News from Ethiopia, Kosovo, Egypt

July 10, 2015

IPI welcomes release of Ethiopian journalist Reeyot Alemu, others
Urges freedom for others, reform of 2009 anti-terror law used to prosecute dozens of journalists
IPI welcomed Ethiopia’s release from prison of journalist Reeyot Alemu and five individuals in the Zone 9 bloggers case this week, but it urged the government to release other journalists and to re-examine anti-terror laws used to prosecute them. Alemu was released yesterday, while three journalists and two bloggers accused in a case involving the Zone 9 media collective were released on Wednesday. The releases came ahead of a scheduled trip to the country by U.S. President Barack Obama.
Kosovo journalist reportedly the target of ongoing threats since June
SEEMO urges authorities to hold perpetrators, purportedly former militants, accountable

Local sources told SEEMO that Serbeze Haxhiaj, a journalist with public radio Radio Kosova, part of Radio Television of Kosovo (RTK) in Pristina, has received a number of threats starting late last month from individuals who identified themselves as former superior officers in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) / Ushtria Çlirimtare e Kosovës (UCK).

IPI, others urge federal probe into 2013 death of Russian editor
On second anniversary of murder, groups call on Investigative Committee head to respond to appeal

IPI joined 27 other free expression and human rights groups on the second anniversary of the unsolved killing of Russian editor Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev in Dagestan to repeat a call for Russia’s Federal Investigative Committee to take charge of the investigation.The groups initially made the request in a letter sent to the head of the Investigative Committee, Aleksandr Bastrykin, on Nov. 2, 2014, the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.

IPI blasts Egyptian proposal that would ban non-official information
Bill provides imprisonment for reports contradicting government claims about death tolls in militant attacks

IPI condemned provisions of a proposed new anti-terrorism law in Egypt that would criminalise contradicting official reports on militant attacks, calling it a dangerous move to censor critical voices. The move followed a series of deadly militant attacks, including a jihadist attack on the military last Wednesday in the Sinai Peninsula, in which several news outlets reported death tolls to be higher than that of official military reports.

Indian journalist investigating test-taking scandal dies mysteriously
IPI urges authorities to take measures to protect journalists reporting on corruption, wrongdoing

Akshay Singh, 38, was the third journalist who had been investigating corruption to die in India in the past month, and the second to die in the north central state of Madhya Pradesh. At the time of his death, Singh, a journalist with the special investigations team of the Aaj Tak television channel, was investigating dozens of deaths connected with the high-profile “Vyapam scam”.

Lithuania removes two articles on insult from its Criminal Code
Despite progress, IPI says need for more reform remains

IPI said that the Lithuanian Parliament’s recent decision to remove two insult articles from its Criminal Code is a positive step, but called on lawmakers to completely eliminate criminal defamation. Parliament on June 25 approved legislation to remove Arts. 155 and 290, which criminalised insult and insult of a civil servant, respectively. The former contemplated prison sentences of up to one year while the latter provided for up to two years behind bars.

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