News from Mexico, Japan, Turkey

PRESS FREEDOM THIS WEEK
July 3, 2015

Two deaths show Journalism remains deadly occupation in Mexico
IPI urges country's federal government to conduct impartial and thorough investigations in both cases
Gunmen shot radio broadcaster Filadelfo Sánchez Sarmiento on Thursday morning in Miahuatlán de Porfirio Díaz, a town in the southern state of Oaxaca. The attack occurred as Sarmiento left his station, 103.3 FM La Voz de la Sierra Sur, following his morning show, “La Favorita”. His death came one day after blogger Juan Mendoza Delgado was found dead in the eastern state of Veracruz. Delgado directed a website called “Writing the Truth” and had worked as a local crime reporter.
IPI Fellow and Austrian journalist Gerd Bacher dies of stroke at 89
Former head of public broadcaster ORF remembered for dedication to independent journalism

Known for his dedication to independent journalism, especially radio and television, Bacher served as the director general of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) for 20 years intermittently between 1967 and 1994. He was named an IPI Fellow in 2003. In 1999, a jury of Bacher’s peers named him Austrian journalist of the 20th Century.

Pressure on Japanese media by politicians raises concerns
IPI urges leaders to ensure respect for press freedom

Last week, during a meeting of 40 junior Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) members, several lawmakers and a guest lecturer, popular novelist Naoki Hyakuta, blamed the media for the poor reception of highly controversial security bills and reportedly called for the government to “punish the media” by pressing businesses to reduce their advertising in newspapers that question the party’s policies.

Turkey high court tosses journalist’s prison sentence for criminal 'insult'
Conviction over AKP criticism violated free expression

A ruling by Turkey’s Constitutional Court that a journalist’s suspended prison sentence for “insulting” public officials via the media violated the freedom of expression is a positive development, the International Press Institute (IPI) said. But IPI added that the true test of the impact of the decision, which cited rulings by the European Court of Human Rights, will be whether lower courts choose to follow it and whether it leads to renewed efforts to reform laws that give government officials heightened protection from scrutiny.

IPI welcomes withdrawal of media bills under consideration in Tanzania
Facing criticism, government pledges further review

IPI welcomed a decision by Tanzanian lawmakers to heed demands from media groups and withdraw two proposed acts that purported to strengthen free expression and access to information but would instead undermine those rights as the country approaches fall elections.

End to inquest in 2014 death of Myanmar journalist raises concerns
Decision comes as journalists report incidents of harassment, intimidation before elections

Despite its ongoing transition toward democracy, Myanmar took a step backward in terms of media freedom last week when a court officially closed its investigation into the murky death of a freelance journalist killed in October 2014 while in military custody.

Q&A with Turkish journalist Canan CoÅŸkun, facing 23 years in prison
Case stems from report on judiciary officials’ land deals

Daily Cumhuriyet reporter Canan CoÅŸkun reported claims that a lottery to select homebuyers for a housing project in Istanbul’s BaÅŸakÅŸehir neighbourhood was rigged to favour members a group of judges and prosecutors with ties to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

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LITHUANIA
IPI–Article 19 mission to Lithuania urges Parliament to adopt stronger defamation reform

SLOVENIA
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GREECE
Greek investigative journalist sentenced to prison for libel

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Flags and Barriers: Essays on Reporting from Israel and Palestine

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