Freedom Alert

Journalist Rachid Nini, editor of Morocco’s El-Massa daily newspaper, will go on trial Tuesday, May 17, after being detained on April 28. Nini published several articles that were critical of Moroccan security forces’ counter-terrorism practices and shed light on government corruption.

The body of journalist Wilfred Ojeda was found by police dumped in waste on May 17, 2011. He was beaten, tortured and shot to death. Ojeda was a columnist for the El Clarin newspaper in La Victoria, and an activist for the Democratic Action political party that opposed President Chavez.

The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) adopted a resolution on May 12 expanding protections for journalists and urging countries to investigate crimes against journalists. The “Resolution on the Safety of Journalists and Media Practitioners in Africa” was adopted in a session held in Gambia and calls on the 53 states that are part of the African charter—including Uganda, Zimbabwe and Somalia—to take necessary measures to ensure freedom of expression and access to information.

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) office in Mogadishu, Somalia was robbed last week when four men and two accomplices claimed they were National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) staff to gain entry.

On May 26, Thai authorities arrested Lerpong Wichaikhammat in his home, after accusing him of criticizing the country’s monarchy. He was denied bail, charged with “inciting public unrest” and violating Thailand’s “Computer Crimes Act.”

Freedom House deeply mourns the recent loss of Sidney Harman, a valuable member of its board of trustees, who passed away April 12, 2011.

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