In solidarity with journalists under threat
AS THE position of journalists in Afghanistan worsens, with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) reporting 'a sense of anger that so many journalists are being abandoned' there, we must not forget others.
The National Union of Journalists is backing a call from the IFJ for the release of Hisham Fouad, a well-known Egyptian reporter and labour rights activist who has been jailed for over two years now despite not being convicted of any crime. Hisham was on hunger strike in prison for much of July. There is a petition calling for his release, and that of former MP Zyad el-Elaimy and fellow journalist Hossam Moanis, here.
Meanwhile, there are concerns over the health of journalist Zhang Zhan, who is on hunger strike in prison in China. Her arrest followed her publication of these videos which criticised the government's covid-19 response. She was hospitalised on 31 July. The IFJ says: "The case of Zhang Zhan requires immediate attention by the Chinese government... The IFJ urges authorities to release Zhang so that she may receive medical care and continue her work without harassment by Chinese authorities."
For more on journalists in peril around the world see the IFJ media centre.
1 September 2021
More bad news from Belarus. On 27 August the Supreme Court of Belarus confirmed the dissolution of the Belarusian Association of Journalists. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) "strongly condemn this parody of justice". "After organising fraudulent elections to keep himself in power, the Belarusian dictator, Alexander Lukashenko, proceeds to an outright liquidation of all sectors of Belarusian civil society," said EFJ President Mogens Blicher Bjerregård. "This is an unprecedented purge that should mobilise intergovernmental organisations. We call on the European Union, the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the United Nations to react firmly. The liquidators and the forces of repression must be severely punished."