BLOG

Mon, 31 Dec 2007

IMLA NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2007

 
  1. Austria
  2. Belarus
  3. Belgium
  4. EU/Brussels
  5. France
  6. Gambia
  7. Georgia
  8. Greece
  9. Hungary
  10. India
  11. Iraq
  12. Ireland
  13. New Zealand
  14. Pakistan
  15. Russia
  16. Serbia
  17. Somalia
  18. South America
  19. Sudan
  20. Switzerland
  21. Tunisia
  22. Turkey
  23. United Arab Emirates
  24. UK
  25. UN
  26. Uruguay
  27. US
  28. Venezuela
  29. Various/Useful links
 

1. Austria
Author jailed for holocaust denial - A right-wing Austrian writer who fled to Spain after being convicted on Holocaust denial charges 15 years ago must serve his 18-month sentence, Vienna's highest court said Monday. Gerd Honsik, 67, must serve out the sentence handed down in 1992, the court said, rejecting his plea for leniency because of his age and a kidney ailment.

Source – SF Gate.com 3.12.07
http://www.sfgate. com/cgi-bin/ article.cgi? f=/n/a/2007/ 12/03/internatio nal/i115656S54. DTL

Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights suggests to the Austrian authorities taking criminal defamation out of the statute books - The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg today presented his report on the human-rights situation in Austria. Mr Hammarberg underlined the positive steps undertaken by the Austrian authorities to improve the protection and promotion of human rights and welcomed the ongoing constitutional reform process as an opportunity to codify clearly all fundamental rights.

Source – Council of Europe 12.12.07
https://wcd. coe.int/ViewDoc. jsp?id=1225319& Site=DC&BackColo rInternet= F5CA75&BackColor Intranet= F5CA75&BackColor Logged=A9BACE

2. Belarus

Independent newspaper in Belarus faces closure - One of the last independent newspapers in Belarus, Novy Chas, is fighting in court to continue publication, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Source – IJ Net 14.12.07
http://www.ijnet. org/Director. aspx?P=Article& ID=307036& LID=1

Free expression deteriorating in Belarus, mission finds -The government of Belarus has failed to make progress in improving free expression conditions over the past two and a half years, even further stifling journalists and writers, Norwegian PEN and the International Publishers

Source – Data Minsk 13.12.07
http://www.data. minsk.by/ belarusnews/ 122007/147. html

3. Belgium
Welcome to Belgium, where the drive for ‘sexual equality’ is now getting beyond a joke - A government-run equality institution has forced a DVD rental company to stop an amusing advertising campaign on the grounds that it is sexist. But the patronising view of women endorsed by this decision, and the chilling effect the ruling will have on other advertisers, is far more offensive than the highly ironic campaign.

Source – Spiked Online 3.12.07
http://www.spiked- online.com/ index.php? /site/article/ 4142/

4. EU/Brussels

EBU President calls for more action to protect journalists - In a keynote speech to the World Electronic Media Forum on the International Day of Human Rights, Fritz Pleitgen, President of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) called for a new initiative to save the lives of journalists, and to roll back a trend towards repression of freedom of expression.

Source – Media Network Blog 11.12.07
http://blogs. rnw.nl/medianetw ork/ebu-presiden t-calls-for- more-action- to-protect- journalists

EU acts over excessive advertising on Italian TV - The European Commission on Tuesday began infringement procedures against Italy for allowing too many advertisements on television in violation of EU rules.
]
Source – EU Business.com 11.12.07
http://www.eubusine ss.com/news- eu/1197390721. 63

5. France
Amazon.com ordered to stop free delivery in France - Amazon.com may not offer free delivery on books in France, the high court in Versailles has ruled. The action, brought in January 2004 by the French Booksellers' Union (Syndicat de la librairie française), accused Amazon of offering illegal discounts on books and even of selling some books below cost.

Source – NY Times 12.12.07
http://www.nytimes. com/idg/IDG_ 002570DE00740E18 002573AF005B04A4 .html

OSCE media watchdog calls for protection of sources law in France after journalist charged over intelligence leaks – Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, today called upon the French government to introduce, as pledged, measures to ensure the protection of journalistic sources.

Source – OSCE 12.12.07
http://www.osce. org/item/ 28817.html

6. Gambia

Boost for campaign to end impunity and human rights violations in Gambia - A two-day meeting to bring to the attention of the public, the deteriorating human rights situation in the Gambia, will begin in Accra On Thursday, November 8, 2007.

Source – Media Foundation for West Africa 7.11.07
http://www.mediafou nd.org/index. php?option= com_content& task=view& id=55&Itemid= 45

7. Georgia
OSCE media freedom watchdog welcomes reopening of Imedi TV in Georgia - The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, today expressed satisfaction with the Georgian authorities' willingness to enable television station Imedi to resume broadcasting.

Source – OSCE 7.12.07
http://www.osce. org/item/ 28756.html

8. Greece

Greek neo-Nazi author on trial - A militant Greek neo-Nazi went on trial on Monday over his book denying the Holocaust took place and calling Jewish people "subhuman." The trial, the first of its kind in Greece, saw a group of neo-Nazis making Hitler salutes in the corridors of the courthouse, putting up "Fans of Hitler" posters and handing out anti-Semitic leaflets.

Source – European Jewish Press 4.12.07
http://www.ejpress. org/article/ 22268

9. Hungary

OSCE media freedom watchdog welcomes acquittal of Hungarian journalist in secrecy case, urges legislative reforms - Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, greeted today's acquittal of journalist Antonia Radi, and called on the Hungarian authorities to reform legislation on disclosing state secrets.

Source - OSCE 19.12.07
http://www.osce. org/item/ 28999.html

10. India 

Caught on phone man lands in jail on contempt charges - A Recorded conversation of a man using derogatory language against the Punjab and Haryana High Court today led to his arrest. Amrik Singh, an executive member of the Truck Union, Banur, was taken into custody after a Division Bench of the High Court listened to a recorded conversation between him and a journalist in which the former had used objectionable language against the court.

Source – Express India 14.12.07
http://www.expressi ndia.com/ latest-news/ Caught-on- phone-man- lands-in- jail-on-contempt -charges/ 250177/

Editors Guild to push for changes in contempt law - The Editors Guild of India will campaign for changes in the Contempt of Court Act, as "the present suo motu prosecution of media and journalists by the judiciary is casting a shadow on the freedom of the press."

Source – Times of India 6.12.07
http://timesofindia .indiatimes. com/India/ Editors_Guild_ to_push_for_ changes_in_ contempt_ law/articleshow/ 2599026.cms

11. Iraq
Iraqi Kurd Media Bill Draws Protest - Lawmakers in Iraq's self-ruled Kurdish region approved a measure that would allow courts to accuse journalists of "vague offenses" relating to terrorism or disturbing security, drawing protests Friday from Kurdish journalists and an international media advocate

Source – Associated Press/Google 15.12.07
http://ap.google. com/article/ ALeqM5h3Mzs0ZJ1D XNulqGBGbLhnREZu EQD8THFLEO1

12. Ireland
Tiger Woods’ wife wins libel lawsuit - The wife of golfer Tiger Woods won $183,250 and an apology Friday from an Irish magazine that published an abusive article and a faked nude photo of her. Trevor White, publisher of The Dubliner, conceded that the article - published in September 2006 when Ireland was hosting the Ryder Cup - "was cheap, tasteless, and deliberately offensive. It was also completely untrue."

Source – CBS 8.12.07
http://www.cbs8. com/sports/ story.php? id=111239

13. New Zealand

Noel Rogers v Television New Zealand Ltd - The public interest in allowing a broadcaster to air footage in which a man tells police how he murdered a young woman outweighs his right to privacy, although he was acquitted of the crime, New Zealand's Supreme Court has decided.


14. Pakistan
International Human Rights Day - For human rights activists in Pakistan, 2007 was one of the darkest years in history. Five weeks into their campaign of protests since President Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency rule and brought in anti-media laws on 3 November, journalists in Pakistan linked arms with the rest of civil society and observed 10 December as a black day.

Source – IFEX 11.12.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 88589/

TV channel's petition dismissed - The Sindh High Court dismissed as not maintainable on Tuesday a writ petition against the suspension of Geo television channel transmissions. Advocate-General Masood A. Noorani appeared on court notice and submitted that the petition was not competent under the Provisional Constitution Order, which had suspended Articles 19 (freedom of expression) and 25 (equality of citizens) and the terms of the licence agreed to by the petitioner company Independent Media Corporation and the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority.

Source – Ask Media 4.12.07
http://www.asiamedi a.ucla.edu/ article-southasi a.asp?parentid= 83439

Peruvian High Court Urged to Disclose Officials' Assets Declarations – The Open Society Justice Initiative intervened recently in a case before Peru’s Constitutional Tribunal urging full disclosure of the assets declarations of public officials..
Source – Open Society Justice Initiative 29.11.07
http://www.justicei nitiative. org/db/resource2 ?res_id=103952

15. Russia

Russian journalist right to freedom breached – Courts in the Russian Federation republic of Tyva breached a journalist's right to freedom of expression when they fined him for defamation over a question he posed during a live phone-in television show, the European Court of Human Rights has decided.

The decision advances the idea that public figures have to be more robust in their attitude to publicity than others, said media law specialist Mark Stephens, a partner with London law firm Finers Stephens Innocent.

"It seems to me that the public figure is gaining some ground in the Court," he said.

"This decision is nowhere near the American case of New York Times v Sullivan, but the court is certainly treating public figures as if they should be more robust," he said.

The court had also used the case to emphasise that there had to be a direct link between the allegedly defamatory statement and the person or people who claimed to be affected by it, he added.

Journalist Aleksandr Filatenko applied to the European Court of Human Rights after being fined 12,500 roubles - the equivalent of £250 - over a question he put to election candidates on a programme being broadcast just four days before a general election in December 1999.

The question, phoned in by a reader, referred to an incident in which the Tyva republic's flag was torn from a car which was part of a motorcade for the election candidate for the Otechestvo Party.

Mr Filatenko was sued for defamation by the Edinstvo Movement political party. But when it was realised that a corporate body could not recover pecuniary damages, the party's place in the action was taken over by five people who worked in its headquarters.

There was disagreement about how Mr Filatenko worded the question.

The complainants said he presented the incident as if the Tyva flag was torn down and stamped on by people from the Edinstvo campaign headquarters, while Mr Filatenko denied having made such an allegation
- he only admitted to having specified that the incident happened near the headquarters.

The Kyzyl District Court accepted the claimants' version of how the question was worded.

There was no video recording of the show and the court had to rely on witness testimonies. It accepted statements confirming claimants'
version of the wording of the question from four people directly connected with the Edinstvo Movement, saying it had no grounds "to doubt their objectivity" . But it dismissed statements by Mr Filatenko's colleagues as unreliable because of their connection with the broadcasting company. It rejected a further statement by an independent witness monitoring the media during the electoral campaign, which corroborated Mr Filatenko's statement, simply because it contradicted the Edinstvo witness statements.

The district court concluded that while the question submitted by the viewer was not defamatory, Mr Filatenko's presentation of it amounted to a damaging allegation.

A seven-judge chamber of the European Court of Justice upheld Mr Filatenko's application, declaring that his conviction for defamation violated his right to impart information and impaired his freedom of expression as a journalist.

It reiterated that, as a general rule, any opinions and information aired during an electoral campaign should be considered part of a debate on questions of public interest - there was little scope under Article 10 for restrictions on such debate.

Similarly, punishing a journalist for having worded a question in a certain way, thus seriously hampering the press' contribution to a matter of public interest, should not be envisaged unless there was particularly strong justification.

The timing of the broadcast - just before elections - and its format as a live showed aimed at encouraging lively political debate, necessitated very good reasons for any kind of restriction on its participants' freedom of expression.

The district court had not treated witnesses in the case equally - it had accepted the statements supporting the claimants' case, although those witnesses were all connected with the Edinstvo Movement, but rejected statements from Mr Filatenko's colleagues because they were linked to him and the broadcaster.

The district court also rejected the only statement by an independent and professional media observer simply because it did not corroborate what the Edinstvo witnesses said.

The Court found that the Russian courts had failed to make an acceptable assessment of the facts and did not give sufficient reasons for finding that the applicant's wording of the question was defamatory.

The decision, published on December 6, went on: "The Court next reiterates that, for an interference with the right to freedom of expression to be proportionate to the legitimate aim of the protection of the reputation of others, the existence of an objective link between the impugned statement and the person suing in defamation is a requisite element.

"Mere personal conjecture or subjective perception of a statement as defamatory does not suffice to establish that the person was directly affected by the publication. There must be something in the circumstances of a particular case to make the ordinary reader feel that the statement reflected directly on the individual claimant or that he was targeted by the criticism.

"These principles also apply in the sphere of television and radio broadcasting, as in the instant case."

Although none of the complainants in the district court proceedings was mentioned by name or identified during the broadcast, the district court had accepted that the audience was given the impression that the plaintiffs' reputations were affected.

The reasons on which this finding was premised "do not appear sufficient", the Chamber court said.

Finally, it said, there could be no serious doubts about Mr Filatenko's good faith. He had merely requested a reaction from the show's participants on an event of major public concern, and made no affirmations. He could not be criticised for having failed to verify facts, given the obvious constraints of a live television show. In any event, a representative of the Edinstvo political movement had been present and invited to respond to the question.

Case of Filatenko v Russia

Application no. 73219/01.

European Court of Human Rights, First Section, sitting as a Chamber.

Decision: December 6, 2007.

Press freedom commitments not met during Russian electoral campaign, says OSCE media freedom watchdog - The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, said today that harassment of media outlets, legislative limitations, and arbitrary application of rules prevented equal media access by the political forces during the 2 December Duma elections in Russia.

Source – OSCE 4.12.07
http://www.osce. org/item/ 28670.html

16. Serbia

Government, experts differ on plans to halt minority media privatization - The privatization of media in Serbia was due to completed by the end of the year, except that Milan Markovic, minister for state administration and local self-rule, and Vojvodina Executive Council President Bojan Pajtic, called for halting the privatization of electronic media broadcast in minority languages in Vojvodina.

Source – Black Enterprise 11.12.07
http://www.blackent erprise.com/ yb/ybopen. asp?section= ybsb&story_ id=112807160& ID=blackenterpri se
 
17. Somalia

Independent UN rights expert concerned at expulsion of journalists in Somalia - An independent United Nations human rights expert today expressed concern at recent reports that authorities in the self-declared Somaliland have ordered 24 journalists to leave the region of northern Somalia within the next few days.

Source – UN 7.12.07
http://www.un. org/apps/ news/story. asp?NewsID= 24980&Cr= somalia&Cr1=

Country Enacts New Media Law - Somali legislators meeting in the south-central city of Baidoa debated media rights in the country Saturday and passed a new bill that would regulate the media nationwide. Lawmakers listened to a presentation from a committee composed of parliamentarians and media representatives who helped draft the new bill.

Source – All Africa 8.12.07
http://allafrica. com/stories/ 200712090057. html

18. South America

AMARC concerned by possible external interference in decision to appoint new IACHR Freedom of Expression Rapporteur - AMARC and two other organisations are concerned about alleged external interference in a proposal to select a new Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IACHR).

Source – IFEX 3.12.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 88140/

19. Sudan
Media in Sudan at a Crossroads - Independent media in Sudan still face severe challenges to pursue their right to express themselves freely. Although the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, ending the 21 year long civil war between North and South Sudan, opened up space for a more democratic setup for media ownership and practice of journalism, issues such as censorship, harassment and persecution continue to challenge the media.

Source – Arab Press Network 27.11.07
http://www.arabpres snetwork. org/articlesv2. php?id=1679

20. Switzerland

Fine imposed on Swiss journalist - The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights has overturned a judgment by a Chamber court that a fine imposed on a Swiss journalist who disclosed part of the contents of a report by the country's Ambassador to the United States on discussion about compensation for Holocaust victims breached his right of freedom of expression.

The ruling, by a majority of 12 to five, reversed a decision in favour of the journalist which reached by a majority of four votes to three by a Chamber court on April 25, 2006.

It followed an appeal to the Grand Chamber by the Swiss government.

The case concerned Zurich-based journalist Martin Stoll, who was fined after disclosing in the press a confidential report by the Swiss ambassador to the United States relating to the strategy the Swiss Government should adopt in negotiations between, among others, the World Jewish Congress and Swiss banks on compensation due to Holocaust victims for unclaimed assets deposited in accounts.

The paper, classified as confidential, was drawn up in December 1996 by Carlo Jagmetti, the then Swiss ambassador to the United States, and sent to the person in charge of the matter at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in Berne. Copies were sent to 19 other people in the Swiss Government and the federal authorities and to the Swiss diplomatic missions in Tel Aviv, New York, London, Paris and Bonn.

Mr Stoll obtained a copy.

On January 26, 1997, the Zürich Sunday newspaper the Sonntags-Zeitung published, among other things, two articles by Mr Stoll under the headings "Ambassador Jagmetti insults the Jews" and "The ambassador in bathrobe and climbing boots puts his foot in it".

The next day the Zürich daily the Tages-Anzeiger reproduced extensive extracts from the strategy paper; subsequently, the newspaper the Nouveau Quotidien also published extracts from the report.

In January 1999 Zürich District Court fined Mr Stoll 800 Swiss francs
- about £345 - for publishing "secret official deliberations" . Mr Stoll's appeals were dismissed in December 2000.

The Swiss Press Council, to which the case was also referred, said the publications were legitimate given the importance of the public debate concerning the assets of Holocaust victims.

But in March 1997, it found that by shortening the analysis and failing to place the report sufficiently in context, Mr Stoll irresponsibly made the ambassador's remarks appear sensational and shocking.

The Grand Chamber said in its decision that the issue of unclaimed assets not only involved substantial financial interests, but also had a significant moral dimension which meant that it was of interest even to the wider international community.

In assessing whether the measure taken by the Swiss authorities were necessary, it would take account of how the public interests at stake were weighed up.

Mr Stoll's articles were capable of contributing to public debate on the unclaimed assets, which were the subject of lively discussion in Switzerland at the time, and the public had an interest in publication of the articles.

It was vital to diplomatic services and the smooth functioning of international relations for diplomats to be able to exchange confidential or secret information.

But the confidentiality of diplomatic reports could not be protected at any price; in that connection, the content of the report and the potential threat posed by its publication had to be taken into account.

The disclosure then of extracts from the ambassador's report was liable to have negative repercussions on the smooth progress of the negotiations in which Switzerland was engaged, on account not just of the ambassador's remarks themselves but of the way in which Mr Stoll presented them.

The disclosure - albeit partial - of the ambassador's report was capable of undermining the climate of discretion needed for the successful conduct of diplomatic relations in general and of having negative repercussions on the negotiations being conducted by Switzerland in particular.

The Court therefore concluded that, given that they had been published at a particularly delicate juncture, Mr Stoll's articles were liable to cause considerable damage to the interests of the Swiss authorities.

On the issue of Mr Stoll's conduct, the Court took the view that, as a journalist, he could not have been unaware that disclosing the report was punishable under the Swiss Criminal Code.

It also considered that the content of his articles was clearly reductive and truncated and the vocabulary used tended to suggest that the ambassador's remarks were anti-Semitic.

Mr Stoll had, "in capricious fashion", started a rumour which had undoubtedly contributed to the ambassador's resignation and which related directly to one of the very phenomena at the root of the unclaimed assets issue, namely the atrocities committed against the Jewish community during the Second World War.

The Court reiterated the need to deal firmly with allegations and/or insinuations of that nature.

The Court noted that the way in which the impugned articles had been edited, with sensationalist headings, seemed hardly fitting for a subject as important and serious as that of the unclaimed funds. It also observed the inaccurate nature of the articles, which were liable to mislead readers.

In these circumstances, and bearing in mind that one of the articles was on the front page of a Swiss weekly newspaper with a large circulation, the Court shared the opinion of the Swiss Government and the Press Council that Mr Stoll's chief intention was not to inform the public on a topic of general interest but to make Ambassador Jagmetti's report the subject of needless scandal.

The truncated and reductive form of the articles in question, which was liable to mislead the reader as to the ambassador's personality and abilities, had considerably detracted from the importance of their contribution to the public debate protected by Article 10.

Finally, the fine imposed on Mr Stoll was not disproportionate.

There was no violation of Article 10.

Case of Stoll v Switzerland

Application No 69698/01.

European Court of Human Rights, Grand Chamber, on appeal from Chamber judgment of April 25, 2006.

Decision: December 10, 2007.

21. Tunisa

Journalist given one year jail sentence in “unfair trial” - Five months after human rights lawyer Mohamed Abbou's early release from jail, a Tunisian journalist has been sentenced to one year in prison following an unfair trial, say the Observatory for the Freedom of Press, Publishing and Creation in Tunisia (OLPEC), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and other IFEX members.

Source – IFEX 11.12.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 88580

22. Turkey

International Human Rights Day In Turkey, new IFEX member the Initiative for Freedom of Expression draws attention to how the courts are celebrating a whole week of human rights:
"by trying academics, politicians, artists, writers, publishers and
journalists for expressing their ideas.

Source – IFEX 11.12.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 88589/

23. United Arab Emirates
Freedom of expression is missing despite a decision banning imprisonment for press crimes - Despite the wise decision issued by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoom-the prime minister and Dubai's governor- not to imprison journalists in press crimes and despite the decision was welcomed widely in local and international circuits and among concerned organizations as they regarded the decision a victory for the press and the freedom of opinion and expression

Source – Arabic Network for Human Rights Information 27.11.07
http://www.hrinfo. net/en/reports/ 2007/pr1127. shtml

Symposium calls for regulation of Arab satellite television - Media specialists from across the Arab world met in Tunis Saturday (November 17th) for an international symposium on the challenges of Arab satellite broadcasting, hosted by the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ABSU).

Source – Magharebia 21.11.07
http://www.maghareb ia.com/cocoon/ awi/xhtml1/ en_GB/features/ awi/features/ 2007/11/21/ feature-02

24. UK

Censors battle for Manhunt 2 ban - British censors are seeking a judicial review to block the sale of controversial video game Manhunt 2. Last week developer Rockstar won a hearing at the Video Appeals Committee to have a ban on the title lifted.

Source – BBC 18.12.07
http://news. bbc.co.uk/ 2/hi/technology/ 7148636.stm

Ban lifted on violent video game - Banned video game Manhunt 2 is set for release in Britain after its makers won an appeal against the censors. The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) twice rejected the game earlier this year, saying it demonstrated "casual sadism" and an "unrelenting focus on stalking and brutal slaying".

Source – MSN 12.12.07
http://news. uk.msn.com/ Article.aspx? cp-documentid= 6960745

Brighton to ban ‘murder music’ in clampdown on hate artist - Brighton and Hove is to become the first British city to prohibit art that incites racist, homophobic or sectarian violence. Proposals to ban from the city’s pubs, clubs and galleries any exhibition, music or performance that provokes hatred of minorities are expected to be ratified next week as part of a review of the council’s licensing policy.

Source – The Times 6.12.07
http://entertainmen t.timesonline. co.uk/tol/ arts_and_ entertainment/ music/article300 7285.ece

Miller wins biggest payout for invasion of privacy - The Sun and The News of the World were forced to pay the actress Sienna Miller damages yesterday for publishing nude photographs taken against her will during the filming of a movie.

Source – Independent 8.12.07
http://news. independent. co.uk/uk/ legal/article323 3320.ece# 2007-12-08T00: 00:01-00: 00

Dawkins' publisher faces jail over 'atheist manifesto' – Richard Dawkins' best-selling atheist manifesto The God Delusion was at the centre of a growing row over religious tolerance yesterday after the Turkish publishers of his book were threatened with legal action by prosecutors who accuse it of 'insulting believers'.

Source – Independent 30.11.07
http://news. independent. co.uk/europe/ article3209882. ece

Press Complaints Commission criticizes staged photograph - The PCC has criticised Chat magazine for publishing a staged photograph of a murder victim in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) and Clause 5 (Intrusion into grief and shock). The picture, which showed a female body wrapped in bin liners to illustrate how the victim was found, was included in a story about a woman's relationship with the murderer. There was no caption making clear that the photo had been staged, and the victim's step-father complained that it had caused considerable distress to the family. One family member thought that the picture was genuine. The magazine accepted that the photograph should have been captioned, and sincerely regretted the distress caused to the complainant' s family.

The Commission found two breaches of the Code. First, the magazine's failure to make clear to readers that the photograph had been staged was a breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Code. Second, and of greater concern to the Commission, was the fact that the use of this misleading picture, near the anniversary of the death, showed "a total disregard for the family of the dead woman". The magazine's "cavalier approach" in this instance constituted a clear breach of both the letter and spirit of Clause 5 of the Code.
The magazine is set to publish the adjudication in a forthcoming edition. To read the full text, click here
http://www.pcc. org.uk/cases/ adjudicated. html?article= NDgyNw==

25. UN

ITU announces first global set of standards for IPTV - The International Telecommunication Union announced the first set of global standards for Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) today. The standards were built with technical contributions from leading service providers and manufacturers from the information and communication technology (ICT) sector and cement ITU’s role as the global leader in IPTV standards development.

Source – International Telecommunications Union 18.12.07 http://www.itu. int/newsroom/ press_releases/ 2007/40.html

26. Uruguay
 
New community media law gets final approval from parliament - Reporters Without Borders hails the definitive adoption of a community media law by the chamber of representatives on 12 December. The press freedom organisation has always supported this law, drafted with civil society help, and regards it as an example for the rest of Latin America, although implementation will not be easy because of the many small radio stations involved.
Source – Reporters without Borders 14.12.07
http://www.rsf. org/article. php3?id_article= 24760

27. US
St. Paul Police Subpoena Reporter's Cell Phone Records - Minneapolis St. Paul police subpoenaed the cell phone records of a KMSP-TV reporter and the phone records of a Ramsey County sheriff's department employee after the reporter obtained an arrest report that should have been public data, the station reported Tuesday night.

Source – Editor & Publisher 12.12.07
http://www.mediainf o.com/eandp/ news/article_ display.jsp? vnu_content_ id=1003684268

One in 6 jailed journalists are held without charge – One in six journalists jailed worldwide are being held without any publicly disclosed charge, many for months or years at a time and some in secret locations, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found in a new analysis.

Source – CPJ 5.12.07
http://www.cpj. org/Briefings/ 2007/imprisoned_ 07/imprisoned_ 07.html

Religious Broadcasters Love Removal of Hate-Crimes Provision – Religious broadcasters were celebrating Friday over the removal of a hate-crimes provision from the National Defense Authorization Act.The American Civil Liberties Union supported the provision, saying that it protected free-speech rights while punishing only the hateful conduct.

Source – 12.7.07
http://www.broadcas tingcable. com/article/ CA6510760. html

28. Venezeula

Newspaper will stop being published due to lack of dollars with which to buy paper - The newspaper Correo del Caroní will stop publishing its printed edition on 12 December 2007 because the company that provides it with paper cannot import it any more as it cannot pay its price in dollars. The acquisition of dollars has been restricted and controlled by the Commission for the Administration of Currencies (CADIVI), created by the government in 2003. However, the newspaper will continue to be published on the Internet.

The paper’s editor, David Natera Febres, stated to the newspaper El Universal, that the government’s prohibition of the free acquisition of dollars in order to buy paper is a political strategy against Hugo Chávez’s opponents. Correo del Caroní is critical of the government. It was founded thirty years ago in Ciudad Guayana, southern Venezuela. Natera is president of the Bloque Venezolano de Prensa, an organization that groups most of the country’s printed media.

The first time something similar happened was in 2003, when – after the currency control was implemented – paper was taken off the list of essential products. The government rejected the prohibition after the media protested.

Recommended Action:
Send an appeal requesting the president of the Commission for the Administration of Currencies (CADIVI), Lieutenant Colonel Manuel Antonio Barroso, to explain the motives for the restriction.

Appeals to:
Lieutenant Colonel Manuel Antonio Barroso
Presidente de la Comisión de Administració n de Divisas (CADIVI)
Phones: 58- 212-606.34.99 / 58-212-606.39. 95 /

E- mail: denuncias@cadivi. gob.ve
audiencias@cadivi. gob.ve
------------ --------- --------- --------- --
INSTITUTO PRENSA Y SOCIEDAD (IPYS)
Sucre N° 317, Barranco, Lima - PERÚ
Teléfono: 511- 2473308 / 247-4461 / 247-4465
Fax: 511-2473194
postmaster@ipys. org
www.ipys.org

29. Various/Useful Links
a) The European Audiovisual Observatory is seeking a potential partner http://www.obs. coe.int/about/ tender_taxlawcoo pagreement. html

b) The Editors Code of Practice Committee http://www.editorsc ode.org.uk

c) Article 19 – Freedom of Information in Latin America http://www.article1 9.org/work/ regions/latin- america/FOI/

d) Bobcatsss 2008 – Providing access to information for everyonehttp://www.bobcatss s2008.org/






e) Master’s in Public Policy, Public Administration, and Public Administration/ International Development Fellowships John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
The Kokkalis Program strives to support individuals committed to invigorating the public sector in Southeastern and East-Central Europe by providing fellowships for study at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Eligible to apply for a 2008 Kokkalis Fellowship are natives of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey who are applying for one of the following degree programs: Master in Public Policy (MPP); Master in Public Administration (MPA2); Mid-Career Master in Public Administration (MC/MPA); Master in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID).

Candidates with academic and/or professional backgrounds in one of the following fields are highly encouraged to apply: public policy and/or administration, the non-profit sector, law, economics, social sciences, or related fields. All applicants should demonstrate a strong commitment to public service and the region of Southeast Europe.

Candidates must complete both the online Kennedy School application for admission and Kokkalis
Fellowship application. For further details on the application process, prospective applicants should visit http://www.ksg. harvard.edu/ kokkalis/ fellowships. html.

Information on applying for the Kokkalis Fellowship can also be obtained at the following locations:

Ankara: The Fulbright Commission+90               312 428 4824       
Athens:The Kokkalis Foundation+30               210 610 5451       
Belgrade:U.S. Embassy, Public Affairs Office+381 11 361 9344
Bucharest:The Fulbright Commission+40 21 230 7719
Budapest:The Fulbright Commission+36 1 462 8040
Chisinau:U.S. Embassy, Public Affairs Office+373 22 408 300
Istanbul: The Fulbright Commission+90               212 244 1105       
LjubljanaU.S. Embassy, Public Affairs Office+386 1 2005500
PodgoricaU.S. Consulate+381 81 225 417
Sarajevo:U.S. Embassy, Public Affairs Office+387 33 445 700
Skopje:U.S. Embassy, Public Affairs Office+389 2 31 16 180
Sofia:The Fulbright Commission+359 2 981 8567
Tirana:U.S. Embassy, Public Affairs Office+355 4 247 285
Zagreb:U.S. Embassy, Public Affairs Office+385 1 661 2200

The Deadline for submission of the Kokkalis Fellowship application is 4 January 2008 .
Deadlines for admission to KSG vary according to the degree program. Applicants should consult the following website for details: http://www.ksg. harvard.edu/ apply/deadlines. htm

f) Experts gather to define indicators for measuring media development http://portal. unesco.org/ ci/en/ev. php-URL_ID= 25675&URL_ DO=DO_TOPIC& URL_SECTION= 201.html

g) Reuters Foundation Fellowships http://reutersinsti tute.politics. ox.ac.uk/ fellowships/ reuters_foundati on_fellowships. html

h) Guidelines for journalists covering the Kenyan Elections http://www.article1 9.org/pdfs/ tools/kenya- elections. pdf

i) IPI seeks Press Freedom Manager, Press Freedom Adviser
The International Press Institute (IPI), an international press freedom network of editors, media executives and journalists based in Vienna, Austria, is looking for a Press Freedom Manager and a Press Freedom Advisor.

The Press Freedom Manager plays a key role within the IPI management structure, including managing the work of IPI's Press Freedom Advisers. The Manager is also responsible for overseeing and developing IPI's press freedom programme, including planning IPI's missions and other advocacy/outreach activities and developing press freedom in a particular region. Applicants must have at least three years experience of managing people and projects in the field of human rights, preferably in the areas of press freedom and freedom of expression, as well as a willingness to travel.

The Press Freedom Adviser will carry out IPI's press freedom activities in a particular region. Responsibilities include: advising and reporting on press freedom issues, developing and overseeing projects and programmes in the region, and liaising with donors, local coordinators and sponsors.Applicants should hold a degree and should be able to demonstrate either
experience or in-depth knowledge of the human rights field, preferably in the area of press freedom. A willingness to travel is essential.

For both jobs, applicants should have strong written and spoken English skills at the level of a native English speaker.

To apply, send your CV and a brief covering letter explaining to David
Dadge, International Press Institute, at: ddadge(@)freemedia( .)at

j) Media activities of the Council of Europe
Activities of the Council of Europe Media and Information Society Division - December 2007

You will find below the list of activities carried out by the Media and Information Society Division in December 2007.
I would encourage you to visit our website for additional information:
www.coe.int/ media
Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
With best wishes,

December 2007

Media literacy development, organised in cooperation with the of the Council of Europe Education and Higher Education Department (DGIV)

5-7 December, Graz (Austria) LH 20763

2nd multilateral consultation meeting on the European Convention on the legal protection of services based on, or consisting of conditional access (ECCA)

10 December, Strasbourg, Council of Europe AVK 20446

Drafting, Translation into Armenian and Publication of a practical handbook on the professional media coverage of elections, organised in cooperation with Internews Armenia, in the framework of the Joint Programme between the European Commission and the Council of Europe to promote the democratic process in Ukraine and South Caucasus States

10 December FK 20575

Seminar Regulation of on-line media: boundaries of freedom and willfulness' ', organised in cooperation with Internews Ukraine, in the framework of the Joint Programme between the European Commission and the Council of Europe to promote the democratic process in Ukraine and South Caucasus States

12 December, Kyiv (Ukraine) KH 20980

Seminar on ''Ethical standards and self-regulation of media'', organised in cooperation with Miross Agency, in the framework of the Joint Initiative between the European Agency for Reconstruction and the Council of Europe to promote freedom of expression and information and freedom of the media in Serbia

17 December, Belgrade (Serbia) LD 15496

Seminar for judges on media coverage of judicial, organised in cooperation with the International Foundation "Centre for Judicial Studies", in the framework of the Joint Programme between the European Commission and the Council of Europe to promote the democratic process in Ukraine and South Caucasus States

18 December, Zaporizhia (Ukraine) LD 20793

Seminar for journalists on media coverage of judicial, organised in cooperation with the International Foundation "Centre for Judicial Studies", in the framework of the Joint Programme between the European Commission and the Council of Europe to promote the democratic process in Ukraine and South Caucasus States

19 December, Zaporizhia (Ukraine) LD 21046

Training seminar for media professionals on new formats for a citizen-based coverage of elections, organised in cooperation with Internews Ukraine, in the framework of the Joint Programme between the European Commission and the Council of Europe to promote the democratic process in Ukraine and South Caucasus States

20-21 December, Yerevan (Armenia) FK 20471

Follow-up written expertise on the revised draft Broadcasting Code for Georgia

December FK 19285

Workshop for the managers and journalists of the Public TV and Radio of Georgia in view of enhancing transparency and independence in its functions, organised in the framework of the Joint Programme between the European Commission and the Council of Europe to promote the democratic process in Ukraine and South Caucasus States

December, Tbilisi (Georgia) LD 20595

Round Table with all major stakeholders on amendments to the broadcasting law

December, Tirana (Albania) KH 19141

Expert comments on a first draft of the amended Albanian broadcasting law

December KH 19142Media & Information Society Division
Directorate General of Human Rights & Legal Affairs Council of Europe FR - 67075 Strasbourg
Fax: +33 3 88 41 27 05
http://www.coe. int/media

k) IPYS and Transparency International: Nominations are invited for Award for Investigative Journalism into Corruption Issues in Latin America
http://www.ipys. org/interprensa. php

Posted: Dec 31 2007, 16:44 (/newsletter_December_2007) [ Return to top ]


Fri, 30 Nov 2007

IMLA NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2007

 
1.       Africa
2.       Argentina
3.       Azerbaijan
4.       Balkans
5.       Bermuda
6.       China
7.       Czech Republic
8.       Dubai
9.       Egypt
10.   EU/Brussels
11.   France
12.   Germany
13.   Iraq
14.   Korea
15.   Macedonia
16.   Myanmar
17.   Netherlands
18.   New Zealand
19.   Pakistan
20.   Peru
21.   Russia
22.   Singapore
23.   Somalia
24.   Spain
25.   UK
26.   US
27.   Venezuela
28.   Various/Useful Link
 
 
1. Africa

Continent's journalists parley on media restrictions – African journalists yesterday met in Abuja to discuss strategies on the fight against governmental control and assaults on media professionals in the continent. The opening ceremony was declared open by President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua with them "Building a Strong and United Voice for African Journalists" .

Source – All Africa 13.11.07
http://allafrica. com/stories/ 200711130077. html

Continent's Journalists Parley on Media Restrictions - African journalists yesterday met in Abuja to discuss strategies on the fight against governmental control and assaults on media professionals in the continent. The opening ceremony was declared open by President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua with them "Building a Strong and United Voice for African Journalists" .

Source – All Africa 13.11.07
http://allafrica. com/stories/ 200711130077. html

2. Argentina

Manipulative government advertising undermines coverage in Argentina says CPJ - It came as no surprise that Cristina Fernández, wife of outgoing President Néstor Kirchner, was elected Argentina's president over the weekend. "News for Sale", the latest report from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), looks at one of the secrets behind her success: how her husband
rewarded "friendly" news outlets with lucrative government advertising contracts.

Source – IFEX 30.10.07
http://www.cpj. org/Briefings/ 2007/argentina_ 07/index. html

3. Azerbaijan

Editor slammed with severe sentence: 27 IFEX members support memorial for slain journalist – The editor of Azerbaijan's two largest independent papers was sent to jail for eight and a half years on terrorism and other charges, reflecting the government's increasing hostility towards free expression, say the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS), the Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch, the International Press Institute (IPI) and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF).

Source – IFEX 6.11.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 87464

Severe prison sentence for journalist violates Azerbaijan's commitment to free press, says OSCE media watchdog - The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, criticized today the eight-and-a- half year combined prison sentence handed down to an Azerbaijani journalist and newspaper publisher.

Source – OSCE 1.11.07
http://www.osce. org/item/ 27685.html

4. Balkans
 
Across the Balkans, media freedom still under constraint - If freedom of the media is a mirror of democratic processes, the region's reflection in that mirror is not so good. Most monitoring organisations confirm this. Particular examples dramatize just how unsatisfactory the situation still remains.
Source – South East European Times
http://www.setimes. com/cocoon/ setimes/xhtml/ en_GB/features/ setimes/articles /2007/10/ 29/reportage- 01
 
5. Bermuda

Court rejects media gag order in Bermuda - Bermuda's media should not be banned from reporting further extracts from a leaked police dossier about corruption at the British territory's public housing corporation, London's Privy Council ruled on Monday.

Source – Reuters 30.10.07
http://uk.reuters. com/article/ domesticNews/ idUKNAT411078200 71030?feedType= RSS&feedName= domesticNews

6. China
Yahoo! settles lawsuit brought by China journalists for abetting torture - Yahoo! Inc. agreed Tuesday to settle a lawsuit filed in US federal court alleging that the Internet giant aided and abetted human rights violations committed by the Chinese government by providing Chinese officials with information, including e-mail records and user ID numbers, that helped them to identify pro-democracy activists in violation of the Torture Victim Protection Act and the Alien Tort Statute

Source – Jurist 13.11.07
http://jurist. law.pitt. edu/paperchase/ 2007/11/yahoo- settles-lawsuit- brought-by- china.php

Yahoo! settles lawsuit brought by China journalists for abetting torture - Yahoo! Inc. agreed Tuesday to settle a lawsuit filed in US federal court alleging that the Internet giant aided and abetted human rights violations committed by the Chinese government by providing Chinese officials with information, including e-mail records and user ID numbers, that helped them to identify pro-democracy activists in violation of the Torture Victim Protection Act and the Alien Tort Statute.

Source – Jurist 13.11.07
http://jurist. law.pitt. edu/paperchase/ 2007/11/yahoo- settles-lawsuit- brought-by- china.php

Yahoo! to testify before Congress: a chance for transparency and accountability on business practices in China, says RSF - Reporters Without Borders has asked Yahoo! to take advantage of the 6 November 2007 Congress hearing to set the record straight on the company's collaboration with the Chinese authorities. Congress is investigating sworn statements Yahoo! made during a February 2006 Congress hearing regarding its role in cyberdissident Shi Tao's arrest and conviction on a charge of "illegally divulging state secrets abroad," for which he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Source – IFEX 2.11.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 87427/

7. Czech Republic

Proposed amendment of Copyright Act - Draft amendments to the Copyright Act have recently been submitted to Parliament to remedy two instances where the Czech law is not compliant with EU legislation

Source – Law Now
http://www.law- now.com/DirectMa il/{52643420-2737- 42B8-9892- 4397F45A43EF} _LNCRproposedame ndmentofCopyrigh tActNov07. htm

8. Dubai
Call for new press law to include decriminalization of all press offences - Reporters Without Borders welcomes a Dubai appeal court’s decision on 8 November to overturn the convictions of the former editor of the English-language Khaleej Times, Shimba Kassiril Ganjadahran, and one of his reporters, Mohsen Rashed, on charges of libel.

Source – Reporters Without Borders 12.11.07
http://www.rsf. org/article. php3?id_article= 24342

9. Egypt
Egypt court convicts opposition leader, journalists of libel - Two Egyptian journalists and an opposition leader have been sentenced to a month in prison after being convicted in absentia of libel, court officials said Sunday. The journalists, Anwar el-Hawari and Younes Darwish, of opposition party Al-Wafd's daily newspaper and Al-Wafd leader Mahmoud Abaza, have appealed the verdict and remain free on bail.

Source- Jurist 29.10.07
http://jurist. law.pitt. edu/paperchase/ 2007/10/egypt- court-convicts- opposition- leader.php

10. EU/Brussels

EU set to relax TV advertising rules - Parliament's culture committee has approved new rules that would allow more commercial breaks and US-style product placement in television and other audiovisual broadcasts in the EU, paving the way for their adoption by the end of the year.

Source – Euractiv.com 14.11.07
http://www.euractiv .com/en/infosoci ety/eu-set- relax-tv- advertising- rules/article- 168347

MediaLaywer summary of recent ECtHR decision - Punishing a newspaper for having printed "value judgments" which it could not prove were true was a breach of the publication' s right to freedom of expression, the European Court of Human Rights has declared.

The court was upholding a complaint under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights brought by the Moldovan newspaper Flux and Mrs Aurelia Samson, who had featured in a story it published.

The newspaper ran a story in December 2001 detailing allegations made by Mrs Z Samson about the problems her daughter Aurelia was encountering with property developments by GC, a former Construction Minister in the Moldovan government.

The ex-minister sued for defamation, although he did not specify which parts of the article were defamatory. A district court found in his favour, fining the newspaper and ordering it to pay costs.

The newspaper was involved in two appeals, both of which were rejected.

Upholding the application by the newspaper and Mrs Samson, the European Court of Human Rights noted that the newspaper was fined for being unable to prove the truth of several statements it had made.

"The applicant newspaper argued before the domestic courts that most of the statements represented value-judgments which could in principle not be proved. On appeal, it referred to several additional facts supporting, in its view, the value judgments made," it said.

"The Court notes that none of the domestic courts responded to these arguments by verifying whether any of the statements could be considered value judgments or by verifying the truth of the additional facts referred to by the applicant newspaper.

"The Court reiterates that the existence of facts can be demonstrated, whereas the truth of value judgments is not susceptible of proof. The requirement to prove the truth of a value judgment is impossible to fulfil and infringes freedom of opinion itself, which is a fundamental part of the right secured by Article 10, although opinions insufficiently based on facts can also be excessive."

A number of the published statements were value judgments - they expressed the newspaper's opinion about GC's building activities and their effects on his neighbours.

"These opinions were, moreover, based on facts which have not been shown to be untrue, some mentioned in the article itself and some referred to during the proceedings. In such circumstances, the Court considers that the newspaper could not be expected to prove the truth of its value judgments and that, moreover, its opinions were not without a factual foundation."

In addition, the Moldovan courts had not reacted to the confirmation by Mrs Samson's mother of her own statements to the newspaper.

"The Court considers that, in requiring the applicant newspaper to prove the truth of its statements, while at the same ignoring the evidence adduced to support its statements and thereby show their truthfulness, the finding of the Moldovan courts that the statement was defamatory could not be justified as necessary in a democratic society."

The European Court said it also took into account "the balanced tone of the article" - and that it was "satisfied of the newspaper's good faith and that it had acted in consonance with principles of responsible journalism", even if "resorting to 'a degree of exaggeration or even provocation' , which had to be protected".

The article also raised issues of genuine public interest - the alleged abuses of a former State official and the inability of the justice system properly to respond to such alleged abuse. It also conveyed the views of third parties while making that clear to the reader.

The judgment added: "The Court reiterates that 'punishment of a journalist for assisting in the dissemination of statements made by another person ... would seriously hamper the contribution of the press to discussion of matters of public interest and should not be envisaged unless there are particularly strong reasons for doing so'

"The Court does not see such strong reasons for interfering with the newspaper's freedom of expression in the present case, given the balanced tone of the article."

11. France
Wikipedia cleared in French defamation case - A French judge has dismissed a defamation and privacy case against Wikipedia after ruling the free online encyclopedia was not responsible for information introduced onto its Web site. The U.S.-based Wikipedia Foundation, which is behind the popular compendium, was sued by three French nationals over a Wikipedia article that said they were gay activists.

Source – Reuters 2.11.07
http://today. reuters.com/ news/articlenews .aspx?type= internetNews& storyID=2007- 11-02T163950Z_ 01_L02804862_ RTRUKOC_0_ US-FRANCE- WIKIPEDIA- COURT.xmlGeorgia
OSCE media freedom representative in Georgia to discuss TV station closure - Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, is in the Georgian capital Tbilisi today to discuss the media situation, in particular the recent closure of television station Imedi. It is a joint visit with Peter Semneby, the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus.

Source – OSCE 22.11.07
http://www.osce. org/fom/item_ 1_28222.html

12. Germany
The public broadcasting license fee and public value - On September 11, 2007, the German Constitutional Court added a new one to their long list of decisions related to television broadcasting. In a 33-page statement, the court ruled that the freedom of public service broadcasters is infringed upon as soon as politicians and governments interfere with the process of determining the price level of the mandatory license fee to be paid for Germany’s extensive public broadcasting system. This was a slap in the face of the state (Länder) governments, which the last time when the broadcasters applied for a raise, just did not follow through and cut a percentage of the demanded increase.

Source – European Journalism Centre 25.10.07
http://www.ejc. net/magazine/ article/the_ public_broadcast ing_license_ fee_and_public_ value/

13. Iraq
Iraqi stakeholders meet to discuss draft law on media and telecommunications - Iraqi broadcasters, parliamentarians and representatives of the judiciary, along with international media experts, concluded a high-level technical meeting where they discussed a draft law currently before the parliament on media and telecommunications in Iraq.

Source – UNESCO 13.11.07
http://portal. unesco.org/ ci/en/ev. php-URL_ID= 25629&URL_ DO=DO_TOPIC& URL_SECTION= 201.html
 
14. Korea

NEC silences netizens' voices – Police are investigating over 600 people who posted election-related material online as the National Election Commission (NEC) enforces the Public Official Election Law before the Dec. 19 presidential election. According to The Korea Times, the law prohibits online posts that support or oppose presidential candidates. The ban even extends to text messages.

Source – Asia Media 2.11.07
http://www.asiamedi a.ucla.edu/ article.asp? parentid= 82390

15. Macedonia
Macedonia TV accuses authorities - Skopje _ Alsat-M TV, a national broadcaster of programmes in Albanian and Macedonian, has accused the Macedonian authorities of subjecting it to various forms of pressure. In Wednesday’s statement for MakFax news agency, the television station said that the ongoing campaign was aimed at blocking its professional work as an independent broadcaster.

Source – BIRN 21.11.07
http://www.birn. eu.com/en/ 113/15/6222/

16. Myanmar
Myanmar Internet access severely limited - Internet connections in Myanmar have been severely limited, with online users restricted from accessing international websites for more than 24 hours, a government telecoms official said Friday. The apparent cut came shortly before the arrival of UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari.

Source – Inquirer 2.11.07
http://technology. inquirer. net/infotech/ infotech/ view_article. php?article_ id=98381

17. Netherlands

Dutch pedophile web site cannot show royal photos - A Dutch court has banned a Web site sympathetic to pedophiles from showing photographs of child members of the royal family, including the three-year-old heiress to the throne Princess Amalia.

Source – Reuters 1.11.07
http://www.reuters. com/article/ internetNews/ idUSL01818305200 71101

18. New Zealand

Landmark media case for Simpson Grierson permits televised ConfessionChinese ISP introduces cartoon cops – The NZ Law Newswire -Simpson Grierson Partners Willy Akel and Tracey Walker represented Television New Zealand Ltd in the landmark Supreme Court decision to allow the broadcast of a confession by Noel Clements Rogers.

Source – LawFuel 22.11.07
http://www.lawfuel. com/show- release.asp? ID=16225

Police widen media investigation - Police will now include The Dominion Post and The Press in its investigation into the leaking of suppressed documents on police raids to TV3. Deputy Commissioner Operations Rob Pope said this morning the scope of the investigation, announced on Monday, will be expanded to include The Dominion Post material.
Source – Stuff.co.nz 14.11.07
http://www.stuff. co.nz/4272905a11 .html

Police widen media investigation - Police will now include The Dominion Post and The Press in its investigation into the leaking of suppressed documents on police raids to TV3. Deputy Commissioner Operations Rob Pope said this morning the scope of the investigation, announced on Monday, will be expanded to include The Dominion Post material, and any other publication which could be considered to breach court suppression orders or potentially compromise criminal proceedings.

Source – Stuff.co.nz 14.11.07
http://www.stuff. co.nz/4272905a11 .html

19. Pakistan
A reiteration of the message circulated by IMLA member Aftab Alam from Pakistan - It has passed three days and more than 16 hours since the proclamation of emergency and complete information blackout in Pakistan . Until the evening of November 03, 2007 , there were more than 35 private Pakistani television channels and more than 90 private FM radio stations educating, informing and entertaining the people in Pakistan . All of a sudden, with the proclamation of emergency in the country, all of these channels went off-air. Since then, whole country is facing an extreme kind of information blackout and people have no independent source of information except government-run television and radio. Quite sadly, this government-run media has proved to be mere a propaganda machine of the government. Moreover, government is taking worst measures to curb independent sources of information in the shape of print and electronic media. Following links provide a brief
overview of the actions of the government against the media.

http://intermedia. org.pk/mediamirr or/im_mediamirro r.php
http://internews. org.pk/mediareso urce/inter_ mediamonitor. php
http://internews. org.pk/mediareso urce/monitor0511 07.php

The purpose of sharing this information is to see how this forum can contribute towards current efforts for freedom of expression and freedom of information in Pakistan .

Best, Aftab

Pakistan police arrest more lawyers in emergency crackdown - Pakistani police Tuesday arrested more lawyers involved in protesting President Pervez Musharraf's Saturday declaration of emergency, suspension of the constitution, and effective dismissal of Pakistan's Supreme Court. AFP reports that some 50 lawyers were arrested at the Lahore High Court a day after a larger protest there escalated into violence.

Source – Jurist 6.11.07
http://jurist. law.pitt. edu/paperchase/ 2007/11/pakistan -police-arrest- more-lawyers- in.php

Dismissed Pakistan CJ summons lawyers to 'stand up for constitution' - Dismissed Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry Tuesday urged lawyers in Pakistan to resist President Pervez Musharraf's declaration of emergency rule and "stand up for the constitution. " Speaking by telephone to a gathering of lawyers in the capital Islamabad, Chaudhry, currently under effective house arrest, said according to an AFP report, "I want lawyers to spread my message, the time for sacrifice has come".

Source – Jurist 6.11.07
http://jurist. law.pitt. edu/paperchase/ 2007/11/dismisse d-pakistan- cj-summons- lawyers.php

Musharraf muzzles media during state of emergency - President Pervez Musharraf has declared emergency rule and slammed down severe restrictions on Pakistan's news media as they try to cover the country's political crisis, report Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), ARTICLE 19, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Human Rights Watch, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF).

Source – IFEX 6.11.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 87469/
See also - http://www.ejc. net/media_ news/pakistan_ emergency_ rule_sets_ tough_curbs_ on_media/

20. Peru
Journalist accuses mayor of organizing ambush - On 11 November 2007, journalist José Ramírez, a contributor to the newspaper La Primera, reported having been ambushed in the main road of the Wari district by a group of officials of that district among who – according to Ramírez – was the mayor, Edward Vizcarrra Zorrilla. The event took place when he was returning from a commission.

The journalist stated that the vehicle in which he was riding was intercepted by two vans belonging to the Wari Council, a district of the Áncash region, northwestern Parú. Ramírez was with the driver and two friends. The aggressors followed his car while shooting into the air, until they had him cornered in an area of the highway which is surrounded by rocks.

According to Ramírez, the mayor of Wari, his councilmen Hubert Solís and Miguel Navas, three members of the council’s security force and the mayor’s bodyguards: Guillermo Santiago Figueroa and Miguel Hidalgo Aguilar (both had guns) got out of the vans. The officials approached the journalist’s vehicle and forced him and his companions out of it. Ramírez fled ant took cover in a nearby piece of land. He assured IPYS that he heard the mayor ordering his bodyguards to look for him in order to kill him and throw his body in the river. He waited until the aggressors left before walking back to the city.

The journalist is critical of the mayor’s administration and has accused him more than once of alleged acts of corruption. According to the mayor, the reporter and his companions were intercepted because they were painting messages against the region’s authorities.

Ramírez reported the event during a press conference. The local police verified the injuries suffered by his companions and is already investigating the case. IPYS facilitated the procedures so that the accusation can be seen to by the Ombudsman.

Source – IPYS 13.11.07
www.ipys.org

Radio harassed after requesting public information from council - The owner, administrator and journalists of radio station La Karibeña, in the district of La Joya, Arequipa region, reported to IPYS that they are being harassed by persons close to that district’s mayor, David Inofuentes Mamani, as a consequence of the several requests for public information made by the radio station in order to find out about the council’s expenditures.

Luque Ylaquita and the journalists Miguel Carazas and Walter Payé requested information about expenditures in municipal works, budget, personnel in sensitive positions, advisers, acquisition of services, among other things, from the council of La Joya. A written reply sent by Mayor Inofuentes indicated that in order to obtain the information they should pay S/. 20,600 (US$ 6800). This answer is an infringement of the Transparency and Access to Public Information Law.

After the incidents, Luque Ylaquita, Miguel Carazas and Walter Payé requested protection from the local government.

Recommended Action:
Request the mayor of La Joya to comply with the Transparency and Access to Public Information Law (Law 27806) and hand over the information requested by the journalists.

Recommend the governor to provide protection for journalists.

Appeals to:
David Inofuentes Mamani
Alcalde distrital de La Joya
Telefax: 51 54-492021
e-mail: municipalidaddelajo ya@hotmail. com
Address: Calle Sucre 103, La Joya.

Pedro Bolaños Montes
Gobernador de La Joya
Telephone:
51 54-214849

Source – IPYS 13.11.07
www.ipys.org

Trial against alleged material author of journalist’s murder begins - On 25 October 2007, the first hearing of the trial against Moisés Julca Orrillo, alleged murderer of journalist Antonio De La Torre Echandía, who was stabbed five times in February 2004, took place in Yungay, Áncash region, northwestern Perú.

The First Criminal Bench of the Superior Court of Justice in Áncash accepted the prosecutor’s request of subpoenaing twelve witnesses and the former mayor of Yungay, Amaro León León, who has been imprisoned for two years after having been accused of being the mastermind behind the crime and receiving a jail sentence of 17 years from the Superior Court of Áncash. The former mayor was acquitted by the First Transitory Bench of the Supreme Court in 2006. During his trial he denied knowing Julca. However, when Julca was questioned, he admitted to having a friendly relationship with the former mayor and his family.

According to investigations made by five judicial departments, León hired Julca to murder the journalist.

IPYS managed to get prosecutor Zadi Anaya to accept including the testimonies of several witnesses in the trial against Julca, including that of the former mayor, as evidence of the crime. The next hearing has been set for 7 November.

Julca Orrillo was arrested last September. He had been in hiding since the night of the murder, so his trial was confidential.

In September 2006, IPYS and Dina Ramírez, the journalist’s widow, filed an action against the Peruvian State before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), after the Supreme Court acquitted the accused, among them Amaro León, ignoring evidence that had lead to sentences of 17 years in prison in previous instances, creating a situation of impunity for the crime.

Source – IPYS 26.10.07
www.ipys.org

21. Russia
Russia casts a selective net in piracy crackdown – The newspaper Novaya Gazeta, one of the last outposts of critical journalism in Russia, suspended publication of its regional edition in the southern city of Samara on Monday after prosecutors opened a criminal case against its editor, alleging that his publication used unlicensed software.

Source – Washington Post 14.11.07
http://www.washingt onpost.com/ wp-dyn/content/ article/2007/ 11/13/AR20071113 02070.html

Prosecutors open probe into 2003 death of Moscow reporter – The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes a decision by an arm of the Russian prosecutor general to open a criminal probe into the mysterious July 2003 death of Yuri Shchekochikhin, deputy editor of the Moscow newspaper Novaya Gazeta.

Source – IFEX 30.10.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 87366/

Kremlin seeks to extend its reach in cyberspace - After ignoring the Internet for years to focus on controlling traditional media such as television and newspapers, the Kremlin and its allies are turning their attention to cyberspace, which remains a haven for critical reporting and vibrant discussion in Russia's dwindling public sphere.

Source – Washington Post – 28.2.07
http://www.washingt onpost.com/ wp-dyn/content/ article/2007/ 10/27/AR20071027 01384.html

22. Singapore
Singapore police forcibly move activists away –
The lady is Chee Soon Juan's sister. She was walking to Shangri-La Hotel where the ASEAN Summit was being held.

21.11.07Source – (contributed by George Hwang)
http://diodati. omniscientx. com/2007/ 11/21/singapore- police-forcibly- move-activists- away-from- shangri-la/
 
23. Somalia

Media legislation undercuts freedom of the press - The Somaliland Ministry of Information drafted and proposed a new media law, which undermines internationally accepted standards of freedom of expression. The new draft law increases the powers of the Ministry of Information to control the media.

Source –Garowe Online 15.11.07 http://www.garoweon line.com/ artman2/publish/ Press_Releases_ 32/Somalia_ Media_Legislatio n_Undercuts_ Freedom_of_ the_Press. shtml
 
24. Spain

Spanish court rules out jail sentences for Holocaust denial - Spain's Constitutional Court ruled Thursday that Holocaust denial will not be punishable by imprisonment, saying it falls within freedom of speech. Spanish law had mandated a sentence of up to two years in prison for Holocaust denial.

Source – Haaretz 10.11.07
http://www.haaretz. com/hasen/ spages/922334. html

25. UK
Film ads banned for glorifying guns - An ad campaign promoting the Clive Owen film Shoot 'Em Up has been banned after complaints that it glamorised guns and violence. The Advertising Standards Authority received 55 complaints about three posters promoting the film.

Source – The Guardian 21.11.07
http://www.guardian .co.uk/media/ 2007/nov/ 21/asa.advertisi ng?gusrc= rss&feed= media
NB for the adjudication go to
http://www.asa. org.uk/asa/ adjudications/ Public/TF_ ADJ_43573. htm

Hidden crime of ‘wi-fi tapping’: only 11 arrests but most of us are guilty - More than half of computer users have illegally logged on to someone else’s wi-fi connection yet only 11 people have been arrested for the crime, an investigation by The Times has found. “Wi-fi tapping” or “piggybacking” has boomed in the past few years as hackers take advantage of unsecured computers to access the internet without paying for it.

Source – The Times 15.11.07
http://technology. timesonline. co.uk/tol/ news/tech_ and_web/the_ web/article28727 26.ece

New rules ban Civil Service memoirs - Gordon Brown risks angering Whitehall mandarins by trying to prevent them publishing their memoirs after they leave the Civil Service. Sir Gus O'Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary, told the Commons public administration committee that, under new rules, copyright for any civil servant's memoirs would automatically be given to the Government.

Source – Daily Telegraph 17.11.07
http://www.telegrap h.co.uk/news/ main.jhtml? xml=/news/ 2007/11/17/ nmemoirs117. xml

PCC criticizes newspaper for identifying confidential source – The PCC has today upheld a rare complaint under Clause 14 (Confidential sources) of the Code. The complainant was a mortuary worker, who spoke to the Lancashire Telegraph about the proposed closure of Burnley's mortuary. He did so on the condition that he was not identified.

Source – Society of Editors 13.11.07
http://www.societyo feditors. co.uk/page- view.php? page_id=1& parent_page_ id=0&news_ id=317&numbertop rintfrom= 1

PCC on Scottish Mail on Sunday - The Press Complaints Commission has upheld an accuracy complaint against the Scottish Mail on Sunday. Mr Alan Bain, President of the American-Scottish Foundation ®, a charity, complained that an article had inaccurately claimed that he and the organisation were at the centre of a criminal investigation following a complaint about him to the Office of New York's Attorney General (ONYAG).

Source – Society of Editors 12.11.07
http://www.societyo feditors. co.uk/page- view.php? page_id=1& parent_page_ id=0&news_ id=312&numbertop rintfrom= 1

Channel 4 cleared over N-word row - Channel 4 has been cleared of breaching broadcasting regulations over its decision to transmit an incident in which a Big Brother contestant used a racially offensive word to describe another housemate.
Source – Guardian 5.11.07
http://www.guardian .co.uk/media/ 2007/nov/ 05/bigbrother. raceandreligion? gusrc=rss& feed=11

The day the music died - Internet law professor Michael Geist examines a legal row which could have grave implications for anyone and everyone serving an online audience.

Source – BBC 2.11.07
http://news. bbc.co.uk/ 1/hi/technology/ 7074786.stm

'High Court footage' on YouTube - Mobile phone footage apparently showing the inside of a Scottish courtroom during a case has been posted on the video-sharing website YouTube. It is said to show three youths appearing at the High Court in Glasgow earlier this year, where they later admitted beating a young man to death.

Source – BBC 30.10.07
http://news. bbc.co.uk/ 2/hi/uk_news/ scotland/ glasgow_and_ west/7068962. stm

Web weakens secrecy order over royal 'blackmail' - THE alleged royal blackmail case has exposed the difficulties the law faces in controlling the dissemination of information in a world where the media operates round the globe 24-7. A gagging order has been issued banning identification of the royal allegedly targeted by two men threatening to expose him in a sex and drugs scandal.

Source – The Scotsman 30.10.07
http://news. scotsman. com/uk.cfm? id=1728222007

CPS Decision on Baltic Exhibition Photograph - Northumbria Crown Prosecution Service has advised Northumbria Police that a photograph seized from an exhibition at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, is not an indecent image. Ms Kerrie Bell, head of CPS Northumbria’s South Unit, said: "A decision was made by the CPS in 2001 in relation to this particular photograph.

Source – Crown Prosecution Service 26.10.07
http://www.cps. gov.uk/news/ pressreleases/ 167_07.html

UK PCC Decisions

The PCC has criticised Chat magazine for publishing a staged photograph of a murder victim in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) and Clause 5 (Intrusion into grief and shock). The picture, which showed a female body wrapped in bin liners to illustrate how the victim was found, was included in a story about a woman's relationship with the murderer. There was no caption making clear that the photo had been staged, and the victim's step-father complained that it had caused considerable distress to the family. One family member thought that the picture was genuine. The magazine accepted that the photograph should have been captioned, and sincerely regretted the distress caused to the complainant' s family.
The Commission found two breaches of the Code. First, the magazine's failure to make clear to readers that the photograph had been staged was a breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Code. Second, and of greater concern to the Commission, was the fact that the use of this misleading picture, near the anniversary of the death, showed "a total disregard for the family of the dead woman". The magazine's "cavalier approach" in this instance constituted a clear breach of both the letter and spirit of Clause 5 of the Code.

The magazine is set to publish the adjudication in a forthcoming edition. To read the full text, click here
http://www.pcc. org.uk/cases/ adjudicated. html?article= NDgyNw==

The PCC has today upheld a rare complaint under Clause 14 (Confidential sources) of the Code.
The complainant was a mortuary worker, who spoke to the Lancashire Telegraph about the proposed closure of Burnley's mortuary. He did so on the condition that he was not identified. While the newspaper did not name him, it referred to him as "a worker at Burnley's mortuary". Unfortunately, there were only two workers at the mortuary – the other being the complainant' s boss – and the complainant was, therefore, effectively identified as the source of the information. He was dismissed on grounds of gross misconduct for speaking to the newspaper.
The Commission recognised that the newspaper had sought to protect the complainant by not naming him. However, the onus was on the newspaper to ensure that the form of words used to describe the complainant did not effectively identify him. Its failure to do so resulted in a breach of Clause 14 of the Code.

The critical adjudication was published in full by the newspaper. To read the text, click here
http://www.pcc. org.uk/cases/ adjudicated. html?article= NDgyNQ==

26. US
Orlando private school sues blogging parent for defamation - A private school in Orlando, Fla., claims the mother of a former student crossed the line in a critical Internet blog she wrote about her daughter's experiences there. So the New School of Orlando Inc. sued Sonjia McSween to stop her from publishing and talking about the school and force her to pay damages.
Source – Law.com 19.11.07
http://www.law. com/jsp/article. jsp?id=119546664 9352

Blogger defeats identity disclosure – A former Lawrence school board member's request for disclosure of the names of anonymous Internet critics has been rebuffed by a state judge, who ruled that the comments were protected speech.
Source – Law.com 13.11.07
http://www.law. com/jsp/article. jsp?id=119494824 0578

Federal Judge in Pa. orders abortion foe to remove alleged threats from web sitecops – A federal judge ordered an anti-abortion activist to remove Web site postings that authorities said exhorted readers to kill an abortion provider by shooting her in the head.

Source – Law.com 9.11.07
http://www.law. com/jsp/article. jsp?id=119460263 5980

TV reporter's lawyers challenge judge's contempt ruling, decorum order - A television reporter found in contempt for disregarding a court order in the criminal trial of a polygamous-sect leader wants the ruling thrown out, contending the decision violates her First Amendment rights.
Katie Baker's attorneys said the U.S.

Source – Salt Lake Tribune 5.11.07
http://www.sltrib. com/ci_7377007

Yahoo! defends China user data handover at US House hearing - Yahoo! Inc. Chief Executive Jerry Yang and General Counsel Michael Callahan Tuesday defended Yahoo's behavior in providing information to the Chinese government at a hearing before the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, saying that the company could not ask local employees in China to refuse to comply with lawful government demands even if Yahoo! disagreed with the Chinese action.

Source- Jurist 6.11.07
http://jurist. law.pitt. edu/paperchase/ 2007/11/yahoo- defends-china- user-data- handover. php

FCC Appeals Indecency Case to High Court - Comparing its dilemma to a Greek myth, lawyers for the Federal Communications Commission have formally asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court's rejection of the agency's policy on broadcast profanity.

Source – My Way 2.11.07
http://apnews. myway.com/ article/20071102 /D8SLNA6O1. html

F.T.C. member vows tighter controls of online ads – A MEMBER of the Federal Trade Commission said yesterday that the agency would be exerting a tighter grip over online advertising, partly because of increased tracking by marketing companies of people’s activity on the Internet.

Source – New York Times 2.11.07
http://www.nytimes. com/2007/ 11/02/technology /001cnd-ftc. html?_r=1& oref=slogin

27. Venezuela
Police beat up and take reporter’s cameras in march against constitutional reform - On 9 November 2007, Elvis Rivas, reporter and camera operator for TV station RCTV Internacional, and Jesús Torres, photographer for the newspaper Cambio de Siglo, were beaten up and stripped of their working equipment by the police who were repelling a march organized by students of Universidad de Los Andes (ULA), against the constitutional reform proposed by the Venezuelan government. The events took place in Mérida, southern Venezuela.

Rivas was taping a civilian and four policemen who had been wounded when an unidentified person approached him and demanded that he stop doing it. Then, three policemen beat him with their shields, took his camera and threw it onto a nearby lot of land. The reporter was able to recover it.

The reporters were both aided by firemen. They were slightly injured.

Source – IPYS 12.11.07
www.ipys.org

National assembly approves constitutional reform text that eliminates the right to information in emergency situations - On 2 November 2007, the National Assembly sanctioned the text of a proposal for a constitutional reform in which guarantees for the right to information would be eliminated if the government decreed a state of emergency. The constitutional reform will be presented to referendum on 2 December and has created a stir in the country because of its proposal for indefinite presidential re-election among other issues.

Moreover, the recent proposal contains a resolution that revokes the 2001 Organic Law on States of Emergency, which also establishes that a number of rights may not be restricted during these, among them the rights to life, to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and to information.

The conditions that decide if a state of emergency may be decreed are currently stipulated in article 337 of the Political Constitution; where it is pointed out that in such a case some guarantees established in the Constitution may be restricted temporarily, but not the right to life or to information, among others.

IPYS considers that the elimination of this right in the constitutional reform text is cause for concern, as it represents a backward movement in the country’s legal frame work regarding press freedom during states of emergency.

Source – IPYS
www.ipys.org

28. Various/Useful Links

a) HREA is calling for applications for our annual e-learning courses on Human Rights Advocacy, Human Rights Litigation, Human Rights Monitoring (in French), Introduction to Human Rights Education (in German), Monitoring Children's Rights, Rights-Based Programming and The United Nations Human Rights System , which all will be offered in the first semester of 2008.
Please note that the registration deadline for these courses is 1 December 2007. Further information about each course can be found below.

Distance Learning Programme, HREA
http://www.hrea. org/courses/

b) From EDI-GRAM Newsletter - ENDitorial: CoE - Content Regulation: Break On Through; IPR: It's Tricky - The 8th meeting of the Council of Europe (CoE) group of specialists on Human Rights in the Information Society (MC-S-IS) was held in Strasbourg on 29-30 October 2007. It was mainly dedicated to discussing draft documents on technical measures and their impact on human rights and particularly freedom of expression. Two areas were more specifically addressed: content regulation and intellectual property.
In its position of independent NGO observer to the CoE MC-S-IS, EDRI
voices its concerns when needed, including loudly by running campaigns, like the recent one against a new Recommendation failing to uphold online freedom of expression (Rec(2007)11) . In this campaign, EDRI statement was endorsed by 34 national and international NGOs, including major freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and human rights groups. However, EDRI is also fully playing its role when promoting CoE outcomes likely to become important tools for online freedom of expression defenders.

This is likely to happen very soon, provided that the draft Recommendation on measures to promote the respect for freedom of expression and information as regards technical filtering measures' and its accompanying draft "Report on the use and impact of technical filtering measures for various types of content in the online environment, with particular regard to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights" are adopted without important modifications by the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) during its next meeting, and then by the CoE Committee of ministers.

Both draft documents have been adopted during this MC-S-IS meeting. Members and observers of the MC-S-IS group discussed the documents prepared by Austria (MC-S-IS group vice-chair) and Armenia representatives, with the help of the MC-S-IS Secretariat as well as of EDRI as observer. EDRI had the opportunity to suggest many changes to both documents before their submission to the whole group, and almost all these changes were included.

As many members of the group acknowledged, this Recommendation would be the first important document breaking off the usual national, European and international rhetoric of "technical filtering panacea" to fight illegal or harmful content, in that it reintroduces the need to respect human rights standards, first and foremost freedom of expression, but also the right to privacy and other provisions of the European Convention of Human Rights, including the rule of law
principle. One member, namely Norway, insisted though on the "impression the documents gave that governments wont be allowed to any content filtering of blocking" anymore, but it was rather isolated in such position.

The final draft document recommends that CoE member States "take measures to promote the respect for freedom of expression and information as regards technical filtering measures in line with provided guidelines", as well as "to bring these guidelines to the attention of all relevant private and public sector stakeholders, in particular those who design, activate, use and monitor technical filtering measures, and civil society, so that they can contribute to their implementation. "

The draft Recommendation sets out detailed guidelines on: (I) "Using and controlling filters in order to fully exercise and enjoy the right to freedom of expression and information" , (II) "Appropriate filtering for children and young people", and (III) "Use and application of filtering systems by State actors and the private sector".

Another set of draft documents discussed at the same meeting was far from receiving the same welcome, and it is not even likely to be adopted soon, if at all. These documents are a draft "Recommendation on freedom of expression and information and intellectual property
rights in the new information and communications environment" and its accompanying draft report on emerging issues and trends in this context. The former was prepared by Switzerland representative (MC-S-IS group chair) with the help of the Secretariat, and the latter by the Secretariat and an informal working group made up of representatives from France, Malta, Norway and INSAFE/European SchoolNet observer representative.

While EDRI has not taken part in the preparation of these documents, it found the drafts submitted for discussion a very positive achievement, and expressed this position to the MC-S-IS group.

However, the documents generated an incredibly heated discussion, to the extent that some member States showed a truly blocking attitude, even trying to claim that these issues were out of the MC-S-IS group mandate, and, as if this was not enough, to question the ability of its members and observers to discuss issues dealing with intellectual property.

The strongest opponent to the documents was undoubtedly Norway, followed, though less aggressively, by Finland, France and Portugal. ENPA (European Newspaper Publishers' Association) joined this opponent group as observer.

In addition to Switzerland, Austria and Armenia advocated in favour of the draft documents, joined by EDRI, INSAFE/European SchoolNet and EBU (European Broadcasting Union) as observers.

As the MC-S-IS group chair and vice-chair clarified, these documents specifically address the protection of freedom of expression when using intellectual property digital rights management techniques, which is clearly within the group mandate, especially since a former expert group on copyright issues does not exist anymore, its mandate having been transferred to the MC-S-IS group. It was also reminded that it is the responsibility of the MC-S-IS group to address and
explore any issue within its mandate, even controversial ones.

Main contentious points relate to guidelines in view of promoting access to knowledge and education, of assisting IP right holders to self-determine how their protected works can be accessed, and of promoting innovative systems of remuneration for right holders who
want to allow their protected works to be used and/or reused.

The issue should be again on the agenda of next MC-S-IS meetings in 2008. In the mean time, the MC-S-IS group will elaborate a synthesis of main points of disagreement and report to the CDMC. One of the decisions to be made is whether this activity would lead to a CoE
Recommendation or to other, even less normative, kind of document or action (some even suggested yet another conference). In this latter case, EDRI and many other NGOs would likely have to consider this as surrender to main lobbies.

In addition to these two main discussions, the MC-S-IS group had a quick preliminary exchange of views regarding two possible future documents on understanding the freedom of expression and information with regard to the work of Internet service providers on the one hand, and of online game providers on the other hand. A third document, not yet drafted, is also foreseen on the work of social networking sites operators. A short discussion was held on their relevance, even though these documents would be a set of guidelines for concerned actors rather than normative documents intended to State members. The group agreed that, more generally speaking, web 2.0 services should be addressed in relation with the respect for human rights and human dignity. An informal working group will start preparing inputs on this issue, participants being Switzerland and France, with EDRI as observer.

Moreover, the group considered the establishment of a "standard-setting instrument which promotes a coherent pan-European level of protection for children from harmful content when using new communication technologies and services and the Internet, while ensuring freedom of expression and the free flow of information" . The general mood inclined towards the lack of relevance of such activity, especially after Austria, Armenia, and EDRI as observer strongly
warned of the difficulty, if not the impossibility, to agree on a general definition of harmful content, taking into account the diversity of cultures, values and sensibilities at the pan-European level.

Finally, the group had to consider possible new work topics, in view of the renewal of MC-S-IS terms of reference and of the suggestion of themes for the 1st European Ministerial Conference on media and new communication services, to be held in Reykjavik in May 2009 as decided
by the CDMC 5th meeting. In addition to the respect for human rights and human dignity in web2.0 that was already decided, search engines as well as the respect for privacy have been suggested by EDRI. Next regular MC-S-IS meeting is scheduled in late March 2008.

CoE MC-S-IS public website
http://www.coe. int/t/e/human_ rights/media/ 1_intergovernmen tal_co-operation /MC-S-IS

EDRI-gram: CoE to address the impact of technical measures on human rights
(12.04.2007)
http://www.edri. org/edrigram/ number5.7/ coe-human- rights

EDRI campaign on new CoE recommendation failing to uphold online
freedom of expression (10.10.2007)
http://www.edri. org/coerec200711 -signatories
CDMC 5th meeting report (12.09.2007)
http://www.coe. int/t/e/human_ rights/media/ 1_intergovernmen tal_co%2Doperati on/CDMC

c) If you are in the Oxford/London area on Monday 26th November at 4:30pm, please join us at PCMLP for a seminar given by Professor Eric Barendt, Professor of Media Law at University College London on ‘Privacy Reform’ at Seminar Room D, Manor Road Building, University of Oxford. For details please see http://pcmlp. socleg.ox. ac.uk/html/Michaelm as2007.pdf This is the last seminar in the series.

d) Council of Europe - Towards decriminalization of defamationhttp://assembly. coe.int/Main. asp?link= /Documents/ AdoptedText/ ta07/ERES1577. htm

e Viewpoint: Media freedom dented http://news. bbc.co.uk/ 1/hi/world/ europe/7092413. stm

f) CEU Professorial and CEU Visiting Research Fellowships
http://www.ceu. hu/sep/spo/ fellowships. html

g) International Law Book Facility (ILBF) – Mark Stephens has asked us to pass on these details: the ILBF collects law books that are one edition out of date from law firms across the UK. The charity then ships them off to organisations in developing countries where the books can be used by public access libraries such as in law schools, bar libraries, NGO's and the like. ILBF currently has tons of books and is actively seeking recipients - applications can be made online at the link to the charity see - http://www.ilbf. org.uk/ . Will IMLA members please let their organisations, colleagues and/or other likely candidates for recipients know about this and encourage them to apply for a delivery of books. Many thanks.

h) The 2nd Arab Free Press Forumhttp://www.wan- press.org/ tueni_award/ articles. php?id=1097

i) If you are in the Oxford/London area on Monday 19th November at 4:30pm, please join us at PCMLP for a seminar given by Professor Colin Munro, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Edinburgh on ‘Broadcasting Advertising Restrictions’ at Seminar Room D, Manor Road Building, University of Oxford. For details please see http://pcmlp. socleg.ox. ac.uk/html/ Michaelmas2007. pdf The last presentation in the series will be by Professor Barendt on 26 November.
j) Please help us promote the Price Media Law Moot Court.
For the calendar of the various activities of the Price Media Law Moot, leading up to the finals to take place in Oxford in April 2008 see: http://pricemootcou rt.socleg. ox.ac.uk/ html/timeschedul e.htm

For the registration form see: http://pricemootcou rt.socleg. ox.ac.uk/ html/registratio nform.doc For expressions of interest in participation and late registrations please contact Troels Larsen directly at PCMLP troels.larsen@ csls.ox.ac. uk

For information about the Price Moot Court see: http://pricemootcou rt.socleg. ox.ac.uk/

“Defending the media needs media defenders”

k) Oak Human Rights Fellowship Application 2008 Focus: Human Rights and Journalismhttp://www.colby. edu/academics_ cs/goldfarb/ oak/upload/ 2008_Oak_ Application. doc

l) Report of the Independent Audit into Freedom of Speech in Australia http://www.news. com.au/files/ freespeechinaust ralia.pdf

m) Internet Governance Forum To Return To Critical Internet Resources Issuehttp://www.ip- watch.org/ weblog/index. php?p=805& res=1024& print=0

n) “Introduction to Law for Journalists,” by the Brazilian Investigative Journalism Association, November 6, São Paulo.http://www.abraji. org.br/?id= 90&id_noticia= 570 (in Portuguese)

o) PCMLP Seminar Series http://pcmlp. socleg.ox. ac.uk/html/ Michaelmas2007. pdf
If you are in the Oxford/London area on Monday 12 November, please join us for the 4th. session of the Seminar Series, at 4.30 pm, seminar room D, Manor Road Building, University of Oxford:

Professor Marie McGonagle, Head of Department and Director of the LL.M. in Public Law, National University of Ireland, Galway

“Impact of AVMS Directive in Ireland”
 
p) JOB OPPORTUNITY: The Institute for Information Law (IViR) of the University of Amsterdam currently has a vacancy for an editor/research assistant specialising in European audiovisual law. http://www.ivir. nl/news/IRIS_ Coordinator_ vacancy_notice. pdf

q) The third quarterly report of the Bia Media Monitoring Deskhttp://www.bianet. org/english/ kategori/ english/102579/ third-quarterly- media-monitoring -report-full- text

r) EEC Directive – Television without Frontiers (6th Commission Report)http://eur-lex. europa.eu/ LexUriServ/ site/en/com/ 2007/com2007_ 0452en01. pdf

s) Freedom of expression watchdog Article 19 has published an investigative reporting manual for Arab journalists, available free online.
http://www.ijnet. org/Director. aspx?P=Article& ID=306839& LID=1

t) Ms Leila Mahmoud of Ryde complained to the Press Complaints Commission that an article published by the Isle of Wight County Press on 26 January 2007 headlined ‘Man attacked girlfriend's lesbian lover’ was inaccurate in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Code of Practice.http://www.pcc. org.uk/cases/ adjudicated. html?article= NDc5Mw==? oxid=3ebdb94d95e 426f4adad52a2009 8c4c8

u) International Conference on IP and the Creative Industries (see Theme 4)http://www.wipo. int/meetings/ en/2007/ip_ ind_ge/program. html
 
 
 

Posted: Nov 30 2007, 16:47 (/newsletter_November_2007) [ Return to top ]


Wed, 31 Oct 2007

IMLA NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 2007

 
 
1.       Albania
2.       Australia
3.       Bangladesh
4.       Chile
5.       Egypt
6.       EU/Brussels
7.       France
8.       India
9.       Indonesia
10.   Iran
11.   Ireland
12.   Jordan
13.   Kazakhstan
14.   Malaysia
15.   New Zealand
16.   Peru
17.   Republic of Ireland
18.   Russia
19.   Tajikistan
20.   Turkey
21.   United Arab Emirates
22.   UK
23.   US
24.   Uzbekistan
25.   Venezuela
26.   Zimbabwe
27.   Various/Useful Links
 
 
1. Albania

Regulatory authority decides to suspend TVA Albania - Apace Media Plc says it has learned that on 10 October 2007 the Albanian National Council for Radio and Television (NCRT), the regulatory body for the broadcasting sector in Albania, issued a preliminary decision to suspend the National Broadcasting Licence of the Albanian national television broadcaster, TVA - TV Arberia sh.p.k (TVA). The NCRT has at the same time issued a warning to the other Albanian national broadcaster - TV Klan.

Source – Media Network 15.10.07
http://blogs.rnw.nl/medianetwork/regulatory-authority-suspends-tva-albania

2. Australia

Telegraph, Jones could face Kovco contempt charges - High-profile 2GB radio presenter Alan Jones and Sydney's the Daily Telegraph could face contempt charges over reports on the future inquest into the death of Australian soldier Jake Kovco in Iraq. NSW coroner Mary Jerram says she is outraged by the comments and has urgently listed the matter for mention today.

Source – ABC 17.10.07
http://abc.net. au/news/stories/ 2007/10/17/ 2061776.htm? section=australi a

Telegraph, Jones could face Kovco contempt charges - High-profile 2GB radio presenter Alan Jones and Sydney's the Daily Telegraph could face contempt charges over reports on the future inquest into the death of Australian soldier Jake Kovco in Iraq. NSW coroner Mary Jerram says she is outraged by the comments and has urgently listed the matter for mention today.

Source – ABC 17.10.07
http://abc.net. au/news/stories/ 2007/10/17/ 2061776.htm? section=australi a

Telegraph, Jones could face Kovco contempt charges - High-profile 2GB radio presenter Alan Jones and Sydney's the Daily Telegraph could face contempt charges over reports on the future inquest into the death of Australian soldier Jake Kovco in Iraq. NSW coroner Mary Jerram says she is outraged by the comments and has urgently listed the matter for mention today.

Source – ABC 17.10.07
http://abc.net. au/news/stories/ 2007/10/17/ 2061776.htm? section=australi a

Libel law concerns – The Federal Government's near-uniform defamation legislation has been in place since the start of last year, and in the latest issue of Australian Journalism Review, Professor Mark Pearson gives a mixed report card on its progress.
Source – 22.9.07
http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinion/media-matters/2007/09/21/1189881771243.html

3. Bangladesh
Bangladesh arrests creator of Muhammad cartoon, suspends magazine over publication – Bangladesh suspended publication of weekly satire magazine Alpin Friday after hundreds of Bangladeshi Muslims protested the publication of a cartoon depicting a young boy and his "Muhammad cat," saying the cartoon ridiculed the Muslim prophet Muhammad. Protesters burned copies of Prothom Alo, the daily newspaper that publishes the Alpin magazine, and demanded that the cartoonist, editor and publisher be arrested.

Source – Jurist 21.9.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/09/bangladesh-arrests-creator-of-muhammad.php

4. Chile

Chilean congressional report calls for advertising law reform – The Chilean Congress last week approved the findings of a congressional investigation on government advertising practices and called on the government to reform the sector. A bipartisan investigative committee, established in June 2006, found serious shortcomings in the way government advertising is allocated among Chilean media and other beneficiaries.

Source – Open Society Justice Initiative 24.10.07
http://www.justiceinitiative.org/db/resource2?res_id=103924

Rights group condemns China Net controls - An international media rights group called on China to loosen controls on news and personal expression on the Internet, saying the country's system of censorship is an insult to the spirit of online freedom.

Source – USA Today 10.10.07
http://www.usatoday .com/tech/ news/2007- 10-10-china- net-censorship_ N.htm

5. Egypt
Thirty-four IFEX members, other organisations call for an end to imprisonment of journalists - Just last month, five editors were each sentenced to a year in jail. Cases of journalists being harassed through the courts and sent to prison have increased tremendously over the past few years. In a joint action, 41 IFEX members and other organisations call for an end to the jailing of journalists for simply expressing their critical views of the government.

Source – IFEX 11.10.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 86919/

6. EU/Brussels 

Europe rights court upholds defamation conviction of French author – The European Court of Human Rights on Monday upheld a 1999 conviction of French author Matthieu Lindon for defamation. In his book “The Trial of Jean-Marie Le Pen”, Lindon suggested that the France’s far-right National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen bore responsibility for two 1995 murders committed by supporters of his party.

Source – Jurist 22.10.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/10/europe-rights-court-upholds-defamation.php

European journalism groups unite for press freedom - Organizations in Romania and Slovenia are among those participating November 5 in Europe’s Stand Up for Journalism initiative, to urge more support and freedom for news gatherers. The European Federation of Journalists and various national organizations are planning events to mark the day.

Source – IJ Net 22.10.07
http://www.ijnet.org/Director.aspx?P=Article&ID=306827&LID=1

Commission confirms UK-list of major events to be televised free-to-air - Today the European Commission adopted a decision on the UK list of events of major importance for society to be broadcast free to air, either live or with a slight delay. The list covers international events like the Rugby World Cup Final, the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup Finals and specific national events like Cricket matches, the Grand National, the Derby, the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games.

Source – Europa 15.10.07
http://www.europa. eu/rapid/ pressReleasesAct ion.do?reference =IP/07/1493& format=HTML& aged=0&language= EN&guiLanguage= en

“Media diversity: a core element of true democracy” - Governments often complain about the mass media in their own country; they feel that their messages are distorted and unfairly criticized. True, there are media outlets which are not very serious and professional. However, this problem should not be exaggerated and is not a good excuse for draconian interventions or state control.

Source – Council of Europe 1.10.07
http://www.coe.int/t/commissioner/Viewpoints/default_en.asp

The Council of Europe adopts Guidelines on protecting freedom of expression and information in times of crisis - The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers just adopted several important documents related to the challenges freedom of expression and information face today in its 47 Member States. The Committee adopted Guidelines on protecting freedom of expression and information in times of crisis.

Source – Council of Europe 1.10.07
http://www.coe.int/t/dc/press/NoteRedac2007/20071001_cm_en.asp

Activities of the Council of Europe Media and Information Society Division - October 2007 -
You will find below the list of activities carried out by the Media and Information Society Division in October 2007. I would like to draw your attention to the following consultation:
- "Civil society and media professional organisations' views welcome on possible Article 10 monitoring mechanism", see under the Media and Information Society Division Website homepage (www.coe.int/media) Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
With best wishes,

October 2007Analytical summaries of replies by member states to two questionnaires of the MC-S-PSM group
12 September – 1 October        EC 20297

Regional Conference on converged regulatory bodies for countries in the Western Balkans, organised in the framework of the Joint Programme between the European Commission and the Council of Europe to promote the democratic process in Ukraine and South Caucasus States
1-2 October, Skopje (''the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia'')  IN 19145 Seminar on media coverage of judicial proceedings, organised in the framework of the Joint Initiative between the European Agency for Reconstruction and the Council of Europe to promote freedom of expression and information and freedom of the media in Serbia
4-5 October, Belgrade (Serbia)  LD 15500 42nd meeting of the Standing Committee on Transfrontier Television (T-TT)
8-9 October, Strasbourg, Council of Europe      AVK 18045
Seminar for members of Parliament on European standards in broadcasting regulation, organised in cooperation with the Assembly of the Republic of Albania and the European Commission
9-10 October, Strasbourg, Council of Europe    IN 19140
6th meeting of the Group of Specialists on public service media in the information society (MC-S-PSM)
11-12 October Strasbourg, Council of Europe    EC 18016
Study visit for members of the National Commission on Radio and Television to the Communications Regulatory Authority in Bosnia and Herzegovina, organised in the framework of the Joint Programme between the European Commission and the Council of Europe to promote the democratic process in Ukraine and South Caucasus States
15-19 October, Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)        FK 12768
Training workshop on monitoring capacities of the ORTT, organised in cooperation with the Hungarian regulatory authority for the broadcasting sector (ORTT)
16-17 October, Budapest (Hungary)      EC 19956
Meeting of Bureau of CDMC
18-19 October, Strasbourg, Council of Europe    JM 19815
8th meeting of the Group of Specialists on human rights in the Information Society (MC-S-IS)
29-30 October, Strasbourg, Council of Europe    LH 18013
Study visit for members and staff of the National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine to other Council of Europe member States, organised in the framework of the Joint Programme between the European Commission and the Council of Europe to promote the democratic process in Ukraine and South Caucasus States
October, Several locations in Ukraine  LD 12698
Media & Information Society Division
Directorate General of Human Rights & Legal Affairs Council of Europe FR - 67075 Strasbourg
Fax: +33 3 88 41 27 05
http://www.coe.int/media

7. France

EFJ Supports Petition for the Right to Report through News Pictures - The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the regional group of the International Federation of Journalists, today announced its support to the “Perpignan Call,” a petition in favor of the right to information through pictures and the right to publish news photographs.

Source – International Federation of Journalists 9.10.07
http://www.ifj. org/default. asp?index= 5387&Language= EN

8. India

Four journalists get jail terms for contempt of court - Reporters Without Borders voiced outrage at a New Delhi court decision today to sentence the publisher of the Mid-Day newspaper and three of his employees - two editors and a cartoonist - to four months in prison for contempt of court because they accused a former senior judge of issuing a ruling that benefited his son.

Source – 21.9.07
http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=23733

9. Indonesia

Twenty-two IFEX members condemn Supreme Court ruling against "Time Magazine - In August, the Supreme Court ordered "Time" magazine to pay former president Suharto a whopping three trillion Rupiahs (US$110 million) for a story that accused him and his family of amassing a fortune during his rule. Twenty-two IFEX members and partners expressed solidarity with "Time" to fight against the ruling.

Source – IFEX 12.10.07
http://www.ifex. org/alerts/ content/view/ full/86975/

10. Iran
Iran jails three students for insulting Islam- Iran on Tuesday handed down jail sentences of at least two years each to three students imprisoned since May on charges of insulting Islam, the Mehr news agency reported.

Source – The Daily Star 17.10.07
http://www.dailysta r.com.lb/ article.asp? edition_id= 10&categ_ id=2&article_ id=86008
 
11. Ireland

Justice Dept to create internet safety office - The Minister for Justice, Brian Lenihan, has announced he is to establish an Office for Internet Safety. The office, which will be part of the Department of Justice, will be responsible for Internet safety, awareness campaigns and monitoring Internet Service Providers.

Source – RTE 20.9.07
http://www.rte.ie/news/2007/0920/Internet.html?rss

12. Jordan

Jordan jails royal critic over e-mails - A critic of Jordan's royal family was sentenced to two years in jail on Tuesday for sending e-mails abroad that the court ruled to be carrying "false news" and harmful to the dignity of the state. The verdict against Ahmad Oweidi al-Abbadi, after a two-month trial, comes at a time that human rights groups are voicing concern about what they call an official clampdown on the media.

Source – Reuters 9.10.07 http://today. reuters.com/ news/articlenews .aspx?type= technologyNews& storyID=2007- 10-09T152238Z_ 01_L0959103_ RTRUKOC_0_ US-JORDAN- DISSENT.xml

13. Kazakhstan

Adil Soz, other NGOs issue joint statement on shortcomings of proposed media law reforms - The Ministry of Internal Affairs has initiated amendments to defamation legislation. This was surprising because defamation and insult provisions refer to cases that are based on private complaints and the police have nothing to do with them.

Source – IFEX 16.10.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 87018/

14. Malaysia 
Blogger faces contempt proceedings  - The New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd, and three others, have applied to the High Court for leave to initiate committal proceedings against blogger Ahirudin Attan - They claimed Ahirudin had allegedly committed contempt of court, as he had breached an undertaking that he had given to the court on Jan 29.

Source – New Straits Times 21.9.07 http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Friday/National/20070921085513/Article/index_html

15. New Zealand
Restrictions on satire in New Zealand - New Zealand's Parliament has voted itself far-reaching powers to control satire and ridicule of MPs in Parliament, attracting a storm of media and academic criticism. The new standing orders, voted in last month, concern the use of images of Parliamentary debates.

Source – Press Gazette 23.7.07
http://www.pressgaz ette.co.uk/ story.asp? sectioncode= 1&storycode= 38302

16. Peru
Judge Sentences newspaper’s editor, journalists and cartoonist without proving that a crime took place - On 18 September 2007, Judge Haydee Monzón, of the First Criminal Transitory Court of Lima, convicted the editor of newspaper La República, Gustavo Mohme Seminario, as well as the cartoonist Carlos Tovar Samanez “Carlín” and the journalists Ángel Páez and Edmundo Cruz, of aggravated defamation. The ruling imposes a two year suspended prison sentence and the payment of 50 thousand soles (US$ 16 thousand) in civil reparation to the accuser, Gladys Barboza Peña, a career official in the Department of the Interior.

The crime attributed to Mohme by the judge is based exclusively on his position as editor of La República, the journalists’ as signatories of the articles, and the cartoonist’s as such. The sentence never analyzes the content of the news pieces, but it does accuse the newspaper of having used the official’s image without consulting her when it published her photograph, and of insulting her through the publication of cartoons.

The information published by La República was based on public and private sources and was verified by the same accuser. the articles call into question the probity of her public activities in the Department of the Interior, and even originated her change to a position with other responsibilities.

Judge Monzón Gonzáles’s sentence infringes article 139.5 of the Constitution, which recognizes the right of every individual to be sanctioned by sentences based on proven facts and following the correct application of the law.

IPYS is especially concerned by the way in which Judge Monzón involved the newspaper’s editor, appealing only to the fact of his position, violating the absolute prohibition of involving a person without proving his fraudulent participation in events, as established by the Criminal Code currently in force.

Source – IPYS 17.10.07
www.ipys.org

17. Republic of Ireland
Journalists ordered to testify at Taoiseach payments tribunal - Two prominent Irish journalists have been ordered by the High Court to testify before a tribunal on the source of a story about payments to Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

Source – Breaking News 23.10.07
http://breakingnews.ie/ireland/mhmhmhmhsnoj/

18. Russia 

Eritrea ranked last for first time while G8 members, except Russia, recover lost ground - Eritrea has replaced North Korea in last place in an index measuring the level of press freedom in 169 countries throughout the world that is published today by Reporters Without Borders for the sixth year running.

Source – RSF 16.10.07
http://www.rsf. org/article. php3?id_article= 24019

19. Tajikistan

OSCE media freedom representative calls on Tajikistan to protect free flow of information on Internet - Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, today called on Tajikistan to bring its legislation in line with its OSCE commitments by revoking recent criminal code amendments that restrict the freedom of speech.

Source – OSCE 21.9.07
http://www.osce.org/item/26360.html

20. Thailand

Thai police ban a book on democracy - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has expressed its concern after receiving reports that police have confiscated copies of a book about Thai politics, democracy and the monarchy, written by respected and well-known social critic, Sulak Sivaraksa.

The book, entitled A quarter of a century of Thai politics: a thorn-filled path, led to Sivaraksa receiving a notice from the Special Branch Police on October 2, 2007, which cited the
out-of-date1941 Printing Law and ordered him to stop printing, selling and disseminating the book.

IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said, "Banning books and access to a variety of information sources is a clear breach of people's freedom and right to know, and reveals the kinds of restrictions imposed by the Thai government on writers and the media".

Thai police allege the material in the book "may cause unrest and degrade good morals" in Thai society. A new Printing Act does not allow police to seize books for this reason, but although the new law has been passed it is yet to be made effective.

However Sivaraksa stands by his book, and claimed, "…all I wrote was true… for three decades now, authorities have not stopped harassing citizens and even (Prime Minister) Surayud (Chulanont) once remarked that (Thai) police are like the mafia".

Sivaraksa said he will now petition the United Nations and the National Human Rights Commission and file a case in the Administrative Court to challenge the police's decision. He has had charges made against him in the past which subsequently dropped due to an international outcry.

"The IFJ supports Sivaraksa in challenging the decision to confiscate his book and calls upon Thai authorities to drop the ban and allow the book to be freely published and distributed," Park said.

"It is the role of the media to question governments and hold them accountable for their actions, and it's terrible that people like Sivaraksa are being persecuted for carrying out their professional duties."
12. Indonesia
Press Council condemns Telkom for releasing journalist's phone logs National News - September 15, 2007 - The Indonesian Press Council condemned Friday state-owned  telecommunication services provider PT Telkom for giving the text messaging records of a journalist to law enforcement official.

Source – The Jakarta Post 15.9.07
http://www.thejakartapost.com/yesterdaydetail.asp?fileid=20070915.A06
See also Bayu Wicaksono’s blog (MLAP 2007 participant) http://bayuw.blogspot.com/

21. Turkey
Conviction of assassinated journalist's son for "insulting Turkish identity" more proof Article 301 must be abolished, says OSCE media watchdog - The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, has called on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to urgently repeal Article 301 of Turkey's Penal Code, which makes it an offence to "insult Turkish identity" and which continues to target journalists with dissenting views on history.

Source – OSCE 18.10.07
http://www.osce.org/item/27419.html

Turkish court convicts son of murdered journalist for 'insulting Turkishness' - A court in Turkey [JURIST news archive] Thursday convicted Arat Dink, editor of the Armenian newspaper Agos and son of the late Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, of violating Article 301 of the Turkish penal code which bans insults against Turkish identity.

Source – Jurist 11.10.07
http://jurist. law.pitt. edu/paperchase/ 2007/10/turkish- court-convicts- son-of-murdered. php

Two sentenced for ‘insulting Turkishness’ as European Court rules against Turkey - On 11 October 2007, an Istanbul criminal court sentenced Arat Dink, editor of the Armenian-Turkish magazine "Agos", and Sarkis Serkopyan, the magazine's licence owner, to one-year suspended prison terms. They were convicted under the notorious penal code Article 301 of "insult to Turkishness" for a 2006 report in which Dink's father, Hrant Dink, had referred to the mass killings and disappearances of Armenians in Turkey around 1915 as genocide.

Source – IFEX 16.10.07
http://www.ifex. org/fr/content/ view/full/ 87032/

22. United Arab Emirates

UAE newspaper editors sign new code of ethics - A new, voluntary code of ethics in the United Arab Emirates outlines a wide variety of responsibilities for newspaper journalists in the country, according to local reports. Leading editors from Arabic- and English-language papers signed the code on October 1, the Gulf News and Khaleej Times reported.

Source – International Journalist Net 12.10.07
http://www.ijnet. org/Director. aspx?P=Article& ID=306792& LID=1

23. UK

PCC rejects complaint over Youtube train fire-bomb - The Press Complaints Commission has published its second adjudication on web video. It has rejected a complaint against the Northwich Guardian which carried a video on its website, which had originally been uploaded onto YouTube, showing youths throwing fire bombs at a freight train and setting it alight. It also published stills from the video in the newspaper itself.

Source – Press Complaints Commission http://www.pcc.org.uk/cases/adjudicated.html?article=NDc1OA?oxid=347998d386f2c9b9c5d1c99739922d0e

24. US

Author and foreign court lose battle to remove libel from US site - A US court has snubbed a ruling by a Canadian court that ordered the removal of defamatory comments from a US website. The author had also asked that his comments be removed, but the site refused to comply and the US court has supported that decision.

Source – Out Law 16.10.07
http://www.out-law.com/page-8554
NB judgment at
http://claranet.scu.edu/tempfiles/tmp34690/globalroyaltiesxcentricmtd.pdf

Proposed global privacy standard is too vague and too weak, says expert - The set of rules which Google proposed as the foundation for a global privacy standard are inadequate, a privacy law expert has said. The rules are not specific enough to operate as a global standard, said the expert.

Source – Out Law 15.10.07
http://www.out-law.com/page-8551

Companies set guidelines on copyrighted video - A coalition of major media and Internet companies Thursday issued a set of guidelines for handling copyright-protected videos on large user-generated sites such as MySpace. Conspicuously absent was Google, whose YouTube website this week rolled out its own technology to filter copyrighted videos once they've been posted.

Source –USA Today 18.10.07
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2007-10-18-copyrighted-video_N.htm

Porn typosquatter fined again by FTC - A so-called typosquatter who served pornographic advertisements on domains such as Bobthebiulder.com and teltubbies.com has been fined again by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. John Zuccarini has agreed to give up $164,000 in typosquatting revenue he is alleged to have raked in, the FTC said Tuesday in a statement.

Source – Info World 16.10.07
http://www.infoworld.com/article/07/10/16/Porn-typosquatter-fined-again-by-FTC_1.html

Crackdowns On Bloggers Increasing, Survey Finds - Government repression in some countries has shifted from journalists to bloggers, with the vitality of the Internet triggering a more focused crackdown as blogs increasingly take the place of mainstream news media, according to Lucie Morillon, Washington director of the advocacy group Reporters Without Borders.

Source – Washington Post 16.10.07
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/16/AR2007101601843.html

Judge in Jeffs case gives TV reporter community service for contempt - A 5th District Court judge found a KUTV reporter in contempt of court Wednesday for an interview she did with a potential juror during the Warren Jeffs rape trial. Judge James Shumate ruled that reporter Katie Baker violated his decorum order by interviewing a potential juror in a live broadcast during jury selection last month.

Source – Salt Lake Tribune
http://www.sltrib. com/News/ ci_7204270

US House passes reporter shield bill - The US House of representatives Tuesday voted 398-21 to pass a shield bill [HR 2102 materials] that would prevent courts from compelling reporters to disclose confidential sources. The Free Flow of Information Act of 2007 was sponsored by Mike Pence (R-Ind.) and Rick Boucher (D-Va.

Source – Jurist 16.10.07
http://jurist. law.pitt. edu/paperchase/ 2007/10/us- house-passes- reporter- shield-bill. php

Senate Judiciary Committee backs journalist shield bill – The US Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday voted 15-2 to send a federal shield bill, which would protect reporters from being compelled to disclose confidential sources, to the full Senate for consideration.

Source – Jurist 4.10.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/10/senate-judiciary-committee-backs.php

Student's first amendment rights violated? - Michigan born student Mariam Jukaku studies communications and photography at SU with the aspiration of becoming a journalist. She's also studied Media Law and thought she was well within her rights as she stood on the public sidewalk in front of the V.A. hospital, snapping photos of the American flag.

Source – News 10 Now 5.10.07
http://news10now.com/content/all_news/central_new_york/?ArID=120572&SecID=86 

25. Uzbekistan

Blogger Back Online, Trumping Lawyers - Seemingly on the ropes after a Uzbekistan billionaire' s lawyers pressured his former Web host into taking down his site, an Internet critic is back online today in an ongoing Internet slugfest that has drawn worldwide attention to the way libel issues are handled in the blog world.
Source – ABA Journal 19.10.07
http://www.abajourn al.com/weekly/ blogger_trumps_ lawyers_gets_ back_online

26. Venezuela
National assembly proposes that the executive should declare IAPA’s members as persona non grata - On 20 October 2007, the National Assembly proposed requesting President Hugo Chávez to declare the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) persona non grata in Venezuela. The statement was made by the first vice-president of Parliament, Desirée Santos Amaral, after IAPA published some conclusions on October 16, in which the government’s restrictive actions against the freedoms of the press and of expression are reported.

The text published by IAPA also states that this organization will accuse Venezuela of human rights violations, infringing citizens’ guarantees which appear in the Constitutional Reform project, the multiplication of State-run media and the arbitrary way in which concessions are assigned, as well as the attacks against journalists and the media which have taken place in that country, before the international courts. 

Source – IPYS 26.10.07
www.ipys.org

Judge orders radio station’s broadcasting equipment to be seized - On 2 October 2007, the control judge of the First Instance Civilian, Commercial and Agrarian Court, Juan Carlos Tacoa, ordered the closing down of radio station Horizonte 88.5 FM and the seizure of its broadcasting equipment, after it failed to pay for it to the L&G Corporation company. The suit was filed by the company’s owner, Jonathan Gutierrez, in 2006.

IPYS believes the judge’s ruling infringed article 97 of Venezuela's Attorney General’s Office Organic Law (LOPGR) which establishes that in cases where goods belonging to a public service are seized, the Attorney General must be notified and a 45 day term must be granted; this was not observed.

The lack of compliance with this article can lead to a fine of between 860 and 1720 American dollars for the judge.

Horizonte 88.5 has a critical position towards the National Government.

Source – IPYS 12.10.07
www.ipys.org

27. Zimbabwe

Censorship and political interference rife at state broadcaster - The chief executive officer of Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH), Henry Muradzikwa, has admitted that political interference and censorship of news reports is the order of the day at the state-controlled national broadcaster.

Source – All Africa 22.9.07
http://allafrica.com/stories/200709211025.html

28.   Various/Useful links

a) Strasbourg Judgment Article 10 ECHR
EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
674
11.10.2007
Press release issued by the Registrar

CHAMBER JUDGMENT
GLAS NADEZHDA EOOD AND ANATOLIY ELENKOV v. BULGARIA

The European Court of Human Rights has today notified in writing its Chamber judgment[1] in the case of Glas Nadezhda EOOD and Anatoliy Elenkov v. Bulgaria (application no. 14134/02).

The Court held unanimously that there had been:
a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights; and,
a violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) of the Convention.

Under Article 41 (just satisfaction) , the Court awarded the applicants 5,000 euros (EUR) in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 2,500 for costs and expenses. (The judgment is available in English and French.)

1.  Principal facts

The applicants are Glas Nadezhda EOOD, a limited liability company set up in 2000 and based in Sofia, and its only member and manager, Anatoliy Elenkov, a Bulgarian national, born in 1972 and living in Sofia. Mr Elenkov is a Christian and a member of the Protestant Church in Bulgaria.

In August 2000 Glas Nadezhda EOOD applied to the State Telecommunications Commission (the “STC”) for a licence to set up a radio station to broadcast Christian programmes in and around Sofia. On 2 November 2000 the STC refused to grant the licence. That refusal was based on a decision taken on 2 October 2000 by the National Radio and Television Committee (the “NRTC”) which found that, on the basis of the documents submitted by Glas Nadezhda EOOD, the proposed radio station would not meet its requirements to make social and business programmes or to target regional audiences. The proposals also failed to fully meet its requirements to produce original programmes, to ensure audience satisfaction and to provide the professional and technological resources required.

Glas Nadezhda EOOD brought proceedings before the Supreme Administrative Court for judicial review of the STC’s decision. It submitted in particular that the courts should first examine whether the NRTC’s decision was lawful before ruling on the STC’s decision. The NRTC had not explained why the applicants’ documents had failed to meet its requirements, in breach of the rules of procedure and the requirement that administrative decisions be reasoned. The Supreme Administrative Court dismissed that application on the ground that the STC was bound by the NRTC’s decision and could not review its lawfulness. That court could not examine the lawfulness of the NRTC’s decision either because the proceedings in question were against the STC. It could only review the NRTC’s decision in separate proceedings.

Glas Nadezhda EOOD’s ensuing application for judicial review of the NRTC’s decision was dismissed on 28 December 2002. The Supreme Administrative Court held that the NRTC had total discretion in assessing whether an application for a broadcasting licence had met certain criteria and that that discretion was not open to judicial scrutiny.

In the meantime, Mr Elenkov attempted to obtain a copy of the minutes of the NRTC’s deliberations, which were meant to be available to the public under the Access to Public Information Act 2000. Despite his requests and a court order, Mr Elenkov has not yet had access to those minutes.

2.  Procedure and composition of the Court

The application was lodged with the European Court of Human Rights on 18 October 2001.

Judgment was given by a Chamber of seven judges, composed as follows:

Peer Lorenzen (Danish), President,
Snejana Botoucharova (Bulgarian),
Karel Jungwiert (Czech),
Volodymyr Butkevych (Ukrainian),
Margarita Tsatsa-Nikolovska (citizen of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”),
Rait Maruste (Estonian),
Mark Villiger (Swiss)[2], judges,

and also Claudia Westerdiek, Section Registrar.

3.  Summary of the judgment[3]

Complaints

Relying on Articles 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion) and 10 (freedom of expression), the applicants complained that Glas Nadezhda EOOD was refused a broadcasting licence. They also complained under Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) about the ensuing judicial review proceedings.

Decision of the Court

Article 10

The Court noted that the interference with the applicants’ freedom of expression had stemmed entirely from the NRTC’s decision, which had been binding on the STC by law.

The NRTC had not held any form of public hearing and its deliberations had been kept secret, despite a court order obliging it to provide the applicants with a copy of its minutes. Furthermore, the NRTC had merely stated in its decision of 2 October 2000 that Glas Nadezhda EOOD had not or had only partially corresponded to a number of its criteria. No reasoning was given to explain why the NRTC came to that conclusion or why it had exercised its discretion to deny a broadcasting licence.

No redress had been given either for that lack of reasoning in the ensuing judicial review proceedings because it had been held that the NRTC’s discretion had not been reviewable. That, together with the NRTC’s vagueness concerning certain criteria for programmes, had denied the applicants legal protection against arbitrary interference with their freedom of expression. Indeed, guidelines adopted by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers in the broadcasting regulation domain called for open and transparent application of regulations governing licensing procedures and specifically recommended that “[a]ll decisions taken ... by the regulatory authorities ... be ... duly reasoned [and] open to review by the competent jurisdictions”.

Consequently, the Court concluded that the interference with the applicants’ freedom of expression had not been lawful and held that there had been a violation of Article 10.

Article 9

Given its findings under Article 10, the Court considered that it was not necessary to examine separately whether there had been a violation of Article 9.

Article 13

The Court found that the approach taken by the Supreme Administrative Court in the applicant’s case, which had involved refusing to interfere with the NRTC’s discretionary powers, had fallen short of Article 13 requirements, which obliged the domestic authorities to examine the substance of the Convention complaint. That meant examining whether the interference with the applicants’ rights had answered a pressing social need and had been proportionate to the legitimate aims pursued. The Court therefore held that there had been a violation of Article 13 in conjunction with Article 10.

b) How does the law on obtaining information work in Azerbaijan?http://www.mediarights.az/index.php?lngs=eng&id=8

c) Senior lecturer in law vacancy at the National University of Ireland, Galway:http://www.nuigalway.ie/news/vacancies.php?v_id=1556
attached the minutes of the September meeting of the Steering Committee.

d) Applications sought for the John Smith Fellowship Programme 2008http://www.johnsmit hmemorialtrust. org/web/site/ Programme/ how_to_apply. asp

e) Everyone's Guide to By-Passing Internet Censorship for Citizens Worldwidehttp://deibert. citizenlab. org/Circ_ guide.pdf
- OpenNet Initiative: http://opennet. net/

f) The Protection of Journalistic Sources - EC and ECHR Perspectives - Wednesday 31 October 2007 18:00 to 19:30
http://www.biicl. org/events/ view/-/id/ 208/

g) First General Assessment of Central African Media recommendationshttp://portal. unesco.org/ ci/en/ev. php-URL_ID= 25487&URL_ DO=DO_TOPIC& URL_SECTION= 201.html

h) ICNL-Cordaid Civil Liberties Prize http://www.icnl. org/prize/

i) ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe - The Representative on Freedom of the Media - 4th South Caucasus Media Conference - Media self-regulation in the South Caucasus - Towards Independent and Responsible Media
Tbilisi, 11-12 October 2007http://www.osce. org/documents/ html/pdftohtml/ 27325_en. pdf.html

j) The Seminar at PCMLP on Monday 22 October at 4.30 pm
“Cybercrime: Illegal content and communications”

Speaker: Ian Walden, Professor of Information and Communications Law and Head of the Institute of Computer and Communications Law Centre for Commercial Law Studies Queen Mary, University of London

For details about the Seminar Series hosted by PCMLP http://pcmlp. socleg.ox. ac.uk/html/ Michaelmas2007. pdf

k) Please find below an English translation of the Indonesia Supreme Court                       Judgment in Soeharto v. Time Asia Inc.

Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 10:55 AM

Subject: Judgment



Dear all,

Please find attached an English translation of the Supreme Court Judgment, prepared by Zamira Loebis which has been amended with our minor revision.

Best regards,

Lubis, Santosa & Maulana


(Emblem of the Central Jakarta District Court)

COPY JUDGMENT

THE SUPREME COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA


ISSUED BY THE CENTRAL JAKARTA DISTRICT COURT
IN
JAKARTA


NUMBER: 3215 K/PPT/2001  JO NO:338/PDT.G/1999/PN/JKT/PST.

IN A LAWSUIT BETWEEN

H.M. SOEHARTO

A G A I N S T

TIME INC. ASIA, ET AL.


Ruled by the Council of Judges: The Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia

On the date of                            :  30 - 08 – 2007

Head Judge                              :  German Hoediarto, SH.

Member Judge                          :  H. Muhammad Taufik, SH.

Member Judge                          :  M. Bahauddin Qaudry, SH.

Substitute Court Registrar          :  Budi Hapsari, SH.

This verdict consists of  :  35 (thirty five) pages



(stamped and signed by Deputy Court Registrar of the Central Jakarta District Court)
CORIANA J. SARAGIH, SH., MH.
Civil Service No: 040060848
Copy Civil Case Judgment on the level of :  Cassation

From:    The Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia  Date: August 30, 2007

Number: 3215 K/PDT/2001 Jo. No.                      338/PDT.G/1999/PN.JKT.PST.


            It is registered here:
That this notice on the content of the Judgment of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia has been notified to:
-          the Appellant in Cassation, previously Plaintiff/Appellant on September 24, 2007
-          The Cassation Defendants previously Defendants/Appeal Defendants on September 24, 2007.
 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Written pursuant to the original document on September 25, 2007

This copy judgment is issued on September 25, 2007

On behalf of the Cassation Defendants, previously Defendants/Appeal Defendants


                                                                                                Deputy Registrar
                                                                                      Central Jakarta District Court

                                                                              (stamped on duty stamp and signed by)

                                                                                    CORIANA J. Saragih, SH., MH
                                                                                    Civil Service No: 040060848


Payment Receipt at the cashier
On September 25, 2007
Typing fee        :  Rp  8,750,-
Stamp              :  Rp  6,000,- +
Total amount    :  Rp 14,760,-                                          (signature of recipient)

Note:
- Strike out the unnecessary
- Always make sure that the date and number of Judgment /Ruling, together with the 
  names written on the folder of the duplicate/photo copied of the FIRST PAGE OF THE
  JUDGMENT/RULING are the same as those on this page.
JUDGMENT
Number: 3215 K/PDT/2001
IN THE NAME OF JUSTICE FOUNDED ON THE ONE AND ALMIGHTY GOD
T H E  S U P R E M E  C O U R T
examined the civil law suit on the rank of cassation
has decided to decide as follows in the law suit of:
H.M. SOEHARTO, residing in Jl. Cendana No. 8, Central Jakarta, in this case has given the power of attorney to: JUAN FELIX TAMPUBOLON, SH., MH. et al, lawyers that have an office in Jl. Cendana No.6, Central Jakarta, based on the special power of attorney dated on April 18 2001, Cassation Appellant, previously Plaintiff/Appelant;
A g a i n s t
TIME INC. ASIA, residing in 34/K Citicorp Center, 18 Whitfield Rd, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong;
1.      DONALD MARRISON, as Editor “TIME” Magazine Asia, redising in 34/K Citicorp Center, 18 Whitfield Rd, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong;
2.      JOHN COLMEY, whose address in Jakarta is unknown
3.      DAVIT LIEBHOLD, whose address in Jakarta is unknown
4.      LISA ROSE WEAVER, residing in Jl. Sukabumi No.2, Menteng, Central Jakarta;
5.      ZAMIRA LUBIS, residing in Jl. Kencana No.31, Manggarai, South Jakarta;
6.      JASON TEDJASUKMANA, residing in Jalan Empu Sendok No.11, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta; The Cassation Defendants, previously the Defendants/Appeal Defendants;
The said Supreme Court;
Upon reading the documents concerned;
Considering that based on the said documents it turns out that the now Cassation Appellant previously the Plaintiff, has filed a suit against Cassation Defendants previously Defendants in the Central Jakarta District Court in principle on the following arguments:
that the Plaintiff is the Great General of the Indonesian National Army (Retired) and a former President of the Republic of Indonesia;
that the Defendant I to Defendant VII have carried writings and pictures about the Plaintiff in the Asian Edition of “Time” Magazine dated May 24 1999 Vol.153 No.20, starting from page 16 to page 28, particularly on the cover page, page 16, 17 and 19, of which among others, that had been written by Defendant III and Defendant IV;
that on the cover page of the “Time” Magazine, it carries “SUHARTO INC. How Indonesia’s longtime boss built a family fortune” (translated freely as: SUHARTO company “How the Indonesian leader has for a long time built a family wealth”) (evidence P-1), however, in reality, there is no such thing as Suharto Inc. and it is not true that what is referred to as Suharto Inc. (freely translated as: “Suharto Company”) exists;
that on pages 16 and 17 there is a picture of H. M. Soeharto embracing pictures of a house (evidence P-1); The picture is tendentious, it is insinuative and it creates an impression as if the Plaintiff is a greedy person, while the house is not owned by the Plaintiff, therefore it is an insult and a slander and or an act that violates the law;
that on page 16 there are words that reads “emerged that a staggering sum of money linked to Indonesia has been shifted from a bank in Switzerland to another in Austria, now considered a safer haven for hush-hush deposits” (freely translated as: “there are reports that money in an enormous amount related to Indonesia has been transferred from a bank in Switzerland to another bank in Austria, which has now been considered as a safe heaven for secretive deposits”) (evidence P-3) and it is followed by page 7 that the Plaintiff quoted as follows : “Time has learned that $9 million of Suharto money was transferred from Switzerland to a nominee bank account in Austria (freely translated as : Time has managed to find out that US $ 9 billion that Suharto has transferred from Switzerland to a certain bank account in Bank Austria”) (evidence P-4). Whereas in reality the Plaintiff has never had any money neither in Switzerland nor in Austria, moreover
transferring money from Switzerland to Austria”;
that on page 19 there are words that the Plaintiff quotes as follows: “it is very likely that none of the Suharto companies has evern paid more than 10% of its real tax obligation” (freely translated as: “It seems that none of the companies owned by Suharto has ever paid more than 10% of their tax obligation”) (evidence P-5). The Plaintiff does not have any company that can be referred to as “Suharto companies” (freely translated as” “companies of Suharto’s”), moreover the obligation to pay company tax.;   
that Defendant I to Defendant VII in their capacity as aforementioned, know and or are supposed to know, that such writing and picture are tendentious, insinuative, and provocative, nonetheless Defendant I to Defendant VII went on with writing and putting the picture;
that therefore the act that was carried out by Defendant I to Defendant VII of carrying the said writing and picture that should have been aimed in the name of public interest by giving true and objective information to the community (the world community in general and Indonesian community in particular), in reality has produced people’s reaction, particularly the people of Indonesia, which is very negative in nature for the Plaintiff. The writing and picture about the Plaintiff has clearly insulted and slandered the Plaintiff’s reputation and or is a violation of law. The Plaintiff has indeed felt harmed by act carried out by Defendant I to Defendant VII by carrying the said writing and the picture;
that the said writing and picture about the Plaintiff has caused harm to the Plaintiff, not only because the said writing and picture have led to an a misleading impression and conclusion (“misleading conclusion”) for the Indonesian people in particular and the international community in general, but it is also due to the Plaintiff’s status as mentioned on the aforementioned in item 1 of the aforementioned claim. The writing and picture about the Plaintiff as mentioned are based solely on vague sources and cannot be legally justified;
that against the writing and pictures about the Plaintiff, the Plaintiff has 2 (two) times sent summons or complaints (“warning letter”) (evidence P-6 and P-7) to Defendant I, but Defendant I could not comply with the Plaintiff’s summon;
that since Defendant I to Defendant VII could not prove the accuracy of the writing and picture that contain insult and slander against the Plaintiff’s reputation, therefore it is proven that Defendant I to Defendant VII had done an act that violates the law as it is written down in Article 1356 of the Civil Code and or had carried out slander against the Plaintiff as written down in Article 1572 of the Civil Code that has caused harm to the Defendant. To restore the Plaintiff’s reputation, therefore Defendant I to VII have to state that they regret the writing and picture and that they withdraw the said writing and picture about the Plaintiff and that they have to apologize to the Plaintiff. That the said statement must be announced through newspapers and weekly news magazines and electronic media that has national and international circulation, of which as follows:
- “Kompas” newspaper ;
- “Suara Pembaruan” newspaper ;
- “Media Indonesia” newspaper ;
- “Republika” newspaper ;
- “Suara Karya” newspaper ;
- “Time” Magazine of Asia, Europe, Atlanta (United States) 
  editions ;
- “Tempo” magazine ;
- “Forum Keadilan” magazine ;
- “Gatra” magazine ;
- “Gamma” magazine ;
- “Sinar” magazine ;
Electronic Media, which include the Televisi Republik Indonesia (TVRI), Rajawali Citra Televisi (RCTI), Surya Citra Televisi (SCTV), AnTV, and Televisi Pendidikan Indonesia (TPI) ;
Of which it has to be carried on 1 (one) full page, with which the text and designed will be decided later by the Plaintiff and to be published 3 (three) times in a row, whereas the airing has to be carried out in seven days in a row;
Above and beyond the Defendant I to Defendant VII must pay compensation to the Plaintiff jointly and severally, of which the list is as follows:
Material damages, which include:
the cost that the Plaintiff has paid, which consists of meeting cost, consultation cost, travel cost, accommodation cost, the total amount of which is Rp 280,000,000,- (two hundred and eighty million rupiah), the equivalent of US $ 40,000 (forty thousand American dollars) at the exchange rate of Rp 7,000,-/US dollar;
non-material damages that the Plaintiff suffers, among others is the difficulty in restoring the honor and reputation and people’s trust on the Plaintiff. Considering the status, position and dignity and prestige of the Plaintiff as aforementioned on item 1 of this law suit, and the status and capacity of the Defendant I as a magazine of an international scale, the Plaintiff therefore demands a compensation in the amount of Rp 189 trillion (one hundred and eighty trillion rupiah), the equivalent of $ 27 billion (twenty seven billion American dollar) at the exchange rate of Rp 7000,-/US dollar. Should the demand for the compensation be granted, it will be given to the Country to be used in the interest of the Indonesian people and nation to alleviate poverty;
            that based on the aforementioned matters the Plaintiff requests the Central Jakarta District Court to grant verdicts as follows:
1.      To accept all of the Plaintiff’s claim;
2.      To declare that Defendant I to Defendant VII have done slander and or acted in violation of law;
3.      To order Defendant I to Defendant VII to restore the dignity and reoutation e of the Plaintiff by declaring that they regret and withdraw the writing and picture of the Plaintiff that they have carried, apologize through print media, which include newspapers and weekly magazines with national and international circulation, which consist of : “Kompas” newspaper, “Suara Pembaruan” newspaper, “Media Indonesia” newspaper,  “Republika”newspaper, “Suara Karya” newspaper, “Time” Magazine of Asia, Europe, Atlanta (United States) editions, “Tempo” magazine, “Forum Keadilan” magazine, “Gatra” magazine, “Gamma” magazine, “Sinar” magazine; with the size of one full page with text and design decided by the Plaintiff later and to be published 3 (three) times in  a  row, whereas the airing in media electronics has to be carried in 7 (seven) consecutive days on: Electronic Media, such as: the Televisi Republik
Indonesia (TVRI), Rajawali Citra Televisi (RCTI), Surya Citra Televisi (SCTV), AnTV, and Televisi Pendidikan Indonesia (TPI);
4.      To order Defendant I to Defendant VII to pay compensation jointly and severally to the Plaintiff, which include:
Material damages in the amount of Rp 280,000,000,- (two hundred and eighty American dollars), the equivalent of US $ 40,000 (forty thousand American dollar) at the exchange rate of Rp 7,000,-/US dollar;
and
non-material damages in the amount of Rp 189 trillion (one hundred and eighty trillion rupiah), the equivalent of US $ 27 billion that has to be paid by Defendant I to Defendant VII jointly and severally to the Plaintiff all at once;
5.      To declare that the judgment in this lawsuit can be executed in spite of objection, appeal or cassation;
6.      To order Defendant I to Defendant VII to pay the cost engendered by the lawsuit;
O r :
To give a fair and wise judgment by the court ;
      Considering, that against the lawsuit, the Defendants had brought
forth an exception of which in principle based on the following arguments:
The Plaintiff’s Claim is Premature :
1.                          That because feeling that his reputation has been slandered and himself insulted by the writing in Asian Edition Time Magazine dated May 24 1999 with a cover story of the said “Suharto Inc”, the Plaintiff had therefore reported the Time Magazine party to the Republic of Indonesia Police Headquarters to be further investigated and be claimed based on its criminal aspect (evidence T.4a,b);
2.                          That since the criminal law suit had been registered at the Central Jakarta District Court by the Plaintiff, the Plaintiff’s said report of crime to the Police has never been brought to trial, moreover be decided by a criminal Judge;
3.                          That therefore whether the content of the May 24 1999 edition of Time Magazine with the “Suharto Inc.” cover story is indeed a slander against the Plaintiff (quod non), consequently the Civil Judge that examined and presided over the a quo civil lawsuit has yet to wait for the judgment by the criminal Judge that has already had a verdict by judgment in relation with the Plaintiff’s report of crime to the Police Headquarters’
In this case, Article 29 of the AB (Algemene Bepalingen van wetgeving voor Indonesia – The General Rule of Legislation for Indonesian) that reads “While undergoing a process of criminal claim, an indemnification civil lawsuit that is being handled by a civil Judge, is to be postponed, without cutting down the means of prevention permitted by the laws;
4.                          That therefore the Plaintiff’s complaint against the Defendants in this lawsuit under the argument that the content of the May 24 1999 edition of Time Magazine with the cover story of “Suharto Inc.” harms the reputation of and is a slander against the Plaintiff is premature (too early), that its timing is not right since until now there has yet to be a verdict by judgment by a criminal judge (inkract van gewijsde) that declares the Defendants have committed a crime of slander against the Plaintiff or has committed a crime of defamation;
In addition to the argument based on Article 29 of AB as aforementioned, Article 1372 of the Civil Code also stipulates the presence of a criminal verdict by judgment, that reads in the Article as follows, “a criminal claim about slander is aimed at getting a compensation”’
That therefore, by law, the indemnification claim in a civil lawsuit based on slander cannot be brought to court and cannot continue before there is a verdict by judgment by a criminal Judge, that declares that a crime of slander has been committed as stipulated in Chapter XVI Article 310 and so forth of the Criminal Code, as a perfect evidence and argument in order to bring forth a slander in a civil lawsuit;
Therefore, the Plaintiff’s claim for compensation from the Defendants due to that the Defendants have committed slander is premature and too early, considering that to date there has yet to be a verdict by judgment by a Criminal Judge that rules that the Defendants have committed a crime of slander;
5.                          That as it is has been known, the Interim Attorney General Ismudjoko, SH. has announced that the investigation of the case of H.M. Suharto in regards of the foundations has been terminated. It should be noted that the termination of the investigation of the case of H.M. Soeharto, which is pursuant to the mandate of the TAP MPR (Stipulation of the People’s Consultative Council) No. XI/MPR/1998 on the “Implementation of a State that is Clean, Free of Corruption, Collusion and Nepotism”, has been stopped. The Chairman of the MPR, Prof. Dr. Amien Rais, has even announced to the Mass Media, that a TAP MPR on the settlement of H.M. Soeharto’s case would also been issued. Which means, the case involving the Plaintiff cannot be deemed as over;
6.                          That therefore, prior to the presence of:
6.1.    A verdict by judgment on the Plaintiff’s claim/report against Time Magazine to the Indonesian Police in regard of the content of the said May 24 1999 Time Magazine Asian edition with the “Suharto Inc.” cover story;
6.2.    A verdict by judgment against the Plaintiff in relation with the investigation that has been carried out by the Government/Attorney General of the Republic of Indonesia against former President H.M. Soeharto, pursuant to the mandate of said TAP MPR No.XI/MPR/1998:
accordingly it is premature to make a judicial conclusion that the content of the publication of the May 24 1999 Time Magazine Asia edition with the cover story of “Suharto Inc.” is not true, moreover to make a judicial conclusion that the content of the said news is aimed as a defamation and slander of the reputation or an act of violation of law against the Plaintiff;
7.                          That therefore if the Court goes as far as forcing itself to accept
and comply with the Plaintiff’s claim, which is premature in nature, thus certainly a Court verdict of which the arguments are premature and the ruling is premature and in contradiction between one and another;
8.                          That since the Plaintiff’s claim was brought forward before there is a criminal court judgment pursuant to the Plaintiff’s report to the Police, thus the premature claim has to be declared unacceptable in the name of law.
The parties in the lawsuit is incomplete :
1.      That the way “SUHARTO INC” is written as the headline on the cover page and “THE FAMILY FIRM” on page 16 in relation with the whole content of the May 24 1999 Time Magazine article, has fully complied with the universal principles and standards of journalistic news and writing, which is adopted in the Journalistic Code of Ethics of Indonesian Journalist, in which on Article 9 it stipulates that “Indonesian journalists write a title that reflects the content of the news”;
2.      That if the Plaintiff read the whole of the said news carefully, accurately and in its entirety, thus this civil lawsuit should have never taken place, since it has fully complied with the universal code of ethics. The use of the headline “SUHARTO INC.” and “THE FAMILY FIRM” reflects the whole content of the news in its entirety of the May 24 1999 Time Magazine Asia edition, where the said use of words does not only relate with the family of the Plaintiff (H.M. Soeharto) and the people who are close to the Plaintiff, as can be read in pages: 18, 10, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28 of the May 24 1999 Time Magazine Asia edition;
3.      That if the Plaintiff had carefully and accurately read the May 24 1999 Time Magazine Asia edition as a whole, thus it should be clearly read that what has been written by Time Magazine about “SUHARTO INC” is what has been interchangeably mentioned as “the Suharto family” (paragraph 3), “the former first family”, (paragraph 4), “Suharto and his six children” (paragraph 6), “Soeharto family companies” (paragraph 19), “the family” (paragraph 21), the Soeharto children’s interests (paragraph 31), “the family property” (paragraph 35), and “the family business” (paragraph 35);
4.      That therefore, the Plaintiff’s understanding that the news in the May 24 1999 Time Magazine Asia edition involved only the Plaintiff, as can be read through the arguments and basis of the Plaintiff’s lawsuit, not only that it is not consistent with the reality and truth, but it is also leads to a complete mistake in understanding;
5.      That considering that the whole content of the news does not only relate to the Plaintiff (H.M. Soeharto) in person, but relates also with the other parties mentioned in the news, therefore, if the Plaintiff has an objection to the content of the news, the Plaintiff should have also included the other parties mentioned in the news published in the May 24 1999 Time Magazine Asia edition as the parties involved in the lawsuit, which is as Defendant or at the least as interested Defendants. The fact that there has been no initiative from the said parties to file a lawsuit, therefore it can be understood that they are silently in agreement with the truth of the May 24 1999 Time Magazine Asian edition. Thus, since those parties have not been involved as parties in this lawsuit, therefore the Plaintiff’s claim lacks necessary parties (exception plurium litis consortium);
6.      That besides the aforementioned arguments, H.M. Soeharto is not qualified as a Plaintiff, because if it is true that the news in the May 24 1999 Time Magazine Asian edition is a violation of law or a slander (quod non), therefore the parties mentioned in the said news will have had filed the same lawsuit, thus they have silently agreed with the truth of the news. Thus, in this lawsuit H.M. Soeharto is not qualified as a Plaintiff.
7.      That based on the aforementioned arguments, the Defendants thereof appeal that the Central Jakarta District Court reject the Plaintiff’s claim or at the least declare that the claim is unacceptable (niet onvankelijk verklaard – unaccepted statement), because there is a concern that against the same problem/law suit there should arise repeated lawsuit brought forth by the aforementioned other parties mentioned in the article, which may cause:
- A legal uncertainty in Indonesia;
- An inconsistency and lack of uniformity in court judgments in
Indonesia on the same problem/lawsuit;
- It is a violation of the foundation and principles of judicial administration, which is the principle of “simple, immediate, and low-cost judicial administration”, as stipulated in the Law No. 14/1970 on the Principle Provisions of Judge Authority and its Amendment and Addendum;
            Considering that upon the lawsuit the Central Jakarta District  Court has made a provisional judgment, which is the judgment No. 338/PDT.G/1999/PN.JKT.PST. dated November 9 1999, of which the ruling is as follows:
In the Exception:
1.      Reject the Defendants’ exception insofar as regarding the exception on the authority to preside over the case;
2.      Declare that the Central Jakarta District Court has the authority to hear and preside over the law suit between the Plaintiff and the Defendants;
3.      Order the parties involved to continue the court hearing on the lawsuit;
4.      Postpone the payment of the lawsuit cost until the verdict has been made;
Considering that upon the lawsuit the Central Jakarta District Court has made a judgment, which is judgment No. 338/PDT.G/1999/ PN.JKT.PST. dated June 6 2000, of which the ruling is as follows:
IN THE EXCEPTION:
- Reject the Defendants’ exception:
IN THE LAWSUIT:
- Reject all of the Plaintiff’s claims;
- Order the Plaintiff to pay the lawsuit cost in the amount of Rp 5,029,000,- (five million and twenty nine thousand rupiah);
            Considering that in the appeal level of the Plaintiff/Appellant it has been strengthened by the Jakarta High Court with the judgment No. 551/PDT/2000/PT.DKI. dated March 16 2001;
            That after this final judgment was made known to the Plaintiff/Appellant on April 12 2001 then upon the judgment, the Plaintiff/Appellant, through his attorneys, pursuant to a special power of attorney dated April 18 2001, has verbally appealed for a cassation on April 24 2001 as registered in the cassation request deed No. 63/SRT.PDT.KAS/2001/PN.JKT. PST.jo No. 338/Pdt.G./1999/PT.Jkt.Pst. which has been produced by the Central Jakarta District Court Registrar, the request of which was followed by a Memory of Cassation that contains arguments that was received by the Central Jakarta Court Registration on May 3 2001;
            That furthermore the Defendants/Appeal Defendants had been informed on May 15 about the memory of cassation from the Plaintiff/Appellant, which had been received by the Central Jakarta District Court on May 18 2001.
            Considering that the request for cassation a quo including the arguments had been informed to the opposing party, thus it has been carefully brought up within a time frame and means that are stipulated by the laws, thus the cassation appeal can be formally accepted;
            Considering that the arguments brought forward by the Cassation Apellant in the memory of cassation, of which the main points are as follows:
1.      That judex facti has been wrong in implementing the law in its court proceedings or has failed to fulfill the requirements that are obliged by the laws;
The Cassation Appellant did not agree with the consideration in judgment by the Jakarta High Court that only took over the judgment by the Central Jakarta District Court to be used as its own judgment, while the Jakarta High Court did not by any means provide the basis and argument to take over the consideration, as the consideration on page 5 of the Jakarta High Court judgment, which states:
“Considering that after the High Court carefully examined the documents concerning the dossier of the lawsuit, which consist of the transcript of the District Court proceedings, letters of evidence and other letters that had been brought forth by the two parties involved in the lawsuit, the formal duplicate of the Central Jakarta District Court judgment on June 6 2000 Number: 338/Pdt.G/1999/PN.JKT.PST., and putting into consideration the memory of appeal that had been brought forth by the attorneys of the Appellant, formerly known as the Plaintiff, and the memory of the counter appeal of the Defendants, the High Court is in the opinion that the judgment by the Judge of the first degree is based on accurate grounds and considerations and is right according to the law, therefore it is taken over by the High Court to become its own consideration in making a judgment on this lawsuit”;
That the Jakarta High Court as such is insufficient and should accordingly be annulled.
Such opinion complies with the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia over other civil lawsuits;
The Cassation Appellant is in agreement with the judgment by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia No. 638 K/Sip/1969 dated July 22 1970 that stated:
“Judgments made by District Court and High Court that have been insufficiently motivated (“onvoldoende gemotiveerd”) have to be annulled, in this case the District Court whose judgment is strengthen by the High Court after deliberating witnesses, evidences that have been submitted, continues to decide “that for that reason the Plaintiff’s claim could be partly accepted” with no evaluation whatsoever on the counter evidence presented by the original Defendants party”;
In addition, also through the judgment by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia No. 9 K/Sip/1972, dated August 1972 that stated:
“High Court Consideration that only agrees on and turns into its own the matters put forward by the Appellant in his memory of appeal, such as if the High Court is in agreement with the judgment by the District Court, is insufficient;
From the High Court’s detailed considerations, the Supreme Court has to comprehend the judgments that have been made by the District Court that are deemed erroneous by the High Court;
(Summary of the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia II: Civil Law and Civil Procedure, number XIV.6. pages 237 and 238);
Therefore, the judgment by Jakarta High Court No.551/ PDT/2000/PT.DKI. that simply took over the judgment by Central Jakarta District Court No. 338/Pdt.G/1999/PN.JKT.PST. dated June 6 2000, without providing grounds and reasons for the taking over of the said Central Jakarta District Court, is insufficient and should accordingly be annulled;
That the Central Jakarta District Court judgment No. 338/Pdt.G/1999/ PN.JKT.PST. dated June 6 2000 does not include allegations, is in contradiction with Article 184 verse 1 of the HIR;
That judex facti has not had complied with the provisions of court proceeding or procedure as stipulated by the laws, at the least stipulation on judicial procedure law;
The Central Jakarta District Court judgment No. 338/Pdt.G/1999/ PN.JKT.PST. dated June 6 2000 has been made not complying with the stipulation on Aricle 184 verse (1) of the HIR that obligates (imperative in nature) the inclusion of claim in a court judgment. In actual fact, the judgment is judex facti proven to be not including the Plaintiff’s/Appellant’s claim, which means that the a quo court judgment, which has substantially made in contradiction with the laws, is annulled and does not have any legal force;
It has become a constant and fixed jurisprudence that a court judgment that does not include the allegations is annulled and in contradiction with Article 184 verse (1) of the HIR;
The Supreme Court of THE Republic of Indonesia Number: 312 K/ Sip/1974 dated August 19 1975 states that:
A District Court judgment that involves that the facts of the case have not bee arranged properly, which is:
1. It does not include the allegations;
2. It does not the Defendants’ reply, whereas the reply has in turn included a reconvention;
Such matters of which are contradictory to the stipulations in Article 184 verse (1) of the HIR;
(Summary of the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia II: Civil Law and Civil Procedure, number XIV.6. pages 237);
In this lawsuit, the imperative obligation to ad in the Plaintiff’s/ Appellant’s claim is not included in the a quo judgment, the consequence of which blurs the main point of the dispute of the real facts of the case. The a quo judgment simply includes a response in the form of the Defendants’/Appeal Defendants’ exception, therefore the  a quo Central Jakarta District Court judgment is in contradiction to Article 184 verse (1) of the HIR and can be deemed as annulled;
Considering that a violation of rules of order in the examination on the degree of appeal, thus in the matter that the High Court Judgment has been annulled, the Supreme Court has the capacity to judge the lawsuit by itself, both in terms of the application of the law and in he assessment of the result of the verification, as considered based on the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia judgment No. 981 K/Sip/ 1972 dated October 31 1974, which is as follows:
“In the case that a High Court judgment is annulled, the Supreme Court judges the lawsuit by itself, both in terms of the application of the laws and in the assessment of the result of the verification of the evidence:;
(Summary of the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia II: Civil Law and Civil Procedure, page 257);
2.      That judex facti  the law on “slander” (Article 1372 of the Civil Code) has been inappropriately applied;
That the Cassation Appellant is not in agreement with the Jakarta High Court judgment that takes over the a quo Central Jakarta District Court judgment;
The main point of the law suit is whether or not there is a violation of law, in this case “slander” (Article 1372 of the Civil Code), that has been committed by the Cassation Defendants against the Cassation Appellant about the writing and picture that is tendentious, insinuative, and provocative in nature, which is:
a.      “SUHARTO INC. How Indonesia’s longtime boss built a family fortune”
(free translation” SUHARTO company “How the Leader of Indonesia for a long time develops his family’s wealth”);
b.      The picture of the Appellant embracing, among others, a picture of a house;
c.      “emerged that a staggering sum of money linked to Indonesia has been shifted from a bank in Switzerland to another in Austria, now considered a safer haven for hush-hush deposits” (freely translated as: “there are reports that money in an enormous amount related to Indonesia has been transferred from a bank in Switzerland to another bank in Austria, which has now been considered as a safe heaven for secretive deposits”);
d.      “Time has learned that $9 million of Suharto money was transferred from Switzerland to a nominee bank account in Austria (freely translated as : Time has managed to find out that US $ 9 billion that Suharto has transferred from Switzerland to a certain bank account in Bank Austria”);
e.      “it is very likely that none of the Suharto companies has evern paid more than 10% of its real tax obligation” (freely translated as: “It seems that none of the companies owned by Suharto has ever paid more than 10% of their tax obligation”);
3.      That judex facti has inappropriately applied the law on the meaning of “Slander” (Article 1372 of the Civil Code) which was only taking into consideration the accounts by experts. That the judex facti consideration in the judgment to reject the Cassation Appellant’s formerly Plaintiff’s/Appellant’s based on the a quo accounts, for the reason that the Appellant raised an objection based on the following grounds:
a.        The account by expert witnesses: Prof. Dr. Andi Abdul Muis, SH., Goenawan Mohammad, and Sabam P. Siagian, should have been limited only to give a testimony based on each of their expertise, and not on the law or the facts of the lawsuit, moreover to give an opinion on what has been disputed as has been elucidated on number 2 letter a to e of the memory of cassation;
b.      However, based on the facts in the court hearings, the expert witnesses’ testimonies are in actuality directly touch the “law”, particularly in the subject of whether or not it is proven that a “slander” has occurred, and facts that the expert witnesses are not qualified to give opinion on the cover of “TIME” magazine (page 69 of the a quo Central Jakarta District Court judgment) and conclude that the picture is within the limit of decency (page 70 of the a quo Central Jakarta District Court) and carries on to be concluded to be not a slander;
4.      That the Cassation Appellant does not agree with the consideration of the Jakarta High Court judgment which takes over the a quo Central Jakarta District Court judgment in regards of the basis of the claim (main point of the dispute) on the aforementioned item 2 (a) and (b) that makes a conclusion that the writing and picture does not breach decency merely based on the experts’ testimony;
Considering that from the testimonies by the three expert witnesses on the said accounts the Court can accept it, it can be concluded that the cover picture of the May 24 1999 Time magazine Asian edition cannot be qualified as slander (belediging, defamation) against the Plaintiff”;
Considering that the use of the word “Inc.” at the end of the Plaintiff’s name (Suharto) cannot be qualified as “slander”;
Furthermore the Central Jakarta District Court gives a consideration (referring to a quo Central Jakarta District Court judgment page 74);
“Considering, that as argued by the Defendants in their reply, that the picture of the house originates from picture-taking, which is a photograph of a house owned by one of the Plaintiff’s family members, according to the Court’s opinion, there is no legal grounds to declare the picture as “deliberately defames the Plaintiff”;
5.      That before the Cassation Appellant gives grounds of objection on
the unproven fact of the element of “intentionally defame the Plaintiff”, it should be emphasized the issues in relation to the house that is in 8 Winning Road London No. 2, in Great Britain. Based on the facts deliberated in the court hearings, neither the evidences from the expert witnesses nor the correspondences, not a single one of the tools of evidence is able to prove that the house in 8 Winning Road London No. 2, in Great Britain is owned by the Cassation Appellant, moreover owned by a family member of the Cassation Appellant.
Even if it is owned by a family member of the Cassation Appellant, quod non (whereas it is not), thus the reason is not accurate since by law a Cassation Appellant’s property does not have any relation with the property of the family member of the Cassation Appellant. In addition, the Cassation Appellant has refuted all of the Defendants’ arguments as contained in the counter plea. Even if there is a stance of not refuting some argument, it doesn’t mean that the Cassation Appellant agrees with the Defendants’ argument;
6.      That the Cassation Appellant does not agree with the considerations of the a quo judgment on item (a) and (b) of the aforementioned main point of the dispute for the reason that the Cassation Defendants cannot prove the truth of the writing and picture that contains defamation as mentioned in this item 7. If it is true that the Cassation Defendants do not have any intention (opzet) or at the least do not mean (culpa) to carry out defamation against the Cassation Appellant, however, based on knowledge, awareness and intelligence that the Cassation Appellants posses, thus the Cassation Appellant should have been aware about the consequences that may come out from the said writing and picture;
That once again the Cassation Appellant emphasizes, if judex facti is believe that there is a relevance between Article 1372 of the Civil Code and Article 310 of the Criminal Code (page 66 of the Court judgment) or “smaad” (slander), as it is with Article 310 verse (1) and (2) of the Criminal Code, where there are words that contain element of offence, such as “intentionally” in front of the words “attack honor or reputation of others”;
The Cassation Appellant is aware that the Cassation Appellants’ stereotypical and repeated defense arguments is that the Cassation Appellants don’t have “an intention” or don’t “intentionally” do slander, which looks as if is to prevent the occurrence of a “plan” (“opzet”) as one of the elements of Article 310 of the Criminal Code, which according to the Cassation Defendants is in accord with the elements of Article 1372 of the Civil Code;
7.      That the Cassation Appellant realizes that the Cassation Defendants’ argument that will not give defense argument as though the Cassation Defendants’ action only comply with the element of “culpa”, not “opzet”, for the reason that the doctrine and jurisprudence that has been developed validate that it is not “animus injuriandi” that is required by Article 310 of the Criminal Code jo. Article 1372 of the Civil Code, instead, sufficient awareness, knowledge or understanding of the Defendants that their statement is objective, which will cause and attack a person’s honor or reputation, in casu the Cassation Appellant. Thus, it is not that the main objective to slander or that there is a deliberate intent to slander a person that is the condition for a punishable crime and the understanding about the consequence that is caused by the statement (written and oral) that has been made. The criteria or measurement to use to establish
whether or not there is “slander” is by using the Objective Criteria, which is by not making an issue about whether or not there is an element of “culpa” or “opzet”, but it is sufficient that there are awareness, knowledge or understanding by the Cassation Defendants that their statement (which is done in writing) will cause damage to and attack the honor and reputation of a person, in this case the Cassation Appellant. The judex facti consideration is only based on subjective criteria, which is obtained from the expert witnesses, who are in actuality cannot decide whether or not a statement (written or oral) has or has not attacked a person’s dignity or reputation. Subjective criteria   cannot by any means decide whether or not a writing and picture can be declared to have or have not attacked a person’s dignity and honor, neither can it be used as an objective measurement to decide on whether or not there is “defamation” vide
Article 1372 of the Civil Code, it is only based on this Subjective Criteria, which that is a development from the materiele belediging (material offence), and at the same time it is an acknowledgement of a breach of the boundaries of decency that prevails within the society or materiele wederechtelijkbeid (materially unlawful)(in criminal law) and onrechtmatige daad (unlawfulness/doing an injustice)(in civil law). The writing and picture carried by the Cassation Defendants is broadly onrechtmatige daad (unlawfulness/doing an injustice)(in civil law) and has gone beyond the limits needed to reach the objective and goal of in the name public interest, at which point offends the feeling and honor and the private life of the Cassation Appellant or can be deemed as a violation against the prevailing principles of decency. This is in accord with the earlier part of the judgment that considers that the measurement that will be used in considering this case is
the conditions stipulated in the Hoge Raad judgment in 1919 (Cohen Lindenbaum arrest). One of the objective criteria of the law offense action is that whether or not the Defendants’ action goes against decorum, decency, prudence, that one has to put into consideration against another in living in a society;
This objective criteria is in line with the convention on the freedom of information that states that freedom of the press is not absolute in nature, but has its limits, which is, among others, it is forbidden to carry news that substantially carries:
a.        National security and public order;
b.      Expression to war or to national, racial or religious hatred;
c.        Incitement to violence and crime;
d.      Attacks on founders of religion (attacks on founders of religion that leads to violation of offense of “blasphemy”);
e.        Public health and moral;
f.        Rights, honor and reputation of others (rights, honor and reputation of others, which generally carry “defamation offense”;
g.      Fair administration of justice (generally in relation to offenses against the Court, then a form of “contempt of court”);
(Prof. Oemar Seno Adji, SH., Perkembangan Delik Pers di Indonesia, cetakan pertama, Jakarta: Penerbit Erlangga, 1990, halaman 35 – The Development of Press Offence in Indonesia, first edition, Jakarta: Erlangga Publisher, 1990, page 35);
Freedom of the Press doesn’t mean an absolute freedom (freedom without limits), and the Defendants acknowledge that there is such limitation on press freedom, which is, among others, in relation with limitation/prohibition on carrying news that contains slander/attacks on religion (attacks on founders of religion). In this case, Defendant I had carried a picture of the Prophet Muhammad in Time magazine of April 16 2001 edition (an action of which is a slander/attack on religion) and upon his action (of carrying the picture of the Prophet Muhammad) Defendant I apologized to all Muslim in the world (vide Tempo Daily, Monday April 23 2001, Terbit Daily, Tuesday April 24 2001);
Judex facti doesn’t use the benchmark of objective criteria of such, for the reason that if that’s the case, judex facti will certainly arrive at the conclusion that by carrying the said writing and picture, the Defendants have had violated the order of civility, status and reputation of the Cassation Appellant, that is, an offense against the benchmark of rights, honor and reputation of others (of which in general is a slander in an a quo lawsuit);

8.      That from the jurisprudence in Indonesia based on the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia judgment No. 1265 K/Pdt/1984 dated January 30 1984, it is stated that: “a carried news that contains articulatif onrechtmatige daad (articulated injustice) is a news that violates or goes beyond the limits of decency (onrechtmatige daad in broad terms) is clearly an act of slander”;
The a quo legal consideration of the Supreme Court judgment is as follows:
“Issues that have been circulated by the Cassation Defendants/Defendants in the Selecta magazine is an act against/that violates the law for the reason that the way of disclosure in the Cassation Defendants/originally Defendants’ writing goes beyond what’s necessary to reach the intent and objective of in the name of public interest and based on facts that took place in the Blue Bird taxi company so that it is deemed to have offended the Cassation Appellant/original Plaintiff;
“Therefore also, the action with the said writings/articles, the Cassation Defendants/original Defendants has been proven to have committed an offence of slander against the Cassation Appellant/original Plaintiff, both as an individual and as the Chief Director of PT Blue Bird, so that the indemnification lawsuit can be accepted in the amount that the Supreme Court thinks suitable and fair and the Cassation Defendants/original Defendants were also ordered to restore the Cassation Appellant/original Plaintiff by publishing a public notice of formal apology in newspapers”;
(The Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia Indonesian Jurisprudence, the Supreme Court of RI publisher, 1998, pages 1 to 28);
Based on the aforementioned reason, the meaning of “slander” vide Article 1372 of the Civil Code cannot be meant based on Subjective Criteria reduced to expert witness testimony only. The Measurement to decide such “slander” is: whether or not the said writing and/or picture has breached the limit of decency within the broad meaning of onrechtmatige daad, and whether or not the Defendants’ awareness, knowledge and understanding of the consequences that rise from the said writing and/or picture in a psychological form of the Cassation Appellant, which is, as though the article has the nature of “passing a judgment” against others. This certainly violates the principle of presumption of innocence and is a trial by the press;
9.      That judex facti has inappropriately applied the law, particularly on item (c) of the main point of dispute. The Cassation Appellant is not in agreement with the judex facti’s considerations (pages 74 to 81 of the a quo Central Jakarta District Court Judgment) that gives the following conclusion:
“Considering, that based on the aforementioned description, the Court is in the opinion that the publication carried by Time (the Defendant) on the Plaintiff cannot be qualified as “deliberately defames with a letter (smad schrift – defame) as meant in Article 310 verse (1) of the Criminal Code;
The Cassation Appellant emphasizes that if judex facti thinks that there is a connection between the element of inadvertence according to Article 310 verse (1) of the Criminal Code with Article 1372 of the Civil Code, thus the objective criteria is the basis to decide whether or not it is proven that there is an element of “intent”; That means, it is not “animus injuriandi” that fits to be used as subjective criteria such as the testimony of the expert witnesses, which is stipulated by Article 310 verse (1) of the Criminal Code jo. Article 1371 of the Civil Code, instead, it is sufficient that there awareness, knowledge or understanding on the part of the Cassation Defendants that their statement will objectively lead to a consequence of and attack the honor and reputation of others. Thus, the condition for verification is is not the main objective to (deliberately) slander others;
Judex facti’s consideration merely assesses the dispute from the position of the testimony if the expert witnesses on journalism and linguistics, whereas the main point of dispute is an act of unlawful act, “slander” in particular (Article 1372 of the Civil Code);
That judex facti has not had given sufficient considerations (onvoldoende gemotiveerd – sufficiently motivated); That the most important element that the judex facti has neglected to put into consideration in its judgment is that in the problem of slander by writing as with in casu, is that there is an intent to slander or at the least an intent, both clearly and discreetly, to humiliate, regarding what is obvious in the way of the Defendants’ presentation and tone;
To read a news, as conversely to present a news, doesn’t merely concern merely a series of dead letters, it instead concerns the way it is presented and the tone of the writing;
From the way of presentation and tone of writing the tone to humiliate the dignity and honor of the Cassation Appellant is obvious. It is this particular matter that has been neglected by the judex facti, and therefore is not being considered in its judgment. Thus so the judgment in this case is a judgment that has been insufficiently motivated (onvoldoende gemotiveerd) and therefore, in compliance with the established jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia, the judgment has to be annulled;
The facts in the court hearing is that it has not been proven that the Cassation Appellant has transferred an amount of money, which is US$ 9 billion from a bank account in Switzerland to another in Austria;
The Cassation Defendants has completely been unable to prove, both through the expert witness testimony and through letters, the truth about the existence of act of transfer of US $ 9 billion fund of money of the Cassation Appellant, neither has it been able to prove about which Swiss bank that has carried out the said transfer, nor the Austrian bank that has been at the receiving end of the act of transfer, therefore, the publication on item (c) of the main points of dispute is substantially false and the Cassation Defendants as the creators of the article have to be legally accountable based on the journalistic ethics;
In addition, the notoir facts have proven that, Mr Andi Ghalib, SH. And Prof. Dr. Muladi, SH., successively as the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Indonesia (at the time) had traveled to Switzerland and Austria, and it had been declared that it had not been proven that there was money owned by the Cassation Appellant neither in the form of nominee account nor in any other kind of account whatsoever;
And what’s more, similar publication that had taken place before Time Magazine, vide T.41, T.42 and T.39, doesn’t mean to be a reason to eliminate the law against the element of intent to carry out slander. Based on such objective criteria it has been proven that the Cassation Defendants have an intention or intentionally carry out slander that offends the honor and reputation of the Cassation Appellant. Even though it is true that there have been other publication of similar kind about the Cassation Appellant, quod non, if the Cassation Defendants’ publication in this lawsuit violates the law, thus the fact that there are other publication of similar kind doesn’t eliminate the element of intent on the part of the Cassation Defendants as based on the violation of Article 1372 of the Civil Code;
10.  That in addition, judex facti shouldn’t have used evidences T.39, T.42, and T.42 (a quo page 78 of the Central Jakarta District Court judgment) as a grounds for the reason that the evidences do not by any means show a proof of allegation, either an allegation according to the laws or an allegation by the Judge, on the occurrence of the transfer of the Cassation Appellant’s fund (a transfer of money in the amount of US$ 9 billion). The Cassation Defendants’ evidence as such clearly do not show that there is a proof about the indirect evidence about the occurrence of allegation as according to Article 1915 of the Civil Code;
11.  That in regards of item (d) of the main points of dispute, the Cassation Appellant doesn’t agree with judex facti’s consideration ( pages 81 to 86 of the a quo Central Jakarta District Court judgment) that gives a conclusion:
“Considering, that by reason that the Defendant’s publication as such can be deemed as carried out “in the name of public interest” and “complies with the need of the era”, thus, according to the law, the Defendants’ publication doesn’t qualify as “humiliation or humiliation by writing” as meant in Article 310 verse (3) of the Criminal Code”. The Cassation Appellant doesn’t agree with the consideration of the a quo judex facti judgment. That the reason of the occurrence of “public interest” is provided by the laws (Article 310 verse (3) of the Criminal Code and Article 1376 of the Civil Code) to eliminate a conviction or punishment that has clearly been proven to have been carried out by someone;
That means, in casu, supposing that the Defendants have committed “slander” that causes injury to the Cassation Appellant’s honor and reputation by violating Article 1372 of the Civil Code jo. Article 310 verse (1) of the Criminal Code, however, such action is justified on the grounds of in the name of “public interest”;
The action is formally unlawful for the reason that it violates Article 1372 of the Civil Code jo. Article 310 verse (1) of the Criminal Code, and materially loses its unlawfulness nature based on the ground of public interest;
Consideration by judex facti on page 86 of the aforementioned a quo judgment clearly fits as contradictory criteria that substantially contains an error. If judex facti thinks that the Defendants’ publication is regarded as “in the name of public interest”, thus the said publication (writing or picture) carried out by the Defendants should have been proven and qualified as “humiliates and humiliates with writing” that violates Article 1372 of the Civil Code jo. Article 310 verse (1) of the Criminal Code;
Whereas judex facti a quo considerations in fact declares that the publication by the Defendants doesn’t qualify as “humiliating” and is regarded as “in the name of public interest”;
Judex facti consideration in connection with the Cassation Appellant’s presumption of the KKN (corruption, collusion and nepotism) is not relevant to the main points of the dispute, judex facti has even given an excess of consideration regarding the letter of the Attorney General of the Republic of Indonesia dated May 10 2000 which is in actuality is not a tool of evidence and is not relevant to the a quo lawsuit;
It has never been proven in court hearings that the Cassation Appellant possesses companies, and therefore, it has not been proven or can be proven in regards of the tax payment that is not more than 10% (ten percent) of the actual tax obligation;
That in addition, the element of “public interest” is that of Article 310 verse (3) of the Criminal Code, of which based on judex facti’s own consideration in the beginning part of its judgment is a criminal responsibility. Whereas, in the beginning part of its consideration, judex facti also considers that the main issue of this lawsuit in casu is civil responsibility. It is very clear here that there is a contradiction between one arguments and the other. This reason only is in actually sufficient to be used as a reason in order to annul judex facti judgment in the degree of cassation examination;
That there is an argument that contradicts another between the part of judgment (consideration), which is integrated with the other part of the judgment.
In one part in its legal consideration regarding the exception part on page 58 of the a quo Central Jakarta District Court judgment, judex facti considers that what is claimed by the Cassation Appellant (formerly Plaintiff/Appellant) against the Cassation Defendants (formerly Defendants/Appeal Defendants) is civil accountability, whereas the stipulation pointed by the Cassation Defendants is a stipulation that is regulated in the Press Laws (No. 11 1966 jo. Laws No. 4 1967 jo. Laws No. 21 1982, particularly Article 15 of the Laws, which is on the accountability over criminal and administrative claim. This means that judex facti in its consideration in the exception has from the beginning been in the opinion that the legal issue or ground of the Cassation Appellant is a legal issue about an unlawful act or on grounds of onrechtmatige daad;
However, on the other part of its judgment, in particular on page 86 of judex facti’s judgment, it considers that the publication by the Defendants doesn’t qualify as humiliating or humiliating with writing as meant in Article 310 verse (3) of the Criminal Code. Both considerations, clearly contain arguments that contradict one another in regard of accountability;
Therefore, thus judex facti, as a consequence, have made an inconsistent legal consideration. Thus, as a consequence as well, judex facti has erroneously interpret facts and has also carried out an error in legal implementation;
      Considering, that from then on the Supreme Court will consider
reasons that have been put forward by the Cassation Appellant:
regarding reason ad.1 :
that this reason cannot be justified, by reason that the High Court has the authority to take over the District Court’s legal considerations as its own considerations if the considerations as such is accurate and correct, moreover the Central Jakarta District Court judgment dated June 6 2000 No. 338/PDT.G/1999/PN.JKT.PST. doesn’t contradict Article 184 (1) of the HIR, by reason that the claim allegations are enclosed in the interval judgment on November 9 1999, which is not separated from the final judgment of the a quo lawsuit;
                        regarding reason ad. 2 to ad.12 :
that the reasons can be justified, by reason that judex facti in its judgment doesn’t give sufficiently motivated consideration (onvoeldoende gemotiveerd) on the act of tort in the broad meaning of Article 1365 of the Criminal Code, thus the judex facti judgment has to be annulled and the Supreme Court will give its own considerations as explicated in the following;
-  that judex facti in its judgment is in the opinion that the action by the 
              Defendants in the publication of picture and writing in TIME magazine 
Asian edition of May 24 1999 Vol 153 Bi, 20, is not qualified as “humiliating and humiliating with letters” as meant by Article 310 verse (3) of the Criminal Code and reject the Plaintiff’s claim based on the expert witnesses that gave their legal opinion by assessing facts/evidences in court, therefore the said picture and writing, whether or not they violate the principle of proper diligence and prudence in living in a society is not based on the objective criteria of an act of tort   Article 1356 of the Civil Code;
                        -  That furthermore judex facti in its judgment considers that in the a quo 
lawsuit that is claimed by the Plaintiff from the Defendants is a civil accountability, whereas the stipulation pointed by the Defendants, which are those regulated in Press Laws (Laws No. 11 1966 jo. Laws No. 4 1967 jo. Laws No. 21 1982, particularly Article 15 of the Laws, which is on the accountability over criminal and administrative claim;
-  that in connection with the above considerations, the Defendants deny
that the picture and writing in TIME magazine Asian Edition May 24 1999 originated from previous news, either from domestic or foreign news and is an a freedom to express opinion and express oneself through the media and the necessity of the society to gain information and news that are fully protected and guaranteed by laws, whereas the Plaintiff has passed on warnings because the picture and writing doesn’t contain any truth and cannot be accounted for;
-  that although the Plaintiff has consecutively passed on warnings in  
evidences P.6 and P.7, however, they have not been taken into account and responded by the Defendants; the Defendants shouldn’t have acted as such manner, since the Defendants have sufficient awareness, knowledge or understanding that the picture and writing will offend one’s honor and reputation, therefore the Defendants’ action complies with the objective criteria of an act of tort, which goes against decency, diligence and prudence in living in a society as it has gone beyond the boundary of what is needed to reach the intent and objection in the name of public interest;
-  that furthermore, since the picture and writing in TIME magazine Asian
Edition May 24 1999 Vol. 153 No. 20, created by the Defendants, has been widely circulated, and turns out to have gone beyond the limits of decency, diligence and prudence, so that the act of tort that slander the reputation and honor of the Plaintiff as the Great General of the Indonesian Army (Retired) and as former President of the Republic of Indonesia, thus the civil accountability that is claimed by the Plaintiff from the Defendants can be granted according to sentiments of appropriateness and fairness, it is thus so with the non-material damages that the Plaintiff suffers, whereas the material damages in the lawsuit is rejected for reason that it has not been itemized in detail;
        Considering, based on the aforementioned considerations, there are
sufficient reasons to grant the cassation request of the Cassation Appellant: H.M SOEHARTO and annulling the judex facti and the Supreme Court take into its own hand the judgment of this lawsuit with the following ruling;
            Considering, that because the Cassation Defendants are the defeated parties, thus they have to pay the cost of the lawsuit in all degrees of the court;
            Taking into consideration the articles from Laws No. 4 2004, Laws No. 14 1985 as emended by Laws No. 5 2004 and other related legal provisions;
R U L E S:
            Grants the cassation requests of the Cassation Appellant: H.M. SOEHARTO;
            Annuls the judgment by Jakarta High Court No. 551/PDT/2000/PT. DKI. dated March 16 2001 that strengthens judgment by Central Jakarta District Court No. 338/PDT.G/1999/PN.JKT.PST. dated June 6 2000;

RULES ON BY ITSELF:
1. Grants the Plaintiff’s claim in part;
2. Declare Defendants I to VII as have committed tort ;
3. Order Defendants I to VII to apologize to the Plaintiff for the
publication of the writing and picture of the Plaintiff in the said Time Magazine Asian Edition May 24 1999 Vol. 152 No. 21 through print media: Kompas newspaper, Suara Pembaruan newspaper, Media Indonesia newspaper, Republika newspaper, Suara Karya newspaper;
- Time Magazine of Asia, Europe, and Atlanta (United States) editions;
- Tempo magazine, Forum Keadilan magazine, Gatra magazine,
  Gamma magazine, Sinar magazine;
in 3 (three) consecutive publication;
4.      Order Defendants I to VII to jointly and severally pay a non-material
damages to the Plaintiff in the amount of Rp 1,000,000,000,000,- (sic) (1 trillion rupiah;
5.      Reject the other claims and furthermore;
Order the Cassation Defendants to pay the lawsuit cost in all
degrees of court, of which on this cassation degree is of the amount of Rp200,000,- (two hundred thousand rupiah);
            Thus decided upon in a Supreme Court deliberation meeting on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 with German Hoediarto, SH., Supreme Judge that has been appointed by the Head of the Supreme Court as the Chairman of the Council of Judges, H. Muhammad Taufik, SH. And M. Bahaudin Qaudry, SH. as member of the Council of Judges, and has been announced in an open court to the public on Thursday August 30 2007 by the Head of the Council of Judges with the presence of H. Muhammad Taufik, SH and M. Bahaudin Qaudry, SH., members of the Panel of Judges and assisted by Budi Hapsari, SH. as the Substitute Court Registrar, without the presence of the two parties.



Members Judge:                                                            Chairman:
Signed/H. Muhammad Taufik, SH            signed/German Hoediarto, SH
Signed/M. Bahauddin Qaudry, SH

Costs :                                                              Substitute Court Registrar
1. Stamp duty …..……  Rp    2,000,-                  signed/
2. Editing ……….……  Rp    1,000,-                      Budi Hapsari, SH
3. Cassation dministration Rp 197,000,-
                        Total      = Rp 200,000,-
                          =================

For the copy:
The Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia
c/o Registrar
Civil Junior Registrar

(signed and stamped)

MOH. DAMING SANUSI, SH, MH
Civil Service No. 040030169
13. Various/Useful Links

l) Reporters Committee released analysis of Mukasey's First Amendment and freedom of information background
http://www.rcfp.org/news/releases/20070920-reportersc.html

m) Speech by Sir Christopher Meyer at the 9th Annual Conference of the Alliance of Independent Press Councils of Europe (AIPCE)
http://www.pcc.org.uk/assets/111/Sir_Christopher_Meyer_AIPCE_dinner_speech.pdf

n) House of Commons: Culture, Media and Sport - Seventh Report  http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmcumeds/375/37502.htm

o) If you’re in London or Oxford on the 10th October, please come to the Press Complaints Commission Open Day in Oxford Town Hall at 4pm which is co-organised by PCMLPhttp://www.pcc.org.uk/events/events.html

p) Also if you are in London or Oxford, please join us for the Monday seminars organised by PCMLP.
Socio-Legal Studies Seminar Series: Michaelmas Term 2007
Challenges to Media Policy, Law and Regulation in the
21st Century

Convenor – Dr. Danilo Leonardi, Head of Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy

Seminars to be held on Mondays in Seminar Room E, Manor Road Building, Manor Road, Oxford, 4.30pm-6.00pm. Light refreshments will be available following the Seminar.

Week 2                  Philip Schlesinger, Professor of Cultural Policy and Academic
15th October            Director, Centre for Cultural Policy Research, University of Glasgow.
                              “From the creative industries to the creative economy?”

Week 3                  Ian Walden, Professor of Information and Communications Law
22nd October        Head, Institute of Computer and Communications Law Centre for Commercial Law Studies Queen Mary, University of London
                              “Cybercrime: Illegal content and communications”

Week 5                  Thomas Gibbons, Professor of Law, University of Manchester.
5th November            “Assessing OfCom’s regulatory style”

Week 6                  Marie McGonagle, Head of Department and Director of the LL.M. in 12th November      Public Law, National University of Ireland, Galway.
                              “Impact of AVMD in Ireland”

Week 7                  Colin Munro, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of
19th November          Edinburgh.
                              “Broadcast Advertising Restrictions”

Week 8                  Eric Barendt, Professor of Media Law, University College London.
26th November          “Privacy Reform”


     

Posted: Oct 31 2007, 07:49 (/newsletter_October_2007) [ Return to top ]


Sun, 30 Sep 2007

IMLA NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2007

 
1. Afghanistan
2. Argentina
3. Azerbaijan
4. Canada
5. China
6. Brussels
7. Egypt
8. France
9. Haiti
10. India
11. Indonesia
12. Peru
13. Russia
14. Singapore
15. Sweden
16. Tajikistan
17. Thailand
18. Turkey
19. Uganda
20. UK
21. US
22. Yemen
23. Zimbabwe
24. Various/Useful Links


1. Afghanistan

Media law approval delayed as MPs differ The Upper House of Parliament or Meshrano Jirga partially approved the media law in 55 articles by adding two new articles the other day. Burhanullah Shinwari, second deputy chairman of the Upper House told journalists several articles of the draft law were amended by the House.

Source – Online
http://www.onlinene ws.com.pk/ details.php? id=117536

2. Argentina

Argentina's Highest Court Finds Government Guilty of Indirect Censorship - In a major victory for freedom of expression advocates, Argentina's Supreme Court ruled this week that a provincial government violated the free speech rights of a newspaper by withdrawing advertising in retaliation for critical coverage.

Source – Justice Initiative 7.9.07
http://www.justicei nitiative. org/db/resource2 ?res_id=103846

Journalist sentenced in Salta, disqualified from practicing journalism - On 3 September 2007, journalist Sergio Poma, director of radio station FM Noticias 88.1 MHZ., was condemned to a one year suspended prison sentence and a year of professional disqualification.  The judge Héctor Martínez’s ruling responds to a suit against the journalist filed by Salta’s provincial governor, Juan Carlos Romero, who claimed his “honour and good name” had been tarnished after Poma accused him of corruption in May 2004.

The judge also ordered the journalist to pay for the judgment to be published in both provincial newspapers and to be broadcasted through the local radio with the highest ratings. Poma stated that he will not comply with that order and his lawyers will file an appeal with the Court of Provincial Justice.

Salta’s Journalists’ Association (APES) and the Argentinean Journalists’ Forum (FOPEA) believe the sentence contradicts the Political Constitution and treaties signed by the State before the Inter – American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in favour of decriminalizing that kind of action.

It is not clear how the disqualification could be complied with, as belonging to a journalists’ association is not a requisite for practicing the profession.

It is worth pointing out that the governor's private secretary, Ángel Torres, has also sued the journalist for the same crimes and the case is being seen by the Supreme Court.

Source – IPYS

3. Azerbaijan

Supreme Court upholds editor's prison sentence - The Committee to Protect Journalists denounces the continued imprisonment of Eynulla Fatullayev, editor of the now-shuttered Russian-language weekly Realny Azerbaijan and the Azeri-language daily Gündalik Azarbaycan. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan upheld Fatullayev's 30-month prison sentence on charges of defaming Azerbaijanis in an article.

Source – IFEX 29.8.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/85855/

4. Canada

Lawyers ask judge to consider contempt ruling - Incensed at the number and content of media interviews a key witness has given, defence lawyers are attempting to bring contempt of court charges against the lead informant in an ongoing Toronto terrorism case.

Source – Globe and Mail 6.9.07
http://www.theglobe andmail.com/ servlet/story/ LAC.20070906. TERROR06/ TPStory/TPNation al/Ontario/

5. China
 
For China's censors, electronic offenders are the new frontier - Li Hua was outraged. The public high school where he had been teaching civics for six years was about to be swallowed up by a fancy private institution. The merger had been ordered by local officials, Li suspected, because they had a financial stake in the big new school and wanted to see it flourish.

Source – Washington Post 10.9.07
http://www.washingt onpost.com/ wp-dyn/content/ article/2007/ 09/09/AR20070909 01979.html


New China law on disasters aims at transparency - Chinese officials will be legally obligated to provide accurate and timely information about public emergencies that occur in their regions under new legislation passed on Thursday. Under the Emergency Response Law, media organisations could also lose their business licences for publishing false reports, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Source – Reuters 30.8.07
http://www.reuters.com/article/homepageCrisis/idUSPEK277662._CH_.2400

6. EU/Brussels
Frattini considering EU plane passenger data-sharing system - EU Justice, Freedom, and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini said Wednesday that the European Union will move forward with plans to establish an EU-wide airline passenger data recording system despite privacy concerns because the threat posed by terror attacks remains high.

Source – Jurist 5.9.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/09/frattini-considering-eu-plane-passenger.php

7.Egypt

Rights groups accuse Egypt of limiting press freedoms after court jails editors - Amnesty International and Reporters without Borders on Friday accused Egypt of clamping down on freedom of the press after a court sentenced the editors of four tabloids for publishing criticisms of President Hosni Mubarak and the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP).

Source – Jurist 14.9.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/09/rights-groups-accuse-egypt-of.php

8. France

Judges conclude probe into Clearstream leaks, case could be dismissed - A probe into alleged violations of judicial secrets in the so-called Clearstream affair, which included an attempt to search the offices of the Paris-based satirical magazine "Le Canard Enchaîné" in May 2007, was concluded by two judges during the week of 27 August without anyone being charged, a judicial source has confirmed to Reporters Without Borders.

Source – IFEX 5.9.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/layout/set/print/content/view/full/86049/

9. Haiti

Two men get life for Jacques Roche murder in sign of justice finally moving into action - Reporters Without Borders welcomes the life sentences which a Port-au-Prince court yesterday passed on two men, Alby Joseph and Chéry Beaubrun, for the abduction and murder of Jacques Roche, the head of the Le Matin newspaper’s arts and culture pages. Roche was kidnapped on 10 July 2005 and was found dead four days later.

Source – Reporters Without Borders 4.9.07
http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=23500  (Haiti)

10. India
Mid-Day Editor held guilty of contempt of court – The Delhi High Court on Tuesday held the Editor, the Resident Editor, the Publisher and the cartoonist of English tabloid Mid-Day guilty in a contempt of court case for carrying a scandalous report and a cartoon of former Chief Justice of India Y.K. Sabharwal aimed at lowering the dignity of the Supreme Court in the eyes of the common man.

Source – The Hindu 13.9.07
http://www.hindu.com/2007/09/13/stories/2007091352750300.htm

High Court convicts 4 Mid Day journalists of contempt of court - The Delhi High Court on Tuesday convicted four senior journalists of Mid Day daily of contempt of court for “tarnishing the image of the Supreme Court” by publishing certain scandalous articles about former Chief Justice of India, YK Sabharwal.

Source – Hindustan Times
http://www.hindusta ntimes.com/ StoryPage/ StoryPage. aspx?id=ffeeea45 -5df7-48e3- b748-42c6b6a9565 0&&Headline= High+Court+ convicts+ 4+Mid+Day+ journalists+ of+contempt+ of+court

'Change contempt law to check trial by media' - Taking exception to the media interviewing witnesses and commenting on cases during trial, the Law Commission has recommended changes in the Contempt of Courts Act 1971 to protect the rights of the accused and ensure the proper conduct of trial.

Source – The Times of India 9.9.07
http://timesofindia .indiatimes. com/articleshow/ 2352074.cms

Media restrictions in Manipur are a step backward in resolving the armed conflict - The state government of Manipur has imposed a series of restrictions regarding ‘publication of objectionable materials’ by the media in the state through its notifications dated August 2 and 14, 2007. The restrictions were published as orders issued by the State Home Department.

Source – Asian Human Rights Commission 29.8.07
http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2006statements/1166/

11. Indonesia

Press Council condemns Telkom for releasing journalist's phone logs National News – The Indonesian Press Council condemned Friday state-owned telecommunication services provider PT Telkom for giving the text messaging records of a journalist to law enforcement official. Earlier this week, Jakarta Police summoned Tempo magazine journalist Metta Dharmasaputra for questioning concerning a tax fraud case after getting his text messaging records from PT Telkom.

Source – The Jakarta Post 15.9.07
http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailheadlines.asp?fileid=20070915.A06&irec=5

Suharto wins more than USD 100M libel case against ‘Time’ Magazine - Indonesia's highest court has ordered "Time" magazine to pay former President Suharto more than $100 million in damages for a story that accused him and his family of amassing billions during his rule, report the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF).

Source – IFEX 18.9.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/86359/

Time magazine to fight US$106 million ruling by Indonesian court - JAKARTA (AP): Time magazine will fight an Indonesia court order to pay US$106 million for defaming former dictator Suharto by alleging his family amassed billions of dollars during his 32-year rule, a lawyer said Tuesday.Todung Mulya Lubis called the Aug. 31 decision "a serious blow" to press freedom and a setback for reform of Indonesia's judiciary.

Source – The Jakarta Post 12.9.07
http://www.thejakar tapost.com/ detailgeneral. asp?fileid= 20070911173651& irec=29

12. Peru 
Material author of journalist’s murder detained - On 18 September 2007, the police detained Moises Julca Orillo, accused of being the material author of the murder of journalist Antonio De La Torre, killed in February 2004 in the town of Yungay, Ancash region, northeastern Peru.

Julca Orillo was stopped by police non-commissioned officer Carlos Ramirez Aguilar, who was on patrol in an urbanization of the settlement of Nuevo Chimbote, a port to the north of Lima in the Áncash region. The suspect attempted to escape on his motorbike but he crashed against the pavement, was captured and taken to the police station.

The police verified that an arrest warrant for the first degree murder of journalist De La Torre existed against him. The detainee was handed over to the judicial police of Santa's Superior Court of Justice at midnight on 19 September for his immediate transfer to Huaraz, the city where he will be tried.

In declarations to the website www.ojoajeno.com, Julca Orillo denied any participation in the journalist’s death and stated that he will be released shortly.

Source – IPYS 19.9.07

Mayor burns copies of newspaper in main square - On 4 September 2007, the mayor of the town of Wari, Edwars Vizcarra Zorrilla, and a group of locals burnt several copies of the newspaper La Primera, edited by journalist Robin Hood Ipanaqué Hidalgo, during a protest that took place in the Main Square. The town of Wari is located in the Ancash region, northwestern Perú.

According to the newspaper’s editor, the mayor's attitude is a response to accusations published by his paper about alleged corruption committed by Vizcarra and his officials.  The mayor, however, denied the accusations and stated that the newspaper’s investigations are hindering his work in the council.

Source – IPYS

13. Russia

Politkovskaya case requires a vigorous and independent investigation, says OSCE media freedom representative - The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, commended recent reports of progress in the cases of murdered journalists Anna Politkovskaya and Igor Domnikov, but warned that violence against journalists can end only if those ultimately responsible are identified and prosecuted without political interference.

Source – OSCE 10.9.07
http://www.osce. org/item/ 26149.html

In a benchmark verdict, Russian court convicts 5 in reporter’s murder - A court in Russia’s west-central republic of Tatarstan has convicted five members of a criminal gang in the 2000 murder of Novaya Gazeta journalist Igor Domnikov, the newspaper reported today. The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomed this important development, but urged authorities to vigorously prosecute the masterminds of the crime.

Source – CPJ 30.8.07
http://www.cpj.org/news/2007/europe/russia30aug07na.html


Russia names new lead prosecutor in Politkovskaya killing probe - Russia has appointed a new lead prosecutor to investigate the October 2006 killing of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, according to a statement from the Prosecutor General's office onTuesday.

Source – Jurist 4.9.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/09/russia-names-new-lead-prosecutor-in.php

14. Singapore

Teacher told to remove posting regarding his sexuality - George Hwang, IMLA member from Singapore reports

“that Otto Fong, a teacher at Raffles Institution, the oldest school in Singapore, has been made to take down his posting on his sexuality on his blog. The blog is attached.

In this case, I believe the fact that he has been an exemplary teacher (there were articles written about him and his teaching methods etc in the papers before) and the level headedness of the headmaster have saved him from being sacked. Please find attached the Ministry of Education's statement.

Regards,
George

Breaking news...
Response from MOE:

As teachers are in a unique position of authority and are often seen as role models by their students, MOE does not condone any open espousal of homosexual values by teachers in any form, in or out of the classroom.

The Ministry would carefully consider whether a person who espouses homosexual values is suitable to continue in the teaching service, depending on the circumstances of each case. In particular, we would need to be mindful of stakeholders' views, especially whether parents would be comfortable with placing their children under this person's authority and influence

In the case of RI, the school has spoken to the teacher concerned and the teacher has agreed to take down his blog in the best interest of the students. The Ministry supports the action taken by the school on this matter."

15. Sweden
Free expression advocates rally around cartoonist - The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontieres, RSF) have strongly condemned a US$150,000 bounty on a Swedish artist who drew the Prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog.


Source – IFEX 18.9.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/86361

16. Tajikistan 
OSCE media freedom representative calls on Tajikistan to protect free flow of information on Internet -  Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, today called on Tajikistan to bring its legislation in line with its OSCE commitments by revoking recent criminal code amendments...

Source – OSCE 21.9.07
http://www.osce.org/item/26360.html

17. Thailand
Google reportedly agrees to filter YouTube website - News reports in Thailand and the international press are saying that Google-owned YouTube has agreed to cooperate with Thai authorities in filtering sensitive content on its website, paving the way for the lifting of a Thai ban on the popular video-sharing website.

Source – IFEX 31.8.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/85959/

18. Turkey

Gündem Newspaper Closed for a Month - The Istanbul 12th Heavy Penal Court has decreed that the "Gündem" newspaper will be closed for 30 days as a punishment for publishing two articles by PKK leader Murat Karayilan, entitled "Let us become populist, let us win" and "Self-criticism not in words but in practice".
Source – Bianet 11.9.07
http://www.bianet. org/english/ kategori/ english/101692/ gundem-newspaper -closed-for- a-month

Authorities block another website following complaint by religious leader; others unblocked - The judiciary in Turkey has again blocked access to a website because of the content of one item on the site. Following the blocking of the alternative dictionary website "Eksisözlük" and the website Antoloji.com, access to the website WordPress.com has now also been blocked, following a complaint by religious sect leader Adnan Oktar.

Source – IFEX
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/85905/

19. Uganda

Homsexuality debate ignites crackdown on free expression - The Uganda Broadcasting Council (UBC) has suspended a popular Capital FM radio presenter for hosting gay activists who used "foul language" on air, effectively silencing a renewed debate on gay and lesbian rights, reports
Kenya-based IFEX member the Media Institute. 

Source – IFEX 30.8.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/85917/

20. UK

Religious hatred: a crime from October, but exemptions are wide - The Racial and Religious Hatred Act comes into force in October, carrying a threat of prison terms for a person who tries to stir up religious hatred. However, its free speech exemptions are so wide that convictions could be difficult, a lawyer said. The new law creates an offence of using  threatening words or behaviour to stir up religious hatred.

Source – Out Law 12.9.07
http://www.out-law.com//default.aspx?page=8464

A call for Net neutrality debate in U.K. - The time has come for the United Kingdom to join the growing debate surrounding Net neutrality, the president of the British Computer Society told ZDNet UK. Professor Nigel Shadbolt said late last week that, because so much of the Internet's content is derived from the U.S., the U.K. and Europe would be affected by any Net neutrality-related decisions made across the Atlantic.

Source – Cnet News 17.9.07
http://www.news.com/2100-1028_3-6208405.html

Religious hatred: a crime from October, but exemptions are wide - The Racial and Religious Hatred Act comes into force in October, carrying a threat of prison terms for a person who tries to stir up religious hatred. However, its free speech exemptions are so wide that convictions could be difficult, a lawyer said. The new law creates an offence of using  threatening words or behaviour to stir up religious hatred.

Source – Out Law 12.9.07
http://www.out-law.com//default.aspx?page=8464

A call for Net neutrality debate in U.K. - The time has come for the United Kingdom to join the growing debate surrounding Net neutrality, the president of the British Computer Society told ZDNet UK. Professor Nigel Shadbolt said late last week that, because so much of the Internet's content is derived from the U.S., the U.K. and Europe would be affected by any Net neutrality-related decisions made across the Atlantic.

Source – Cnet News 17.9.07
http://www.news.com/2100-1028_3-6208405.html
 
The Press Complaints Commission has upheld a complaint against FHM - It was made by a married couple who complained that the magazine had published a topless photograph of their daughter taken when she was fourteen. It had been published without her, or their, consent. The magazine indicated that the photo was one of over a thousand submitted every week from, or on behalf of, women posing topless or in lingerie.

Source – Society of Editors 11.9.07
http://www.societyo feditors. co.uk/page- view.php? page_id=1& parent_page_ id=0&news_ id=229&numbertop rintfrom= 1

Media Trio Fined for Contempt - Both the Daily Record and Scottish Sun newspapers - along with stv - have each been fined £1750 for contempt of court, the first time the newspapers have been found guilty of such a charge in nine years and the first time ever for stv. It follows a court case, in May, involving Celtic footballer, Derek Riordan.

Source – All Media Scotland 10.9.07
http://www.allmedia scotland. com/articles/ 1790/10092007/ media_trio_ fined_for_ contempt

21. US

Google pushes for international Internet privacy guidelines – Google called for new international laws to protect personal information online at a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) conference Friday, urging that an international body such as the UN or the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Source – Jurist 14.9.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/09/google-pushes-for-international.php

No contempt charge for TV newsman - An Orleans Parish judge Friday decided not to hold a television news reporter in contempt of court for possibly violating a gag order in a high-profile murder case. Criminal District Court Judge Arthur Hunter scrapped the trial of Tyrone Wells two weeks ago, after WDSU-TV reported that the defendant may plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence in the 2003 killing of popular Gentilly merchant Jose Vazquez, Jr.

Source – Nola.com 14.9.07
http://blog.nola.com/times-picayune/2007/09/no_contempt_charge_for_tv_news.html

Prince sues internet sites for breaching his copyright - He gave away his last album free with a newspaper, but Prince has now taken a stance to defend the rights of the artist by launching a legal action against internet sites that he claims have infringed his copyright. The singer has announced he is taking the action to protect copyright "not just for himself, but for all artists in the digital age".

Source – The Independent 14.9.07
http://news.independent.co.uk/media/article2961321.ece

US federal government secrecy on the rise: report - US government secrecy increased in 2006, according to the Secrecy Report Card 2007, released over the weekend by OpenTheGovernment. org [advocacy website]. The report cited an increased reliance on national security letters (NSL) and more frequent assertions of the state secrets privilege.

Source – Jurist 4.9.07
http://jurist. law.pitt. edu/paperchase/ 2007/09/us- federal-governme nt-secrecy- on-rise.php

California appeals violent video game law ruling - California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Wednesday filed an appeal of last month's US District Court decision ruling that a 2005 law banning the sale of violent video games to minors was unconstitutional.

Source – Jurist 6.9.07
http://jurist. law.pitt. edu/paperchase/ 2007/09/californ ia-appeals- violent-video- game.php

Prison inmates sue to stop purge of unapproved religious books from chapel libraries - Several inmates of a federal penitentiary in New York have filed a lawsuit challenging a decision by the US Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to remove religious and spiritual books from prison chapel libraries, according to the New York Times on Monday.

Source – Jurist 10.9.07
http://jurist. law.pitt. edu/paperchase/ 2007/09/us- prison-inmates- sue-to-stop- pull-of.php

Federal judge slams government response to FOIA requests on surveillance program - A federal judge on Wednesday orderedthe Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of Legal Counsel, and the office of the Attorney General to submit more information to the court in support of their motion for summary judgment in a consolidated lawsuit seeking the release of documents related to the government's domestic surveillance program.

Source – Jurist 6.9.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/09/federal-judge-slams-government-response.php

22. Yemen

Letter to President Saleh about threats to press freedom - Reporters Without Borders wrote to President Ali Abdullah Saleh today voicing concern about a decline in press freedom in Yemen that has been highlighted by a physical attack on Abdulkarim Al-Khaiwani, a human rights activist and editor of the newspaper Al-Shura, on 27 August.

Source – Reporters Without Borders 4.9.07
http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=23524

23. Zimbabwe

Gukurahundi in Zimbabwe - Driton Qeriqi, IMLA member from Kosovo, tells us about an event organized in Prishtina by the NGO Central Station for Modern Art. The Kosovo NGO organised a protest and poetry reading in support of democracy and media freedom in Zimbabwe . At the event, works by Zimbabwean poets Chenjarai Hove, Chirikure Chirikure and Dambudzo Marchera were read. Their poems appear in the book Gukurahundi in Zimbabwe . This is a book on Matebeleland terror

Source – Sokwanele
http://www.sokwanel e.com/thisiszimb abwe/archives/ 576 .

24. Various/Useful links

a) Conference on New Media and the Press Freedom Dimension
http://www.wan-press.org/article12826.html

b) Transparency & Silence  the Open Society Justice Initiative's groundbreaking comparative survey of access to information laws and practices in 14 countries, is now available in Spanish.http://www.justiceinitiative.org/db/resource2?res_id=103818.

c) See Article 16 of UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted by General Assembly on 13 September after 20 yearshttp://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/Declaration_IPs_31August.pdf

d) Case - When Does The Public Interest Require FOI Fees To Be Waived?http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?article_id=52238

e) A Global Survey of Media Independence (Freedom of the Press) will be released on 15 September 2007.
http://www.amazon. co.uk/gp/ product/07425558 1X/ref=pe_ pe_3421_7300211_ pe_snp_81X

f) Dialogue Forum on Internet Rights”, to be held in Rome on 27 September 2007.http://www.dfirital y2007.it/

g) PCC Code of Practice indispensable to good journalists in the digital age says PCC Chairman http://www.pcc. org.uk/news/ index.html? article=NDcxMw= =

h) Call for bi-lingual French/English Consultant on Freedom of Information for Cameroon - 45 days
I am pleased to forward to you the following request for a bilingual consultant on FOI to work in Yaounde Cameroon for 45 days.

Regrettably, the hiring organization cannot pay for airt ickets to Yaounde, but perhaps this will nevertheless be of interest to some colleagues who would like to spend time in Cameroon. Best, Sandy

Dear colleagues,
Please find attached a call for a consultant towards the realisation of a Review and Report on Laws and Policies Concerning Access to Information and Open Government in Cameroon. The study shall be undertaken for the Yaoundé-based association Citizens Governance Initiatives (CGI). The consultant must be based in Yaoundé, as we do not provide international air tickets.

Please kindly forward the present offer to any person you think might be interested.

Thank you. Agnes Ebo'o.

Agnes Ebo'o agnesmarcelle@ yahoo.com
Interested candidates should send detailed curriculum vitae, including list of publications, as well as expected honoraria to Ms Agnes EBO’O at the following address, on or before 30th September 2007: agnesmarcelle@ yahoo.com
e) The Stanhope Center is looking for experts
The Stanhope Center is part of a consortium that has been short-listed for a European Union media development project -- Communications multiplier activities in the ENPI Region: Training & Network Building ENPI East and South region -- described below. We are looking for key experts as well as non-key short-term experts who would want to be part of our consultancy pool. Please note that this project is completely dependent upon funding.

For more detailed information about the tender, please see:
http://ec.europa. eu/europeaid/ tender/data/ d70/AOF77970. htm

We would like to invite you to be part of the Stanhope Centre consulting pool of experts that would be called upon during the life of the project. We apologize for the short notice, but if you would like to be part of the Stanhope pool, please email me your resume as well as the completed EuropeAid CV Format attached to this email by Monday, September 17, 2007. Feel free to contact me should you have any questions or need further information.

About the ENPI project:

We are looking for candidates that can offer strategic vision and help design, develop and implement a training, capacity building and networking project for journalists and media professionals, including journalism schools, from the countries beneficiary of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument
- ENPI (Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Moldova, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, The Russian Federation, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine).

The main objectives are as follows:

. Provide training to a maximum number of journalists, editors, producers, and other media professionals, from the beneficiary countries, to develop the professional skills required to report on EU affairs (minimum of 200 trainees, each trainee participating at least in 5 trainings).

. Support journalists in using their newly acquired skills and knowledge in their job, by developing a complementary program for their media editors/managers/ owners (minimum 50).

. Develop a sustainable network of trained journalists and other media specialists, across the beneficiary countries (including making use of and building on the existing network of alumni of previous journalist training programmes and visits undertaken by the EU).

Ensure sustainability of the network after the project has been completed.

Again, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. In the meantime, please also see the attached overview of the expertise needs and list of qualifications (attached to this newsletter)

Best regards,

Julien Mailland

+33.6.61.77. 84.53 (CET)

i) An open letter from Otto Fong in the Raffles InstitutionSee attachment and item about Singapore in the news section above

j) European Young Bar Association International Weekend 2007 (in London)See attachments for registration form and further details

k) Fong in RI
A letter to all my friends and colleagues. 8th September 2007.
Friday, September 7, 2007
An Open Letter
I am Otto Fong. I have been teaching Science in Raffles Institution for the last eight years.

Being a teacher has been the most rewarding part of my professional life thus far. My students continue to amaze me daily with their wit, maturity, independent thinking and leadership. It is very fulfilling that I am a part of an institution that moulds the future generation of Singapore’s leaders.

Leaders are people who can rise above the tide of popular opinion, people who are guided by the conviction of rightness and justice and in being so guided, lead others towards that right path.

Recent events leading to my action
Recent events have made me decide to write this open letter. In April this year, Minister Mentor Mr Lee Kuan Yew – one of the school’s greatest alumni – called homosexuality a “genetic variation”, questioning the validity of criminalising gay sex. In July, MP Baey Yam Keng expressed support for the repeal of Section 377A of the penal code (which criminalises gay sex acts). In August, Malaysian columnist and ordained pastor Oyoung Wenfeng released his inspiring new Mandarin book “Tong Gen Sheng”, encouraging gay men and women to come out of the closet.

A few evenings later, I attended a forum organised by People Like Us on gay teachers and students. A few brave twenty-something guys asked, “Why has there been so little guidance available to me as a gay teenager?” It was a question that I had asked myself often, growing up.

When I became a teacher in 1999, I looked back on the good guidance my own teachers gave me as a template, and tried to be a better teacher to my students. Besides teaching them Science, I spent considerable effort in imparting good social values: give up your seats to the needy, save the handicapped parking lot for those in wheelchairs and their caretakers, respect people regardless of profession or social status.

How hate is perpetuated
Yet, in the eight years I have taught, I have done little for that small group of students who are gay. When the religious group Focus on the Family masqueraded as sex guidance counselors and gave a talk full of misinformation about homosexuality to our students, I was furious but kept my mouth shut.

When my niece returned from school saying, “Gays are disgusting!” I knew she learnt that hatred from a classmate, who had in turn absorbed that hatred from a parent. I knew that this hatred has been perpetrated for generations. But hatred grew out of fear, and hatred, as a line in a movie goes, “leads to the Dark Side.” This is the same environment of hatred I grew up in, as a gay teenager and student.

Until Section 377A* is repealed, there will be precious little the Ministry of Education can do to help these students. As a teacher, I am bound by my professional duty to follow the directives of my superiors.

While these events helped crystallize my decision to come out of the closet, my motivation remains deeply personal.

My family and I

As far back as primary six, I have been aware of my attraction towards classmates of the same sex. For those who argued about nurturing factors of the family, my brother and sister grew up under the same parents and remained heterosexuals despite growing up with me in close proximity.

As a teenager, I was very quick to sense society’s aversion towards the ‘sissies’ in my classes. I worked hard to distance myself from them. While I was successful in modifying my outward behavior, my sexual orientation remained unchanged. My denial gnawed at me, and the suppression of my true self resulted in self-destructive behavior during my overseas university years.

Fortunately, my American fraternity mates were supportive. I began to see a counselor who helped me accept myself for who and what I am.

Returning to Singapore, I came out to my family. My father, mother, brother and sister, out of love for their son and brother, walked the long road to acceptance. It was not easy for them, but they loved me before I came out, and they love me after. When I finally settled down with my longtime companion (we have been together for more than nine years), my entire family made sure my nieces and nephews included us in their lives. I loved my family too much to keep them in the dark, to deny them the chance to really know me. And they loved me too much to let some old prejudice tear our family apart.

I kept my sexual orientation a secret at work, and only a handful of my colleagues knew about me.

I don’t want to be a bonsai tree
Not counting my childhood, I have spent more than twenty years in the professional closet. I am nearing my fourth decade on Earth. While I have had some successes in life, I am not content to be just average. As I have often told my students, “Why be average when you can be your best?”

Do you know what a bonsai tree is? A bonsai tree is an imitation of a real tree. It is kept in a small pot with limited nutrients, trimmed constantly to fit someone else’s whim. It looks like a real tree, except it can’t do many things a real tree can. It cannot provide shelter, it cannot find food on its own; its life and death are totally reliant on its owner. It is the plant version of the 3-inch Chinese bound foot for women: useless and painful.

Being in the closet, pretending to be straight, trimming our true selves to suit the whims and expectations of others, is just like being a human bonsai tree. By staying in the closet, we cannot even hope to be average, much less above and beyond average.

I felt that in order to reach my fullest potential as a useful human being, I must first fully accept myself, and face the world honestly. I have lived long enough to know that what I am is not a disease, an aberration or a mental illness.

Hate is not a religious value

Many people have cited many ‘reasons’ for hating homosexuals, just as many people tried to justify their views that the Earth was flat, that the darker skinned should always be inferior, and that women should subjugate their lives to men. The teachings of the world’s great religious traditions offer many words of wisdom, but the interpretations of their human followers are not infallible. As Jesus said in his Sermon on the Mount (yes, a personal Bible was given to me by a great lady and I honored her by reading the book), we must love our neighbors as ourselves. It is a simple teaching, but one that’s rarely followed by those who seek to oppress people different from themselves. The path to enlightenment always faces stubborn resistance. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you...”

There are some people who are using homosexuality to advance their personal ambitions vis a vis religion. They claim that the homosexual ‘agenda’ is to make the whole world gay and threaten the stability of the family. Yet, let us examine the evidence: Denmark, Norway and Sweden, the first countries to legalise gay marriage, are more stable than ever – their population has not been converted by gays and their heterosexual divorce rates have even decreased since gays have been afforded legal rights. (William N. Eskridge, Jr and Darren R. Spedale, Oxford University Press, 2006).

The only agenda gay people have is to be able to live with the same rights and dignity as our heterosexual brothers and sisters. Our very vocal opponents are the ones actively preying on innocent people, recruiting them to their cause by spreading fear and misinformation. I hope thinking people will quickly see that it is this small group of vocal objectionists who have a more dangerous agenda, that their fight with gay people has nothing to do with what’s right or wrong, but is merely a litmus test of their political influence. For peace and prosperity to continue, Singapore must always uphold secularism, where each different segment of the population respects the beliefs and rights of the others.

Can a country with no natural resources afford to drive away its own citizens?

There is a very pragmatic reason that you should support the rights and dignity of gay Singaporeans: in this globally-competitive era, Singapore needs her gay sons and daughters, just as we need our Singaporean Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, immigrants, men and women, old folks and young. Most importantly, we need those gay sons and daughters because those gay sons and daughters are Singaporean Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, immigrants, men and women, old folks and young. Can a country without natural resources continue to flourish when it starts to drive away its own children?

As I said before, leaders are people who are guided by the conviction of rightness and justice and in being so guided, lead others towards that right path.

I am still a teacher. My main purpose and joy is to teach our youngest citizens, the same ones who will be the leaders of our nation tomorrow. But, I feel I am shortchanging both society and myself by staying in the closet. I must be true to myself. If my colleagues and students, both gay and straight, see that being true to one’s own self has great value, perhaps we can produce a new generation who is truly courageous. A new generation of young people who are proud to be themselves, no matter what difference they have from their classmates. Then I will have succeeded in providing them a better education than I had the opportunity to receive during my years in school.

So here’s what I am, and I am a friend in need at the moment

So here it is: I, Otto Fong, have always been and always will be a gay man. When you ask about my spouse, I will say he is a man. I am as proud being gay as you are proud being straight. I am not, as some people like to label gays, a pedophile, a child molester, a pervert or sexual deviant. I did not choose to be gay, just like heterosexuals did not choose to be straight. I am not going to hell (not for being gay anyway).

I am not going back in the closet. When you ask me who I am, I will answer: I am a son, a brother, a long-time companion, an uncle, a teacher, a classmate, a colleague, a part of your community, a HDB dweller, a Singaporean. And I am also gay.

I would like to enjoy the respect that all other Singaporeans enjoy. I will not let the closet bind my feet, because I am made to sprint. I am not interested in being a bonsai tree, my DNA is programmed to climb higher. My heart aspires to reach my fullest potential as a human being.

I hope, dear friends and colleagues, that you look back and remember what I am, and see that I am not someone you fear. I am essentially the same person – flawed, imperfect, but brought up properly by two loving parents to lead a productive, beneficial and meaningful life. My friends and family love me for who I am, and I hope you can too. I come out to you with as much hope and trepidation as when I first come out to my mother and father. Your support and understanding are very important to me at this moment.

Thank you, may you prosper in health and soul.

Yours sincerely,

Otto Fong
8th Sept 2007

* Section 377A is a law that allows certain sexual acts between consensual heterosexual adults but forbids the same sexual acts between consensual homosexual adults.
Posted by otto fongat 7:34 PM 21 comments    
l) Andrei Richter, IMLA member from Moscow, has published “Post-Soviet Perspective on Censorship and Freedom of the Media” (2007) in English http://www.medialaw.ru/e_pages/publications/post-soviet.htm

m) Benjamin Fernandez Bogado, IMLA member from Asuncion, Paraguay, will be a Visiting Scholar 2007-8 at Harvard University’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies http://www.drclas.harvard.edu/scholars/2007-2008



Posted: Sep 30 2007, 16:39 (/newsletter_September_2007) [ Return to top ]


Fri, 31 Aug 2007

IMLA NEWSLETTER AUGUST 2007

  1. Australia
  2. Austria
  3. Belarus
  4. Brazil
  5. China
  6. Germany
  7. Ghana
  8. Greece
  9. Iran
  10. Kenya
  11. Kosovo
  12. Malaysia
  13. New Zealand
  14. Palestine
  15. Peru
  16. Phillipines
  17. Poland
  18. Russia
  19. Saudi Arabia
  20. Serbia
  21. Singapore
  22. Somalia
  23. Spain
  24. Thailand
  25. Turkey
  26. UK
  27. US
  28. Venezeula
  29. Yemen
  30. Various/Useful links
 
1. Australia

Contempt decision reserved - Three judges have reserved their decision on whether the editor of The West Australian, Paul Armstrong, committed a contempt of court by publishing a letter last year that resulted in a trial being aborted.

Source – The West 3.8.07
http://www.thewest.com.au/default.aspx?MenuID=77&ContentID=36444

2. Austria

Austrian neo-Nazi writer arrested in Spain for denying Holocaust - An Austrian writer wanted for denying the Holocaust was arrested Thursday by Spanish police in Malaga, Spain. Gerd Honsik was convicted of neo-Nazi activities in his native Austria in 1992 and sentenced to 1 1/2 years in prison, but fled to Spain to avoid jail time.

Source – Jurist 23.8.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/08/austrian-neo-nazi-writer-arrested-in.php

3. Belarus
Parliamentary committee refuses to reexamine article of law used to persecute media - Reporters Without Borders condemns the parliamentary human rights and media committee’s decision on 3 August to reject a request from the Belarus Association of Journalists (BAJ) that it should consider whether article 10 of the media law violates articles 33 and 34 of the constitution.

Source – Reporters sans frontiers 10.8.07
http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=23255

4. Brazil

Advisory group to prepare for internet governance forum meeting in Rio De Janeiro – The mandate of the Advisory Group for the Internet Governance Forum has been renewed in order to assist in preparations for the next meeting of the Internet Governance Forum, to be held in Rio de Janeiro from 12 to 15 November 2007. 

Source – UN 20.8.07
http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2007/pi1791.doc.htmChina 

5. China
 
Chinese ISP introduces cartoon cops – Police in China have created a cartoon depiction of the Chinese internet police force that will be displayed to users every thirty minutes whilst browsing the web. The aim of the cartoon is to be a friendly reminder to users to abide by the laws of the land and to avoid anything that could be deemed illegal in China.

Source – Big Mouth Media 30.8.07
http://www.bigmouthmedia.com/live/articles/chinese-isp-introduces-cartoon-cops.asp/4021/

New China law requires officials to provide accurate information on emergencies – China's National People's Congress passed a new law Thursday to hold officials legally accountable for providing accurate and timely information on public emergencies. The law also allows the government to revoke the business licenses of media organizations that are found to hurt public safety by publishing false reports of emergencies

Source – Jurist 30.8.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/08/new-china-law-requires-officials-to.php

Ailing cyber-dissident Zhang Jianhong faces permanent paralysis; RSF appeals for humanitarian release - Reporters Without Borders has voiced outrage at the failure of the prison authorities to treat ailing writer and cyber-dissident Zhang Jianhong, who is also known by the pen-name of Li Hong. Imprisoned since September 2006, Zhang has been in a critical condition for the past three months and could become permanently paralysed.

Source – IFEX 10.8.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/85445

Congress Probes Yahoo over Chinese Journalist's Jailing - A U.S. congressional committee plans to investigate whether Yahoo Inc. lied during testimony over its role in a human rights case in China that sent journalist Shi Tao to jail for 10 years. The chairman of the House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee announced the probe on Friday in a statement posted on the committee's Web site, and vowed to hold the company accountable.

Source – PC World 4.8.07
http://www.business-humanrights.org/Links/Repository/764558/jump

Human Rights Groups Concerned over Chinese Press Freedom – China charged with reneging on Olympic Games commitments Freedom of the press in China, where 29 Chinese journalists are in prison, is a top concern of independent press advocacy and human rights groups that have issued new reports about the matter.

Source – US State Info 8.8.07
http://usinfo.state.gov/xarchives/display.html?p=washfile-english&y=2007&m=August&x=200708081551151xeneerg0.963421
 
6. Germany

Proceedings against journalists in Germany must stop, says OSCE Media Freedom Representative - The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, called on Germany to cease criminal proceedings against the 17 journalists who published allegedly classified information.

Source – OSCE 9.8.07
http://www.osce.org/item/25893.html

7. Ghana

FOI Conference Opens - An African Regional Conference on Freedom of Information (FOI) opened on Monday in Ghana's capital city of Accra. The two-day conference, attended by delegates from all over Africa, was to among other things hear implementation experiences from the few African countries.

Source – All Africa 1.8.07
http://allafrica.com/stories/200708010720.html

Freedom of information conference opens - An African Regional Conference on Freedom of Information (FOI) opened on Monday in Ghana's capital city of Accra. The two-day conference, attended by delegates from all over Africa, was to among other things hear implementation experiences from the few African countries that are presently implementing FOI laws, review a proposed model FOI law for African countries and adopt a regional-based FOI advocacy strategy.

Source – All Africa 1.8.07
http://allafrica.com/stories/200708010720.html

8. Greece

New radio licensing law in Greece restricts minority media, says OSCE media freedom watchdog - Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, expressed his concern today about a new Greek radio licensing law that endangers pluralism by putting a high threshold for minority, community or low-cost broadcasters.

Source – OSCE 27.7.07
http://www.osce.org/item/25793.html

New Greek media law threatens Turkish radio - A new law adopted by the Greek government to regulate the activities of private radio stations in the country has led to concerns among radio stations broadcasting in Turkish in Western Thrace.

Source – Today’s Zaman 3.8.07
http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=118129&bolum=103

Trial of Kostas Plevris and "Eleftheros Kosmos" for anti-Semitism on 5 September 2007 - Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) on the occasion of today’s day announces that Kostas Plevris and the newspaper “Eleftheros Kosmos” have been referred to trial before the 2nd Three-Member Misdemeanor Appeals Court of Athens on 5 September 2007, for violation of article 1 paragraph 1 and article 2 of the anti-racism law 927/79.

Source – Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) 12.8.07
http://cm.greekhelsinki.gr/uploads/2007_files/ghm914_katigoritirio_plevri_elkosmou_english.doc

9. Iran 

Iran confirms two Kurdish journalists sentenced to death - Iran's judiciary on Tuesday for the first time confirmed that two Iranian Kurdish journalists have been sentenced to death for being "enemies of God." Rights groups had reported that Adnan Hassanpour and Abdolvahed "Hiva" Botimar were sentenced to death on July 16 by a revolutionary court in Marivan, in Iran's northeastern Kordestan province.

Source – Yahoo 31.7.07
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070731/wl_mideast_afp/irankurdspressrights_070731104756

10. Kenya

Protests Against a Law Aimed at the Heart of the Media - Members of the media in Kenya took to the streets Wednesday in a silent protest against a law that would compromise press freedom by forcing them to divulge sources. Passed by parliament earlier this month, the Media Council of Kenya Bill is now awaiting presidential assent.

Source – IPS 16.8.07
http://www.ipsnews.net/africa/nota.asp?idnews=38918

Protests Against a Law Aimed at the Heart of the Media - Members of the media in Kenya took to the streets Wednesday in a silent protest against a law that would compromise press freedom by forcing them to divulge sources. Passed by parliament earlier this month, the Media Council of Kenya Bill is now awaiting presidential assent.

Source – IPS 16.8.07
http://www.ipsnews.net/africa/nota.asp?idnews=38918

Kenyan president refuses to sign proposed media law – The Kenyan president refused Wednesday to approve legislation that has widely been condemned as an attack on independent media because it would allow Kenyan courts to compel reporters to reveal their sources.

Source – International Herald Tribune 22.8.07
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/08/22/africa/AF-GEN-Kenya-Media.php

Ploy to gag press is plot to stab democracy - The National Security Committee in tandem with the police Crime Management Committee is persuading cabinet to institute measures that will curtail the work of journalists and stifle press freedom and freedom of speech. The police’s Media and Political Squad has been instructed to swing in action and pounce on those members of the public who make “irresponsible and criminal utterances against government and the person of the president.”

Source – Daily Monitor 16.8.07
http://www.monitor.co.ug/oped/oped08143.php

Controversial Press Law Requiring Journalists to Reveal Sources Approved - The media industry in Kenya has been thunderstruck by the surprise enactment of a media law that will require journalists to disclose the identities of their sources in court. A last minute amendment introduced in the final stages to the Media Council of Kenya Bill by a pro-government Member of Parliament was adopted and passed)on Thursday, August 4, 2007.

Source – All Africa 7.8.07
http://allafrica.com/stories/200708080271.html

President urged to reject law requiring journalists to reveal sources – Kenyan media were "thunderstruck" by the surprise passage of a media law that would require journalists to disclose their sources in court, according to the Nairobi-based Media Institute. On 4 August 2007, fewer than 30 of 222 members of parliament adopted a last-minute amendment to the Media Council of Kenya Bill

Source – IFEX
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/85546

LSK Vows to Fight Media Law in Court - The public outrage over the controversial Media Bill continued to mount yesterday, with the Law Society of Kenya vowing to go to court to stop the implementation of the proposed law if President Kibaki assents to it. LSK chairman Okong'o O'Mogeni said the basis of their challenge would be on a constitutional matter as the Bill, arguing that it was in conflict with other laws such as the Witness Protection Act.

Source – All Africa 7.8.07
http://allafrica.com/stories/200708061768.html

11. Kosovo

OSCE Mission in Kosovo condemns unprofessional, irresponsible journalism by local daily - The OSCE Mission in Kosovo has observed a worrying development of increased unprofessional and irresponsible reporting by the daily Infopress. "On 9 March, Infopress published an article entitled "Squad in Gracanica" about the conflict in Kosovo together with a list of names of Kosovo Serbs from that village

Source – OSCE 7.8.07
http://www.osce.org/item/25872.html

12. Malaysia

Malaysia cracks down on bloggers - The Malaysian government has warned it could use tough anti-terrorism laws against bloggers who insult Islam or the country's king. The move comes as one of Malaysia's leading online commentators has been questioned by police following a complaint by the main governing party.

Source – BBC 25.7.07
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/6915002.stm

13. New Zealand

Appeal Court lifts ban on book alleging sex abuse - The Court of Appeal has lifted a ban on a book about a woman's allegations that she was sexually abused by a health professional. The book focuses on allegations by "W" against her therapist, "A", who she says sexually abused her during therapy. He was later found not guilty of the charges at a criminal trial.

Source – New Zealand Herald 7.8.07
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=134&objectid=10456145

14. Palestine

Hamas bans Palestinian TV from Gaza - The Islamist Hamas movement has banned Palestinian public television from making or broadcasting any programmes in Gaza, which has been under Hamas control since mid-June, an official said. ”

Source – Media Network Weblog 2.8.07
http://blogs.rnw.nl/medianetwork/?p=8535

15. Peru
Public Information of the Ministry of Justice is now accessible - The Press and Society Institute (IPYS) has achieved, in the way of an habeas data, that the Ministry of Justice reduces the costs of reproduction of the public documents in their possession considering that those were exceeding even the price of market. Since August 15 every copy has passed of costing 56 cents de Nuevo Sol, to 7 cents de Nuevo Sol adapting the procedure of access to information to the stipulations of the Peruvian FOI Act.

By means of this process (Exp. N º 9125-2006-HD-TC) IPYS has achieved to set as a valid jurisprudential criterion of reference to detect illegal costs of reproduction, if they exceed the value of market. The Constitutional Court has supported IPYS criterion, relying on a report of the Defensoría del Pueblo -Peruvian ombudsman- emitted to our request.

Source – IPYS
www.ipys.org

Former Supreme Court President sues journalist for defamation - On 14 August 2007, Trujillo’s Second Unipersonal Criminal Tribunal, in charge of Judge Carlos Merino Salazar, opened proceedings against journalist Luis Bahamonde, head of the Investigations Unit of the newspaper Correo in Trujillo, after accepting the suit filed against him in May by the former president of Perú’s Supreme Court, Walter Vásquez Bejarano, for defamation and slander.

The suit is the response to a series of investigations published by Correo during 2005 and 2006, in which the journalist accused Vásquez Bejarano – currently a member of the Supreme Court – of using his position to benefit those close to him in several trials.

Judge Merino requested that the journalist present the documents that confirm the published investigations.

Source – IPYS
www.ipys.org

16. Philippines
New anti-terror law challenged in court - More than 20 petitions have been filed before the Philippines Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of a new anti-terror law that came into effect on 15 July, reports the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR). The Human Security Act includes provisions for phone tapping suspects and detaining them for three days without charge.


Source – IFEX 31.7.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/85222

17. Poland
 
Poland's continuing prosecution of journalists violates international standards, says OSCE media freedom watchdog - The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, has condemned the sentencing of Gazeta Wyborcza journalist Jacek Brzuszkiewicz, and urged Poland to decriminalize press offences.

Source – OSCE 6.7.07
http://www.osce.org/item/25867.html

18. Russia

OSCE media freedom representative asks Russian authorities to review extremism laws restricting free reporting - The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklós Haraszti, asked the Russian authorities today to re-examine the legal framework on extremism, especially the parts that touch upon the media's right to report on controversial issues.
Source – OSCE 27.7.07
http://www.osce.org/item/25791.html

Putin signs in Draconian anti-extremism measures - Russian President Vladimir Putin has hastily passed into law legislation to combat "extremism" the effect of which will be to muzzle critical voices, several IFEX members say. The package of amendments expands the definition of extremism to include public discussion of such activity, and gives the authorities the power to
suspend media outlets that do not comply with the new restrictions.

Source – IFEX 31.7.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/85225/

19. Saudi Arabia 

Saudi media discuss creation of second MSI - group of media personnel gathered here this week to discuss the state of the media in the Kingdom. This nongovernmental effort by media people in Saudi Arabia, along with the US-based international organization IREX, aimed at creating the second so-called Media Sustainability Index, or MSI, for Saudi Arabia.

Source – Arab News 27.7.07
http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1§ion=0&article=98981&d=27&m=7&y=2007&pix=kingdom.jpg&category=Kingdom
 
20. Serbia

OSCE condemns publishing of mutilated body photos, calls for application of ethics code - The Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia, Ambassador Hans Ola Urstad, called on Serbian media today to show respect for the deceased and their families when reporting on victims of tragic events.

Source – OSCE 23.8.07
http://www.osce.org/item/25975.html

21. Singapore

"No political films, please, we're Singaporeans" - is the blog of Martyn See,
a Singaporean videographer who spent 15 months under police investigation
for making "Singapore Rebel", a short film on leader of the opposition
Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) Chee Soon Juan. Not surprisingly, the film
was banned in Singapore, but See's words live on through his blog,


Source - Google Blog Alert 
http://singaporerebel.blogspot.com/

22. Somalia

New media law to be discussed in Parliament - The new media law issued by the transitional government has been put forward on Thursday before the parliament based in Baidoa, 250km northwest of the Somalia capital Mogadishu to discuss it and consider its adoption.

Source – Somali Net 17.8.07
http://somalinet.com/news/world/Somalia/12361

23. Spain

No death in the afternoon: state TV axes bullfights - Spanish broadcaster says coverage not possible at children's viewing timesGiles Tremlett in Madrid Tuesday August 21, 2007.  GuardianIt was once, along with football matches featuring Real Madrid, the lifeblood of Spain's public television. In the late afternoon bars with television sets would fill up, families would settle down together in their living rooms, and the country's most famous television presenter would appear on the screen to announce the day's star attraction - the bullfight.

Source – The Guardian 21.8.07
http://www.guardian.co.uk/spain/article/0,,2152994,00.html

24. Thailand
Thailand lifts YouTube ban put in place after 'insulting' video of king - The Thai government said Friday that it has lifted a five-month ban on the popular video-sharing website YouTube, now owned by Google after YouTube's site operator agreed to prohibit offensive videos from appearing on the site.

Source – Jurist 31.8.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/08/thailand-lifts-youtube-ban-put-in-place.php

25. Turkey

Various journalists detained, released, on trial for allegedly insulting authorities in articles - Two journalists of "Söz" TV and newspaper in Diyarbakir, in south-eastern Turkey, have been put on trial on charges of insulting local authorities in print. In a separate case, the director of the local newspaper "Emirdag" in Afyonkarahisar, in central Anatolia, is being tried for insulting an officer on duty.

Source – IFEX
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/85566

Supreme Court affirms earlier court decision to drop case against writer Orhan Pamuk for "degrading Turkishness" - The Supreme Court of Appeals has affirmed the decision of the Sisli 2nd Penal Court to drop the case against writer Orhan Pamuk. Pamuk was prosecuted at the Sisli 2nd Penal Court for "degrading Turkishness" (Article 301), over an interview given to the Swiss weekly "Das Magazin" in February 2005, in which he said, "One million Armenians and 30,000 Kurds have been killed on this soil."

Source – IFEX 7.8.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/85445/

26. UK

Dispatches footage will be given to police - The high court today ordered Channel 4 to hand over untransmitted footage from its controversial Dispatches documentary Britain Under Attack to police. The Metropolitan police asked for the court order after Channel 4 refused to voluntarily hand over the footage and research materials.

Source – The Guardian 21.8.07
http://media.guardian.co.uk/broadcast/story/0,,2153366,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=4

MoD to impose gagging order on blogs written by army personnel - The Ministry of Defence has imposed a ban on members of the armed forces using modern technology to communicate about their experiences. Soldiers, sailors and other members of the armed forces will be barred from blogging, which has taken off in army circles in recent years and in some cases led to investigations, including on practices in Iraq.

Source – The Independent
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article2851504.ece#2007-08-10T01:32:00-00:00

Press Complaints Commission issues video ruling - The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has made its first ruling on the use of video footage by a newspaper. The ruling comes after the John Ogilvie High School's Parent Teacher Association lodged a complaint over video of an unruly maths class that was posted on the website of the Hamilton Advertiser.

Source – VNUNET 15.8.07
http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2196705/pcc-makes-first-video-ruling
See also - http://www.pcc.org.uk/cases/adjudicated.html?article=NDY2MA
http://www.pcc.org.uk/cases/adjudicated.html?article=NDY2MQ==
http://www.pcc.org.uk/cases/adjudicated.html?article=NDY2Mg==
http://www.pcc.org.uk/news/index.html?article=NDMyMg==

Harry Potter author JK Rowling loses kid-pic privacy bid - Harry Potter author JK Rowling today failed in a legal bid to ban publication of a photograph of one of her children which was taken in the street. The picture, showing Rowling and her husband with son David in a buggy, was taken by a photographer using a long-range lens and appeared in the Sunday Express magazine to illustrate an article about her approach to motherhood and family life.

Source – Press Gazette 7.8.07
http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=1&storycode=38408&c=1

Web child fight videos criticised - Police chiefs have urged websites to remove violent video footage of children fighting, following an investigation by the BBC. Panorama found that films showing brutal fights between children are regularly uploaded to sharing websites.

Source – BBC 29.7.07
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6920817.stm

Legal victory for press in battle over secret Bush memo - Media organisations scored a partial victory today in a court claim that they should be free to publish the contents of a confidential memo detailing talks between George Bush and Tony Blair which was at the centre of an Official Secrets Act trial at the Old Bailey.

Source – Press Gazette 31.7.07
http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=1&storycode=38378&c=1

Cambridge U. Press Seeks to Destroy All Copies of Book on Terrorism to Settle Libel Lawsuit by Saudi Businessman - Cambridge University Press announced this week that it would pulp all unsold copies of the 2006 book Alms for Jihad: Charity and Terrorism in the Islamic World, in response to a libel claim filed in England by Khalid bin Mahfouz, a Saudi banker.

Source – The Chronicle of Higher Education 1.8.07
http://chronicle.com/temp/reprint.php?id=tyybws69sk7jkhqtyj2phvr1bq9rtfwm

27. US

Man convicted for posting nude MySpace photo - A Florida teen who posted a nude photo of his younger ex-girlfriend on her MySpace page was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
Anthony D. Rich, 19, was 17 when he posted the photo on the social networking Web site after he and his then 15-year-old girlfriend broke up.

Source – MSN 30.8.07
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20514201/

Pa. Court: Viewing Child Porn on Computer Enough for Possession - The Pennsylvania Superior Court isn't buying the argument that a man who viewed child pornography on his computer, but didn't save the images, couldn't be charged with possession of child pornography.

Source – Law.com 24.8.07
http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1187859734533

CNET reporters sue HP for invasion of privacy - The fallout from Hewlett-Packard's boardroom leak scandal continued Wednesday as three CNET News.com reporters sued the computer maker, alleging that its investigation tactics amounted to an invasion of privacy and a violation of state rules on business practices.

Source – CNET 15.8.07
http://news.com.com/CNET+reporters+sue+HP+for+invasion+of+privacy/2100-1014_3-6202836.html?tag=nl.e496

EFF Preserves Your Rights: Patriotism At Its Finest – At a packed San Francisco hearing today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) defended your Fourth Amendment rights and urged the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to let our class-action
lawsuit against AT&T go forward.

Source – Evol’s Blog
http://www.theimagelab.com/blog/ 

Federal judge issues permanent injunction against California violent video game law - US District Court Judge Ronald Whyte issued a permanent injunction Monday against a 2005 California law restricting the sale or rental of violent video games to minors, agreeing with the Video Software Dealers Association and the Entertainment Software Association that the law was an unconstitutional infringement on the industry's First Amendment free speech rights.

Source – Jurist 7.8.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/08/federal-judge-issues-permanent.php

House Judiciary Committee approves journalist shield law - The US House Judiciary Committee approved new legislation on Wednesday shielding reporters from being compelled to disclose confidential sources. Under the bill, journalists could not be forced by prosecutors to reveal their informants unless a court determined that the public interest in disclosure outweighed the public interest in news gathering.

Source – Jurist 2.8.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/08/house-judiciary-committee-approves.php

Daily Sound Ordered to Surrender Photos - The Santa Barbara Daily Sound will face contempt-of-court charges if the newspaper refuses to turn over unpublished photographs taken in the aftermath of this spring’s fatal gang melee in front of Saks Fifth Avenue in downtown Santa Barbara. The photos were subpoenaed by Public Defender Karen Atkins to help the defense of her client, 14-year-old Ricardo Juarez, who is accused of murdering 15-year-old Luis Angel Linares.

Source – Santa Barbara Daily Sound 2.8.07
http://www.independent.com/news/2007/aug/02/emdaily-soundem-ordered-surrender-photos/

House panel approves legal shield for bloggers – congressional panel on Wednesday voted, against the Bush administration's wishes, to shield journalists including advertising-supported bloggers from having to reveal their confidential sources in many situations.

Source – CNET 2.8.07
http://news.com.com/2100-1028_3-6200188.html

Second Life's Virtual Gamblers Told to Fold - All bets are off in Second Life this week. The casinos of the virtual world have closed shop after a decision by its founders to forbid gambling in their online society. "Because there are a variety of conflicting gambling regulations around the world we have chosen to restrict gambling in Second Life."

Source – Washington Post 1.8.07
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/31/AR2007073101693.html

Music body joins YouTube battle – A major US music industry body has joined other businesses in seeking to sue video-sharing website YouTube. The National Musical Publishers' Association says some songwriters are not being properly compensated when their music appears on the site.

Source – BBC 7.8.07
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6935168.stm

Bush urges Congress to update surveillance law - US President George W. Bush said Saturday in his weekly radio address that he wants to modernize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) [text; JURIST news archive] to meet threats from terrorists who can now use cell phones and the Internet to communicate. Bush urged Congress to pass new legislation, saying:

Source – Jurist 29.7.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/07/bush-urges-congress-to-update.php

Google to filter copyright videos by September – YouTube will launch a system in September designed to prevent pirated material from going up on the site, a Google lawyer said in court on Friday. Google plans to generate a library of digital video fingerprints that would be used by a computer system to screen clips being uploaded to YouTube

Source – CNET 27.7.07
http://news.com.com/8301-10784_3-9751232-7.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1023_3-0-5

28. Venezuela

Venezuela's RCTV Defies Government, Supreme Court Allows Broadcast - Venezuelan private television channel RCTV barely avoided being taken off of cable TV today, when the country’s Supreme Court granted an injunction that allows its continued broadcast, despite RCTV's defiance of a government ultimatum for the channel to register itself as a national broadcaster.


Source – Venezuela Analysis 1.8.07
http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news.php?newsno=2370

Telecomm commission: Venezuela's RCTV must follow Venezuelan law - Venezuela’s Telecommunications Commission stated this week that the private TV channel RCTV must continue to follow Venezuelan media regulations, even though its new headquarters are in Miami.

Source – Venezuela Analysis 25.7.07
http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news.php?newsno=2362

29. Yemen
MWF meets to propose amendments to press laws - The Media Women Forum has announced plans to hold the second meeting of the Media Law Working Group on Sunday, August 19-20, 2007, to discuss proposals, priorities and means to reform Yemen’s press law.  The meeting will examine the legal aspects of reforming the press law, and figure out how the most effective reforms can be made.

Source – Yemen Observer 18.8.07
http://www.yobserver.com/local-news/10012779.html 

MWF meets to propose amendments to press laws - The Media Women Forum has announced plans to hold the second meeting of the Media Law Working Group on Sunday, August 19-20, 2007, to discuss proposals, priorities and means to reform Yemen’s press law.  The meeting will examine the legal aspects of reforming the press law, and figure out how the most effective reforms can be made.

Source – Yemen Observer 18.8.07
http://www.yobserver.com/local-news/10012779.html

Restrictions to freedom of expression in the name of the fight against terrorism - The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) wishes to convey its concern about the multiplication of assaults on freedom of the press throughout Yemen. A recent series of condemnation and trials appear to form part of an orchestrated clamping down on freedom of expression and opinion, under cover of the protection of the "national security".

Source – FIDH 29.7.07
http://www.fidh.org/article.php3?id_article=4521

30. Various/Useful Links

a) Human Rights Fellows Program for Angola and Mozambique
http://www.justiceinitiative.org/about/positions?preprint=1

b) Open Society Transparency and silence available in Spanish
http://www.justiceinitiative.org/db/resource2?res_id=103818
 

c) Ethics and human rights in information society
http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.php-URL_ID=24772&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

d) DENMARK: Decision regarding complaint from the Radio and Television Supreme Council
http://www.roj.tv/index/Press/roj_tv_afgoerelse_engelsk.pdf
 

7. Various/Useful Links

a) Justice Initiative - Human Rights Fellows Program for Angola and Mozambique (2008-2010 Session)http://www.justiceinitiative.org/db/resource2?res_id=103833

b) Broadcasting legislation resourcehttp://www.epra.org/content/english/authorities/medialegislation.html

c) Decision regarding complaint from the Television and Radio Supreme Council http://www.roj.tv/index/Press/roj_tv_afgoerelse_engelsk.pdf

d) In re St Peter and St Paul, Chingford
Arches Court of Canterbury: Cameron QC, Dean of the Arches, Kaye QC and Tattersall QC Chh: 14 August 2007
In carrying out the balancing exercise necessary in considering whether or not to grant a faculty for the installation of telecommunications equipment it was necessary to differentiate between the effect of the installation of equipment on children and the effect on adults. Mobile phone operators had to ensure a reasonable response to countering the risk to children from pornography over the mobile phone network. In respect of the risk to adults, to bar something which would be of benefit to the public generally because there was a risk that some adults would be able to privately access material which many Christians and others deplored was to take an unbalance approach.

The Arches Court of Canterbury so held in a reserved judgment, allowing the appeal by the petitioners, QS4 Ltd and the rector and churchwardens of the parish of St Peter and St Paul Chingford (Reverend Tom Page, Ted Cooke and Gordon Hughes), against the decision of Pulman QC Ch given in October 2006 in the Chelmsford Consistory Court to refuse a faculty for the installation of a mobile telephone base station and antennae in the parish church tower to be operated by a single mobile phone company, T-Mobile, for the purposes of their 3G network coverage. Stephen Turner, a resident of the parish, was the party opponent to the petition. The chancellor had refused the faculty on the grounds that some of the material to be transmitted through the antennae was not consistent with the use of the church as a place of Christian worship and that it was no part of the work or the mission of the church to facilitate the transmission of pornography whether from the
internet or privately created, whether lawful or unlawful.

CAMERON QC, Dean of the Arches, giving the judgment of the court, said that the task of the chancellor was to conduct a balancing exercise taking into account all relevant factors, bearing in mind that the church had to be treated in a reverent and seemly manner consistent with its use as a place of worship. A cautious approach needed to be adopted in permitting something which might reflect adversely on the Church and such safeguards as were reasonable and proper had to be put in place. The chancellor, in reaching his decision, had not heard evidence on the filtering techniques available to prevent unlawful and inappropriate transmission of material by mobile telephone and had not therefore taken into account all the relevant factors in reaching his decision and it had therefore been appropriate for the Arches Court to hear expert evidence, examine further documentation and consider whether a faculty should be granted. In balancing the relevant factors
it was necessary to note that the 3G technology was different from the 2G technology in that it enabled fast access to the internet and so the case law which dealt with 2G mobile phones was not of particular assistance in relation to a petition for a faculty in relation to the use of 3G mobile phones. In relation to the application it was necessary to differentiate between the effect of the installation of equipment on children and the effect on adults. The major consideration was the risk to children from using a mobile phone to access pornography on the internet. The mobile phone operators had introduced filtering techniques for those under 18 and there was continuous monitoring of websites by the Internet Watch Foundation. Those steps were a reasonable and welcome public response to counter the risk to children. Furthermore it was incumbent on parents and teachers to educate children in the use of the internet; a cautious parent could place a block
on the use of the internet on their child's mobile phone. As far as adults were concerned the risk was that some adults benefitting from the improved transmission in the Chingford area might somewhere use a mobile phone to access pornography which was not classed as unlawful by the criminal law. To bar something which would be of benefit to the public generally because there was a risk that some would be able privately to access material which many Christians and others deplored, was to take an unbalanced approach. The appeal would therefore be allowed and a faculty granted subject to conditions.


Appearances: Charles George QC and Philip Petchey (Lee Bolton & Lee) for the petitioners; the party opponent in person; Mark Bishop (Winckworth Sherwood) as a friend of the court.

e) Shell Fellowship at PCMLP: closing date for applications Friday 31 August 2007

f) Press Complaints Commission - Strathspey & Badenoch Herald Casehttp://www.pcc.org.uk/cases/adjudicated.html?article=NDY1Nw==?oxid=2e93599ec361d21a789edb6ed57d14b1

g) UNESCO Report - New Media : The Press Freedom Dimension  http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0015/001520/152017e.pdf

h) OSCE- ODIHR: Implementation Conferencehttp://www.osce.org/conferences/hdim_2007.html

i) Submit Comments to ICANN about New gTLDs
http://www.keep-the-core-neutral.org/action1

j) OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw 24.9.07 – 5.10.07http://www.osce.org/documents/html/pdftohtml/25845_en.pdf.html

k) The informal Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) seminar on Human Rights aims to promote better mutual understanding and co-operation between the countries of Asia and Europe in the area of political dialogue, particularly on human rights issues, between government officials, academics and civil society participants of the 43 ASEM countries.
The Informal Seminar on Human Rights was launched in 1998 and has since provided governments and civil society organisations an arena for non-confrontational debate on human rights issues.

This September, 104 representatives from Asian and European governments and civil society organisations will convene in Siem Reap, Cambodia for the 8th Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights, to discuss issues on “Freedom of Expression”We would like to encourage IMLA members to submit materials to incorporate in the weekly newsletter. 

The series of Informal ASEM Seminars on Human Rights are co-organised by Asia-Europe Foundation, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Sweden.

Visit the website at http://www.asef.org/index.php?option=com_project&task=view&id=1047.



l) Shell Fellowship at PCMLP – deadline for applications 31 August 2007.  See http://www.csls.ox.ac.uk/vacancies.shtml

m) For comments: Nepal, right to information draft bill, see http://www.internationalmedialawyers.org/cgi-bin/blog/blosxom.cgi#rti_nepal.html
 
n) URGENT MEDIA LAW AND REGULATION EXPERT NEEDED FOR PARTICIPATION IN SEMINAR IN SYRIA IN SEPTEMBER 2007

Contact Gerd Greune, Director of IFIAS, re. the Syria Project by IFIAS http://www.ifias.net/ If you contact IFIAS please mention that you saw this on the IMLA newsletter.

o) House of Lords Select Committee report on the Chairmanship of the BBChttp://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200607/ldselect/ldcomuni/171/171.pdf

p) Hate speech and the Internet: When is censorship necessary?http://www.ijnet.org/Director.aspx?P=DiscussionArticle&ID=306568&LID=1

q) Freedom of Information Around the World 2006: A Global Survey of Access to Government Information Laws has been fully translated into Russian.  http://www.privacyinternational.org/foi/foisurvey2006rus.pdf

The English version, an Arabic translation of the 2004 survey and an
updated version of the global map are also available at:
http://www.privacyinternational.org/foisurvey
http://www.lawreports.co.uk/WLRD/2007/HLPC/aug0.2.htm
http://www.lawreports.co.uk/WLRD/2007/HLPC/aug0.2.htm
http://www.lawreports.co.uk/WLRD/2007/HLPC/aug0.2.htm

r) New media: the press freedom dimension, challenges and opportunities of new media for press freedomhttp://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.php-URL_ID=25143&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

s)  The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) seeks three programme officers http://www.mediaforfreedom.com/ReadArticle.asp?ArticleID=2990

t) European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC) seeks lawyer for its Moscow office http://www.ocha.ru/index.php?m=31&op=view&id=2088&arc=1&_lang=rus&PHPSESSID=92a184f465cee5d284d961a4953082ad

u) The Shell Fellowship in Media Law and Policy at the University of Oxford:  deadline for applications extended until 31 August 2007http://www.csls.ox.ac.uk/vacancies.shtml

v) VII International Human Rights Colloquium – Sao Paulo, Brazil 3-10 November 2007http://www.conectas.org/coloquio/home_en.html

w) Governing the Internet – OSCE Report http://www.osce.org/publications/rfm/2007/07/25667_918_en.pdf

x) Vacancy - The Shell Fellowship in Media Law and Policy at PCMLP, University of Oxford – deadline Friday 10 August 2007http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/ps/oao/arrs/arrs674j.shtml



 
 
 

Posted: Aug 31 2007, 16:42 (/newsletter_August_2007) [ Return to top ]


Fri, 17 Aug 2007

Siem Reap, Cambodia for the 8th Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights, to discuss Freedom of Expression

The 8th Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights

 

Content:

The informal Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) seminar on Human Rights aims to promote better mutual understanding and co-operation between the countries of Asia and Europe in the area of political dialogue, particularly on human rights issues, between government officials, academics and civil society participants of the 43 ASEM countries.

 

The Informal Seminar on Human Rights was launched in 1998 and has since provided governments and civil society organisations an arena for non-confrontational debate on human rights issues.

 

This September, 104 representatives from Asian and European governments and civil society organisations will convene in Siem Reap, Cambodia for the 8th Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights, to discuss issues on “Freedom of Expression”, taking the basis in Article 19 of the 1948 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights which reads: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” This 8th seminar on human rights will be hosted by the government of Cambodia.

 

We welcome interest from students (particularly at the master’s and doctoral levels), artists & writers, international organisations/ trade union associations, non-government organisations, journalists/ media organisations (print & internet), cultural organisation, think tank/ research organisations, corporations/lawyers and business groups, academic/ education institutions, youth organisations that have relevant work and interest in the area of Freedom of Expression.

 

Participation is by invitation only, open to the following ASEM nationals:

 

Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mongolia, Myanmar, The Netherlands, Pakistan, The Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, United Kingdom, Vietnam, the European Commission and ASEAN Secretariat.

 

The series of Informal ASEM Seminars on Human Rights are co-organised by Asia-Europe Foundation, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Sweden.

 

Visit our website at http://www.asef.org/index.php?option=com_project&task=view&id=1047.

 

For enquiries, please contact:

 

Natalia Figge

Intellectual Exchange Department

Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF)

31 Heng Mui Keng Terrace, Singapore 119595

Tel: (65) 6874 9717

Fax: (65) 6872 1207

Email: natalia@asef.org

Posted: Aug 17 2007, 10:55 (/Cambodia_seminar_2007) [ Return to top ]


Thu, 16 Aug 2007

FOR COMMENTS - NEPAL: RIGHT TO INFORMATION

Unofficial Translation                                                                         July 20, 2007
© Freedom Forum
 
Right to Information Act, 2064
Act to provide for Right to Information
 
Preamble: Whereas it is expedient to make the functions of the state open and transparent in accordance with the democratic system and to make responsible and accountable to the citizen; to make the access of citizens simple and easy to the information of public importance held in public agencies; to protect sensitive information that could make adverse impact on the interest of the nation and citizen, and for the necessity to have legal provisions to protect the right of the citizen to be well-informed and to bring it into practice, the 'Legislature-Parliament' has enacted this Act.
 
Part 1
Preliminary

1. Short Title and Commencement
 
    (1) The name of this Act is "Right to Information Act 2007". 
 
    (2) This Act shall come into effect on the date after thirty days of certification.
 
2. Definition Unless the subject or context otherwise requires, in this Act:-
 
       (a) By "Public Agency" denotes the agency and institution according to the                     following list:-
     1. Agencies under the Constitution.
     2. Agencies established by the Act.
     3. Agencies formed by the Nepal Government.
     4. Organizations and Foundations established by the law to provide public services.
     5. Political Party or Organization registered under the prevalent law.
     6. Organized institution under the full or partial ownership or under control of the Nepal Government; or organized body receiving grants from Nepal Government.
     7. Organizations formed by the agencies established by the Nepal Government or the Law through any agreement.
     8. Non-governmental organization or institution operated obtaining money directly or indirectly from the Nepal government or foreign government or international organizations or institutions;
     9. Other agencies or institution mentioned as public agency by the Nepal Government publishing notification in the gazette.
(b)   "Information" denotes any written document, material or information related to the functions, proceedings thereof or decisions of public importance made by the public agencies.
(c)    "Public Importance" denotes a subject related directly or indirectly with the interest of citizens. 
(d)   "Written Document" denotes any kind of scripted written document and the word shall also denote any audio visual materials collected and updated through any medium or that can be printed or retrieved.
(e)  "Right to Information" denotes the right to request and obtain information of public importance held in public agencies and this term shall also include the right to study or observation of any written document, material held in public agency or proceedings of such public agency; to obtain a verified copy of such written document, to visit or observe the place where any construction of public importance is going on and to obtain verified sample of any materials or to obtain information held in any type of machine through such machine.
(f)    "Information Official" denotes a person appointed pursuant to Sec.6.
(g) "Chief" denotes the chief of public agency.
(h)   "Commission" denotes the National Information Commission constituted pursuant to Section 11.
(i)    "Chief Information Commissioner" denotes the person appointed pursuant to Section 11.
(j)    "Information Commissioner" denotes the person appointed pursuant to Section 11.
(k)  "Prescribed" or "As prescribed" means prescribed or as prescribed in Rules framed under this Act.
 
Part 2
Right to Information and Provision regarding the flow of Information
 
3. Right to Information:
 
1) Every Nepali Citizen shall have the right to information subject to this Act.
 
2) Every Nepali Citizen shall have the access to the information held in the public      agencies.
 
3) Notwithstanding anything provided in the sub-section 1 & 2, the information held in the public agencies on the following subject matters will not be released;
 
a.      Information which seriously jeopardizes the sovereignty, integrity, national security, public peace, stability and international relations of Nepal.
b.     Information which directly affects the investigation, inquiry and prosecution of crimes.  
c.      Information having serious impact on protection of economic, trade or monetary interest or intellectual property; or banking or trade privacy.
d.     Information that jeopardizes the harmonious relationship subsisted among various casts or communities.  
e.      Information that interferes on individual privacy and security of body, life, property or health of a person.
 
Provided that, public agency shall not refrain from the responsibility of flowing information without appropriate and adequate reason not to flow information.
 
4) If a public agency has both the information in its record that can be made public and that cannot be made public pursuant to this Act, The information officer shall have to provide information to the applicant after separating the information which can be made public.
 
4. Responsibility of Public Agency:  
 
1) Every Public Agency shall respect and protect the right to information of citizen.
 
2) Public Agency shall have following responsibilities for the purpose of subsection (1);
 
a) Classify and update information and make them public, publish and broadcast;
b) Make the citizens' access to information simple and easy,
c) Conduct its functions openly and transparently.
d) Provide appropriate training and orientation to its staffs.
 
3) Public agencies may use different national languages and mass media while publishing, broadcasting or making information public pursuant to Sub Section 2(a).
 
5.  Update and Publication of information:
 
1) Public agencies shall update information related to them.
 
2) Public Agencies shall. as long as possible, update information related to them for at least 20 years prior the commencement of this Act, pursuant to Subsection (1).
 
3) Public Agencies shall make a list of the following information relating to their agencies and publish them;
(a) Structure and nature of agency
(b) Duties, responsibilities and powers of agency
(c) Number of employees and job description
(d) Service to be provided by the Agency
(e) Branch and responsible officer of the service providing Agency
(f) Fee and time limit required for service
(g) Decision making process and officer
(i) Authority to hear appeal against decision
(j) Description of functions performed
(k) Name and designation of Chief and Information officer
(l) List of Acts, Rules, By-laws or Guidelines,
(m) Updated description of income and expenditures, financial transactions,
(n) Other particulars as prescribed.
 
4)     Public Agency shall have to update and publish information pursuant to the sub-section 3 within three months from the date of commencement of this Act and in every three months afterwards.
 
6. Provision of Information Officer:
 
1) Public agency shall arrange for Information Officer with the purpose of disseminating information held in its office.
 
2) For the purpose of disseminating information pursuant to the Sub Section (1), Chief shall have to regularly provide information held in the office to the Information Officer.
 
3) Public agency may set up Information Division for the purpose of disseminating information as per necessity.
 
7. Procedures of acquiring information:
 
     1) Nepali citizen who seeks to obtain any information pursuant to this Act shall submit an application to the related information officer mentioning the reason.
    
     2) If an application is received pursuant to Subsection 1, Information officer shall provide the information immediately if the information by its nature could be provided immediately and the officer shall have to provide within fifteen days from the date of application if the information by its nature could not be provided immediately.
 
     3) If it is not possible to provide information immediately pursuant to Subsection 2, Information officer shall instantly provide a notice with the reason to the applicant.
 
     4) Notwithstanding anything provided in Subsection 3, if information which is requested is related to security of life of any person, the Information officer shall provide information within 24 hours of such request.
 
     5) Information Officer shall have to provide the information in the format demanded by the applicant as much as possible.
 
     6) Notwithstanding anything provided in Subsection (5), If any possibility exists that the source of information may be damaged or destroyed or spoilt if it is provided in the format as requested by the applicant, the Information Officer shall mentioning the reason thereof and provide such information in appropriate format.
 
     7) If any person submits an application to study or observe written document, materials or activities pursuant of Sub section (1), Information officer shall provide an appropriate time to the applicant for the study and observation of such written document, materials or activities.
 
     8) If it is found after examining the application received pursuant to Subsection 1 that the information is not related to the agency, the Information Officer shall have to provide notification to the applicant immediately. 
 
8. Fee for information:
 
     1) Applicant shall pay fee as prescribed while requesting information pursuant to Section 7.
 
          Provided that, the fees shall be in accordance with the provision of prevalent laws, if different fees are prescribed for any specific information.
 
     2) While prescribing the fee pursuant to Subsection 1, the charge shall be based on the actual cost of providing information.
 
     3) If the fee prescribed pursuant to Subsection (2) is deemed more than cost price, the concerned person may appeal to the Commission.
 
     4) While examining the appeal pursuant to Subsection (3), the Commission may order to revise the fee if the fee charged is found in contrary to the Subsection 2.
 
9. Provision for Complaint:
 
     1) If information officer do not provide information, deny providing information, partially provides information, provides wrong information or does not provide information denying the applicant as stakeholder, the concerned person may submit a complaint to Chief within 7 days from the date of information denied or partial information received.
 
     2) While investigating the complain received pursuant to the Subsection (1), the chief shall order the Information official to provide information as demanded by applicant if it is found that the information was denied or partially provided or wrong information was provided, and the information officer has to provide information to the concerned applicant if such order is issued.
  
     3) During the investigation pursuant to Subsection (2), if it is found that the information officer denied to provide information or partially provided the information knowingly or with malafide intention or provided wrong information, the Chief may take departmental action against that information official.
 
     4) In the investigating pursuant to Subsection (2) if it is found that the information can not be provided, the Chief shall make a decision accordingly and provide a notification stating the reasons to the applicant.
 
10. Provision for Appeal:
 
     1) A person aggrieved by the decision of the Chief pursuant to the Subsection (4) of Section 9 may appeal to the commission within 35 days of the notice of decision received.
 
     2) Commission shall summon and take statement of the concerned Chief or Information Officer, order to submit written document, take statement of witness and evidence or demand any document from public agency while investigating and deciding the appeal received pursuant to Subsection (1).
 
     3) While investigating and deciding the appeal pursuant to the Sub section (2), the commission shall do the following;
          a) May order the concerned Chief to provide information to the appellant without fee, if appeal is found reasonable.
          b) Dismiss the appeal if it is found not reasonable.
 
     4) The commission has to give final verdict on the appeal within sixty days of appeal submission.
 
     5) The other procedures to be followed by the commission during appeal pursuant to this Section shall be as prescribed.
 
Chapter 3
Provision Regarding Commission
 
11) Provision regarding Commission:
 
     1) An independent National Information Commission shall be established for the protection, Promotion and practice of right to information.
 
     2) There shall be Chief Information Commissioner and two other Information Commissioners in the Commission.
 
     3) In order to appoint Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners there shall be a committee comprised as follows;
          a) The Speaker                                                                 - Chairperson
          b) Minister or State Minister for Information and communication     - Member
          c) President, Federation of Nepalese Journalist                    - Member
 
     4) The Nepal Government shall appoint a Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners on the recommendation of the Committee pursuant to Subsection (3). While appointing in this manner, at least one female shall have to be included.
 
     5) The Committee pursuant to Subsection (3) shall follow inclusive principles as much as possible while recommending for appointment of Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners.
 
     6) The procedures of recommendation pursuant to Subsection 3 shall be as determined by the Recommendation Committee itself.
 
 12. Qualifications:
    
     To be appointed for the position of Chief Information Commissioners and Information Commissioners should have following qualification:
          (a) Should be a Nepalese Citizen
          (b) Should hold a Bachelor's Degree from a recognized University
          (c) Should have more than 15 year of working experience in the field of Mass communication, Law and justice, public administration, information technology or management.
 
13. Ineligibilities:
 
     The following persons shall be ineligible to be appointed in the position of Chief Information Commissioners and Information Commissioners.
          a) Not having the qualification pursuant to Section 12.
          b) Convicted by a court on any criminal offence involving moral degradation.
          c) Incumbent employee of Government and Public Institution.
          d) Incumbent in political position. 
          e) Person disqualified to be appointed under the prevailing laws.
 
14. Term of Office:
 
     1) The term of office of the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioner shall be for 5 years and he can not be re-appointed in that post.
 
     2) Notwithstanding Subsection (1), the Information Commissioner can be re-appointed in the post of Chief Information Commissioner under the provision of term of office pursuant to same subsection.
 
     3) The Recommendation Committee pursuant to Subsection 3 of section 11 shall make recommendation for new appointment one month prior the expiry of the  term of Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners.
 
15. Post to be vacated:
 
     The post of the Chief Commissioner and Commissioners shall be considered vacant under the following conditions:
          a) If the person dies;
          b) If the person reaches the age of 65;
          c) If he tender resignation to the Prime Minister;
          d) If his term is completed;
          e) If the person is convicted by the court on any criminal offence involving moral      degradation
          f) If he is removed from his post pursuant of Section 16.
 
16. May remove from office:
    
     The Chief Information Commissioner or Information commissioner shall be removed from his office if a meeting of Parliamentary Committee concerned with information and communication, with the two third quorum, recommends for removing Chief Information Commissioner or Information Officer on the basis that he is not fit to hold office for the reason of incompetence or misbehavior or not carrying out the duties honestly with two third members present in the meting of the committee.  
    
          Provided that, the Chief Information Commissioner or Information Commissioner charged with such accusation shall not be denied an appropriate opportunity to present his case to clear the charge.
 
17. Provision regarding the conditions of service:
 
The remuneration, condition of service and facilities for Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners shall be as prescribed.
 
18. Oath of Office:
 
Before taking charge of Office, the Chief Information Commissioner shall take the oath of office from the Prime Minister and the Information Commissioners from the Chief Information Commissioner respectively, in the format as laid down in Schedule I.
 
19. 19 Functions, duties and powers of the Commission
 
In addition to the functions, duties and powers mentioned elsewhere in this Act, the functions, duties and powers of the Commission shall be as follows:
     
(a) To observe and study the records and documents of public importance held in public agencies;
(b) To order for maintaining list of information related with documents and records held in such agency orderly;
(c)   To order concerned public agency to make information public for citizen's notification;
(d) Prescribe timeframe and order concerned public agency to provide information demanded by applicant within that timeframe. ;
(e) To order concerned party to fulfill liabilities pursuant to this Act;
(f)    Provide necessary suggestions and recommendations to Nepal Government and various other bodies related to information and communications regarding the protection and maintenance of right to information.
(g) To issue other appropriate orders regarding the protection, promotion and exercise of right to information.
 
20. Power Delegation:
 
The commission may delegate any of the functions, duties or powers, except the power to hear and decide on appeal under Section 9, to chief information commissioner, information commissioners or any agency or officials, subjects to prescribed terms and conditions.  
 
21. Office of the Commission:
 
 The central office of the Commission shall be set up in Kathmandu Valley and the Commission may open its offices in various places of the country according to the necessity.
  
22. Staffs of the Commission:
 
1) Necessary numbers of staffs shall be there at the Commission.
 
2) The Nepal Government shall provide staffs necessary for the Commission.
 
23. Expenditure of the Commission:
 
1) The Nepal Government shall arrange budget necessary for the Commission.
 
2) The commission may obtain financial resources necessary for it from other sectors with prior permission of Nepal Government.
 
24. Need to cooperate with the Commission:
 
Public agencies have to provide necessary cooperation in the activities of Commission.
 
25. Annual Report:
 
1) The Commission shall have to submit annual report on its activities to the Legislature-Parliament through Prime Minister every year.
 
2) The Commission shall publish the Annual Report pursuant to Subsection (1) publicly for public notification.
 
26. Contact with the Nepal Government:
 
The commission shall maintain contact with the Nepal Government through the Ministry of Information and Communication.
 
Part 4
Provision Regarding Protection of Information
 
27. Provision Regarding Classification of Information:
 
1) For the protection of the information related to Subsection 3 of Section 3, held in public agency, there shall be a committee as following to classify the information in policy level.
 
          a) Chief Secretary of Nepal Government                              -Chairman
          b) Secretary of relevant Ministry                                         -Member
          c) Expert of concerned subject prescribed
              by the Chief of Office or Chairperson                              -Member
 
2) The committee pursuant to Subsection (1), regarding the classification of information pursuant to Section 3(3), shall inform the commission by determining the no. of years the information should be kept confidential and techniques for information protection.
 
3) Person not satisfied with the classification made by the Committee pursuant to Subsection (2) may appeal the Commission for revision, demanding such information to be public.
 
4) During the course of review of an appeal pursuant to Subsection (3), if the Commission finds that certain information need not be kept confidential, it shall order to make such information public.
 
5) The information classified pursuant to Subsection (2) may be kept confidential for maximum 30 years, according to the nature of the information.
 
6) Notwithstanding anything contained in Subsection (5), the committee shall review in every ten years if any information classified as confidential is necessary to keep confidential or not.
 
7) While reviewing pursuant to Subsection 6 the committee, if finds necessary to keep that information confidential for additional period, may decide the duration and classify as confidential for that period or may classify as non-confidential if finds not necessary to keep confidential.
 
28. Protection of Information:
 
1) Public agency shall protect the information of personal nature held in for preventing unauthorized publication and broadcasting.
 
2) Personal information held in public agency, except in following situation, shall not be used without written consent of concerned person.
a) In case of preventing a serious threat to life and body of any persons or public health or security;
          b) if required to be disclosed pursuant to prevailing laws;
          c) if related to investigation of offence of Corruption.
 
 
29. Protection of Whistleblower:
 
1) it shall be a responsibility of employee of public agency to provide information on any ongoing or probable corruption or irregularities or any deed taken as offence under the prevailing laws.
 
2) It shall be the duty of information receiver to make the identity of whistleblower pursuant to Subsection (1) confidential.
 
3) No harm or punishment shall be made to bear any legal responsibility to the whistleblower for providing information pursuant to Subsection 1.
 
4) If any punishment or harm is done to the whistleblower against the Subsection 3, the whistleblower may complaint, along with demand for compensation, to the commission for revoking such decision.
 
5) While investigating the complaint pursuant to Subsection 4, the commission may make order including to revoke the decision of removal from the office if he is removed from office and for the compensation if any damages is occurred to the whistleblower.  
 
30. Provision Regarding Providing Personal Information:
 
1) Concerned agency shall have to provide information related with the public post to the concerned person, if any person demands information of during his service in the public agency.
 
2) Information shall have to be provided to the concerned person if a person demands for Information related with him held in public agency.
 
3) The procedures for demanding and acquiring information pursuant to Subsection (1) shall be as mentioned in Section 7.
 
4) Fees shall be charged pursuant to Section 8 while acquiring information pursuant to the Subsection (1).
 
31. Information not to be misused
 
1) Any person who obtains any information from any public agency shall not misuse the information not using it for the purpose that is acquired.
 
2) The concerned public agency may complain to the Commission against any person who misuse the information against Subsection (1).
 
Part 5
Provision Regarding Punishment and Compensation
 
32. Punishment:
 
1) If the Commission finds that Chief of public agency or Information Officer has held back information without any valid reason; refused to part with information; provided partial or wrong information; or has destroyed information; it may impose a fine between Nrs. 1,000 to 25,000 to such Chief or Information Officer, and if such chief or Information officer is in a post to be punished by Department, it may write to the concerned agency for departmental punishment.
 
(2) If the chief of public agency or information official delay to provide information to be provided on time without reason, they shall be punished with a fine of Nrs 200 for each day the information is delayed to provide.  
 
(3) If the Commission writes to the concerned agency for Departmental action in accordance with Subsection (1), the public agency shall have to take departmental action against that Chief or Information Officer within three months and notify commission about that.
 
(4) The Commission may impose a fine between NRs. 5,000 to Nrs. 25,000 considering the seriousness of misuse of information if any person is found misusing the information acquired from public agency instead of using it for purpose it was obtained for.
 
(5) The Commission may impose a fine of up to NRs.10, 000 to the   concerned person in case its decision or order pursuant to this Act is not obeyed.
 
33. Compensation:
 
1) If any person incur losses and damages due to not providing information, denying to provide information, providing partial or wrong information or destroy the information by the Chief of public agency or Information Officer, such person may appeal to the Commission for compensation within 3 months from the date of not acquiring information, acquiring partial or wrong information or destroyed information.
 
2) If the application pursuant to the Sub section (1) is found reasonable after the investigation; the Commission, considering the actual losses, may compensate the applicant from the concerned agency with reasonable amount.
 
34. Appeal:
 
Any person not content with the decision rendered by the Commission pursuant to Section 32 may appeal to the Appellate Court within 35 days of decision received.
 
 
Part 6
Miscellaneous
 
35. Information may be corrected
 
(1) If anyone believes that the information in public agency on a certain topic is wrong, he may appeal to the concerned Chief along with necessary evidences for the correction of the information.
 
(2) The chief shall conduct necessary investigation regarding the application pursuant to the Subsection (1) and if the information in his agency is found wrong during the course investigation, he shall correct the information and inform the applicant within seven days from the date of application received
 
36. Immunity for works done in good faith
 
Notwithstanding anything contained elsewhere in this Act, no case shall be filed and no punishment shall be imposed against the Chief or Information Officer for his works regarding the information dissemination done in good faith.
 
37. To be in accordance with this Act:
 
All the matters written in this Act shall be carried out according to this Act, while other matters shall be dealt in accordance with prevalent laws.
 
38. Right to Frame Rules: The Government of Nepal, in consultation with the commission, can frame necessary rules to implement the objectives of this Act.
 
Schedule
(Related to Section 18)
 
Oath
 
I ....................................................................hereby faithful to the state and the people promise with truth and trust / take the oath in the name of God that highly respecting the will expressed by the people through the people's movement that Nepal's state authority and sovereignty is to be vested only on the people, professing allegiance to the constitution of Nepal and laws of the land, I will carry out my responsibilities with honesty and without any fear, sycophancy, partiality, malice or greed, by honoring citizen's right to information and for the effective implementation and practice of laws pertaining to right to information.
 
 
 
Date                                                                      Signature

Posted: Aug 16 2007, 09:53 (/rti_nepal) [ Return to top ]


Wed, 15 Aug 2007

London High Court blocks bid by Congo leader's son to bury evidence of 'secret' payments

Press Release                                                                                                                      GLOBAL WITNESS


15 August 2007


 
High Court blocks bid by Congo leader’s son to bury evidence of “secret” payments
 
The London High Court has dismissed an attempt by a top official of the Republic of Congo, an oil-rich yet poor African country, to stop anti-corruption watchdog Global Witness from publishing evidence that suggests he made ‘secret personal profits’ from sales of state oil.
 
Denis Christel Sassou-Nguesso is the son of the President of Congo and head of Cotrade, a public agency which sells the country’s oil. In June, Global Witness published documents from a Hong Kong court case which show that he and another official spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on what seem to be personal items, including designer brands. The bills were paid by companies which appear to have received, via other shell companies, money related to Congo's oil sales
 
Sassou-Nguesso and his company, Long Beach Limited, sought a London court injunction to force Global Witness to remove his company records and credit card statements from its website. In a judgment handed down on Wednesday, Judge Stanley Burnton rejected the claim, ruling that “it is an obvious possible inference that [Sassou Nguesso’s] expenditure has been financed by secret personal profits made out of dealings in oil sold by Cotrade.”
 
Judge Burnton said: “Once there is good reason to doubt the propriety of the financial affairs of a public official, there is a public interest in those affairs being open to public scrutiny.” He said the documents “unless explained, frankly suggest” that Mr Sassou Nguesso and his company were “unsavoury and corrupt” and concluded that “the profits of Cotrade’s oil sales should go to the people of the Congo, not to those who rule it or their families.”
 
The case has international implications because Congo was controversially given debt relief in March 2006 after promising the international community to clean up the management of its oil sector and end conflicts of interest by public officials, especially in the marketing of oil.
 
Global Witness Director Patrick Alley said: “The High Court ruling is a spectacular victory for the right of Congo’s citizens to know about how public officials are managing their country’s wealth and for freedom of speech in general. Public officials like Sassou-Nguesso should explain their financial affairs, not try to use the courts to block public debate.”
 
Mark Stephens of Finers Stephens Innocent LLP, which represented Global Witness, said: "This is a triumph for human rights. It shows that unsavoury figures from autocratic regimes can't expect English judges to cover up for them under some exorbitant notion of privacy."
 
The documents can be viewed at:
 
http://www.globalwitness.org/media_library_detail.php/556/en/congo_is_presidents_son_paying_for_designer_shoppi
 
 
For further information, please contact:
 
Global Witness:
 
Sarah Wykes     +44 (0) 207-561-6362 or +44 (0)7703-108-449
Diarmid O’Sullivan          +44 (0) 207-561-6363 or +44 (0)7872-620 955
 
Finers Stephens Innocent:
 
Mark Stephens  +44 (0) 7831 115000
 

Posted: Aug 15 2007, 21:15 (/high_court_2007_2) [ Return to top ]


London High Court blocks bid by Congo leader’s son to bury evidence of 'secret' payments

Neutral Citation Number: [2007] EWHC 1980 (QB)

Case No: HQ07X02371
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
 
Royal Courts of Justice
Strand, London WC2A 2LL
 
Date: 15/08/2007
 
Before :
 
MR JUSTICE STANLEY BURNTON
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Between :
 
 
(1) Long Beach Limited
 
 
- and -
 
 
(2) Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso
Claimants/Applicants
 
-and-
 
 
Global Witness Limited
Defendant/Respondent
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
 
Mr Matthew Nicklin (instructed by Schillings) for the Claimant Applicants
Mr Andrew Nicol QC (instructed by Finers Stephens Innocent LLP) for the Defendant Respondent
 
Hearing dates: 12, 13 July 2007
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Approved Judgment
I direct that pursuant to CPR PD 39A para 6.1 no official shorthand note shall be taken of this Judgment and that copies of this version as handed down may be treated as authentic.
 
 
.............................
 
THE HONOURABLE MR JUSTICE STANLEY BURNTON
 
 

Stanley Burnton J :

Introduction
1.                  On 12 July 2007 I heard an application by the Claimants, made formally without notice but after notification to the Defendant of their intention to make it, for injunctions requiring it to remove from its website information and documents relating to the Claimants’ affairs, obtained as a result of proceedings in the High Court of Hong Kong. The Claimants’ application focuses on three specified documents or sets of documents, to which I shall refer as “the specified documents”, and to information derived from them. The set of documents consists of statements of the Second Claimant’s credit card account between February 2004 and September 2006; the other documents are a consultancy contract between the First Claimant and a company appropriately named Sphynx Bermuda Ltd (“Sphynx”) and a company information sheet and declarations of trust relating to the First Claimant.
2.                  On 13 July 2007, I informed the parties of my decision to dismiss the Claimants’ application. With the agreement of the parties, I proposed to defer giving the reasons for my decision until 16 July, and to do so orally on that date. At the instigation of the Claimants, I subsequently agreed to distribute my written judgment in draft, in order to give them an opportunity to consider its contents and to make submissions as to the exclusion of allegedly confidential information from my public judgment. If I were to accede to these submissions, the excluded information would be included in a separate confidential judgment which would not be available to the public.
3.                  I have considered those submissions in a separate judgment. I have rejected them, for the reasons set out in that judgment and in this present judgment, which will remain as a confidential draft until the Claimants indicate that they do not propose to appeal my separate judgment or the Court of Appeal decides to refuse them permission to appeal or dismisses their appeal. If the Court of Appeal reverses my decision to reject those submissions, I shall reconsider the contents of this judgment in the light of the judgment of that Court; otherwise, this judgment will be handed down in its present form.
4.                  This judgment sets out my reasons for refusing the Claimants’ application for injunctive relief.
The parties
5.                  The Second Claimant is the son of the President of the Republic of the Congo (“the Congo”). He is also the President and Director General of Cotrade, the marketing arm of the Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo (“SNPC”), of which it is a wholly-owned subsidiary. The First Claimant is a company incorporated in Anguilla. It is beneficially owned by the Second Claimant, as shown by the documents referred to above.
6.                  The Congo is both an extremely poor country and the source of a great deal of oil. According to information on the Defendant’s website, 70 per cent of its people earn less than a dollar a day. It has been granted access to interim debt relief through the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative. As part of this Programme, the international community has striven to improve standards in relation to the lack of transparency in transactions concerning extractive industries and also corruption. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which is partly funded by the Government of the United Kingdom, similarly “supports improved governance in resource-rich countries through the verification and full publication of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas, and mining”.
7.                  The Defendant, to which I shall refer as “GW”, is a well-known campaigning NGO. It is a non-profit-making company incorporated in this country. In the witness statement of Diarmid O’Sullivan made on its behalf it is described, possibly with a degree of hyperbole, as follows:
“GW is a London based non governmental organisation which focuses in its investigatory work on links between the exploitation of natural resources, its funding and issues of conflict and corruption. In 1998 GW exposed the issue of conflict diamond mining funding civil wars in Africa and assisted in the establishment of the global process known as the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which was established to prevent the trade in conflict diamonds and has been adopted by more than 60 countries, As a result of that work GW was co-nominated along with Partnership Africa Canada for the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize. GW launched a campaign on revenue transparency in the oil and mining sector which led to the launch by the UK government of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (“EITI”) in 2003, which is the major international initiative to curb corruption in resource-rich countries and which is supported by the G8 countries, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union. GW sits on the board of EITI which also includes representatives of, for example, the US and UK governments. GW is globally regarded as one of the two leading anti-corruption NGOs.”
8.                  GW does not carry on business in Hong Kong. Its only connection with that jurisdiction that has been suggested by the Claimants is that its website may be accessed from there. The same may be said of every other jurisdiction in the world.
The events leading to this application
9.                  Kensington International Ltd (“Kensington”) is what is perhaps unkindly described as a vulture fund. It has acquired indebtedness of the Congo, doubtless at a considerable discount to its nominal value, and is seeking to recover that indebtedness by legal proceedings. For that purpose it is seeking to trace assets belonging beneficially to the Congo, and to establish that assets nominally in the name of other entities in fact belong to the state. Its efforts have not been unsuccessful. According to the judgment ([2005] EWHC 2684 (Comm)) of Cooke J given on 28 November 2005 in proceedings brought by Kensington in the Commercial Court against the Congo and a number of companies engaged or apparently engaged in oil trading, including Cotrade:
“10. … there have been prior decisions which equate SNPC with the Congo albeit that such decisions are not binding on these parties. In a judgment of the Commercial Court, Tomlinson J on 16 April 2003 found that SNPC was simply part of the Congolese State and had no existence separate from it. Kensington and the Congo were parties to those proceedings. Similarly, the Court of Appeal of Paris has twice reached the view that SNPC is an alter ego of the Congo on 23 January 2003 and 3 July 2003 in the context of enforcing judgments given against the Congo, against assets belonging to SNPC.”
10.              In the same judgment, Cooke J held, at paragraph 200, that there had been sham sales and purchases of oil between Cotrade and African Oil and Gas Corporation and Sphynx, all of which were third parties joined in those proceedings, although Cotrade did not appear. As Cooke J pointed out, the interposition of offshore companies under the concealed control of an officer of a state-owned oil company (in that case, a Mr Gokana) between the state-owned company selling oil and the ultimate purchaser of that oil gives rise to the opportunity for personal gain on the part of such an officer: see paragraphs 79 and 92.
11.              In order to trace and no doubt to seize further assets which it could establish belonged to the Congo, Kensington brought Norwich Pharmacal proceedings in Hong Kong. In November 2006 it obtained against ICS Secretaries Ltd, a company which provides company secretarial services, and which I assume is incorporated in or carries on business in Hong Kong, orders requiring it to disclose to Kensington’s solicitors among other information details of the assets of any entity controlled by the Second Claimant and of payments made by any such entity. The order of the Hong Kong court dated 16 November 2006 permitted Kensington to use information and documents obtained as a result of that order for the purpose of “actual or contemplated proceedings against Cotrade Asia, HVL (Hemisphere Ventures Ltd) or any other entity the Applicant contends is an emanation of the Congolese state” and for the enforcement of judgment debts payable as a result of the judgment given by Cooke J in the Commercial Court in this country. That order led to the disclosure to Kensington of a considerable amount of information and documents, including the documents which are the subject of this application.
12.              On 31 May 2007, the Hong Kong High Court made a further Norwich Pharmacal order against ICS Secretaries Ltd, requiring the disclosure to its solicitors of further documents and information. As evidence in support of its application for that order, Kensington exhibited the documents it had obtained as a result of the order of 16 November 2006, including the specific documents that are the subject of the present application. Paragraph 3 of the order of 31 May 2007 gave leave to Kensington to use the information and documents it obtained by that order for similar purposes to those stated in the earlier order.
13.              It is common ground that the specified documents were referred to in a hearing in the court in Hong Kong that was open to the public. Mr Nicklin submitted that, looking at the matter realistically, the details of the credit card statements could not have been, or were at least unlikely to have been. Mr Nicol submitted that in substance they must have been. That is an issue I consider below.
14.              On about 6 June 2007, Kensington passed copies of the specified documents to GW. I assume that its purpose for doing so was to put pressure on the Congo and the Claimants to satisfy the Congo’s outstanding indebtedness. On 26 June 2007, GW posted them on its website, as .pdf files, available for download by anyone accessing the website. The home page of the website referred to the documents and, based on them, stated that although the Congo remains one of the poorest countries in the world, the Second Claimant appeared to have spent very large sums of money that might derive from sales of state oil on expensive luxury goods. At the same time, the Defendant issued a press notice giving further information. It stated that the documents showed that the Second Claimant’s credit card bills had been paid using funds from companies that had received moneys derived from trading in Congo oil, and referred to the conflict of interest involved.
15.              On learning of the disclosure of the specified documents, the Claimants, who had intervened in the Hong Kong proceedings, issued summonses in those proceedings seeking relief based on their contention that their disclosure had been in breach of the Norwich Pharmacal orders. The summonses were heard on 28 and 29 June 2007. GW had not been served or made a party to the proceedings. On 30 June 2007, Deputy High Court Judge Carlson, sitting in chambers (and, as I was told by Mr Nicklin, in private) upheld their contentions and granted relief. He held that the disclosure had been contrary to the Norwich Pharmacal orders, notwithstanding that the documents had been referred to in court open to the public, and that a great injustice had been done to the Claimants and others by that disclosure.
16.              On 5 July 2007, the Claimants’ London solicitors, Schillings, wrote to GW informing them of the judgment of Deputy High Court Judge Carlson and stating that they would be returning to the Hong Kong court on the following day to seek an order against them in terms of an attached summons unless by 5.30 pm that day they undertook (among other things) to remove the specified documents, and others, from the website and undertook not to republish them. The letter was headed, “Not for publication” and, curiously, “Off the record”.
17.              On 6 July 2007, the Claimants made an ex parte application to the High Court in Hong Kong. It was heard in private. The order that was made restrained GW from publishing the specified documents and other information, pending the hearing of an inter partes summons on 27 July 2007. It included a prohibition against GW disclosing that the Claimants had made that application, or the order itself, save for the purpose of taking legal advice or complying with it. One of the issues I have to determine is whether this Court should, in its judgment, refer to those matters. As is evident, I have rejected the Claimants’ submission that the judgment of this court available to the public, as a matter of comity, should not do so. I shall give my reasons later in this judgment.
18.              On 6 July 2007 Schillings sent GW a copy of the Order of 6 July 2007. GW have refused to comply with the order. In a letter dated  8 July 2007, they responded:
Thank you for your letter dated 6th July 2007 and labelled “PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL” and “URGENT, OFF THE RECORD, NOT FOR PUBLICATION”, which seeks to suppress important evidence about the conduct of public figures in the Republic of Congo.
You enclose what purports to be an injunction from a Hong Kong Court, which is under the sovereignty of China. Here in the United Kingdom we have the principle of free speech; for all that you are paid to infringe this principle, we nonetheless believe that any English judge will uphold it.
We are in no way bound by the presumptuous headings of your letter and think it only right that the public should be able to judge the behaviour of your client for themselves, so we have placed it on our website.
19.              The proceedings in this court were commenced on 10 July 2007. By their present application, the Claimants seek an interim injunction “pursuant to s37(1) Supreme Court Act 1981 and s25 Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982 in aid of proceedings in the High Court of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region because the Claimants are likely to succeed in showing that they would be entitled to a final injunction in these terms in aid of the same proceedings”.
The issues before me
20.              There are conflicting interests in this case. The first is the Claimants’ interest in preventing the further publication of sensitive and at least originally confidential documents and information about them, i.e. the alleged misuse of private information. The Second Claimant’s rights under Article 8 are undoubtedly engaged. But this case also concerns the Convention and common law rights of freedom of expression. The Convention right is defined by Article 10 as follows:
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. …
2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, … for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, ….
21.              It is common ground that the Claimants must surmount the hurdle of section 12(3) of the 1998 Act, i.e., that they must establish that they are likely to establish at any trial that the GW publication of which they complain should not be allowed. Whether they have done so is ultimately the real question  before me, although on the way to answering it I have to consider a number of significant issues. Section 12(4) requires the Court to:
“have particular regard to the importance of the Convention right to freedom of expression and, where the proceedings relate to material which the respondent claims, or which appears to the court, to be journalistic, literary or artistic material (or to conduct connected with such material), to—
(a) the extent to which—
(i) the material has, or is about to, become available to the public; or
(ii) it is, or would be, in the public interest for the material to be published;
(b) any relevant privacy code.”
22.              In construing and applying section 12(3) I have had the advantage of the guidance given by the House of Lords in Cream Holdings v Bannerjee [2005] UKHL 44, [2005] 1 AC 253. With reference to paragraph 22 of the opinion of Lord Nicholls, neither Mr Nicklin nor Mr Nicol QC suggested that in the present case the requirement that the Claimants are “likely to establish that the publication should not be allowed” should not be applied so as to require them to show that, on the assumption that they were to succeed in their application for interim relief, they would probably succeed at trial in obtaining the injunctive relief they now seek.
The ground for this application
23.              As appears from the terms of their application, the Claimants issued this application seeking relief under section 25 of the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982. At the beginning of the hearing, I pointed out that, under our rules for the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, it did not seem that GW was subject to the jurisdiction of the Hong Kong court, and therefore it would not be bound by any final order made by that court. It seemed to me that that consideration is most material to the grant of relief under section 25. Having been given time to consider the point, the Claimants decided not to pursue their claim under section 25.
24.              It follows that for the purposes of this application the Claimants must rely on their substantive rights, i.e. their rights to confidentiality and privacy, on the Second Claimant’s rights under Article 8, and on what they contend was a misuse of documents by Kensington and GW.
The status of the Hong Kong court’s order of 6 July 2007
25.              Although the Claimants have disclaimed reliance on the order of 6 July for the purposes of section 25, they have nonetheless placed considerable reliance on the judgments and orders of the Hong Kong court in their favour. They submit that comity requires that this Court should not question the correctness of the judgment of 30 June 2007, and should not by its proceedings, judgment or orders question or undermine the injunctions and restrictions imposed by the order of 6 July 2007 to which I have referred above. Mr Nicol, for GW, submitted that this Court should not be bound by decisions made ex parte by a court of a jurisdiction to which they are not subject.
26.              Comity requires this court to treat the judgments and orders of the courts of Hong Kong with due respect and even deference. However, in effect, the Claimants seek to treat those judgments and orders as binding on GW. GW was not a party to the Hong Kong proceedings when the judgment of 30 June 2007 was given, and they cannot be bound by it. Furthermore, since it does not carry on business in Hong Kong, it is not subject to that jurisdiction under our rules for the recognition of foreign judgments, and these courts do not regard it as having an obligation to comply with the judgments of that jurisdiction. The fact that the order of 6 July was made against them ex parte, in circumstances in which they had been informed of the Claimants’ application on the previous day, and presumably, given the time difference, less than 24 hours before the hearing before Mr Justice A Cheung, reinforces this point. True it is that GW could apply in Hong Kong to set aside the order of 6 July, but that would require a non-profit-making organisation to expend considerable resources on legal representation there and may involve its submitting to that jurisdiction. In any event, the rights of free expression on which they rely are rights under our law, not under Hong Kong law.
27.              I do not consider that this court can sensibly address the issues raised in this case without referring to the order of 6 July. I asked Mr Nicklin what damage the Claimants would suffer if I were to do so in an open judgment. He has not been able to identify any significant damage, other than the fact that the restriction in the order would be subverted. But the restriction in the order, made on the ex parte application of the Claimants and at their instigation, in the absence of GW, is in my judgment not of itself sufficient to require this Court to in effect conceal what has occurred from public gaze. It is not clear why the Hong Kong court imposed these highly unusual restrictions on reference to its procedures.
28.              If I were not to refer to the order of 6 July, I would in my view give to the public a misleading account of the relevant events and of the matters I have taken into account in reaching my conclusion. Moreover, it seems to me that the judgments of this Court are not immune to the requirement of freedom of expression. If I were to refer to that order in a separate confidential judgment, I should preclude GW and others from referring to it. In the context of this case, where there is a significant public interest in the subject matter of GW’s publications, I consider that that would infringe their rights under Article 10. In addition, on the assumption that Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights applies to the Claimants’ application for injunctive relief, it requires this Court to make its judgment public unless there is a cogent reason for not doing so. The European Court of Human Rights attaches importance to public access to judgments: see Campbell and Fell v UK (1984) 16 EHRR 165 at paragraph 91, and the exceptions specified in Article 6.1 are not to be lightly invoked.
29.              It is not for me to say whether the Hong Kong judgment of 30 June 2007 and the order of 6 July 2007 are correct as a matter of Hong Kong law. I can say that the issues addressed in the judgment of 30 June 2007 would, in my judgment, have been decided differently under our law. The terms of Order 24 r 14A of the Rules of the High Court of Hong Kong, set out below, are identical to the same rule in our old Rules of the Supreme Court. That rule was introduced by the Rules of the Supreme Court (Amendment) 1987 following the decision of the European Commission of Human Rights in Harman v UK application no. 10038/82 that the restriction on the publication of documents that had been referred to in open court arguably infringed the applicants’ rights of free expression under Article 10. Judge Carlson held that Order 24 r 14A did not apply to the Norwich Pharmacal orders made by the court in Hong Kong. In fact, there was no express restriction on Kensington contained in those orders. It seems to me that leave was given to it to use the documents and information for identified purposes by way of exception to the normal implied undertaking. More importantly perhaps, in my judgment, the Judge’s approach to the issue raised concerning the conduct of the Claimants arguably shown by the documents would not be that of an English court, for reasons that appear below.
The parties’ submissions on the Claimants’ causes of action in summary
30.              For the Claimants, Mr Nicklin submitted that the specified documents remain private and confidential, notwithstanding their having been referred to in court open to the public in Hong Kong, the reference to them and their publication on GW’s website and other press publicity of the allegations derived from them. He contended that the references to the documents in court in Hong Kong must have been limited: it is difficult to see why every entry should have been referred to. He submitted that all of the publications relied upon by GW resulted from its press statement. He drew a distinction between the documents and the information contained in or derived from them being available to the public and there being sufficient public knowledge of the contents of the documents and information: see e.g. Stephens v Avery [1988] Ch 449. He submitted that the Second Claimant’s rights under Article 8 are clearly engaged and that the publication of the specified documents infringed those rights. He submitted that the misuse of the specified documents by Kensington and GW itself justified the grant of relief. He accepted that the case for restraining publication of the allegations and comment made by GW on the basis of the documents was less strong than the case for restraining publication of the documents themselves, and contended that GW could not show that there was any sufficient public interest in the publication of the entirety of the credit card statements.
31.              For GW, Mr Nicol did not suggest that the specified documents had not been confidential and sensitive, or that the Second Claimant’s Article 8 rights were not engaged. He submitted that the documents had ceased to be confidential as a result of their publication, and that it was irrelevant that such publication had been made or caused by GW itself. He submitted that the specified documents must have been sufficiently referred to in court in Hong Kong to have lost their confidentiality. He contended that much of the publication of the documents and information had been the result of the Claimants’ delay in making this application in this jurisdiction. Lastly, he submitted that GW’s rights of free expression would by infringed by any restraint this Court might order.
32.              I consider the issues raised by these submissions below.
Are the specified documents confidential?
(a) The effect of their having been referred to in Court
33.              I have no doubt that the specified documents were, when disclosed to Kensington, by their nature and content confidential, and, as mentioned above, Mr Nicol did not submit to the contrary. The question is whether their confidentiality has been lost by their having been referred to in open court or by publication since their disclosure.
34.              That they were referred to in open court is clear; the extent of that reference is not. Nonetheless, I consider that I should proceed on the basis that there was sufficient reference to them as would have removed their confidential status if they had been disclosed on discovery and referred to in open court in this country. In the first place, Mr Christie-Miller, of the Claimants’ solicitors, fairly states in his witness statement that many of the documents were referred to at the hearing in May 2007 held in chambers but not in camera. A statement to the identical effect is in the third affidavit of Mr Gall, of the Claimants’ Hong Kong solicitors, relied upon in their application of 6 July 2007. Secondly, it appears from the judgment of Deputy High Court Judge Carlson of 30 June 2007 that the principal issue before him was whether the fact that the documents had been referred to in court placed them in the public domain. He said:
“He seeks to draw a distinction between the documents that have been passed on to 3rd parties which he says are in the public domain and therefore no longer subject to any restriction on use whether express or implied at law, and those that are still confidential and cannot be disclosed. He submits that after careful consideration only documents referred to during the hearing of 28 May, a hearing in chambers but open to the public, have been passed on to Global Witness. He submits that anything said in that hearing and any document referred to on that occasion is now in the public domain. Once in the public domain any previous restriction on use of a document is waived. He has referred me to passages in Hollander’s Documentary Evidence, 9th Edition. At 21-48 the author citing Mahom v Rahn [1997] 3 All ER 687 says that the implied undertaking not to use documents disclosed in litigation save for the purposes of that litigation goes once that document has been read out in court or referred to in court. Mr Hunsworth relies on O.24r.14A of the Rules of the High Court which is of course to that effect. It is in these terms:
“Any undertaking whether express or implied, not to use a document for any purposes other than those of the proceedings in which it is disclosed shall cease to apply to such a document after it has been read to or by the court, or referred to, in open court, unless the court for special reasons has otherwise ordered on the application of a party or of the person to whom the document belongs.”
Accordingly, submits Mr Hunsworth, these parties can have no complaint. This has been disclosure advisedly made after careful consideration of what had been referred to in the hearing of 28 May and nothing else.”
35.              The Claimants’ counsel did not take issue with the factual basis for this submission. Her submission is summarised in the judgment as follows:
“In reply, Miss Ismail says that Mr Hunsworth’s approach demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the situation. O.24 r.14A has to do with undertakings as to disclosure and when that undertaking ceases to have effect. What I am concerned with is an express order of the court [paragraph 3 supra] which identifies the purposes to which the disclosed material obtained in draconian proceedings such as these against innocent parties could be put. That did not include passing it on to an internet website.”
36.              Secondly, the skeleton argument of counsel for the Claimants on their application for the order of 6 July stated:
“The Applicants do not for present purposes rely on any confidential nature of the documents (which might be said to have ceased to be confidential upon the documents entering the public domain). The Applicants rely upon the breach of the court’s order and the public interest in the integrity of the court’s process.”
37.              So far as the Hong Kong court orders are concerned, the Claimants have not pointed to any restriction placed by an order of the Hong Kong Court on the use or publication of the documents before they were referred to in Court. Had such an order been sought and made, it may be that no subsequent publication would have occurred.
38.              In these circumstances, quite apart from the later publication of the specified documents, the Claimants have not established before me that at trial they are likely to establish that those documents are protected by confidentiality.
(b) The circumstances of GW’s receipt and publication of the specified documents
39.              In their application against GW in Hong Kong the Claimants did not suggest that GW were aware of any restriction on their publication of the documents when they received them or when they posted them on their website. Their skeleton argument on their application for the order of 6 July 2007 stated:
“… the Applicants are presently unaware of any evidence that the Respondent (GW) knew about the 1st Norwich Pharmacal order before publishing the protected information on its website. Accordingly, this application is not founded on contempt by the Respondent.”
40.              The evidence of GW is not surprisingly to the same effect. The witness statement of Dr Wykes, an employee of GW, shows that GW’s concern with the Congo predates their receipt of the specified documents. She states:
“2. I hold a doctorate from the University of London and as an employee of GW I have been involved since 2003 in the work of GW in investigating issues surrounding conflicts and transparency in oil markets globally and in the Republic of Congo (ROC).
3. In early June 2007 I was approached by Kensington International Limited (“Kensington”), a creditor of the Republic of Congo. I knew who Kensington was as in 2005 I had seen the judgment of a case brought by them before Mr Justice Cooke in the High Court in London which examined the practice of the Congo state national oil company (“SNPC”) selling oil through intermediary shell companies. The head of SNPC stated in testimony in that hearing that he had profited from sales of state oil through his privately owned companies. Subsequently, in 2006, I attended the cross examination of an oil trader employed by Denis Gokana, the head of SNPC. The cross examination revealed that, contrary to solemn undertakings given by ROC to the World Bank and IMF regarding eliminating conflict of interests in the marketing of state oil, such oil continued to be sold through shell companies controlled by the head of the state oil company and with personal benefit accruing to public officials.
6. Following the handing down of the judgment I had approached lawyers for Kensington requesting copies of documents which had been read out or referred to in the proceedings on legal advice that such documents were in the public domain.
7. On 8 June 2007 I received a phone message from Donald Schwarzkopf, a consultant of Kensington in which he stated that further documents had been put into the public domain in the course of a court action in Hong Kong brought by Kensington and as a result could be shared with GW. I was also told that references to some of the information may soon appear in the press. I understand from talking to a journalist at La Tribune on or about 12 June 2007 that he was also given by Kensington the same package of documents as GW. On about the 18 June 2007 I learned that a journalist at Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal had also got the same package of documents. At around the same time the journalist at La Tribune told me that he had shared his package of documents with another media organisation: Le Canard Enchainé.
8. Documents were then sent to me by way of an email attachment. All of the documents which GW received were posted on the website of GW on 26 June 2007.”
Subsequent publication and its relevance
41.              The subject of the Claimants’ application is “material which the respondent claims … to be journalistic”. The publication of allegations and comment based on that material is clearly journalistic, as shown by the publications by UPI, Le Monde and others. In these circumstances, section 12 and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights require me to take its publication into account.
42.              Dr Wykes summarises the publication of the specified documents and information derived from them as follows:
“8. … , following posting on the website, the information contained in the documents has attracted considerable interest of the press and newswires as well as the public. For example people reacting to the information on the web site include: on the 27th June, a journalist from the business news organisation, Bloomberg, a journalist from the Sunday Times also called me around 28/29 June. In addition I received calls from a number of people identifying themselves as Congolese citizens. Examples where the information on our website appears to have resulted in stories or newswires are attached at “SJW1”. I am unable to say whether in all cases publishers of these articles obtained the information they base their articles on from GW’s website or elsewhere. These examples were, however, all published before GW had sight on 6 July 2007 the order of the Hong Kong Court in which it was named as defendant. I have also received enquiries from individuals as to the contents of the documents and I understand that the Congolese press has also used the information obtained. Indeed, John Bercow MP – who often asks Congo related questions, has tabled the following to the Secretary of State for DflD.
“What recent discussions he has had with a) the IMF, b) his counterparts at the EU and c) the government of the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) about management of oil revenues?.
What assessment he has made of documents made public by Global Witness which indicate that oil revenues have been used to fund the purchase of designer goods by public officials?.
What assessment he has made of the extent of corruption within the Congolese (Brazzaville) oil sector?.
What representations he has received about the involvement of Denis Christel Sassou-Nguesso in the management of oil revenues in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville)?.
What representations he has received about the management of oil revenues in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville)?.
What assessment he has made of the management of oil revenues by public officials in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville?.
What assessment he has made of the Republic of Congo’s (Brazzaville) compliance with its commitments under HIPC?.
What assessment he has made of the IMF’s concerns about governance and transparency in the Congolese (Brazzaville) oil sector?.”
9. On 26 June 2007 Dow Jones newswire put out a story entitled “Congo Oil Rev Paid for Luxury Spending by Son of Pres”. On 29 June 2007 the World Markets Research Centre published a piece entitled “President’s son Accused of Stealing Republic of Congo’s Oil Profits”. On 1 July 2007 Le Monde published an article entitled “The Achilles heel of capitalism”. On 2 July 2007 UPI mention GW’s report in a piece entitled “Analysis: corruption remains aid obstacle”. La Semaine Africaine published a piece on 4 July 2007. The story continues to attract considerable interest from the press.
10. In the time available, GW has not been able to ascertain how many times the relevant pages of its website have been viewed. However, GW has been able to make a preliminary review of the number of times the 12 documents exhibited in pdf form on its website relating to the proposed Claimant have been downloaded. The credit card bills have been downloaded a total of 1073 times; the 4 page document entitled “contrat de consulting” a total of 229 times; the company information sheet relating to Long Beach Limited and declaration of trust by Pacific Investments a total of 235 times; payments for credit card bills have been downloaded 284 times; payments from AOGC to Longbeach have been downloaded 167 times; payments to Longbeach referencing oil cargoes have been downloaded 169 times.”
43.              In addition, the specified documents and others were referred to in a document placed before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US Congress by Congresswoman Diane E Watson, the Vice Chair of the Sub-Committee on Africa and Global Health, who gave the links to the pdf files on the GW website. The documents are separately available on the website of Global Security, an organisation based in the USA. There is no evidence before me that the Claimants have taken steps to restrain Global Security from continuing to publish them.
44.              These publications are extensive. That most of them result from GW’s initial posting of the material on its website does not significantly diminish their importance. For the purposes of the application before me, the Claimants have not sought to establish that at trial they are likely to prove that GW knew that the material was confidential or restricted when they published it, and on the evidence before me they could not do so. The evidence is that GW was unaware of any alleged restriction on its publication of the documents and the information derived from them (other than that inherent in the nature of the documents) until 5 July 2007. Moreover, at least so far as Article 10 is concerned, the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in Vereniging Weekblad Bluf! v the Netherlands (Application no. 16616/90) shows that publication even after notification of a restriction is relevant to the necessity or otherwise for an interference with Article 10 rights. Furthermore, in Radio Twist v Slovakia (Application no. 62202/00), the Court said:
“62. The Court further observes that the applicant company was sanctioned mainly for the mere fact of having broadcast information which someone else had obtained illegally. The Court is however not convinced that the mere fact that the recording had been obtained illegally by a third person contrary to law can deprive the applicant company which broadcast it of the protection of Article 10 of the Convention.”
Article 10
45.              In my judgment, there is a clear and overwhelming case for refusing relief on the ground that there is an important public interest in the publication of the specified documents and the information derived from them. In my judgment, it is unlikely that the Claimants can establish that their rights under Article 8 or their right to privacy or any remaining confidentiality in the specified documents or the comment and allegations derived from them can override GW’s Article 10 right and the public interest in publication.
46.              First, as to the background, the terrible poverty of the populations of much of sub-Saharan Africa, even in resource-rich states, is notorious. So is the apparent wealth of members of the ruling classes of some of those states, a wealth wholly disproportionate to the average income of their citizens.
47.              The particular situation of the Congo was referred to in a press release issued by the World Bank in 2006:
“WASHINGTON, March 9, 2006 – The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have determined that the Republic of Congo qualifies for debt relief by reaching the decision point under the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative.  These decisions are based on the country having put in place external arrears clearance operations, remained on track with an IMF-supported program and developed an interim Poverty Reduction Strategy. The Republic of Congo becomes the 29th country to reach its decision point under the initiative.
The Government of the Republic of Congo will begin receiving interim debt relief from certain creditors, but must address serious concerns about governance and financial transparency in order to qualify for irrevocable debt relief at the completion point. The reforms to which the Republic of Congo has committed include bringing the internal controls and accounting system of the state-owned oil company (SNPC) up to internationally recognized standards; preventing conflicts of interests in the marketing of oil; requiring officials of SNPC to publicly declare and divest any interests in companies having a business relationship with SNPC; and implementing an anti-corruption action plan with international support, monitored by IDA and the IMF.
“The objective of debt relief is to free up resources to improve the lot of the poor. But sustained improvements in governance are necessary for these resources not to be hijacked by vested interests and used effectively and efficiently to improve the delivery of education, health and other essential services,” said Pedro Alba, the World Bank Country Director for the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Rwanda.
Interim debt relief will increase the resources available to the Government to finance poverty reduction programs, fight corruption, and support on-going financial and structural reforms. The Government has agreed to undertake a broad array of measures to ensure that the resources freed from debt service obligations are used for poverty reduction under a reform program that will be closely monitored by IDA and IMF.”
48.              Diarmid O’Sullivan, an employee of GW, states, in his witness statement of 11 July 2007:
“6.         The documents published by GW relate directly to this solemn commitment to the international community by the Republic of Congo, because they indicate (as laid out in points 9-12 below) that such conflicts of interest appear, in fact, to have continued and have not been either resolved or disclosed to the international community, raising serious concerns about the sincerity of the Republic of Congo in undertaking reforms in return for debt relief under HIPC.
7.                     There is continuing concern within the international community at the extent of corruption in the Republic of Congo, which is also known as Congo-Brazzaville, especially in its oil sector. The then-Secretary of State for International Development Hilary Benn MP, told Parliament in January 2007: “A particular area of concern … is the management of natural resource revenues, which lacks transparency and attracts widespread NGO criticism. Campaigners against corruption in the country have faced harassment from state officials.” (Exhibit “DOS2”). Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, a respected global benchmark on corruption, ranks the Republic of Congo 143rd out of 163 countries.
8.                     GW has worked for a number of years to promote greater transparency in the Republic of Congo (“ROC”) both through our investigatory work and in supporting local anti corruption organizations. Transparency, meaning the publication of data regarding the oil sector, is a vital tool for curbing corruption because it makes possible the public scrutiny of government policies and the conduct of public officials. The ROC is one of the poorest countries in Africa and heavily dependent on sales of oil, which account for government revenues. The aim of GW is to allow citizens of the ROC to exercise scrutiny of their Government’s management of oil revenues. By drawing attention to what appear to be questionable transactions by public officials GW informs and hopes to influence the government and international donors to enact reforms. A vital part of the work of GW is the publication of evidence of questionable behaviour on the part of individuals, companies or governments connected with the natural resource industries. This information is widely used by governments, law enforcement agencies and international financial institutions.”
I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of this summary.
49.              The specified documents demonstrate that the Second Claimant is the concealed beneficial owner of an offshore company, namely Long Beach, that has oil dealings with Sphynx. Sphynx was one of the companies found by Cooke J to have entered into sham purchases and resales of Congolese oil which gave an obvious opportunity for personal gain on the part of those controlling those companies. The Second Claimant’s very substantial personal expenditure has been paid for by Long Beach. It is an obvious possible  inference that his expenditure has been financed by secret personal profits made out of dealings in oil sold by Cotrade. The profits of Cotrade’s oil sales should go to the people of the Congo, not to those who rule it or their families.
50.              The public interest in the information and documents that are the subject of this application is shown by the publications in evidence. To refer to only some, Dow Jones referred to the documents and to the allegation of GW that “some of Congo’s oil revenues had paid for the luxurious lifestyle of the son of the country’s president”. Le Monde published an article on 1 July 2007, quoted GW’s allegations and said that “At the time of writing, we do not know the response of the Congolese president”. UPI referred to GW’s press release in an article published on 2 July 2007 under the headline “Corruption remains aid obstacle”. GW’s solicitor, in his second witness statement, provides the following information:
“4.1       A French financial crime complaint was filed on 27 March 2007.
4.2         A preliminary investigation was opened by the investigating judge on 16 June 2007. The proceedings were instituted by the Paris Asst. Prosecutor, Mr Aldebert, against Denis Sassou-Nguesso and his family, including the Second Applicant. The Respondent has a French address giving them jurisdiction.
4.3         The charges allege “… receipt of misappropriated public assets; and Conspiracy to misappropriate public assets …”
4.4         The complaints were made by Sherpa and Survie, two Non-Governmental Organisations and the Federation des Congolaise de France.
4.5         The Respondent made inquiries through a French lawyer, William Bourdon, who investigated the complaints. William Bourdon found that all the documents which the Applicants claim are confidential have been “officially deposed” which means that they were lodged at the Tribunale de Grande Instance de Paris.”
51.              In his judgment of 30 June 2007, Deputy High Court Judge Carlson rejected any public interest in the publication of the specified documents (and other information and documents) on the basis that it had not been proved that there had been any wrong-doing by the Second Claimant. He said:
“I regret to say that the respondent and intervenors have been done a great injustice by this disclosure. Whether they are ultimately found to be unsavoury or corrupt is neither here nor there at this stage.”
52.              However, there may never be a trial in Hong Kong of the issue whether the Claimants are “unsavoury or corrupt”. The specified documents, unless explained, frankly suggest that they are. There is no obvious reason why the Second Claimant should not publicly explain that the transactions shown by these documents are consistent with his honest performance of his duties as President and Director General of Cotrade and his disclosed personal income. Once there is good reason to doubt the propriety of the financial affairs of a public official, there is a public interest in those affairs being open to public scrutiny. The approach of Deputy High Court Judge Carlson is inconsistent with our law as to the publication of documents referred to in court open to the public, and to the general principle that the courts will not enforce an obligation of confidentiality in relation to material that is alleged to show misconduct: Initial Services Ltd v Putterill [1968] 1 QB 396, in which the Court of Appeal refused to strike out the defence that the confidential documents showed that the plaintiff had failed to register an agreement as required by the Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1956 and had issued a misleading circular. Manifestly, in that case the defendant had not proved the misconduct alleged. The judgment of Lord Denning MR in Initial Services Ltd v Putterill was subsequently approved by the House of Lords in British Steel v Granada Television [1981] AC 1096.
53.              Mr Nicklin submitted that the allegations made by GW could be made without publishing the whole of the Second Claimant’s credit card statements for a period of some 2 years. Doubtless they could. However, I accept Mr Nicol’s submission that there is a public interest in showing precisely what was the expenditure of the Second Claimant paid for by Long Beach, and that expenditure is disclosed by the credit card statements.
Conclusion
54.              As will by now be apparent, having had regard to the matters which I am required to take into account by section 12 of the Human Rights Act 1998, I have no doubt that the Claimants have not established that they are likely to establish at trial that publication of the material that is the subject of this application should not be allowed. To the contrary, I am clear that there is an important public interest in its publication.

Posted: Aug 15 2007, 21:01 (/high_court_2007) [ Return to top ]


Tue, 31 Jul 2007

IMLA NEWSLETTER JUNE AND JULY 2007

JUNE and JULY 2007
 

1. Armenia
2. Australia
3. Bahrain
4. Belarus
5. Belgium
6. Brazil
7.
Brussels/EU
8. Cambodia
10. Canada
11. China
12. Egypt
13. Ethiopia
14. Finland
15. Iran
16. Iraq
17. Malaysia
18. Mali
19. Mexico
20. New Zealand
21. Pakistan
22. Peru
23. Poland
24. Russia
25. Sierra Leone
26. Swaziland
27. Thailand
28. Turkey
29. UK
30. Uruguay
31. US
32. Venezuela
33. Various/Useful Links
______________

1. Armenia

OSCE media representative urges Armenian Parliament to drop amendments practically abolishing Radio Liberty's re-broadcasts - Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, criticized legal amendments that would ban Armenian-language foreign media programmes on public-service broadcast channels, and introduce heavy fees for those programmes on private channels.

Source – OSCE 28.6.07
http://www.osce. org/item/ 25360.html

2.  Australia

TV rule puts limits on election ads - The Victorian Government will consider recommending a pardon for two journalists convicted of contempt of court if it receives a petition from them, Premier Steve Bracks said today. Herald Sun reporters Michael Harvey and Gerard McManus had pleaded guilty to contempt of court for refusing to disclose the source of a leaked story about a Federal Government proposal to slash war veterans' benefits.
Source – New Zealand Herald 28.6.07
http://www.news. com.au/heraldsun /story/0, 21985,21977868- 5005961,00. html

3. Bahrain

Upper house votes to decriminalise press offences - Bahrain's upper house of parliament has approved amendments that would scrap prison sentences for press offences, reports Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF). On 28 May, the Consultative Council, the upper house of Bahrain's parliament, approved amendments to the 2002 press law that would decriminalise press offences, currently punishable by six months to five years in prison.

Source – IFEX 12.6.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/84082

4. Belarus

OSCE Representative opens seminar in Minsk, voices concern over State control over media - Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, opened a seminar for some 30 journalists and government press secretaries in Minsk today. The two-day event, organized with the support of the OSCE Office in Minsk, aims to develop better relations between the State and media to increase the access of the Belarusian society to information held by government bodies.
Source – OSCE 4.6.07
http://www.osce.org/item/24832.html

5. Belgium

ISP told to block file-sharing in landmark case - An internet service provider in Belgium must screen traffic for music piracy, a court has ruled in a decision which overturns conventional thinking on how two major European directives relate to one another.
Source – Out Law 6.7.07
http://www.out-law.com/page-8239

Three newspapers allowed to refuse VB ad’s, two must print VB ad. Short comment for IMLA, by Dirk Voorhoof Pres. Commercial Court Brussels, 4 June 2007 See also - www.psw.ugent.be/dv

The extreme-right, anti-immigration party Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest, VB) has started in May 2007 a law suit against all newspapers/publishing groups in the Flemish community in Belgium. These newspapers/publishing groups are refusing to publish political advertisements of VB in the actual pre-election time (federal, parliamentary elections in Belgium on 10 June[1]). However these newspapers do publish advertisements of the other political parties. Only one newspapers is not targetted by VB: the left-wing orientated De Morgen. Probably the VB does not consider to have any electorate amongst the readers of De Morgen.

The case is brought before the Brussels Commercial Court (president) on the basis of  a summary proceeding within the law on fair trade practices and protection of the consumer.

The VB is using a double argument: unfair trade practices and violation of antidiscrimination law. The party is requesting the court to order the newspapers Het Laatste Nieuws, De Tijd, De Standaard, Gazet van Antwerpen en Metro to publish an advertisement of VB before 9 June 2007

Essential backgroundinformation: in 2004 the Court of Appeal of Ghent, confirmed by the Belgium
Supreme Court (Court de Cassation) has found that the Vlaams Blok was a party that has violated the antiracism law by publishing and distributing manifestly and repeatedly incitement to racism and xenophobia. After the conviction of three legal persons because or their direct commitment with the Vlaams Blok, the Vlaams Blok, autumn 2004, has changed it's name to Vlaams Belang. But it is still the same politicians, the same political discourse. An application by the VB before the European Court of Human Rights arguing that his conviction had violated their freedom of political expression, has been declared inadmissible by the ECtHR (5 May 2006).

In a judgment of 4 June 2007 the president of the Brussels Commercial Court has partly rejected, and partly accepted the request of the Vlaams Belang.

Three newspapers had argued the refusal of the ad on the basis of political/ideological reasons, inter alia referring to their editorial manifest (Oxford Manifest, Het Laatste Nieuws) or corporate charter (Charter De Tijd) or democratic profile regarding respect for democracy, human rights, tolerance and minorities. They argued in concreto, with reference to these corporate values and mission statements and referring to the racist and xenophobian discourse by the Vlaams Belang, why their freedom of expression also included their right not to publish the ad’s of the Vlaams Belang.The Court accepted these arguments as legitimate reasons to refuse the ad of the Vlaams Belang in the case of Het Laatste Nieuws, De Tijd and De Standaard.

Two newspapers however had only invoked practical and economic reasons and relied in abstracto on their right of freedom of expression, including the freedom not to publish. Their main argument was that the reservation by Vlaams Belang for an advertisement had been requested for too late and that all advertising space was fully booked for coming weeks. The President of the Court did not accept this as sufficient or pertinent reasons and considered this refusal as an unfair trade practice. Both newspapers, Gazet van Antwerpen en Metro are ordered to publish the ad the Vlaams Belang requested for, under normal price conditions. In case of refusal, the newspaper must pay 2.500 euro to the political party (VB requested 500.000 euro in case of a refusal). On 8 June both journals have published the ad, explicitly adding the information that the publication of the VB-ad is because of the court order of 4 June, but that also in the future they consider to have the right to refuse
to publish and advertisement.

From a legal point of view the judgment of 4 June 2007 does not contain very much material, typical in this kind of summary proceedings. But the basic idea of the judgment supports anyhow the possibility to refuse political advertising by newspapers that consider a political party and it’s programme or discourse as (manifestly) not respecting their basic corporate values on democracy, human rights, minorities and tolerance….

[1] The are no presidential elections in Belgium, as Belgium is a Kingdom. Elections for the federal parliament (Chamber of representatives and Senate) are separated from the elections for European Parliament and regional parliaments, as well as from elections for the communities and provinces.
_____________________________________________________________________________

See also:

Papers must print VB ad - Newspapers Gazet Van Antwerpen and Het Belang Van Limburg and free paper Metro must publish an advertisement for Frank Vanhecke, chairman of extreme right party Vlaams Belang, by 10 June. The Standaard and a number of other papers are not required to print the ad.

Source – Expatica 4.6.07
http://www.expatica.com/actual/article.asp?subchannel_id=24&story_id=40507

6. Brazil

Courts impose "preventive censorship" on various media; magazine copies seized, newspaper fined – Reporters Without Borders has voiced concern about a wave of court orders imposing "preventive censorship" on news media. In most cases, the orders are issued by local courts and are often quashed on appeal. Nonetheless, they feed a climate of intimidation and encourage self-censorship.

Source – IFEX 22.6.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 84355/

University professor convicted of defamation; his one-year prison sentence reduced to community service – University professor sentenced to one year in prison for defamation will have his appeal reviewed in court today Professor Emir Sader was sentenced in October 2006 to one year in prison for an article published online in May 2005, in which he accuses Senator Jorge Bornhausen of being elitist, bourgeois, fascist and racist.

Source – IFEX 20.6.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 84269/

7. Brussels/EU

Google announces new data retention policy in response to EU privacy concerns - Google Monday announced [press release] a new data retention policy, saying that its servers will retain personally identifiable information for 18 months and not its previous policy of 18 to 24 months. Google's policy revision came in response to an announcement by the European Commission in May that the EU's independent advisory panel would investigate Google to determine whether it complies with EU privacy rules.

Source – Jurist 12.6.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/06/google-announces-new-data-retention.php

Commission maintains current rules for film and TV production - The European Commission adopted today a Communication extending until 31st December 2009 at the latest the application of the current rules on state aid to cinematographic and other audiovisual works. This Cinema Communication extends the rules laid down in the previous Communications of 2001 and 2004.

Source – Europa 13.6.07
http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/07/820&type=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

EU seeks comment on loosening copyright rules - Authors and composers have until July 9 to comment on proposed new EU rules loosening restrictive territorial contracts for copyright registration on the Internet, satellite and cable retransmission of music.The European Commission charged the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) in February 2006 with imposing anti-competitive territorial restrictions on authors and composers.

Source – Reuters14.6.07
http://uk.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUKL1436574820070614  

State aid: Commission maintains current rules for film and TV production - The European Commission adopted today a Communication extending until 31st December 2009 at the latest the application of the current rules on state aid to cinematographic and other audiovisual works. This Cinema Communication extends the rules laid down in the previous Communications of 2001 and 2004.

Source – Europa 13.6.07 http://www.europa. eu/rapid/ pressReleasesAct ion.do?reference =IP/07/820& format=HTML& aged=0&language= EN&guiLanguage= fr

EU seeks comment on loosening copyright rules - Authors and composers have until July 9 to comment on proposed new EU rules loosening restrictive territorial contracts for copyright registration on the Internet, satellite and cable retransmission of music. The European Commission charged the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) in February 2006 with imposing anti-competitive territorial restrictions on authors and composers.

Source – Reuters 14.6.07 http://uk.reuters. com/article/ technologyNews/ idUKL14365748200 70614

8. Cambodia

French-language daily to close, editor fired after publishing excerpts of report on illegal logging  - Reporters Without Borders is outraged at the 12 June 2007 decision by the owners of the French-language daily "Cambodge Soir" to close the newspaper, just two days after unfairly dismissing its news editor for publishing extracts from a long report on illegal logging that was critical of the government.

Source – IFEX 15.6.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/84139/

9. Canada

Government appeals court decision quashing search warrant to uncover whistleblower; tribunal refuses to force journalist to reveal sources - Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) commends the Quebec Labour Relations Board's decision to refuse to force Quebec journalist Karine Gagnon to reveal confidential sources in a hearing yesterday. Last November, Gagnon, of Le Journal de Québec, wrote a report about the potential health threat of asbestos in government buildings.

Source – IFEX 20.6.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 84296/

Canada high court upholds tobacco ad restrictions - The Supreme Court of Canada unanimously upheld a federal restriction on tobacco advertisements Thursday, finding it did not violate the free expression rights of tobacco companies. The suit was brought by the JTI-Macdonald, Rothmans, and Imperial Tobacco Canada, which challenged Canada's 1997 Tobacco Act , a statute which heavily limits tobacco advertisements in the country.

Source – Jurist 28.6.07
http://jurist. law.pitt. edu/paperchase/ 2007/06/supreme- court-of- canada-upholds- tobacco.php

10. China

China bars new Internet cafes amid concern that online material harming young people - China will license no new Internet cafes this year while regulators carry out an industry-wide inspection, the government says, amid official concern that online material is harming young people.

Source – Technology Review 4.6.07
http://www.technologyreview.com/Wire/18820/

Press freedom under attack ahead of 2008 Olympics – The Chinese government is backtracking on new rules that allow greater freedom to foreign journalists ahead of the Beijing Olympics, and is continuing to deny comparable freedoms to Chinese journalists, say Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF).

Source – IFEX 5.6.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/83930/

Relentless censorship of Tiananmen Massacre Continues - A newspaper in southwest China has sacked three of its editors and four advertising staff over an ad paying tribute to mothers of protesters killed in the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, report Reporters Without Borders
(Reporters sans frontiers, RSF) and Reuters news agency.

Source – Scoop 13.6.07
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0706/S00226.htm

China should not punish political expression -  Yahoo! Inc. condemned the persecution of individuals for political expression in China Monday, saying it has informed the Chinese government of its position but reiterating that Yahoo! must comply with Chinese law if it is to do business in China. Yahoo! is currently facing legal challenges alleging it aided and abetted human rights violations.

Source – Jurist 11.6.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/06/china-should-not-punish-political.php

China state secrets system 'undermining rule of law': rights group report - Human Rights in China (HRIC) said Monday that the state secrets system in China gives the government virtually complete power to halt the free flow of information, "undermining healthy governance and rule of law."

Source – Jurist 12.6.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/06/china-state-secrets-system-undermining.php

Blocked China Web users rage against Great Firewall - Yang Zhou is no cyberdissident, but recent curbs on his Web surfing habits by China's censors have him fomenting discontent about China's "Great Firewall". Yang's fury erupted a few days ago when he found he could not browse his friend's holiday snaps on Flickr.com, due to access restrictions by censors after images of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre were posted on the photo-sharing Web site."

Source – Reuters 19.6.07
http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=internetNews&storyID=2007-06-19T152251Z_01_PEK218139_RTRUKOC_0_US-PRIVACY-CHINA.xml

Blocked China Web users rage against Great Firewall - Yang Zhou is no cyberdissident, but recent curbs on his Web surfing habits by China's censors have him fomenting discontent about China's "Great Firewall". Yang's fury erupted a few days ago when he found he could not browse his friend's holiday snaps on Flickr.com, due to access restrictions by censors after images of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre were posted on the photo-sharing Web site."

Source – Reuters 19.6.07
http://today. reuters.com/ news/articlenews .aspx?type= internetNews& storyID=2007- 06-19T152251Z_ 01_PEK218139_ RTRUKOC_0_ US-PRIVACY- CHINA.xml

11. Egypt

Egypt court rejects private university niqab ban - Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court ruled Saturday against an American University of Cairo (AUC) ban on women wearing the Muslim niqab on campus, finding that the private university could not require a plaintiff student to unveil her face because it was her constitutional right under Egyptian law to practice her religion.

Source – Jurist 11.6.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/06/egypt-court-rejects-private-university.php

12. Ethiopia

Two editors could face death after high court convictions - Four editors and three publishing houses in Ethiopia were found guilty on 11 June of links to deadly 2005 protests against alleged poll-rigging, report the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Without
Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF).

Source – All Africa 13.6.07
http://allafrica.com/stories/200706130505.html

13. Finland

“Television Without Frontiers” Directive: in Finland more people will be able to see major sporting events on TV - Today the Commission approved the list of major events notified by Finland. Finland is therefore the seventh EU Member State, following in the steps of Austria, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Italy and the UK) to offer viewers the possibility of seeing major sporting events on TV, in accordance with the Television Without Frontiers Directive.
Source – Europa 25.6.07
http://www.europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/07/877&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en8. Iran

Dual citizens “spies” detained, prevented from leaving country - Iran charged three U.S.-Iranian citizens with espionage last week, amid recent accusations by Iranian authorities that the U.S. is using dissidents to try to overthrow the country's Islamic government. They are the latest victims of a wider crackdown on dual nationals and journalists, say Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF), Amnesty International and the International Federation for Human Rights, who are campaigning for an end to their persecution.

Source – 5.6.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/83925

Woman academic, woman journalist released on bail, another dual-nationality academic jailed, ARTICLE 19 urges "propaganda" charges against four be dropped – ARTICLE 19 calls for the immediate release of three U.S.-Iranian citizens charged by the Iranian authorities with "acting against national security by engaging in propaganda against the Islamic republic by the method of spying on behalf of foreigners", and urges its partners, contacts and supporters to sign on to the petitions to free Dr. Kian

Source – IFEX 14.6.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/84131/

14. Iran

Iran bans negative petrol stories - Iran's top security body has ordered local journalists not to report on problems caused by petrol rationing, a day after its surprise introduction. Angry motorists have reacted violently to the curbs, attacking up to 19 petrol stations in the capital, Tehran.

Source – BBC 28.6.07
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6249222.stm

15. Iraq

RSF Calls for special task force to probe killing of reporters - a week when five journalists were killed by armed groups, Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF) is calling for the creation of a special task force within the national police to tackle violence against journalists.

Source – 5.6.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/83927

16. Malaysia

Malaysia judge rejects Anwar defemation - Malaysian judge Wednesday rejected a bid by former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to sue former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad for defamation in connection with renewed allegations that Anwar is a homosexual. Mahathir dismissed Anwar from office in 1998 in the midst of disagreements over financial policy.

Source – Jurist 4.7.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/07/malaysia-judge-rejects-anwar-defamation.php

17. Mali

Journalists, teacher sentenced for school essay
- Five journalists and a 10th grade teacher have been jailed in Mali for "offending the head of state" over a story on a high school essay
assignment about an imaginary presidential sex scandal, report the Network
of African Freedom of Expression Organisations (NAFEO), an initiative of
IFEX members, and other free expression groups.

Source – IFEX 26.6.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 84429

18 Mexico  

Court strikes down piece of media law - Mexico's Supreme Court struck down a key provision of a hotly debated media law, which critics had challenged in court arguing it strengthened the two major networks that already dominate the nation's TV market. The court ruled in an 8-1 vote that automatic renewal of broadcast concessions without competition would be unconstitutional, and said frequencies that come up for renewal must be opened up to public bidding.

Source – Miami Herald 2.6.07
http://www.miamiherald.com/103/story/126205.html


19. New Zealand

TV rule puts limits on election ads - Two legal academics have attacked the new parliamentary rules on the use of television, suggesting they constrain freedom of expression and run contrary to the Bill of Rights. Most of the criticism so far has centred around MPs' intention of banning the use of footage in a way that satirises, ridicules or denigrates them.
Source – New Zealand Herald 28.6.07
http://www.nzherald .co.nz/section/ story.cfm? c_id=280& objectid= 10448344

20. Pakistan  

Pakistan blocks TV channel - The Pakistani government has blocked the transmission of the Geo News TV channel, a company official said Sunday. GEO News Managing Director Nasir Baig Chugtai told CNN that viewers called the Geo office asking why the transmission of "Meray Mutabik," a popular prime-time show, was halted.
Source – CNN 4.6.07
http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/06/03/pakistan.tv/

Pakistan PM drops complaints against journalists who defied protest ban - Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz Wednesday ordered the dropping of all complaints previously lodged against approximately 200 journalists, opposition party members and pro-democracy activists who protested Monday against an emergency media ordinance.

Source – Jurist 6.6.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/06/pakistan-pm-drops-complaints-against.php

Pakistan president withdraws controversial new media controls - Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Saturday withdrew restrictions on media covering the political crisis that has followed the president's March 9 decision to suspend Pakistan Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry.

Source – 10.6.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/06/pakistan-president-withdraws.php

Senate to regulate media coverage - Pakistan's Senate on Wednesday decided to regulate what was termed uneven coverage of its proceedings by the electronic and print media. This will be unprecedented in the parliamentary history of the country, with the upper house regulating the coverage of its proceedings through its own code of conduct or through formulation of new guidelines.

Source – AND Kronos 14.6.07 http://www.adnki.com/index_2Level_English.php?cat=CultureAndMedia&loid=8.0.425566256&par=0

Ten IFEX members condemn governments attempts to muzzle media - Ten International Freedom of Expression eXchange (IFEX) members led by the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) are urging President Pervez Musharraf to revoke all orders that have curbed media freedom in Pakistan since he suspended a Supreme Court chief justice in March.

Source – IFEX 19.6.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/84263/

Senate to regulate media coverage - Pakistan's Senate on Wednesday decided to regulate what was termed uneven coverage of its proceedings by the electronic and print media. This will be unprecedented in the parliamentary history of the country, with the upper house regulating the coverage of its proceedings through its own code of conduct or through formulation of new guidelines.

Source – AND Kronos International 14.6.07
http://www.adnki. com/index_ 2Level_English. php?cat=CultureA ndMedia&loid= 8.0.425566256& par=0

21. Peru

Programme cancelled after broadcasting public interest information - On 28 May 2007, Panamericana Televisión cancelled the programme “Qué país”, presented by journalist Beto Ortiz, alleging that its rating was low, although other company  spokespersons declared that Ortiz, who had been hired to present an entertainment programme, entered the area of political journalism when he broadcasted a tape recorded by Vladimiro Montesinos, in which he accuses the editor of the newspaper La República, Gustavo Mohme Seminario, of having collaborated with the National Intelligence Service (SIN), directed by Montesinos during the rule of Alberto Fujimori

Source – IFEX 8.6.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/84058/

Cancellation of television programme an act of self-censorship, says IPYS – On 28 May 2007, Panamericana Televisión cancelled the programme "Qué país", hosted by journalist Beto Ortiz, alleging that its ratings were low, although other company spokespersons declared that (the action was taken because) Ortiz, who had been hired to host an entertainment programme, entered the area of political journalism when he broadcast a tape accusing the ditor of the newspaper "La República" of having collaborated with the National Intelligence Service (SIN).

Source – IFEX 12.6.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/84058/

National Institute for culture censors political cartoonist’s drawings- On 21 and 22 June 2007, officials of the National Institute for Culture (INC) ordered three of the ninety drawings of political cartoonist Piero Quijano’s exhibition “Dibujos en Prensa/1990- 2007” to be withdrawn, according to declarations made to IPYS by Armando Williams, director of the Museum José Carlos Mariátegui, an institution that depends on the INC.

Williams received the order to withdraw two of the drawings a few minutes before the inauguration of the exhibition on 21 June, and decided to go on with the event in agreement with the censored artist. The drawings illustrated articles that were published in the newspapers Perú 21 and La República, about human rights violations and a possible privatization of the Machu Picchu ruins, respectively. According to Williams, the INC officials who banned the drawings were Soledad Mujica, Director of Registries and Peruvian Culture, and Karina Moreno, of the Communications Department.

The following day, Karina Moreno ordered another cartoon to be withdrawn, one that had appeared in Somos, a magazine of the newspaper El Comercio, and which depicted President Alan García. This made Williams and Quijano decide to withdraw the whole of the exhibition. Williams also resigned his position.

In a public statement, the INC denied having issued any orders to censor the drawings and blamed Williams for everything that happened regarding the exhibition.

IPYS believes these events to be alarming, a product of obscurantist criteria contrary to the freedom of expression, and demands that they be immediately rectified, investigated and sanctioned.

Recommended Action:
Protest before the INC, Ministry of Education and Presidency.

Appeals to:
Cecilia Bákula
Directora
Instituto Nacional de Cultura
Telephone: 511 4769888 / 511 4769933
E-mail:
cbakula@inc. gob.pe / kmoreno@inc. gob.pe

José Antonio Chang
Ministro de Educación
Telephone: 511 2155800
E mail:
webmaster@minedu. gob.pe

José Chirito
Secretario de Prensa
Presidencia de la República
Telephone: 511 3113900
E-mail:
jchirito@presidenci a.gob.pe

------------ --------- -------
INSTITUTO PRENSA Y SOCIEDAD (IPYS)
Sucre N° 317, Barranco, Lima - PERÚ
Teléfono: 511- 2473308 / 247-4461 / 247-4465
Fax: 511-2473194
postmaster@ipys. org
www.ipys.org

Two cases of intolerance against the freedom of expression - Instituto Prensa y Sociedad deplores the support of President Alan García to the censorship of an exhibition of journalistic illustrations by painter Piero Quijano, sponsored initially by the National Institute for Culture (INC). This display of support, inappropriate from someone in his position, aggravates an overbearing act committed by the INC that we have already criticized, and reveals a degree of governmental intolerance that we reject.

Besides what the content of the censored drawings may be (they illustrated journalistic articles about the CVR (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) report, the privatizations policy and the president’s paternity), the interference of the Executive to censor cultural exhibitions promoted by the INC is inadmissible. On the other hand, it has been proven that certain authorities in the Armed Forces intervened to censor Quijano's show, and that the INC lied about this in a public memorandum.  For this reason we believe that its current director should resign her position.

We also want to warn about the danger posed for the freedom of expression by the suit filed by the Minister for Production, Rafael Rey, against historian Nelson Manrique, and the unlawful sentence issued by a Criminal Court. Manrique exercised his right to give his opinion about the role of Mr. Rey as leader of the political association CODE, accused of falsifying signatures.

Perú’s Supreme Court has established that the right to formulate an opinion is legitimately exercised if the expressions questioned deal with issues of public relevance, and if they do not include objectively or formally abusive phrases, as is clearly the case with the articles published by Manrique in the newspaper Perú 21 that brought on the lawsuit.  It would be desirable, on the other hand, that public persons should be more tolerant towards criticism, even of the harshest kind, as they voluntarily took on a role that puts them under society’s watchfulness.

That a judge would condemn a citizen for expressing his opinion and a President endorse a run-of-the-mill censoring of contents, are, in our view, dangerous episodes in a democratic country. Faced by both, IPYS expresses its preoccupation and rejection.

The Executive Council
Gustavo Gorriti (President), Mirko Lauer, Edmundo Cruz, Augusto Álvarez Rodrich, Cecilia Valenzuela, Santiago Pedraglio.
Ricardo Uceda (Director)

Source – Instituto Prensa Y Sociedad 3.7.07

22. Poland

Spanish daily and Catalan feminist face trial in Wroclaw for "defaming Poland"Reporters -Without Borders has condemned a lawsuit that was brought against the Spanish daily "El País" in the southwestern city of Wroclaw on 5 June 2007 accusing it of "defaming the Polish people" in an article by former Spanish parliamentarian Pilar Rahola entitled "Poland still freezes the soul" that was published on 17 March.

Source – IFEX 21.6.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 84284/

23. Russia

Media in Russia, Belarus and Azerbaijan take home free expression prizes – An independent Azerbaijani news agency and a web-based news service covering the Caucasus are just two of six media representatives from Azerbaijan, Russia and Belarus that scooped up Freedom of Expression prizes this year, given jointly by the Norwegian Freedom of Expression Foundation (Fritt Ord) and German ZEIT Foundation.

Source – Media for Freedom 27.6.07
http://www.mediafor freedom.com/ ReadArticle. asp?ArticleID= 1002

Duma to introduce quotas on sex - State Duma deputies presented a bill on Wednesday that says any mass medium with “information about sex” of over 15 percent of the total coverage is erotic. Erotic media are not to be sold in most outlets and their advertising is to be cut dramatically. Media market participants are outraged at the law, saying that it may cover “any standard medium.”

Source – Kommersant 28.6.07
http://www.kommersa nt.com/p778439/ Duma_Erotic_ Media_Sex/

Russia criticizes UK refusal to prosecute Putin foe for inciting terrorism - Russia expressed displeasure with the UK Friday over British refusal [press release] to prosecute exiled business tycoon Boris Berezovsky for his calls to overthrow Russian President Vladimir Putin. Berezovsky, who has been living in the UK since 2001 as a refugee, called for a regime change in an April interview with the Guardian.

Source – Jurist 6.7.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/07/russia-criticizes-uk-refusal-to.php

23. Sierra Leone

Newspaper editor in detention for criticising president's silence on gifts from Libyan leader – Philip Neville, publisher and editor of privately-owned "Standard Times" was arrested on June 28, 2007 and detained at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Headquarters in Freetown, for allegedly publishing subversive materials. Although he has not being charged, the police have refused to grant him bail.

Source – IFEX 29.6.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/84526/

24. Sri Lanka

Government tries to reintroduce criminal defamation - The Sri Lankan government is intent on bringing back criminal defamation laws, the Free Media Movement (FMM) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) report. According to FMM, an emergency paper - backed by the Sri Lankan president - that calls for defamation to be punishable with prison terms was submitted to a Cabinet meeting on 27 June.

Source – IFEX 3.7.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/84567

25. Swaziland

Editor investigated for contempt of parliament following critical reporting of House of Assembly - On July 4, 2007, Parliament in Swaziland sought to sanction the editor of the privately owned "Times of Swaziland" Sunday newspaper for expressing himself about the affairs of the House of Assembly in a recent commentary in his publication.

Source – All Africa 9.7.07
http://allafrica.com/stories/200707091658.html

26. Thailand

Thailand eases internet censorship – The government of Thailand announced Tuesday it was abandoning a law that allowed the cabinet to censor political or controversial Internet sites based solely on the Minister of Communication's discretion. Now Internet websites can now only be censored by court order. The country's ban on popular video-sharing website You Tube will remain.

Source – 3.7.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/07/thailand-eases-internet-censorship.php

27. Turkey

Turkish chief justice calls for criminal investigation of PM court criticism - Chief Justice Tulay Tugcu [official profile, in Turkish] of Turkey's Constitutional Court asked prosecutors Wednesday to investigate whether criminal charges should be brought against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan [BBC profile] for televised comments made Tuesday that Tugcu believes may violate laws against insulting state institutions.

Source – Jurist 30.5.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/05/turkish-chief-justice-calls-for.php

YSK facing criticism for broadcasting bans - in the wake of upcoming general elections, the implementation of the regulatory framework for media coverage during the elections provided by the Supreme Election Board (YSK) is exposed to serious criticism. The criticism intensified following a ruling by the YSK to ban three programs by CNN Türk, one of Turkey's respected national news stations.

Source – Turkish Daily News 20.6.07
http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=76267

ECHR condemns three rulings against journalists, accepts a fourth – On 14 June 2007, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decreed that freedom of expression was not curtailed in the case of Hünkar Demirel, the manager of the weekly newspaper "Yedinci Gündem", who appealed to the ECHR after he was convicted of "aiding and abetting a terrorist organisation by spreading propaganda".

Source – IFEX 20.6.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 84295/

Taner Akcam filed application against Turkey to European Court of Human Rights – Professor Taner Akcam, a Turkish scholar and Visiting Associate Professor of History at the University of Minnesota, filed an application before the European Court of Human Rights against the Republic of Turkey, independent French journalist Jean Eckian told PanARMENIAN. Net. The complaint is based on the criminal investigation launched against him earlier this year under Turkish Penal Code Article 301, for “insulting Turkishness” by having publicly used the term "genocide" to describe the mass murder of Armenians in 1915.

Source – PanAmerian.Net 21.6.07
http://www.panarmen ian.net/news/ eng/?nid= 22731

YSK facing criticism for broadcasting bans – In the wake of upcoming general elections, the implementation of the regulatory framework for media coverage during the elections provided by the Supreme Election Board (YSK) is exposed to serious criticism. The criticism intensified following a ruling by the YSK to ban three programs by CNN Türk, one of Turkey's respected national news stations.

Source – Turkish Daily News 20.6.07
http://www.turkishd ailynews. com.tr/article. php?enewsid= 76267

28. UK

Text of a letter from Sir Christopher Meyer, following the recent speech from Tony Blair on the media, which has been published in the Times - In his ‘feral beasts’ speech, the Prime Minister referred to the inevitability of change in the regulatory framework for the media. He cited the looming European Audio Visual Media Services Directive which may result in greater regulations for television services streamed over the internet.

Source – Press Complaints Commission
http://www.pcc.org.uk/news/index.html?article=NDU3NQ
 
Serving military personnel have been banned from selling their stories to the media, Defence Secretary Des Browne has announced - Mr Browne told MPs in the Commons on June 19, as he accepted the findings of two reports into the capture of a Royal Navy boarding party by Iran, that the operational inquiry by former Commandant of the Royal Marines, Lieutenant General Sir Rob Fulton, had concluded there was no case for disciplinary action against any of the individuals concerned.

Instead, Gen Fulton blamed the "coming together of a series of vulnerabilities" which left the 15 sailors and Royal Marines exposed when their inflatable boarding craft were surrounded by Iranian Revolutionary Guard gunboats.

However, he also found that many of those involved could have done more to prevent the incident and called for improvements in intelligence handling, communications, doctrine and training.

Tony Hall, the chief executive of the Royal Opera House and former BBC director of news, who carried out the inquiry into the decision to allow the personnel to sell their stories following their release, also found no one individual could be held responsible.
There was a "collective failure of judgment or an abstention from judgment" within the Ministry of Defence, he said.

The head of the Royal Navy, Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, acknowledged that the service's reputation was "dented" by what had happened but insisted that it would recover.

"The events of March 23 were one bad day in our proud 400-year history. I can assure the British people that I will personally ensure that the recommendations of this (Fulton) report are fully implemented, " he told reporters.

The Royal Navy boarding party from the frigate HMS Cornwall was seized after carrying out a routine boarding in the Gulf off Iraq as part of the coalition naval operation.

Some of the group were later shown on Iranian television apologising for straying into Iranian territorial waters - the Government denied that that had happened - and later effusively thanking President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad following their release.

There was an outcry after they were subsequently allowed to sell their stories, despite criticism in some quarters at the way they conducted themselves.

Mr Browne told MPs that Gen Fulton's report would not be published because it covered sensitive operational matters, although a copy would be given in confidence to the Commons Defence Committee.

Admiral Band disclosed that the report's recommendations included improvements in "conduct after capture" training.

Personnel, such as sailors who were not normally thought to be in the front line would in future be prepared in a "more aggressive manner", he said.

One of the sailors, 20-year-old Operator Maintainer Arthur Batchelor, was widely ridiculed after admitting that he had cried himself to sleep after the Iranians took his i-Pod and called him Mr Bean.

Mr Hall said he had not been able to identify any one individual who took the decision to allow the group to sell their stories.

But the issue should not have been left to Fleet Headquarters in Portsmouth, which was not equipped to deal with the intense media interest, and in future the MoD should take the lead, he said.

His report called for the MoD press office to be strengthened and said steps should be taken to improve relations with the media.

But there should be no exceptions to the ban on service personnel accepting money for talking to the media, he said, adding: "The acceptance of payment from the media offended the public and their view of the special place of the Armed Forces in British life.

"It also ran contrary to what the Armed Forces believe that they stand for. That the decision to accept payment caused such anger and concern was entirely understandable. "

Mr Browne told the Commons he accepted the recommendation and that an interim ban on selling stories which he announced in the wake of the outcry would be made permanent.

http://www.medialaw yer.press. net/article. jsp?id=1629904

WIPO broadcast treaty defeated by web activists - A controversial new intellectual property right due to be created by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has been successfully opposed by a coalition of web activists and the technology industry..
Source - Out Law 29.6.07
http://www.out-law.com/page-8183

New ASA boss targets bogus web sites - The new boss of the advertising watchdog has said bogus web adverts and websites need better regulation and conceded that current rules are not far-reaching enough. Lord Chris Smith, in his first day as chairman of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), said he wanted to respond to growing public concern over misleading claims by internet adverts.

Source – Out Law 3.7.07
http://www.out-law.com//default.aspx?page=8192

Google sued over defamatory postings found on web search - Google, the world's biggest search engine, is being sued by a London businessman in a landmark legal action that could hold the US-based company liable for the publication of inaccurate, malicious or damaging material on the internet.
Source – The Independent 29.6.07
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/legal/article2720094.ece#2007-06-29T00:00:04-00:00

UK Muhammad cartoons protester convicted for inciting murder - Mizanur Rahman was convicted Thursday in a UK court of inciting murder during a February 2006 protest against the publication of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. Rahman, who has already been convicted for inciting racial hatred during the rally at the Danish embassy, called for the beheading of individuals who insult Islam and the killing of British and American forces in Iraq.

Source – Jurist 6.7.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/07/uk-muhammad-cartoons-protester.php

New MP should do more to protect free speech – Free expression groups in the U.K. are demanding that newly crowned Prime Minister Gordon Brown protects whistleblowers, respects the right to protest and scraps proposals to restrict the Freedom of Information Act - and ultimately does a better job than outgoing Tony Blair in defending free speech.

Source – IFEX 3.7.07
http://canada.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/84569/

29. Uruguay

Parliament supports democratic community media law - A draft community media law that says television and radio frequencies in Uruguay should be equitably distributed won overwhelming support in the House of Representatives last week, report the World Association of
Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF).

Source – IFEX 12.6.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/84084/

30. US

Federal appeals court overturns FCC indecency decision - The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York on Monday vacated a determination [FCC order] by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) [official website] that Fox Television broadcasts violated the FCC's indecency and profanity prohibitions.

Source – Jurist 4.6.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/06/federal-appeals-court-overturns-fcc.php

House of representatives votes for an exemplary law on community media - Reporters Without Borders (RSF) today hailed a draft law regulating community media, which won overwhelming support in the House of Representatives as "an inspiration to the American continent". "

Source – Reporters Sans Frontiers 11.6.07
http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=22492

MySpace, Facebook Privacy Limits Tested in Emotional Distress Suit - The operators of MySpace and Facebook social networking sites assure their millions of subscribers that only designated "friends" can read registrants' private postings. But do the postings stay private if the registrant becomes the plaintiff in an emotional distress case?
Source – Law.com 14.6.07
http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1181725536838  

TV's over-zealous profanity police rebuked by US court - US television regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may not have the right to police American airwaves, a court has ruled. The ruling is a blow to a George W Bush-led clampdown on on-air swearing.
Source – Out Law 8.6.07
http://www.out-law.com/page-8128

Web Sites Face Film Studios' Copyright Suits - Several major Hollywood movie studios filed suit late Tuesday against two Web sites that direct users to online videos, alleging they contribute to and profit from copyright infringement. The Motion Picture Association of America Inc. filed the suits in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles against YouTVpc.com and Peekvid.com on behalf of the studios,

Source – Wall Street Journal
http://online. wsj.com/article/ SB11829857792195 0757.html

Appeals panel 'reluctantly' tosses child porn case - Judges of the Georgia Court of Appeals last week said they must "reluctantly" issue an opinion that may make it more difficult for the state to prosecute people who look at child pornography. A three-judge panel on June 21 reversed the conviction of a North Georgia man on 106 counts of sexual exploitation of children.

Source – Law.com 27.6.07
http://www.law. com/jsp/article. jsp?id=118284879 0153

31. Venezuela

TV programme cancelled after commenting on RCTV case  - On 23 May 2007, regional UHF channel Llanovisión's news programme, "La Entrevista de Hoy", was suspended after it commented on RCTV's closing-down. The programme was presented by the sociologist Laure Nicotra and was broadcasted in the State of Barinas, southern Venezuela.  

Nicotra declared that the measure was the result of an interview with lawyer Pedro Gonzáles, broadcasted on 22 May, about the government’s decision not to renew RCTV’s concession. The journalist received a written note from the station’s administration, while the programme was being broadcasted, that ordered her to suspend the interview. She did not comply.The following day, the programme was cancelled fifteen minutes after it started. According to Nicotra, the station’s owner, Douglas Valero, stormed into the set where the programme was being recorded and ordered it to be suspended saying that he determined what was allowed to be said in his TV channel and that talking about RCTV was forbidden. Nicotra has not yet received an official explanation about the motives for canceling her programme or about her work situation.

IPYS got in touch with Llanovisión’s directors but they refused to say anything about the subject.  

IPYS states its preoccupation about this case of censorship which violates the rights to freedom of expression and information ratified by articles 57, 58 and 108 of the Constitution.

Minister accuses media outlet director of instigating assassination and destabilizing the government with American money - On 28 May 2007, the Minister of Communication and Information, William Lara, filed a suit with the General Prosecutor accusing the director of the webpage noticierodigital.com, Roger Santodomingo, of instigating to assassinate the president and receiving funding from the American State Department to destabilize the government. The director was notified and should appear at the Prosecutor’s office on 14 June.

Santodomingo declared that the investigations have been caused by an opinion poll in which the option of assassinating President Hugo Chávez, as an answer to the question “Which is the way out of this crisis?” received 30% of the votes.  Noticierodigital.com is a citizen’s forum with 45 thousand registered users who can upload information about the day’s events to the webpage and debate them.

Source – IPYS 8.6.07

www.ipys.org

Journalists who criticize the government are accused of receiving money from the CIA - On 22 May 2007, Mario Silva, presenter of the state owned TV channel Venezolana de televisión’s (VTV) opinion programme “La Hojilla”, accused a group of journalists who have been critical of Hugo Chávez’s regime of receiving money from the American government in order to destabilize the State. A day later, the pro-government newspaper Vea, stated that the journalists received money from America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Source – IFEX 11.6.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/84053/

Hackers alter information in newspaper’s web page - On 17 June 2007, digital spies altered the informative content of newspaper El Impulso’s web page. The tainted texts dealt with press freedom and the protests taking place in the country. They were replaced by messages against RCTV and its president, Marciel Granier, and signed with the pseudonym “Bachiller Marginal”.

Security systems were reinforced, but the texts were altered again a few hours later.

Multimedia department coordinator, Gisela Carmona, pointed out that, although it would be possible to re-activate the web page, they would rather not do it until new security systems were implemented. She also stated that they will not file an accusation as there is no legislation in place for that kind of crime.

Source – Instituto Prensa Y Sociedad

32. Vietnam

Cyber-dissident freed befote presidential visit to U.S - Vietnam has released one of its best known cyber-dissidents from prison under a presidential amnesty, two weeks before its president visits the United States, reports Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF). Nguyen Vu Binh, who is in poor health, was pardoned and freed on 9 June after serving nearly five years for spying.

Source – IFEX 12.6.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/84080

4. Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe House approves controversial electronic surveillance bill - The Zimbabwean House of Assembly, the lower chamber of parliament, approved the controversial Interception of Communications Bill ednesday, authorizing the directors of Zimbabwe's Central Intelligence Organization, the military, taxation authority, and the Commissioner of Police to intercept communications across the telephone, the internet, and other electronic communication devices.

Source – Jurist 14.6.07
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/06/zimbabwe-house-approves-controversial.php

Parliament passes “spying law” - A draft "spying" law that would allow the government to intercept mail, phone calls and emails without having to get court approval was passed last week by the Zimbabwean House of Assembly, report the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF).

Source – IFEX 19.6.07
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/84256  

Zimbabwe House approves controversial electronic surveillance bill -The Zimbabwean House of Assembly, the lower chamber of parliament, approved the controversial Interception of Communications Bill [PDF text] Wednesday, authorizing the the directors of Zimbabwe's Central Intelligence Organization, the military, taxation authority, and the Commissioner of Police to intercept communications across the telephone, the internet, and other electronic communication devices.

Source – Jurist 14.6.07
http://jurist. law.pitt. edu/paperchase/ 2007/06/zimbabwe -house-approves- controversial. php

33. Various/Useful links

a) Censorship 'changes face of net' http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6724531.stm

b) Follow The Media news round uphttp://followthemedia.com/writeon/wan02062007.htm

c) Fifteen new IMLA members joined this week  We welcome this week 15 members from South East Asia to the IMLA network, all participants at the South East Asia Media Defense Litigation Conference, co-organised by PCMLP, University of Hong Kong, SEAPA, IBA  (for details please follow the link http://mediadefense.wordpress.com/ )

Cambodia – Michael Fowler

Indonesia – Anggara; Misbahuddin Gasma; Hinca Pandjaitan; Trimoelja Darmasetia Soerjadi

Philippines - Rosalinda Kabatay; Maria Pilar Martinez Caedo; Vida Panganiban-Alindongan; Charlton Jules Romero; Theodore Te.

Singapore -  Alfred Dodwell; George Hwang; Chia Ti Lik; Peter Cuthbert Low

UK - Peter Noorlander

We received further applications from participants at that conference, which will be considered by the applications sub-committee in due course.

d) The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, issued a special report today on the problems faced by journalists when covering political demonstrationshttp://www.osce.org/item/25227.html

e) General Interest to IMLA members who are also academics – the future of law journalshttp://yalelawjournal.org/editorial/the-future-of-legal-scholarship.html

f) What is safer internet?http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/sip/index_en.htm

g) Job opportunity: deadline Monday 25 June 2007The Institute for Information Law (IViR) of the University of Amsterdam currently has a vacancy for an editor/research assistant specialising in European audiovisual law. See further: http://www.ivir.nl/news/IRIS_Coordinator_vacancy.pdf

h) Research Studentships available at Bristol University UK
http://www.bris. ac.uk/law/ research/ research- awards/index. html

i) Internews - 2 candidates to potentially participate in a project, if it were funded.
Both positions should be almost full-time for 9-12 months.
* A fully experienced project manager/director with at least 10 years experience of advising on telecom regulatory issues;
* A senior lawyer with at least 10 years experience in the drafting of primary and secondary legislation in the telecom sector in the transition countries of the former Soviet Union

www.internews.eu 

j) African Union and OAS to host “Democracy Bridge” meeting in the US
Promote and defend democracy across Africa and the Americas at the
"Democracy Bridge" meeting, on 11 and 12 July in Washington, D.C.
Along with academics and civil society reps, the African Union and the
Organization of American States are getting together to analyse democracy,
human rights and conflict resolution, focusing specifically on the newly
approved African Charter on Democracy, Election and Governance and what can
be learned from its American counterpart. Check out the panels and
"breakout" sessions on how to observe elections, promote democratic
institutions and network across the region.

Civil society organisations that would like to participate should email:
summitcso@oas. org or fax: +1 (202) 458-3665.

For the agenda for "Democracy Bridge: Multilateral Regional Efforts for the
Promotion and Defense of Democracy in Africa and America", see:
http://tinyurl. com/2l3quo

k) Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd and ors v Vetplus Ltd [2007] EWCA Civ 584 http://www.lawrepor ts.co.uk/ WLRD/2007/ CACIV/jun0. 2.htm

l) Special Report – Handling the media during political demonstrations http://www.osce. org/documents/ rfm/2007/ 06/25176_ en.pdf

m) Freedom of expression must include the license to offend – an address by Professor Francesca Klughttp://www.lse. ac.uk/Depts/ human-rights/ Documents/ Religion& HR_Klug.pdf

n) The Blair Report by Conor Gearty http://www.lse. ac.uk/Depts/ human-rights/ Documents/ Blair_Report_ Gearty.pdf

o) New IMLA members
 
Dear IMLA members,

Please join me in welcoming 28 new members to IMLA – the participants who successfully completed MLAP 2007 on Friday.

Also - please remember to keep me up to date me when you change your email address, otherwise you will not be able to send and receive mail from the medialaw list.

All the best,

Danilo

p) Open Society Institute, Justice Initiative Litigation Director post available
http://www.justiceinitiative.org/db/resource2?res_id=103800

q) International Service for Human Rights, Director post available http://www.ishr.ch/about/jobs/director_ishr.pdf


Posted: Jul 31 2007, 14:37 (/newsletter_June_2007) [ Return to top ]


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