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Tunisia releases journalist arrested for criticizing police

Tunisia releases journalist arrested for criticizing police

A Tunisian court freed a journalist who had been detained after she criticised police and the interior minister, her lawyer and the journalists' union said. The arrest of Charahzed Akacha on Thursday caused widespread anger and was widely seen by activists and journalists as a setback to freedom of expression since President Kais Saied seized executive power last summer. "Akacha was released," her lawyer Samir Dilou said. The news was confirmed by an official at the National Syndicate of Tunisian Journalists, Amira Mohamed. The union said Akacha's arrest on Thursday was due to a Facebook post in which she criticised…
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Tunisian journalist released

Tunisian journalist released

A Tunisian judge released a journalist who refused to reveal his sources and who was imprisoned for a week, the country's main journalism union said. The anti-terrorism police detained last week Khelifa Guesmi, a radio reporter, for refusing to reveal his sources on a story about militants. The reporter's imprisonment sparked widespread anger among human rights organizations, which warned of a serious threat to press freedom. The journalists' union has said freedom is seriously threatened adding that state media will go on strike next week because of what it called attempts by President Kais Saied to control state television. Freedom…
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Ethiopia detains three journalists for ‘promoting terrorism’

Ethiopia detains three journalists for ‘promoting terrorism’

A freelance video journalist accredited to the Associated Press and two other local journalists have been detained in Ethiopia, according to police and the country's media regulator. Federal police accused the journalists in a statement late on Wednesday of "promoting terrorism" by interviewing members of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), which parliament has designated a terrorist group. The AP reported that its freelancer, Amir Aman Kiyaro, was detained on November 28 under the country's war-related state of emergency after returning home from a reporting trip. He has not been charged, the report said. "These are baseless allegations. Kiyaro is an…
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Solly was an incredible human being who left behind a special something in every life she touched

Solly was an incredible human being who left behind a special something in every life she touched

JOVIAL RANTAO SOLANI Maphumulo arrived in the City of Gold as a rough diamond - seemingly unpolished at a cursory glance but nonetheless a priceless gem inside.  From get go, Solly, as we fondly called her, exuded the humility of a lamb, the determination of a tiger and the bravery of a lion - all to fulfil her dream of becoming a journalist at one of the country’s leading newspapers - The Star. And nothing was going to come between Solly and her dream. Years later, as we now write her story, we know that nothing did. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed,…
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Police beat journalist, fire tear gas during Congo election protest

Police beat journalist, fire tear gas during Congo election protest

POLICE beat a journalist and fired tear gas to disperse a small crowd in Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa during an opposition protest over alleged election meddling, eyewitnesses said. Around 20 protesters gathered in response to a call by opposition leader Martin Fayulu and were met with stiff resistance from police. Police beat and temporarily detained Patient Ligodi, a journalist working for Radio France International, while he was interviewing Fayulu. "They threw me to the ground and started to hit me," Ligodi said in a video shared on social media. Video shot by broadcaster France 24 showed Ligodi being…
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Tributes to legendary African football expert

Tributes to legendary African football expert

AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER THE African sports world is mourning the loss of one of its great, Cudjoe Amankwaa, who has passed on suddenly. Amankwaa, who was born in Ghana and lived in South Africa, was widely respected as a journalist and a football analyst.  His colleagues have paid warm and glowing tributes to Amankwaa, who, in his career worked for, among others, The Sowetan, the South African Broadcasting Corporation and Supersport. Carol Tshabalala, a Supersport journalist and presenter, said it was an honour to work with Amankwaa. “Your enthusiasm for the African game, kindness, and positive spirit will forever be…
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Official Secrets Act: UK government has a long history of suppressing journalism to hide its misdeeds

Official Secrets Act: UK government has a long history of suppressing journalism to hide its misdeeds

THE UK government recently put out for consultation proposals for toughening the Official Secrets Act, ostensibly to deter foreign spies. PAUL LASHMAR, Reader in Journalism, City, University of London Many lawyers, lawmakers and journalists have argued that laws concerning official data and secrets are in need of updating to fit a world where espionage and leaks are largely conducted through new technology. But a close reading of the new proposals suggests the agenda is as much to deter journalists, whistleblowers and sources from embarrassing government and intelligence agencies. The words “journalist” and “journalism” appear nowhere in the main text, and…
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Botswana police use Israeli Cellebrite Tech to search another journalist’s phone

Botswana police use Israeli Cellebrite Tech to search another journalist’s phone

JONATHAN ROZEN TSAONE Basimanebotlhe was not expecting security agents to appear at her home in a village outside Gaborone, Botswana’s capital, in July 2019, she told CPJ in a recent interview. But they didn’t come to arrest or charge her, she recalled – they came for her devices, hunting for the source for an article published by her employer, Mmegi newspaper. Basimanebotlhe, a politics reporter, said she surrendered her phone and password to the agents after they presented a warrant and could not find her computer. A senior officer then used technology sold by the Israel-based company Cellebrite to extract and analyze thousands of…
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In Abiy’s Ethiopia, press freedom flourished then fear returned

In Abiy’s Ethiopia, press freedom flourished then fear returned

MAGGIE FICK WHEN Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took over in 2018 and freed dozens of jailed members of the media as part of a raft of political reforms, journalist Dessu Dulla rushed home from the Netherlands. The 45-year-old, now a deputy editor at a local online news outlet, said he had fled repression in 2004. He initially savoured new freedoms under Abiy, who won global plaudits including the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize which noted his work on "discontinuing media censorship." Three years on, Dessu and four other Ethiopian journalists interviewed by Reuters say they once again fear a knock…
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Why working as a journalist in Uganda is particularly tough

Why working as a journalist in Uganda is particularly tough

KAREN MCINTYRE, Assistant Professor, Journalism and Director of Graduate Studies, Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture, Virginia Commonwealth University MEGHAN SOBEL COHEN, Associate Professor, Department of Communication and the Master of Development Practice, Regis University UGANDAN journalists are subject to state intimidation and violence almost on a daily basis. During the recent presidential elections, media crews covering opposition candidates – often in protective gear – were targets of physical assault for weeks. In one of the more egregious acts, journalists were beaten outside a United Nations compound in the capital Kampala while covering a post-election story – sparking…
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