Press Release

Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov’s journalism represents countless journalists: SAMDEN Congratulates Nobel Peace Prize Winners

New Delhi, 11 October 2021 – The South Asia Media Defenders Network (SAMDEN) today congratulated Ms Maria Ressa and Mr Dmitry Andreyevich Muratov on the award of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. The two journalists represent both an extraordinary body of work as well as the hopes, aspirations, threats, abuse and daily challenges faced by countless journalists and those committed to freedom of opinion and expression across the world, it said. “Your journalism, conducted under extremely adverse conditions of oppression, intimidation and harm inspires many journalists, young and old, worldwide. The Nobel Committee’s decision sends a powerful message that without free and courageous expression of ideas and ideals, societies and democracies are imperiled,” SAMDEN added. The Network hopes that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2021 will be a wakeup call to all stakeholders to pay urgent attention to the pressures

Read More »

Protect Afghan journalists: SAMDEN urges UN, media groups, govts

New Delhi – The United Nations, governments and media organizations across the world are being urged to ensure the protection of local media professionals, foreign correspondents, and creative artists, especially women, in Afghanistan. The South Asia Media Defenders Network (SAMDEN) today said that such protection must extend to both online and offline spaces and include independent publishers, broadcast houses as well as web and citizen journalists. While the news conference by the Taliban leadership was rare, SAMDEN added, it also emphasized that everything depended on the Talban’s delivery of its public assurances. It pointed out that there had been chilling accounts of Taliban cadres allegedly entering the homes of journalists and it remained deeply concerned about the safety and security of media professionals in Afghanistan, especially women journalists. The Network noted a recent report which quoted one of the country’s top

Read More »

SAMDEN urges independent investigation into Danish Siddiqui’s death

New Delhi, 19 July 2021: Urging governments and human rights bodies to strengthen their commitment towards the safety and security of journalists as frontline defenders, the South Asia Media Defenders Network (SAMDEN) today called for an independent investigation into the death of Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui in Afghanistan. “The details on this tragic death of a Reuters photojournalist, while covering clashes between Afghan security forces and the Taliban, are murky and inconclusive. Siddiqui’s family, admirers of his work and aspiring journalists who look up him deserve clarity and more information on the circumstances under which he died,” it said. SAMDEN, a group of more than 60 journalists from South Asia that is anchored in the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), expressed condolences for Siddiqui’s death, remembering the brilliance of his journalism and the dedication to capture the life and

Read More »

SAMDEN condemns arrest of Bangladeshi and Manipuri Journalists

May 21, 2021, New Delhi – Prominent editors and media professionals of South Asia called for the release of senior Bangladeshi reporter Rozina Islam of Prothom Alo, who was charged under a century-old colonial law – the Official Secrets Act, 1923 – and the Penal Code of Bangladesh for highlighting alleged irregularities in Bangladesh’s health sector.  Professional journalists provide a public service by ensuring that credible information, analysis and views reach large audiences – online, offline and broadcast – even during the ongoing devastating pandemic and health emergency, said SAMDEN. This needs to be encouraged as part of an open and free ecosystem. “In the absence of concreate evidence of a recognisable criminal offence, Rozina’s arrest for reporting that apparently revealed the corruption and mismanagement in Bangladesh’s health sector is reflective of a new normal in South Asia where authorities

Read More »

SAMDEN urges Pakistan govt to act swiftly in killing of TV anchor

Sept 8, 2020New Delhi, India The South Asia Media Defenders Network (SAMDEN) today called on Pakistani authorities to take firm action in the killing of Shaheena Shaheen, a TV talk show host and editor, in Balochistan province. Police in the Balochi town of Turbat said that they were hunting for Ms. Shaheen’s husband, Nawabzada Mehrab Khan Gichki, who allegedly fired at her on Saturday at a relative’s home. The motive for the alleged shooting was not known. Ms Shaheen worked for Pakistan television and edited a local Baloch magazine called Dazghar. “We urge the provincial government of Balochistan and authorities in Pakistan to take strong action to bring the killer/s of Ms. Shaheen to justice,” the network said. Pakistan was ranked 145 of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index of Reporters Sans Frontiers, which measures the safety and

Read More »

North East India’s oldest broadsheet is victim of pandemic, SAMDEN urges need to ensure no other extraneous factors barring health in closure

Aug 25, 2020New Delhi,India Last week, COVID-19 claimed an unlikely victim: The Shillong Times, North East India’s oldest broadsheet newspaper, was ordered by the Government of Meghalaya, under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and the Meghalaya Epidemic Diseases, Regulations 2020, to close its office premises. The government order came after four persons working in The Shillong Times office premises performing non-journalistic functions reportedly tested positive. The order has required the closure of all shopping establishments, government and private institutions located within the boundary of the containment area, and banned movement by all inhabitants. Patricia Mukhim, editor of The Shillong Times, said: “The management had allowed desk staff to work from home. Some were also provided desktop computers to enable them to work from home. As editor I also worked from home since March 20, this year. It is difficult to

Read More »
%d bloggers like this: