Beirut, 1 June 2011 – Seven new members of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) were welcomed this week at its general meeting in Beirut, Lebanon, growing the network to 95 members. IFEX’s expanding membership makes it “truly international in its scope of work and diversity of membership,” said Edetaen Ojo from Nigeria’s Media Rights Agenda (MRA), who was re-elected as the convenor of IFEX Council. “Ultimately this can only enhance our ability to engage more effectively around the world.”
First from the Americas: the Andean Foundation for the Observation and Study of the Media (FUNDAMEDIOS) reported 151 media violations in 2010 and 75 so far this year – many of them dealing with journalists being jailed on trivial charges or fined with extortionate amounts, and often with the backing of the President. Check out FUNDAMEDIOS’s impressions as a new member on the IFEX conference blog here:http://ifexgm2011.wordpress.com/author/cesarifex/
Also see the IFEX conference joint action on “the conditions of extreme hostility” in which the Ecuadorean media must work here:http://www.ifex.org/ecuador/2011/05/31/end_attacks/
In Argentina, the Association for Civil Rights (ADC) works on many of the legal aspects of free expression, such as media regulation, access to information and indirect censorship through government advertising. Perhaps most impressive is its work on campaigning for the right to a proper access to information law, currently in Congress now.
Instituto Prensa y Sociedad de Venezuela (IPYS-Venezuela) brings you the latest of what’s going on in Venezuela – especially as the only IFEX member in the country. It’s gearing up for the Universal Periodic Review on Venezuela in October this year.
The National Press Association (ANP) of Bolivia is the only press freedom organisation in the country that has a monitoring unit with correspondents dotted throughout the country. As a result, it also has a big media presence – notably with its campaigning around the anti-racism and discrimination law.
In Asia, the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) has been a leader in the freedom of expression field, especially when it comes to defending and protecting government critics from defamation lawsuits – a major problem in the country.
Freedom Forum draws the world’s attention to press freedom violations among other human rights abuses in Nepal. Taranath Dahal not only chairs Freedom Forum, but has himself made IFEX headlines in the past: he was threatened for his work as an advocate for journalists and had to go into hiding during Nepal’s state of emergency in 2005.
And in Africa, the Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) has been actively engaged in defending journalists who have been attacked by security forces during the recent walk-to-work protests over spiraling fuel and food prices. The difficult times have also affected HRNJ: security forces prevented one of its members from travelling to the IFEX conference on time. Read his musings on the IFEX conference blog here: