Press Release

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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SAMDEN urges Pak govt to act against political leader’s threat to kill Pakistani journalists

April 12, 2019 New Delhi, India The South Asia Media Defenders Network (SAMDEN) joins international media federations and organisations in strongly denouncing alleged threats by a former leader of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) against journalists in South Warizistan in Pakistan, and has urged the Federal government in Pakistan to take effective action.  Taj Mohammad Wazeer, the former leader of JI, and other unidentified members of Pakistan’s National Assembly had on April 8 made public statements at a political rally calling for attacks on and killing of journalists in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, according to the International Federation of Journalists.  SAMDEN condemns these statements and urges authorities to take legally mandated action to protect the lives of media workers and uphold the freedom of the press.

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SAMDEN expresses solidarity with The Shillong Times

New Delhi, 15 March 2019: The South Asia Media Defenders Network (SAMDEN) expresses relief at the Supreme Court of India’s decision to stay a contempt of court order issued by the Meghalaya High Court against its member, Patricia Mukhim, the editor of The Shillong  Times, and its publisher. The move will ensure that the newspaper will not have to, at this time, shell out the fine of Rs 4 lakh that had been imposed on it as penalty by the Meghalaya court. The Meghalaya High Court’s order had come in response to a story published in December in the Shillong Times published which discussed a judgement providing perks and facilities for retired judges and their families. The Court had fined both editor Patricia Mukhim and publisher Shobha Chaudhury Rs 2 lakh each, and ordered them to sit in a corner of the court

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