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China breaks world record in jailing journalists – report

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China breaks world record in jailing journalists – report

China is the world’s worst jailer of journalists for the second year in a row, according to a report released by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

The CPJ is an independent press freedom advocacy organisation.

The report says, “China, which arrested several journalists for their coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, was the world’s worst jailer for the second year in a row.

“It was followed by Turkey, which continues to try journalists free on parole and arrests new ones.

“Egypt, which went to great lengths to keep custody of journalists not convicted of any crime and Saudi Arabia, follow in that order’’ the report said.

According to the CPJ’s annual global survey, at least 274 journalists have been jailed by Dec. 1, exceeding the high of 272 in 2016.

The CPJ noted that many of 47 prisoners in China were serving long sentences or were jailed in the Xinjiang “without any charge disclosed’’.

It further noted that at a time when the coronavirus rampaged Wuhan, Beijing arrested several journalists for coverage that went against the official narrative.

“The three still jailed on Dec. 1 include independent video journalist, Zhang Zhan, who began posting reports from Wuhan on Twitter and YouTube in early February and was arrested on May 14.

“Her videos include interviews with local business owners and workers on the impact of COVID-19 and the government’s response to it,’’ the CPJ said.

Zhang Zhan was one of several journalists in CPJ’s global census, who relied heavily on social media as all other media outlets are heavily censored or controlled by the state.

Also read: Banner over busy Tehran street reads: ‘Thank you, Mossad’

“Her videos are likely still available to a global audience because they are hosted by companies outside China.

“But CPJ found that similar content produced by others who were later jailed had been taken down for reasons that were not clear.

“This hinders research and underscoring longstanding concerns about transparency by global tech giants like Google, Twitter, and Facebook,’’ the CPJ said.

The report further stated that in China, diplomatic spats appeared putting the foreign media in increased peril, and  this year, over a dozen journalists working for the U.S. publications in China were expelled.

“Australian citizen, Cheng Lei, a business news anchor for state-run broadcaster China Global Television Network, was arrested in August for allegedly endangering national security amid tension between China and Australia.

“This makes her the second Australian journalist in custody after blogger Yang Hengjun, who has been held on espionage charges since January 2019,’’ the report highlighted.

It further said that the countries, where the number of jailed journalists rose significantly, include Belarus, where mass anti-government protests ensued due to the disputed re-election of the long-time president.

It added Ethiopia, where political unrest has degenerated into armed conflict to the culprits’ list.

 

 

 

ANI

 

 

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Sri Lankan President Thanks Seychelles Defence Forces For Rescuing Sri Lankan Vessel From Somali Pirates

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President Ramkalawan says Seychellois military boarded boat with utmost courage to take complete control

 The Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF) Special Forces and Seychelles Coast Guards on board Coast Guards vessel Topaz led a successful operation to regain control of a Sri Lankan vessel hijacked by armed Somali pirates.

Seychellois special military forces boarded the boat with utmost courage to take complete control of the vessel and rescue our Sri Lankan brothers.

The Commander in Chief of the Seychelles, President Wavel Ramkalawan has spoken to the Chief of Defence Forces, Brigadier Michael Rosette to congratulate the Special Forces and Coast Guards team on a well-executed and successful mission.

“This is the spirit of the Seychelles Defence Forces. Professionalism, courage, and bravery are the tenets of the new spirit in the force. Though small, we will make our contribution to attaining maritime security, peace, and determination in the fight against terrorism to ensure that the world, especially in our part of the Indian Ocean remains a safe and peaceful region. Once again, I reiterate the  pride and confidence of the Seychellois nation in the Seychelles Defence Forces.”

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GoG: Promoting Trans-boundary Management For Sustainable Socio-Economic Development

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…Mission builds upon previous efforts by AU-IBAR in the beneficiary countries (Benin and Togo) for the national validation of the report on the State of the Transboundary Marine Environment (SoME)

NAIROBI, Kenya, January 23, 2024/ — From January 21st to 27th, 2024, AU-IBAR is on a mission in the republics of Benin and Togo. The mission is dedicated to supporting the implementation of a Transboundary Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) initiative between the two nations. Funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), under the project “Conservation of Aquatic Biodiversity within the Framework of the Africa Blue Economy Strategy,” this initiative holds the promise of fostering socio-economic development through the judicious use of marine resources.

Collaborative Efforts: AU-IBAR is collaborating with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) body, the Abidjan Convention, and the World Bank-funded West African Coastal Area Management (WACA) Project. The SIDA-funded project, implemented by AU-IBAR, involves an assessment to map the extent of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) usage in Africa as a management tool for the conservation of aquatic biodiversity and ecosystems in the west, central, and northern regions of Africa.

Mission Objectives: This mission builds upon previous efforts by AU-IBAR in the beneficiary countries (Benin and Togo) for the national validation of the report on the State of Transboundary Marine Environment (SoME). The current objective is to secure joint expert validation of the SoME report and obtain high-level political endorsement for the provisions of the jointly validated report, demonstrating the commitment of both countries to the cause. Participants in the joint validation workshop include WACA project-nominated committee members from Benin and Togo, representatives from the Abidjan Convention, and government authorities from both nations, alongside relevant AU-IBAR staff.

Political Commitment: The opening statements during the joint meeting saw representatives from the Governments of Benin and Togo, the Executive Secretary of the Abidjan Convention, and the representative of the Director of AU-IBAR express unwavering commitment to the transboundary marine management process. Both the Director of AU-IBAR and the Executive Secretary of the Abidjan Convention reiterated their support for the Governments of Benin and Togo in realizing their shared vision for the sustainable management of coastal and marine resources in the designated shared maritime boundary.

Key Outcomes: The pinnacle achievement of the joint meeting is the validation of the study report on the state of the marine environment between Benin and Togo. This validation marks a significant milestone towards establishing the transboundary MSP between the two countries. AU-IBAR Director, DR Huyam Salih, emphasized that this accomplishment is a crucial step forward in enhancing aquatic biodiversity conservation and environmental protection in the Gulf of Guinea.

Conclusion: The joint expert consultation workshop serves as a testament to the collaborative efforts aimed at promoting transboundary management of shared marine aquatic ecosystems in the Gulf of Guinea. The validated report and political commitment from Benin and Togo are integral to realizing the socio-economic development potential inherent in the sustainable use of marine resources. As AU-IBAR continues its mission, the hope is that this initiative will serve as a model for other regions seeking to harmonize efforts for the conservation and management of their shared marine ecosystems.
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U.S.-British Strikes In Yemen Left 5 Dead, Say Houthi Rebels

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The U.S. and British military strikes in Yemen have left five Houthi fighters dead and six others injured, the Iran-aligned rebels said on Friday, vowing retaliation.

“The American and British enemy bears full responsibility for its criminal aggression,’’ the Houthi military spokesman Yehya Saree said in a statement.

Saree said the massive attack had targeted several Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen including the capital Sana’a.

“It will not pass unanswered and without punishment.

“The Yemeni Armed Forces will not hesitate to target sources of threat and all hostile targets on the ground and in the sea,’’ he said. 

  • dpa
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