Alteo Limited ( Q12017 Interim Report

first_imgAlteo Limited ( listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius under the Energy sector has released it’s 2017 interim results for the first quarter.For more information about Alteo Limited ( reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Alteo Limited ( company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Alteo Limited (  2017 interim results for the first quarter.Company ProfileAlteo Limited is a holding company, which deals in cane farming, sugar milling, sugar refining, energy production, real estate and hospitality in Mauritius and regionally. The company was established in September 2017 and is headquartered in San Pierre, Mauritius. Alteo Limited is listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius.last_img

Florida Hospital Apopka in the final stages of starting a new…

first_img November 17, 2017 at 9:41 am Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply November 18, 2017 at 9:53 pm The Anatomy of Fear Reply Florida Hospital Apopka By the Numbers:  120 Inpatient beds, all private rooms, including: 19 ICU beds with 24-hour Critical Care coverage  20 bed Observation Unit  40 Private Emergency Department Rooms, including five (5) pediatric-friendly rooms.  320,000-square-foot Hospital opening December 2017  80,000-square-foot Medical Office Building opening 1st Quarter 2018  Four (4) state-of-the-art operating rooms and space for two more.  Three Endoscopy Suites with room for one more.  The new ED is five times bigger than the current Apopka Emergency Department: 30,000 square feet vs. the existing ED, 6,000 square feet.  500+ Employees  Glass has the capacity to resist up to 170-mile-per-hour winds Free webinar for job seekers on best interview answers, hosted by Goodwill June 11 Support conservation and fish with NEW Florida specialty license plate You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Please enter your name here TAGSFlorida Hospital – Apopka Previous articlePrescribed burn at Lake Apopka North Shore todayNext articleApopka Police Department provides medication collection Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR If you are driving out on the 429 after dark all around the new hospital area out there, be careful out there, if they still have those construction cones set up out there, because the workers set the cones up too close and don’t hardly give enough room to drive through the lanes, and there are so many of the cones! We drove through there the other night, and ran over one of the cones and it made a loud noise, and I went to yelling at my husband, but what happened was that other drivers had hit some of the cones already, and they were already down and my husband hit one. It is a total obstacle course, a rat’s maze……be careful. They really need to give a driver more room than what they are leaving the driver, as far as the lanes. Other Features:  Verbie’s Café – Named in honor of Verbelee Nielsen-Swanson, administrator at Florida Hospital Apopka for more than 20 years  Full-service café  Chapel and Serenity garden  MarketPlace Gift Shop Reply Mama Mia I understand the facility is beautiful. I’m most appreciative for the help and healthcare improvements. Jan Rapo For decades it was dreamed about, planned, and considered.In 2013, the land was purchased to make the dream a reality. In March of 2015, the plans and considerations took shape and ground was broken. By December of 2015, 1.9 million pounds of concrete was poured and a base was formed.For almost 50 years, Florida Hospital has been a part of the Apopka communityTwo years later, it has weathered Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Matthew, as well as media and VIP tours to become a shining beacon overlooking the 429, 415, and 451.Slowly but surely the new Florida Hospital Apopka has ascended from the fertile ground of Northwest Orange County, and into the hearts, minds, conversations, and imaginations of residents, elected officials, and business owners who see this astounding landmark as a transformative moment in Apopka history.Symbolically it’s at the intersections of old and new Apopka. However, it is more than a symbolic landmark.In less than a month, Florida Hospital Apopka will move from its 50-bed home on Park Avenue to a state-of-the-art, 200-bed facility that is poised to serve all of Apopka and the surrounding communities.Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer remembers how it all began, and the role that The City of Apopka has played in its development.“Florida Hospital has known for decades they needed a bigger facility,” he said. It all began with an administrator named Verbelee Nielsen-Swanson who had a program of looking ahead and forecasting healthcare trends. She and her team laid the groundwork.Even before he was mayor, Kilsheimer recalls when Florida Hospital bought the property.“My involvement started four years ago when I was a City Commissioner and the Florida Hospital team purchased this ground. It’s been a great partnership between the City of Apopka and Florida Hospital. We knew as a team at the City of Apopka what having a new hospital was going to mean for the City.”The new Florida Hospital Apopka is a seven-story, 600,000 square foot wonder.The hospital features 120 private patient rooms, advanced surgical suites, a diagnostic cath lab, and other high-demand services. Plans also include an expanded Women’s Center, outpatient rehab, ICU and medical services while also providing the same quality emergency, cardiology, and imaging services as before.Medically it is impressive, and aesthetically it is a seven-story, 600,000 square foot wonder.The new Florida Hospital Apopka incorporates local greenery into its design and landscaping, along with an architectural style that brings abundant natural light indoors, and creatively employs open space to enhance its holistic approach to the healing process and people-centered medicine. Dozens of features on every floor focus on making this hospital both patient-friendly, while also making it comfortable and accessible for friends, family and loved ones.Tim Cook is the Assistant Vice President and Administrator at Florida Hospital Apopka.Tim Cook is the Senior Vice President and Administrator for Florida Hospital Apopka. He is excited to make the transition and eager to show the Apopka community this new hospital.“Here in Apopka, we’ve had wonderful care for almost 50 years at Florida Hospital Apopka over on Park Avenue,” he said. “But this facility represents a new era. It’s going to transform healthcare for Apopka and the surrounding communities. What we are opening here is a 120-bed private room facility with the capacity to go up to 200. It offers four operating rooms, which to date there has been no surgery done in Apopka. We’ll have two cardiac cath labs to do diagnostics. There are 20 ICU beds and what’s phenomenal is the level of care given – this facility will have 24/7 intensivist physicians and certified nurse practitioners who will provide round-the-clock care in the unit. And all of that care and this fancy building is wonderful, but what really makes it exceptional is the people… and we’ve assembled more folks than we had working at the old Apopka hospital. There will be between 600-800 people working here, where we had only 200 before.”The new Florida Hospital Apopka is projected to open in the first two weeks of December. Please enter your comment! Services:  Emergency Department  Inpatient Care  Inpatient and Outpatient Surgery  Cardiology services, including diagnostic catheterizations  Interventional Radiology  Outpatient services, including: cardiopulmonary rehab, endoscopy, gastroenterology, imaging, lab, primary/specialty care, sports medicine and rehab, urology  Medical Office Building opens 1st Quarter 2018.  Women’s Imaging Services – including Diagnostic Mammogram, Dexa, Ultrasound  24/7 Tele-Neurology, Tele-Stroke, Tele-Psychiatry services will be available  Retail Pharmacy (opening early 2018) 2 COMMENTS Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.last_img read more

Chris Masoe finds new role as touchjudge after assistant ref injury

first_imgTuesday Aug 6, 2013 Chris Masoe finds new role as touchjudge after assistant ref injury Toulon’s Chris Masoe found himself in an unfamiliar role in the final ten minutes against Racing Metro in their preseason friendly after the touchjudge took a bad knock as Toulon almost went over for a try in the corner. Former Castres stalwart Masoe, who has had a long and fruitful career, no doubt relished the opportunity to try something new, even if it was under strange circumstances.As Toulon put together a sweeping attacking move that would have extended their lead, replacement back Vincent Martin nearly went over in the corner if it were not for an incredible covering tackle by Bernard Le Roux.Unfortuntaely the force of Le Roux’s tackle knocked Martin into touch, and into hapless touchjudge Herve Gilard’s knee, which bent backwards awkwardly, and that was the end of his game.With no replacements to be seen and only a few minutes left in the match, 34-year-old Masoe stepped up, stuck on the yellow shirt, and dutifully performed the required role.We saw him in action in the football vs rugby game against Olympique Marseille recently, playing goal keeper at one stage, so it’s been an interesting few weeks for the former All Black.Toulon won 14-6 and Masoe didn’t have too much involvement after that, sticking the flag up once for a Racing Metro lineout. It’s good to see the amateur spirit of rugby is alive and well. ADVERTISEMENT Posted By: rugbydump Share Send Thanks Sorry there has been an error See it to Believe it Related Articles 25 WEEKS AGO WATCH: Experts explain what actually happens… 26 WEEKS AGO WATCH: Leigh Halfpenny makes yet another… 26 WEEKS AGO Parisse alley-oop magic sets up brilliant… From the WebThis Video Will Soon Be Banned. Watch Before It’s DeletedSecrets RevealedUrologists Stunned: Forget the Blue Pill, This “Fixes” Your EDSmart Life ReportsYou Won’t Believe What the World’s Most Beautiful Girl Looks Like TodayNueeyGranny Stuns Doctors by Removing Her Wrinkles with This Inexpensive TipSmart Life ReportsIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier Living30+ Everyday Items with a Secret Hidden PurposeNueeyThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancellast_img read more

First European anti-spam day to be held this month

first_img Tagged with: Digital Individual giving  24 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis1 Yahoo’s involvement follows its first ‘spam appreciation’ week in March 2003 when it tried to define spam to its users. About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Researching massive growth in giving. Howard Lake | 12 May 2003 | Newscenter_img The first anti-spam ‘Dunk the Junk Day’ takes place on 22 May 2003 and aims to raise public awareness of spam or unsolicited commercial e-mail.The campaign day is being supported by Web portal Yahoo! It will include an awards event at which the UK’s worst spammers will be named and shamed.While one might assume the public had a fairly high awareness of spam, given e-mail users’ complaints about the rubbish filling their inboxes, the campaign is a little more sophisticated. Spam sadly is in the mind of the receiver, in that some people will happily buy products from a spammer or will forward “humorous” spam to friends and colleagues. Advertisement First European anti-spam day to be held this month AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis1last_img read more

Boston speakout defends Muslims

first_imgMore than 100 people participated in a speakout at the Park Street Station in Boston on Nov. 21 to say, “Don’t use Paris as a pretext for wider war and racism.” The rally was chaired by Danny Pforte of Boston FIST (Fight Imperialism, Stand Together) and co-sponsored by the International Action Center, the Syrian American Forum, the Committee for Peace and Human Rights and the Women’s Fightback Network. The Boston United National Antiwar Coalition was an endorser.Speaker after speaker pointed to U.S., NATO, French and allied bombing and war as creating the conditions resulting in the massive refugee crisis and the Paris attacks. They also opposed Islamophobia and political surveillance and repression, and increased police murders against Black and Brown people.Speakers included three Syrian American children and others from the Syrian American Forum, as well as members of the IAC, the Boston Homeless Solidarity Committee and the Committee for Peace and Human Rights. Linda Jenkins and Phebe Eckfeldt spoke for the WFN and Al Johnson spoke for Vets for Peace and the Chelsea Manning committee. Bob Trayn­ham from the Boston School Bus Drivers, Ed Childs from Local 26 of UNITE HERE and Maureen Skehan from Workers World all spoke. Moonanum James, co-leader of United American Indians of New England, spoke about the National Day of Mourning.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Supreme Court ruling: Victory for women’s right to choose

first_imgCelebrating in Washington outside the Supreme Court, June 27.With a 5-3 vote, the Supreme Court affirmed June 27 in the case of Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt that women’s constitutional right to abortion may not be subjected to “undue burden” imposed in the infamous HB2 Texas law of 2013.This case challenged two provisions that the state alleged were needed to protect women’s health. One is that abortion clinics must be ambulatory surgical centers that meet stringent requirements, even though those are not mandated for more life-threatening procedures. The other is that doctors performing abortions must have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles from where they work.The decision, authored by Justice Stephen Breyer and joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Anthony Kennedy and Sonia Sotomayor, demolished both planks of the law. Breyer wrote: “Neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes. Each places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access, and each violates the federal Constitution.” ( further exposed the blatantly obvious anti-woman intent of the law when he wrote: “We add that, when directly asked at oral argument whether Texas knew of a single instance in which the new requirement would have helped even one woman obtain better treatment, Texas admitted that there was no evidence in the record of such a case.”Noting that surgical abortion is one of the safest medical procedures, Ginsburg stated in her concurrence:  “Many medical procedures, including childbirth, are far more dangerous to patients, yet are not subject to ambulatory surgical center or hospital admitting-privileges requirements.” She added, “When a State severely limits access to safe and legal procedures, women in desperate circumstances may resort to unlicensed rogue practitioners … at great risk to their health and safety.”The law was so far-reaching that half of the more than 40 clinics in Texas had to close when it went into effect. Full implementation of the law would have reduced the number of clinics to 10 in the second-largest state with 5.4 million women of childbearing age (15-44). That would have put 900,000 women of childbearing age, about 17 percent of the state’s total, 150 or more miles from the nearest clinic.This ruling is a decisive loss for reactionary forces, especially so-called Americans United for Life that wrote the law. Right-wing-dominated legislatures, especially in the Midwest and South, have passed hundreds of laws restricting the right to abortion — including copy-cat TRAP (targeted regulation of abortion providers) laws in Alabama, Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Wisconsin like the ones just overturned.Reactionary lawmakers — who thought they could palm off restrictions under the guise of “protecting women’s health,” when they could no long peddle their bogus campaign for fetal rights — have become more brazen in league with the conservative current in the U.S. They have passed laws mandating medically unnecessary waiting periods, parental consent provisions and so-called “counseling” with false and misleading data designed to scare and shame women from having abortions.Make no mistake: This win will not stop the right’s efforts to end abortion. Even the presumptive Republican presidential nominee — who flip-flopped from being pro-choice after he began running for president — has agreed to make abortion illegal. Meanwhile, Texas lawmakers and the toxic cesspool of anti-women’s-rights zealots are vowing to continue to pass laws endangering women’s lives.‘Historic confirmation of women’s rights’The Supreme Court’s long-awaited decision is a welcome reprieve for the reproductive rights movement that has been fighting an uphill battle for over two decades since the court’s 1992 Casey decision opened the floodgates so states could pass laws restricting abortion. The only proviso standing in their way was that states do not impose an “undue burden” on women.The racist, sexist, anti-LGBTQ, pro-capitalist right has been exposed as perpetrating lies, withholding vital information and promoting fraudulent laws that can only harm women. Specifically, the 5.4 million women in Texas — but especially poor women, low-wage workers, women of color, immigrants, youth, rural residents, lesbians and trans people, women with disabilities and victims of domestic violence. The risks for undocumented women being discovered, detained and deported at border patrol checkpoints were enormous.Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health, which led the challenge to the Texas law, said, “Every day Whole Woman’s Health treats our patients with compassion, respect and dignity — and today the Supreme Court did the same. We’re thrilled that today justice was served and our clinics stay open.” (Reuters, June 27 )Dr. Willie Parker, board chair of Physicians for Reproductive Health, noted:  “Today’s Supreme Court ruling is an historic confirmation of a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her health, her family, and her future. Politicians can no longer use ideologically driven laws with no medical basis to threaten women’s health by restricting access to safe, legal abortion care. … The battle to protect abortion access is not over. We will continue to fight to ensure that our physicians can fulfill their deep, conscientious commitment to providing all women who need it — in Texas and across the country.”  (, June 27 )Now the reproductive justice movement can work, in the words of Yamani Hernandez, executive director of the National Network of Abortion Funds, “to create the support and access we truly need for abortion to be not just legal, but a reality for anyone who needs it. … [and] the ability to focus on barriers like the Hyde Amendment.” ( Ever since Hyde was instituted in 1976, denying Medicaid for abortions, it has imposed an “undue burden” on poor women who depend on the federally funded health care program.Monica Moorehead, Workers World 2016 presidential candidate, praised the decision: “All women, but especially poor women of color, need to be able to fully exercise their reproductive options while attempting to raise healthy children. Many of these same women are single mothers in the forefront of the struggle for $15 an hour and a union.“It is crucial that the women’s movement show solidarity with the most oppressed women who bear the brunt of racism, homophobia and transphobia in this capitalist system riddled with patriarchal views. In the long run, only a socialist society, based on equality and justice for all working and oppressed people, can provide the kind of nurturing environment and cooperative community that all people need in order to thrive.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Texas statewide protests demand: ‘Shut down ICE detention centers!’

first_imgApril 19 car caravan in Houston.Across the state of Texas on April 19, social distancing protests in the form of car caravans circled detention centers and Immigration and Customs Enforcement  offices demanding the release of all migrants in custody. The violent borders that allow for migrants and refugees to be detained in the first place was and is a crime against humanity. Additionally, in the face of a global pandemic, those kept in cages have a high risk of the coronavirus spreading quickly and are unable to take even the most basic measures to protect themselves.Members of Never Again Action, along with RAICES, FIRE (Fight for Im/migrants and Refugees Everywhere), Rise Up, About Face, Grassroots Leadership, Workers World Party, Party for Socialism and Liberation, the Autonomous Brown Berets de San Antonio, Refuse Fascism and Democratic Socialists of America attended in multiple cities. Protests took place across Texas in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Corpus Christi and Houston, with central demands of “Free them all” and “Close the camps.”Demonstrators from the Austin area met at a location near the city center where they placed signs on vehicles while remaining socially distant. Then the caravan of 50 cars drove to the T. Don Hutto “Residential Center” in Taylor, Texas. This facility is owned and operated by the private company CoreCivic, formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America.In San Antonio, “Chinga la Migra,” “Melt ICE” and “Set Them Free” were some of the slogans painted on windshields or taped to the sides of more than 40 cars participating in the action against migrant detentions. Honoring COVID-19 pandemic isolation guidelines, Workers World Party members from San Antonio and other cities stayed in their autos as they joined the caravan. They demanded the release of ICE detainees, honking their horns and circling the San Antonio ICE office at 1777 NE Interstate 410 Loop. Gloria Rubac, representing FIRE, set the scene in Houston at 419 Emancipation Ave., where the private company Southwest Key owns and operates a center for children separated from their families. “As a raucous car caravan circled around a downtown center for migrant children today,” she said, “I was excited to see around 20 cars with signs, flags and banners on them. This health crisis certainly affects migrants, either in detention or waiting on the border, more than most populations. Solidarity in any form we can initiate is important. Trump and the politicians who see migrants as expendable are racist and criminal. This support today is one small step in a struggle for im/migrants and refugees. We must keep the heat on.”Whether owned and operated by private companies or run by ICE, these centers are making a few folks rich at the cost of many migrants’ misery. Those locked up face potential death sentences from the deadly virus, with little to no protections. This moment calls on everyone to ensure that mass extermination of vulnerable populations never happens again.Contributing to this article were Eno, Luis de la Cruz, Gloria Rubac and Mirinda Crissman.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

ASA Echoes President’s Call for Renewable Energy Tax Credit Extension

first_imgHome Energy ASA Echoes President’s Call for Renewable Energy Tax Credit Extension SHARE Previous articleFFA Rally to Fight Hunger” Planned for 2012 ConventionNext articleNew Exchange Hours May Change USDA Report Times Gary Truitt The American Soybean Association (ASA) joins its colleagues in the biodiesel industry in voicing its support for a call from President Barack Obama to renew tax incentives for companies producing renewable energy, including biodiesel. The president yesterday urged Congress to renew the tax credits while in Iowa, the nation’s largest producer of soybeans. While the bulk of the renewable fuel tax incentives mentioned by the president will lapse at the end of the year if not renewed, the biodiesel tax incentive expired on Dec. 31, 2011. “President Obama has repeatedly expressed his support of increased production of clean, renewable, domestic energy sources like biodiesel as part of his ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy, and we join him in urging Congress to pass the tax credits for these producers. The biodiesel tax credit is a huge factor in encouraging more production of this energy source,” said ASA President Steve Wellman, a soybean farmer from Syracuse, Neb. By Gary Truitt – May 25, 2012 ASA represents all U.S. soybean farmers on domestic and international issues of importance to the soybean industry. ASA’s advocacy efforts are made possible through the voluntary membership in ASA by more than 21,000 farmers in 31 states where soybeans Facebook Twitter ASA Echoes President’s Call for Renewable Energy Tax Credit Extension Facebook Twitter Source: ASA Approximately half of U.S. biodiesel is produced from soybean oil. Biodiesel is the only advanced biofuel that is currently commercially available in the U.S. and it provides significant economic, energy security, environmental and health benefits. With the aid of the tax incentive last year, the biodiesel industry produced a record volume of nearly 1.1 billion gallons, supporting nearly 40,000 jobs nationwide. SHARE In addition to cheering the president’s call for extension of the tax credit, ASA urges the Obama Administration to approve the EPA’s proposal to raise the 2013 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume requirement for biodiesel to 1.28 billion gallons. The RFS is currently set at 1 billion gallons for 2012.last_img read more

Nine recommendations for improving the state of press freedom

first_img Sri Lanka: RSF signs joint statement on attacks against human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists News Sri LankaAsia – Pacific to go further July 15, 2020 Find out more Sri Lanka: tamil reporter held on absurd terrorism charge In the opinion of an official of the Free Media Movement (FMM) -a Sri Lankan journalist organisation-the murders of Karuna’s opponents, particularly that of Aiyathurai Nadesan, may have been possible because of protection provided by the Sri Lanka army.Reporters without Borders fears that the impunity enjoyed by those involved in Aiyathurai Nadesan’s death may have very grave repercussions on the country’s future.On multiple occasions, the organisation has denounced the persistent impunity surrounding the killing of Myilvaganam Nimalarajan, a BBC World Service Sinhala and Tamil media correspondent in Jaffna. Despite the repeated efforts of the examining magistrate, and the occasional efforts of the police, those who ordered the crime, and carried it out, have never been tried. There is no longer any doubt that the police are either unable, or unwilling, to conduct an investigation and gather physical evidence. In the case of Rohana Kumara, editor of the Sinhalese-language weekly Satana (“Battle”), Reporters without Borders showed in a report published last March that the government had committed a great deal of resources in order to prevent any light from being shed on the case and to protect those who ordered the crime-obviously high-ranking officials. Certain witnesses and suspects were, in turn, eliminated. The organisation remains convinced that some members of, or individuals close to, the Presidential Security Division (PSD) are implicated in this murder committed in September 1999, as well as in other attacks on journalists.Reporters without Borders is calling for the creation of an independent Special Investigation Unit with judicial powers to reopen inquiries into crimes against journalists. The Unit could be supported by some funds provided by the international community. The organisation urges the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the army and the Attorney General’s Office to fully co-operate so that these murders-all of which have gone unpunished-can be solved.2. PUTTING AN END TO THREATSIn Sri Lanka, cases involving murders of journalists have almost always been preceded by direct death threats. Since early 2003, Reporters without Borders has noted a significant increase in the number of intimidations. During the election campaign, some journalists were upbraided by leaders or militants of the campaigning parties-notably the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)-which is now a member of the incumbent United People’s Alliance party. On 3 May of this year-World Press Freedom Day-some police officers, under dubious circumstances, conducted a search in the home of D. Sivaram, editor of the online news service, known for exposing abuses committed by the security forces. The police claim to have found explosives in the journalist’s residence. D. Sivaram, who is also a regular contributor to the Tamil service of the BBC World Service, maintains that he received several threats during that same period: “I have no intention of abandoning my job of reporting the news but I am afraid of possible reprisals from paramilitary groups. The government must do its job and ensure our safety.”Some journalists told Reporters without Borders that armed groups planned to retaliate for’s coverage of the elections and the recent secession of the group led by Karuna. The authorities seem to have resumed their harassment practices against journalists or media known for their investigative reporting and outspoken criticisms. The number of journalists assaulted since Chandrika Kumaratunga took power speaks for itself. In 2000, the authorities admitted to at least 29 news professional assault cases. In 22 of them, impunity still prevails. For example, after being threatened several times and the target of a murder attempt, Lasantha Wickramatunga witnessed a police search of the Colombo-based offices of his newspaper, The Sunday Leader, on 28 March 2004.In the aftermath of Nadesan’s murder, eastern Sri Lankan journalists were afraid that a new wave of violence would break out. Two correspondents in Batticaloa fled the area to go into hiding in Colombo. Both Ramasamy Thurairatnam, a correspondent for the Lakehouse press group and the news website, and Shanmugam Thavarajah, who works for the daily newspaper Thinakural, had received ominous visits in their homes and could sense that a vice was tightening around them. Despite these threats, they had helped organise funeral arrangements for their colleague Nadesan. They claim that their lives are in danger because Tamil warlord Karuna’s supporters have formed genuine death squads whose job is to eliminate LTTE officials and those who support them. Local journalist associations have expressed their deep concern. The BBC’s Tamil and Sinhalese services have stopped broadcasting reports from their correspondents in eastern Sri Lanka due to fear of reprisals.Since 25 June, Thanthiyan Vedanayagam, correspondent with the Tamil-language daily Thinakural in Batticaloa, has been in hiding. He published a report on the press conference held by one of Karuna’s former supporters, who claims that she had been under army protection. Intimidations have also been occurring in northern Sri Lanka. Last November, Velupillai Thavachelvam of the Tamil-language daily Virakesari, was taken in for questioning by a secret service officer. Before releasing him, the officer threatened him, saying: “People like you had too much freedom under the Ranil government…but now the President is in charge and we can do what we like with you.” Early this year, a journalist of the Tamil-language daily Eelanadu received an anonymous letter threatening his life. Written in red ink, it read: “If you don’t listen to us…”Then, on 28 March-this time in Colombo-a grenade was thrown on the home of Renor Silva, general manager of the broadcasting group Asian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). A guard was wounded and several vehicles damaged during that night attack. Its purpose had likely been to intimidate the general manager, who has been defending his five FM stations against the hostility of then Media Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. Last February, the Ministry had informed ABC that the station’s licence to operate a television channel had been cancelled.In July 2003, these tensions had induced the incumbent regime to form an Investigative Committee charged with preparing a report on press freedom in eastern and northern Sri Lanka, for the purpose of improving the journalists’ working conditions. Since then, the current government appears to have forgotten that this Committee even exists.Reporters without Borders is calling for an emergency session of the Investigative Committee created at the initiative of the Sri Lankan Minister of Defence to inquire into the attacks on journalists committed in the northern and eastern parts of the country. The organisation would like specific measures to be taken in order to ensure the safety of journalists in Batticaloa.3. THE CEASEFIRE MONITORING AUTHORITY NEEDS GREATER POWERS”The people of Jaffna-especially journalists-do not trust the Sri Lankan security forces. They are fully prepared to present their complaints to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), which is recognised as a neutral force. But this Monitoring Mission has no mandate whatsoever to deal with human rights violations,” explained Uma Rani of the Tamil-language newspaper Valampuri. S. Radayan, the editor of the newspaper Eelanadu confirmed this lack of power: “We published photos of an army vehicle that had caused an accident. We received death threats written in Sinhalese. So the management decided to submit the matter to the Norwegian Monitoring Mission. But nothing happened. We went to the mission because we distrust the police.”Since February 2002, when the government and the LTTE signed the ceasefire, the press has assumed the role of an observer in terms of the parties’ compliance with this agreement. However, the Norwegian authorities have never publicly condemned the attacks on journalists by either of the disputing parties, even though the text establishing the SLMM specifies that any violation must give rise to an inquiry and that the local media must be kept informed of the ceasefire compliance-monitoring process.Shortly before he was murdered, Aiyathurai Nadesan had deplored the multiple cease-fire violations. In the 30 May 2004 issue of the Sunday Virakesari, he had written: “In the last 60 days, 20 crimes and 35 murders were committed in the district of Batticaloa.” These violent acts perpetrated by rival Tamil groups are seriously jeopardising the peace process and the journalists’ work. In this instance, Aiyathurai Nadesan is thought to have lost his life because of his support of the LTTE’s positions. The Tamil Tigers are also involved in various crimes, abductions and in sustaining a climate of fear.The majority of Sri Lankan journalists interviewed by Reporters without Borders are urging that the ceasefire agreement be revised in such a way as to allow the SLMM to monitor human rights violations and more effectively protect journalists and the general civilian population.Reporters without Borders urges the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission to consider monitoring the state of human rights as its top priority. The organisation recommends that such a task be carried out in co-operation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Sri Lankan human rights organisations.4. ENSURING THE AUTONOMY OF THE STATE-OWNED MEDIANewly appointed Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera made a staggering initial impression when he publicly stated, on 15 June 2004, that the main task of the state media was to attack the state’s main opposition party. As one of Chandrika Kumaratunga’s close supporters, the Minister had already held the same office from 1994 to 2001. Public reactions were immediate. The FMM, a journalist association, stated: “These words violate all accepted traditions and standards in the democratic world with regard to an independent state media.” Meanwhile, the European Union (EU), called for the Colombo government to act swiftly to transform the state-owned media into a public services group.These statements do not augur well for the government’s attitude toward the independence of Sri Lanka’s state-owned media, which are known to be vastly exploited for political purposes. For decades, each successive regime has imposed a new management and party line explicitly endorsing the actions of the ruling party.News coverage of the last election campaign by the state and private media was unfair. The state media, which have been controlled by President Chandrika Kumaratunga since November 2003, have extensively conveyed the ideas of her party and those of her political allies. To put an end to this abusive use of the state media, the Independent Electoral Commission even took over the country’s state television and radio on 29 March 2004. In a recent report, the EU revealed that Sri Lankan state television had devoted 68% of its election coverage to the Alliance headed by Chandrika Kumaratunga.Reporters without Borders is calling for a short-term plan to establish state media groups that will operate independently of the political authorities. The organisation would like the Media Minister to recant his recent statement about the role of the state-controlled media.5. PREVENTING THE VIOLATIONS COMMITTED BY THE SECURITY FORCES”As long as the occupying army’s rifles are pointed at the population and are not being used to defend the people, there will be no free press,” S. Radhayan, director of the Tamil daily Eelanadu, told Reporters without Borders. There have been constant acts of violence and tensions between the press and the security forces ever since the Sri Lanka army recaptured the Jaffna Peninsula in 1996. Prior to the army, Indian troops and the LTTE had also committed press freedom violations as they passed through the city of Jaffna. “During the war, it was difficult to gather and publish news. Security forces and Tamil paramilitary groups would accuse us of supporting the Tigers. The LTTE suspected us of supporting the army,” asserted K. Mailnadan, founder of Uthayan, Jaffna’s most popular daily. Most of the journalists admit that the army’s attitude has obviously improved, but some stressed that tensions are often related to officers’ personalities. Velupillai Thavachelvam, President of the Jaffna Journalists’ Association, reported that in October 2003, army officers failed to give a series of incidents the attention they deserved. When they came forward to express their outrage over the assault by police of four reporters-including K. Ithayapavan of the daily Valampuri- representatives were told by an officer that journalists who are surrounded by a hostile crowd should “assume the consequences of any actions taken by the police.” At the same meeting, the officer reasserted that members of the press were not allowed to photograph members of the security forces. Several news photographers from eastern and northern Sri Lanka complained to Reporters without Borders about the hostility shown to them by the military, police and paramilitary personnel.Many Tamil journalists object to being treated differently than their Sinhalese colleagues. In January 2004, Ven. Udagama Sri Buddharakkhitha Thero, one of the senior Buddhist leaders of Sri Lanka, visited the city of Jaffna. The security forces forbade Tamil journalists-who constituted the majority of the city’s journalists-to use cameras or cell phones to cover the arrival of the religious dignitary. Yet their Sinhalese colleagues travelling with the monks were under no such restriction. When Velupillai Thavachelvam of the newspaper Virakesari attempted to follow the Sinhalese journalists, Major D. M. Dissanayaka threatened his life: “If you come any closer, I’ll kill you.” The army explained that the officer had merely tried to prevent the journalists from filming the event. Velupillai Thavachelvam had already been wounded in December 2003 by a grenade thrown by a policeman in Nelliady (near Jaffna). The circumstances surrounding this assault are still unknown.This distrust is also evident in Tamil-speaking journalists’ inability to access military information. In the Jaffna Peninsula, the army continues to impose the same drastic restrictions on civilians-particularly journalists-concerning the High-Security Zone (HSZ) which covers almost one-third of the region. Warning signs at the entrance of the HSZs inform that the soldiers will shoot first and question later. On several occasions, members of the press were denied access to public facilities located within this zone, such as the cancer hospital. “The only information we can obtain on what is happening in the military zone comes from the rare civilians who live there, and even they are afraid of reprisals if they were to tell anyone,” explained Saravanabhavan, director of the Uthayan, a Jaffna -based daily.On the other hand, the army recently began to offer translation of its press releases into Tamil, thereby facilitating the work of Tamil journalists, very few of whom can read Sinhalese.Reporters without Borders urged the Sri Lanka army and police to conduct internal investigations and take disciplinary action whenever members of the security forces threaten, bring in for questioning, or assault journalists while they are simply doing their jobs. The organisation would also like the army to regularly inform the press of any operations in progress and to provide access to civilian facilities in the HSZs.6. THE LTTE MUST ACCEPT PLURALISM AND CRITICISMThe highly secretive Velupillai Prabhakaran has headed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) movement since its creation in 1976. The LTTE, a political and military organisation, is initially took to arms to create a separate state for Sri Lanka’s Tamil population. Since 2002, the LTTE has been taking a softer line and campaigning for greater autonomy within the Sri Lankan state. Popular with the Tamil community inside the country as well as abroad, the LTTE nonetheless remains an intolerant armed group that has eliminated dozens of Tamil opponents, including some journalists. Although its political wing leader, SP Tamilselvam, told Reporters without Borders that “press freedom was respected” in Sri Lankan territories controlled by the LTTE, the threat is no less real. LTTE’s leadership often has an outdated notion of journalistic practices. According to our information, SP Tamilselvam is expecting Tamil journalists to ask questions only about topics on the agenda when foreign delegations visit with LTTE officials in the Vanni. Tamilselvam informed Reporters without Borders that this information was inaccurate: “They are free to ask any questions as long as time permits.”Since the signing of the ceasefire agreement, information has circulated more freely in the eastern and northern parts of the country. Tamil-language newspapers are circulating more or less freely, and LTTE’s publications are being distributed without any major impediment within the zones under government control.However, the LTTE has been regularly attacking the Tamil-language weekly Thinamurasu, which has close ties with another armed group, the Eelam People’s Democratic Party, the EPDP. In August 2003, armed members of the LTTE burned thousands of copies of the weekly in the eastern part of the island. The weekly, which has one of the largest circulations of the Tamil-language press, regularly exposes human rights violations-especially executions and abductions-committed by the LTTE. T. Baskaran, Thinamurasu’s editor, had informed Reporters without Borders at the time that his newspaper was “the only Tamil-language paper to report human rights violations (…) We must pay the price of our independence, because the LTTE expects all Tamil news media to say nothing about its violence. Those who don’t obey are harassed.” The Norwegian mediators intervened in this matter, but failed to sustainably modify LTTE’s position.Some Muslim journalists confirmed the risk taken by anyone openly critical of LTTE’s party line. According to M. P. M. Azar, “To cover the Tamil Tigers’ activities is a risky business for journalists in the provinces. So we cannot write anything openly critical of the LTTE. To survive, we have to devote some space to them in our newspaper.” A reporter with the Muslim community newspaper Navamani claimed that the LTTE prevented Sinhalese and Muslim journalists from entering one of their camps near Sampur (in eastern Sri Lanka), while allowing Tamil journalists. When Reporters without Borders asked him to elaborate on this incident, SP Tamilselvam replied that he was going to check into this information.Some journalists interviewed by Reporters without Borders denied that LTTE had any sort of stranglehold on Tamil journalists. N. Vidyadharan, former director of the Jaffna daily Uthayan, explained: “We conducted several exclusive interviews with LTTE’s leaders. They never insisted that we should address any particular subject. Sometimes the LTTE wants the media to cover their activities. But that’s normal, because our Tamil readers want to know what the Tamil Tigers are doing.”Recently, a Tamil journalist confided to Reporters without Borders: “It isn’t by choice that some journalists are praising Prabhakaran. A large number of them do it out of fear and that’s why the majority of the Tamil media don’t mention the human rights violations committed by the LTTE.” Likewise, Nadesan had explained to Reporters without Borders that “sometimes we must keep silent in matters involving the LTTE.” Thought to have close times to the Tamil Tigers, Nadesan explained that all Tamil journalists must practice self-censorship as far as the LTTE is concerned.The ceasefire also paved the way for the Tamil Tigers to consolidate their media presence on the island. In January 2003, the LTTE obtained a licence to operate a FM radio station in the northern Jaffna Peninsula. The government in Colombo allowed the station to acquire two new transmitters.Reporters without Borders is urging LTTE’s political leaders to fully guarantee the exercise of press freedom in the zones under its control and to be more accessible to journalists. The organisation is demanding an end to the threats and harassment targeting media critical of LTTE’s actions.7. PROTECTING THE RIGHT OF MUSLIMS TO PRESS FREEDOMJournalists of the Muslim persuasion, speaking in Tamil, are demanding greater recognition. “We want Tamil-language media, not Tamil media,” a Muslim journalist from Batticaloa explained to Reporters without Borders. The recent incidents revealing the strained relations between the Tamil and Muslim communities have persuaded journalists to formulate more radical demands. They are openly blaming the LTTE for marginalising and even oppressing them. The Muslim community press is opposed to the plan for self-determination proposed by the LTTE in November 2003. “Our rights will be restricted-freedom of speech in particular,” one Muslim journalist maintained.In 1996, after having worked forty years for the Tamil-language press, M. P. M. Azar launched the weekly publication Navamani for the Muslim community of eastern Sri Lanka. “We are still suffering, because our rights are not yet recognised in the ceasefire agreement. It is the duty of Muslim journalists to defend this right,” he asserted. With a distribution of several thousand copies, the Tamil-language magazine has had to contend with violent reactions. In December 2003, the magazine offices were doused with chemicals and most of the equipment was burned. The police have not yet identified the perpetrators.Mohamed Fowzer, director of the newspaper Muslim Kural (“The Voice of Muslims”), also claims to be a defender of Muslim interests. “The Tamil and Sinhalese newspapers are oblivious to Muslim expectations. Our newspaper wants to do something about this. We are engaged in a media war against the Tamil media,” contended Mohamed Fowzer.As of 2003, the threats against some Muslim journalists became more insistent. The Muslim Kural’ correspondent in the Puttalam district received a death threat late that year and went into hiding in Colombo. A few weeks later, the editorial staff also received anonymous death threats: “We are going to kill you. How can you say that about our leader?” quoted the correspondent, reacting to an editorial criticising an agreement between the head of the LTTE and a leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress. Muslim Kural’s director also reported to Reporters without Borders that some of his newspaper vendors had been assaulted in Batticaloa by LTTE militants.Reporters without Borders is asking the Sri Lankan government, the Tamil media owners and international community to create conditions which will foster the development of media capable of adequately representing the Muslim minority.8. ENSURING THE SAFETY AND INDEPENDENCE OF PROVINCE-BASED CORRESPONDENTS”The majority of journalists based in the provinces-particularly in the eastern part of the country-need to work at two jobs, because it is virtually impossible to live on the salary paid by the national media,” explained Shan Thavarajah, General Secretary of the Eastern Sri Lankan Journalists’ Association. Media owners have been alerted to this situation, which is jeopardising the correspondents’independence.Nadesan, for example, was also an officer in the tax department.Several correspondents in the provinces notified Reporters without Borders of the threats made against them after an article which they had written, and which was published in their newspaper under their by-line, had first been modified by the editorial staff in Colombo. “Our stories are rectified, thereby jeopardising not only our credibility, but our safety,” clarified one correspondent with a Tamil newspaper in the capital.The journalists interviewed also brought to Reporters without Borders’ attention the dangers to peace and professional credibility posed by the differences in content from one publication language to another. Indeed, the Sri Lanka media publish in three languages: Sinhalese, Tamil and English. Very few press groups offer an edition of the same publication in all three languages. The governmental group Lakehouse, and the LTTE, each publish versions of their daily papers in Sinhalese and in Tamil.Reporters without Borders urges the Sri Lankan government, press owners and the international community to actively lend their support to correspondents based in the provinces, especially in northern and eastern Sri Lanka. The organisation is requesting that a training programme be implemented for these journalists, whose work is essential as part of the ceasefire agreement. Reporters without Borders also asks state and private media owners to respect journalists’ and other media workers’ right to associate and to form trade unions.9. PUTTING A STOP TO HATE-MONGERING IN THE MEDIAReporters without Borders deeply regrets that some privately owned and state-owned media have been fostering a dialogue of hatred between the various communities.The organisation noted the publication of hate-mongering statements in some Sinhalese newspapers. During the last election campaign, certain accounts of meetings held by the extremist Buddhist clergy party, Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU)-particularly those featured in the Lankadeepa and Divaina dailies-thus appeared without warning, despite the fact that they contained racist slurs against both the Tamils and the Muslims.Stereotypes and manipulation also frequently occur in press coverage of the strained relations between Muslims and Tamils. In June 2002, communal riots in the eastern district of Muttur had split the two communities apart. The Muslim newspapers claimed that the LTTE had instigated the riots. The Tamil media, notably the Internet website, accused an unknown Muslim organisation-Ousama Group-of having orchestrated these acts of violence. Furthermore, LTTE members threatened the correspondent of the Muslim community newspaper, Navamani. A crowd attacked the residence of P. Sathsivanandam, correspondent of the Tamil newspaper, Virakesari, and threatened to kill him. A rumour had been spreading that some Tamils had raped a Muslim woman. Despite police intervention, the journalist lost his professional equipment. On 23 June of this year, P. Sathsivanamdam’s home was again raided by a group of unidentified vandals after he presented a report on the Tamil-language BBC World Service about the tension between the Muslims and Tamils in Muttur. Since that date, the journalist and his family have been in hiding, for fear of additional reprisals.Unfortunately, the journalistic community has been experiencing the strong ethnic component of the Sri Lankan press as a grim necessity. In a report published in 2003, Sanjana Hattotuwa of the Centre for Policy Alternatives wrote: “Many newspaper staffs perceive ethnicity as immutable and innate (…) The media in Sri Lanka often exacerbate existing communal and ethnic tensions by playing on the nationalist and religious emotions of the people.”Reporters without Borders is calling for the Press Complaints Commission, set up in February 2003, to be endowed with investigative and punitive powers that can be applied against media which transmit hate messages. The organisation is asking publishers and editors-in-chief to operate according to international journalism code of ethics and to draw up a national code of ethics with the consensus of all journalists’ organisations, rejecting any incitement to violence. RSF_en Organisation Help by sharing this information Related documents Report Sri LankaPDF – 441.78 KB July 19, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Nine recommendations for improving the state of press freedomcenter_img July 29, 2020 Find out more A few months before his murder on 31 May 2004, Aiyathurai Nadesan, a correspondent in Batticaloa (the eastern part of the island) for several Tamil media, who received the prize for “Best Tamil Journalist” in 2000, had told Reporters without Borders: “We are always caught in the crossfire. It is very hard for us to check our information with both the security forces and the Tamil Tigers. And when a local news article is released from Colombo, we may face reprisals in the field.” His statements attest to how difficult working conditions are for journalists in Sri Lanka.The circumstances surrounding the murder of Aiyathurai Nadesan-the first journalist killed since October 2000-are troubling and could threaten the fragile ceasefire signed at the end of 2001. In fact, the journalist’s colleagues and relatives suspect that men close to Tamil rebel leader Karuna committed this murder. The media minister Mangala Samaraweera recently acknowledged that some members of the Sri Lanka army had aided the Karuna group, which seceded from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eeelam (LTTE) movement. Moreover, the latter have been exploiting this collusion between Karuna’s men and the army to go back on their peace process commitments.Reporters without Borders fears that current tensions may plunge the country back into war. Such a failure would undoubtedly lead to new and very serious violations of press freedom.Since last April’s victory of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), headed by President Chandrika Kumaratunga, the country has been going through a delicate period. Some doubts have been raised as to whether or not the ceasefire signed with the Tamil Tigers movement can be maintained. During a fact-finding mission in Sri Lanka early this year, Reporters without Borders interviewed dozens of journalists. The majority expressed their apprehensions and frustrations in dealing with a situation that has become much too volatile for them to assert that press freedom is a given in the country.Nearly 100 days after the new government was formed, Reporters without Borders has decided it was necessary to present Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse and President Chandrika Kumaratunga with a series of recommendations that may help to sustainably improve the state of press freedom in Sri Lanka. The organisation thereby hopes to relay the expectations of Sri Lankan journalists, particularly those of correspondents based in the provinces. Reporters without Borders also urges the international community-notably the Norwegian government, responsible for monitoring compliance with the current ceasefire agreement-to become more actively involved in ensuring the journalists’ safety and freedom. The LTTE must also adjust its attitude toward the media, so that members of the Tamil-language press can work more safely and freely.Lastly, the organisation would like to make a recommendation to certain Sri Lankan newspapers who sometimes exploit the country’s ethnical and political tensions at the risk of stirring up hatred.1. FIGHTING IMPUNITYThe absence of any in-depth investigation or trial following the killings or assaults of journalists has vastly undermined the government’s credibility in terms of its efforts on behalf of press freedom. Those who committed the murders of Myilvaganam Nimalarajan, Aiyathurai Nadesan, Rohana Kumara, Nadarajah Atputharajah and Anthony Mariyanayagam which occurred over the last four years-and those who hired them-have never been brought to justice. Reporters without Borders has repeatedly condemned this climate of impunity. It has become urgent for the government to take action.In the case of Aiyathurai Nadesan-a correspondent for the Tamil-language daily Virakesari and the IBC Tamil radio service-Reporters without Borders fears that the regime is not enlisting sufficient resources to identify the perpetrators and put them on trial. Some Sri Lankan newspapers have pointed out that no minister has publicly condemned the journalist’s murder. That does not augur well for the attitude of the police in this case. On the other hand, the Tamil movements-notably the LTTE-are actively rallying around this crime, as well as the killings of other personalities from the eastern side of the island. The LTTE recently announced that “the killing of intellectuals, journalists and friends of the Tamil people is abominable (…). These actions are bound to lead the people of this island into a period of calamity and destruction.” On 26 June, the news website,, claimed that the “People saw Nadesan’s murderers in broad daylight in Batticaloa. But no one came forward to identify them because the killers are working with the security forces.” Sri LankaAsia – Pacific January 13, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Follow the news on Sri Lanka News News Sri Lanka: Journalist manhandled by notorious police inspector currently on trial Reportslast_img read more

Court urged to acquit and free four Zone 9 bloggers still held

first_img RSF_en to go further The Addis Ababa court that is trying the four members of the Zone 9 blogging collective who are still detained is due to issue a verdict when the 37th hearing in their trial is held on 8 October. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for their acquittal and immediate release. October 6, 2015 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Court urged to acquit and free four Zone 9 bloggers still held May 18, 2021 Find out more Zone 9 calls itself as “an informal group of young Ethiopian bloggers working together to create an alternative independent narration of the socio-political conditions in Ethiopia.” The collective’s name alludes to the eight detention zones in Addis Ababa’s notorious Kality prison (where human rights defenders and journalists are held).The blog was blocked by the authorities within Ethiopia soon after its creation in 2012 but remained accessible abroad and the group continued to post information and comments on social networks. Because of constant harassment by the authorities, they suspended activity seven months before their arrests, which occurred immediately after they announced that they were going to resume blogging.There has been a dramatic decline in the number of media outlets in Ethiopia, which is ranked 142nd out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. Many reporters and editors with privately-owned print media fled the country in 2014 after being threatened by the authorities. Prosecutions of journalists under the 2009 anti-terrorism law. which provides for long jail terms, have been almost systematic. Arrested in April 2014 under the 2009 anti-terrorism law, Atnaf Berhane, Befekadu Hailu, Abel Wabella and Natnail Feleke are facing the possibility of 10 to 15 years in prison on charges of “working with foreign organizations claiming to defend human rights” and “receiving funding in order to incite the public to violence via social media.”The two other members of the collective and three journalists who were arrested at the same time and on the same grounds were released in July after the justice ministry decided to drop the charges against them without further legal justification.While it welcomed their release at the time, the withdrawal of charges ordered by the justice ministry could be challenged in future before the courts, according to observers.RSF therefore calls for a not-guilty verdict that would prevent any future prosecution of the bloggers on similar grounds. Since the release of two of the Zone 9 bloggers in July, the prosecutor has not presented any new evidence against the four still held.“We urge the court and the authorities to be fair and open with the Zone 9 bloggers,” said Clea Kahn-Sriber, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Africa desk. “If there is no solid evidence against them, they should be freed at once and they should be acquitted so that there is no danger of any subsequent prosecution for the same facts.” News Organisation EthiopiaAfrica News February 10, 2021 Find out morecenter_img EthiopiaAfrica May 21, 2021 Find out more News RSF condemns NYT reporter’s unprecedented expulsion from Ethiopia Follow the news on Ethiopia News Help by sharing this information Ethiopia arbitrarily suspends New York Times reporter’s accreditation Journalist attacked, threatened in her Addis Ababa home Receive email alertslast_img read more

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