MediaWireWorld: 3 journalists in Egyptian court on World Press Freedom Day

Egypt

Saturday, May 3, is World Press Freedom Day, and it’s also the day three Al Jazeera journalists will be tried in an Egyptian court, Sipho Kings wrote Thursday for Mail & Guardian.

They are charged with aiding members of a “terrorist organisation”, with the Egyptian government saying they operated without proper accreditation. The state prosecutor accused them of publishing lies and supplying equipment and money to Egyptian nationals who were allegedly members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

The three, Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, were arrested at the end of 2013.

Al Jazeera producer Baher Mohamed, left, and correspondent Peter Greste, center, stand inside the defendants’ cage in March. (AP Photo/Mohammed Abu Zaid)


In Australia, Greste’s father gave a speech written by Greste, Paul Farrell wrote Friday in The Guardian.

“What often gets lost is the fundamental truth that the best defence against insecurity is a vibrant, open, noisy and yes at times even rabid press, willing to snap at the extremists with as much enthusiasm as tearing strips off the authorities,” Greste’s speech said. “That is why even in a place as apparently stable and open as Australia we must never take press freedom for granted.”

On Tuesday, Shazdeh Omari wrote a piece for the Committee to Protect Journalists calling for the release of 10 journalists in prisons around the world.

Uzbek editor Muhammad Bekjanov has been in jail for 15 years, one of the longest imprisonments of journalists worldwide. Prominent Iranian journalist Siamak Ghaderi was imprisoned in 2010 and has been beaten and whipped in custody. Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Van Hai, serving a 12-year jail term, could barely walk or talk during a prison visit in July 2013, his family said.

On World Press Freedom Day, the Committee to Protect Journalists is highlighting 10 emblematic cases of journalists in prison, silenced by authorities in retaliation for their work. CPJ is calling on authorities to release these journalists, as well as all others being held in relation to their work.

Venezuela

A journalist at Globovisión in Venezuela quit after accusing the network of censorship, Manuel Rueda wrote Thursday for Fusion.

Until the beginning of 2013, Globovision was the only TV channel in Venezuela that was openly critical of the country´s government. It was also supportive of Venezuela’s opposition, providing live coverage of opposition rallies and press conferences.

But Globovision´s editorial line has changed significantly, since economic problems and fines imposed by Venezuela´s telecommunications regulator forced its original owner, Guillermo Zuluoaga, to sell the channel to a group of businessmen with ties to the Venezuelan government.

So far, 50 journalists have quit the station, Juan Fernandez Gonzalez wrote Friday in Rapid TV News, “protesting against what they consider is a lack of freedom of the press.”

The journalist, Shirley Varnagy, was the host of an interview show on Globovisión. But on Tuesday (28 April) her interview with the Peruvian writer was taken off air and replaced by the network’s news programme just as Llosa was going to answer a question about the country’s politics.

The channel said that this was due to technical problems, but according to Varnagy, internal sources confirmed that the interview was deliberately taken off air. The network’s decision has driven the journalist to resign, announcing her decision on Twitter.

Italy

The International Journalism Festival continues in Perugia, Italy, with journalists from around the world. You can see the speakers who are there through some art created before the festival began. This speedy Vine will give you a glimpse of people in attendance.

 

Canada

Finally, this front (via Newseum) from Metro Toronto, in Toronto, is worth noting both for the lack of photos of Rob Ford dodging the media — and a photo illustration that involves a dinosaur, hot dogs and Kevin Garnett.

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