Press Release

Don’t muzzle media, respect Constitution: SAMDEN urges Kenyan govt

New Delhi, 6 February 2018:The South Asia Media Defenders Network (SAMDEN) today condemned what it called “increasing authoritarianism in Kenya and assaults on the press.” In the past week, the administration of recently re-elected Uhuru Kenyatta terminated TV broadcasts by a number of media houses for almost a week. The Government disregarded a subsequent court order to lift the ban and complied only when threatened with contempt of court. Kenya, earlier known for its robust media, is no longer so. “It is unacceptable that the media now fears arrests, harassment, and shut down of television channels just because it is performing a professional duty,” said Sanjoy Hazarika, International Director of CHRI, representing SAMDEN, which has international editors, journalists, professional media members, and writers. They include such as Mehfuz Anam, editor of The Daily Star of Dhaka, Rita Payne, journalist and media

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South Asian groups welcome Maldives Supreme Court order to release political prisoners

New Delhi, 2 February 2018:The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and the South Asia Media Defenders Network (SAMDEN ) welcome the decision by the Maldives’ Supreme Court for the release of all political prisoners. We urge the Government of the Maldives and its security forces to respect the ruling and ensure its enforcement. The Supreme Court’s order for the fair re-trial of all the political prisoners’ is a landmark ruling. The government’s pressure on the court during trials of political prisoners violated the Maldives’ Constitution and international law. We support the strengthening of human rights, democratic institutions, and respect for the rule of law in the Maldives. The latest ruling reaffirms the fundamentals of the separation of powers. We believe this is a step in the direction of bolstering democracy and good governance in the Maldives. Signed: Wajahat Habibullah, Chairperson

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International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists: States must tackle crimes against journalists, says SAMDEN

New Delhi, 2 November 2017:On the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on 2nd November, the South Asia Media Defenders Network (SAMDEN), pay tributes to the journalists throughout the world who work tirelessly, courageously and professionally to report on and defend human rights and all those who work for substantive equality. Journalists face a unique set of challenges while performing their duties and often run into specific risks of intimidation, harassment and violence.  The alarming increase in violence against media defenders and violation of their rights demonstrates the importance of strengthening protection mechanism across the globe. According to the UN, more than 900 journalists have been killed in the last decade, while over 30 journalists have been targeted and killed in 2017, including the recent attacks on journalists in Kenya, Malta, India and Pakistan. SAMDEN

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Murder of Maltese journalist underlines ‘dangers of investigative journalism’

New Delhi, 17 October 2017:The murder of Maltese investigative journalist and intrepid blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia points to the dangers of investigative journalism worldwide, a group of international editors and journalists said today.  Daphne Galizia’s killing on Monday comes at a time of a clear increase in violence and intimidation, aimed at journalists and media.   The trends show shrinking space for freedom of expression amidst concerns about a climate of increased intolerance even in ‘democratic’ nations. Galizia was well-known for her fearless investigations into the Panama Papers, an issue which has embroiled many entities and individuals in South Asia and beyond. “Indeed, the news is relentlessly gloomy – week after week brings news of journalists abducted, jailed, prosecuted and killed,” said the South Asia Media Defenders Network (SAMDEN), an association of professional journalists, editors and bloggers. “The latest incident casts

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SAMDEN condemns killing of journalist Shantanu Bhowmik in Tripura

New Delhi, 23 September 2017:The South Asia Media Defenders Network (SAMDEN) condemns the killing of journalist Shantanu Bhowmik, in Mandai in Tripura, saying that the issue goes beyond media freedom and involves the right to life. Bhowmik, a reporter for a local television news channel, Raat Din TV, was killed while covering a political rally of the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (PFT) on Wednesday. He had been reporting on the PFT agitation when, according to the Press Trust of India, quoting the local Superintendent of Police, the 28 year-old was abducted and killed.  Coming as it does only days after the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru, this is a reminder of the increasing violence being directed towards mediapersons across India. Reporters on the field in far-flung areas are particularly vulnerable to such attacks and intimidation. As media professionals,

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Press Release

Release all imprisoned journalists: International media rights groups tell governments

15 July 2019:  New Delhi, India More pledges to secure press freedom will not be credible if countries do not agree to take more proactive steps to protect journalists, a group of prominent international human rights and media organisations said last week. They made the suggestions around the Global Conference for Media Freedom, hosted by the governments of the United Kingdom and Canada in London on 10-11 July 2019. Over 99 journalists and media workers were killed in 2018, in addition to more than 300 being detained and 60 held hostage. The group placed 11 recommendations for governments, including calls to  Immediately release all imprisoned journalists    Stop attacks against them Promptly investigate their murders Refrain from targeting and denigrating the media, online or offline  The statement, signed by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), the South Asia Media Defenders Network (SAMDEN)

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