Press Release

Pak govt must heed stakeholders’ concerns before establishing new media regulatory authority: SAMDEN

Feb 10, 2019 New Delhi, India  The South Asia Media Defenders Network (SAMDEN) has urged the Pakistan government to enter a transparent dialogue with media leaders in that country over acute concerns about a proposed new media authority that could potentially render journalists vulnerable to state control. The government’s decision to establish the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PMRA) has triggered widespread opposition among media groups across the country.  “We note the strong denunciation of the PMRA by leading news organizations in the country  – the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) and the Rural Media Network Pakistan (RMNP) – which have described it as undemocratic, regressive and aimed at curbing media freedom,” SAMDEN said in statement. Among other provisions, the PMRA seeks to introduce an annual licensing system for members of print media – a move that

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SAMDEN calls upon Manipur CM to release journalist and withdraw defamation suit

To,Mr. N. BirenChief Minister, Manipur 4 December 2018 Subject: Call to release journalist and withdraw defamation suit Dear Chief Minister, The South Asia Media Defenders Network (SAMDEN) writes to you out of concern on issues of freedom of expression and media rights in Manipur. We are a group of editors, journalists, bloggers and RTI leaders across several countries of South Asia as well as those of South Asian-origin based in UK and the US concerned about the rights of journalists who face pressure from any quarter in the course of their professional duties or right to free expression. We wish to raise the question of the cable TV journalist Wangkhem Kishorechandra, working then with ISTV, who was first arrested last August after he posted statements on Facebook mocking the BJP. He was put in jail and slapped with a defamation charge. 

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Justice for Khashoggi, Sohail Khan, repeal Bangladesh’s draconian Digital Security Act: SAMDEN

New Delhi, October 20, 2018: Expressing horror at the disappearance and reported brutal murder of Saudi commentator Jamal Khashoggi inside Saudi diplomatic premises. a network of editors and journalists from South Asia today demanded swift and transparent investigation in the case and drew attention to other disturbing developments in this region. “Time and again, journalists and defenders of free expression who are in the front line of seeking transparency but are among the first casualties of fearless and investigative reporting,” said a statement by the South Asia Media Defenders Network (SAMDEN). The Saudi government maintains that Khashoggi was accidentally killed in a brawl, but several reports say the incident was premeditated and citing Turkish officials have said he was brutally tortured, decapitated and his body dismembered.  Some reports have even linked the event to Crown Prince Prince Mohammed bin Salman.  The need for governments to look out for the safety of journalists

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South Asia Media Defenders Network concerned about attack on Ghanaian journalist

May 8, 2018 Accra Expressing solidarity with local media organizations about the reported assault on Ghanaian journalist Ohemaa Sekyiwa by Hajia Fati, a member of the ruling New Patriotic Party in Ghana, the South Asia Media Defenders Network (SAMDEN) has also called for an independent investigation into the incident.In a statement, the Media Defenders Network, which is based in South Asia and anchored in the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), noted today that “the incident took place within a day of the close of the two-day international Press Freedom Day in Accra”.CHRI is headquartered in New Delhi and has offices in Accra and London. SAMDEN is building connections with media organizations across the Commonwealth, the organization of 53 former British colonies.Sanjoy Hazarika, the founder of SAMDEN and international director of CHRI, expressed solidarity with media organizations which have rallied around

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SAMDEN: ‘alarming pattern’ in attacks on media, says ‘impunity recognizes no borders’

March 29, 2018 New Delhi, India Declaring that ‘impunity recognizes no boundaries’, 20 prominent editors and media figures from a media rights network across South Asia, including India, Bangladesh and Pakistan today slammed the recent killings of journalists in India and Pakistan as illustrating a pattern of violence against media workers. The South Asia Media Defenders Network (SAMDEN) said it condemned the killing of journalist Sandeep Sharma, in Madhya Pradesh, two journalists in Bihar and one in Pakistan. The alarming pattern of attacks against journalists, without successful investigations or convictions, points towards shrinking freedom of expression and anti-media tendencies in ‘democratic’ nations, and concerns the very right to life itself. Sharma, a television channel stringer was run over by a truck on Tuesday. He  had recently conducted a sting operation exposing a police official in the area which showed the latter 

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Killing of journalist Shantanu Bhowmik in Tripura condemned by media rights group

New Delhi Sep 21 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

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