Thursday, December 4, 2008

JOIN IFEX MEMBERS AND PROTEST AZERBAIJANI GOVERNMENT OUSTER OF INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTERS

TAKE ACTION!
JOIN IFEX MEMBERS AND PROTEST AZERBAIJANI GOVERNMENT OUSTER OF INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTERS
If the Azeri authorities have their way, this New Year's Eve (31 December) will be the last time major international news organisations the BBC, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and the Voice of America (VOA) will be broadcast on FM radio in Azerbaijan. Join the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS) and 24 other IFEX members in condemning the decision, and show your protest by adding a banner to your website. In October, Azerbaijan National TV and Radio Council Chairperson Nushiravan Maharramli announced the decision as part of an ongoing process to eliminate all foreign broadcasters on national TV and radio frequencies in Azerbaijan. Russian and Turkish television broadcasters, as well as Russian and French radio stations, have lost their frequencies in Azerbaijan over the past few years. "While Maharramli told the local press that this move will free up frequencies for local broadcast media initiatives, we know that there are plenty of empty frequencies in Azerbaijan. This is just an excuse to silence the foreign media," said IRFS. Azeri officials say that BBC, VOA and RFE/RL will be invited to continue their broadcasts via satellite, Internet and cable - but few Azeris have this access. No satellite radio service is currently available in Azerbaijan and wireless Internet is not widespread or financially attainable for the vast majority of citizens. IFEX members said that the three international news organisations add diversity and pluralism that is virtually non-existent elsewhere in the Azeri media. They "enrich the public debate in the country by providing citizens and residents with professional news and critical information from both Azerbaijan and the rest of the world," they said. Join the members in appealing to the authorities to rescind the decision. IRFS is asking that you post a web banner over the month of December. Different banner sizes are available on the IRFS website: http://www.irfs.az/ There's also a Facebook group to join: http://tinyurl.com/6cytjk See the IFEX member joint action here:http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/99023/





SIGN PETITION FOR ASSASSINATED JOURNALIST NORBERT ZONGO
Ten years ago on 13 December 1998, Norbert Zongo, a journalist from Burkina Faso, was assassinated. The editor-in-chief of the weekly paper "The Independent" and a staunch press freedom advocate, Zongo had received several death threats after publishing articles critical of the government. There is little doubt that he was killed because of his work, but his murderers remain at large. Faced with this denial of justice, the Norbert Zongo Press Centre in Ouagadougou is carrying on the struggle to find the murderers and the masterminds.

Sign the petition for the reopening of his case at: http://norbertzongo10ans.net/ or directly at:http://www.lapetition.be/petition.php?petid=3229

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