom in Ecuador and the conditions of extreme hostility in which the country’s journalists and private media must do their work.
The detained journalists are held without charges and forced to endure terrible conditions such as extended periods in the sun and denial of medication.
Representatives from the international community of journalists’ organisations and press freedom defenders gathered in Lebanon for IFEX’s bi-annual conference and urged the Pakistani government and its law-enforcement and security agencies to take immediate action to implement all appropriate measures to protect media personnel and to prosecute murderers of journalists.
Thirty-six IFEX members, along with Centre for Law and Democracy and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, expressed concern about the 12 April resolution of the Court of Appeals, Manila Special Division of Five, requiring Monette Salaysay and Rowena Paraan to explain why they should not be held in contempt for comments attributed to them in a “Philippine Daily Inquirer” article regarding the Ampatuan Town Massacre trials.
IFEX members condemn the increased attacks and judicial harassment against Somali journalists and media organisations.
The groups urged President Rajapaksa to invite the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue, to Sri Lanka, while expressing deep concern for journalists who continue to be subjected to threats, harassment and assaults with alarming regularity.