Indian journalist freed on bail after being jailed for two years without trial

Muslim reporter Siddique Kappan had been charged under draconian anti-terrorism laws

Indian journalist Siddique Kappan, who was held in jail for two years without trial, has walked free after being granted bail in a case human rights groups alleged was politically motivated.

Kappan, a Muslim journalist from the southern state of Kerala, was arrested in October 2020 as he was on his way to the northern state of Uttar Pradesh to report on the high-profile case of a Dalit girl who was gang-raped and later died.

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Tory peer accused of ‘racially charged’ attack on BBC Modi documentary

Exclusive: Rami Ranger faces criticism over ‘deplorable’ comments about Pakistani journalists at the corporation

A Conservative peer has been accused of using “deplorable” and “racially charged language” in a scathing attack on the BBC’s recent documentary about the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi.

Rami Ranger, who is already under investigation by the standards commissioners in the Lords, was criticised for comments made about Pakistani journalists at the corporation.

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Indian ban on BBC Modi film puts Musk’s Twitter ‘free speech’ vow to the test

Use of emergency laws sheds light on fragile and fractious place social media now occupy in India

The response by the Indian government was quick and draconian. Days after a BBC documentary examining the role that Narendra Modi, now prime minister, had played in 2002 communal riots in Gujarat was released, the information ministry announced that all links to the footage were to be banned on social media.

Emergency laws brought in by the Modi government just two years ago were used to enforce the ban.

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India invokes emergency laws to ban BBC Modi documentary

Government accused of ‘censorship’ over ban on film about PM’s role in violence during 2002 Gujarat riots

The Indian government has invoked emergency laws to block a BBC documentary examining the role of the prime minister, Narendra Modi, during riots in the western state of Gujarat in 2002.

Controversy has erupted in India over the first episode of the two-part programme, India: The Modi Question, which tracked his rise through the ranks of the Bharatiya Janata party and his appointment as chief minister of Gujarat.

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Overjoyed Maria Ressa says ‘justice wins’ as she is cleared of tax evasion – video

Philippine Nobel laureate Maria Ressa and her news site Rappler were acquitted by a court of tax evasion charges. 'This acquittal ... is not just for Rappler, it is for every Filipino who has ever been unjustly accused,' Ressa told reporters in emotional comments outside the tax appeals court. The tax evasion case became the basis for the authorities to revoke the news site's license. Ressa, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize alongside a Russian journalist in 2021, maintained that the charges were politically motivated as the news site she ran earned a reputation for its tough scrutiny of former president Rodrigo Duterte and his deadly war on drugs

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Power, corruption and fury: the killing of Percy Lapid

Mystery surrounds the alleged involvement of top officials in the murder of the high-profile Philippine journalist

It was just past 8pm on 3 October and the veteran broadcaster Percy Mabasa was on his way to record his nightly radio show. Every weekday evening, tens of thousands of Filipinos, many living abroad, would tune in to listen to his news commentary and sharp humour.

But on this evening, as Mabasa drove up to the entrance of his gated community where his studio is located in Las Piñas, Metro Manila, a motorbike began to trail him. Footage taken by a camera on the back of his car, and since released by police, shows two figures on the bike pulling up alongside him. Then gunshots can be heard. There’s a bang as Mabasa’s car slams into the vehicle in front. The motorbike turns and drives away. Mabasa was killed instantly.

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China v Jimmy Lai: a tycoon, a trial and the erosion of Hong Kong’s rule of law

The Hong Kong figure has been subjected to a ‘travesty of justice’ because the Communist party regard his power as a threat, experts believe

Even before his jailing, Jimmy Lai knew he faced a grim future, but insisted on fighting his cause.

“Without fighting, we don’t have hope. We don’t know when we’ll win, but we’re so sure we’re on the right side of history, and time is on our side,” the founder of the vocal pro-democracy Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily told the Guardian in August 2020 while on bail, five days after his arrest over allegations of foreign collusion.

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Ministers accused of unlawfully denying Afghan journalists UK visas

Ben Wallace and Suella Braverman ‘turned their back’ on former BBC journalists who are in danger, high court told

Ministers have unlawfully “turned their back” on former BBC journalists whose lives are at risk from the Taliban by refusing to relocate them from Afghanistan to the UK, the high court has heard.

Eight Afghan journalists, who worked in high-profile roles for the BBC and other media agencies in the country from which British troops withdrew last year, are challenging the decision to deny them UK visas.

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Trial of Hong Kong tycoon Jimmy Lai delayed after British lawyer denied visa extension

Democracy activist and founder of Apple Daily tabloid newspaper potentially faces life in prison over charges of conspiring to collude with foreign forces

A Hong Kong court has delayed the national security trial of media mogul Jimmy Lai until September 2023, after a hearing revealed Lai’s British lawyer had been denied a visa extension and forced to leave.

Lai’s trial was scheduled to begin on Tuesday, but has faced delays, including the Hong Kong government’s attempts to prevent his British lawyer Tim Owen from representing him.

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Pakistani journalist’s killing in Kenya ‘a pre-meditated murder’

Fact-finding team sent by Pakistani government finds contradictions in reports on Arshad Sharif’s death

A team set up by the Pakistani government to investigate the killing of a well-known Pakistani journalist in Nairobi said it found several contradictions in the version given by Kenyan authorities, and believes it was a case of pre-meditated murder.

The TV journalist Arshad Sharif, who had fled Pakistan citing threats to his life, was shot dead in Nairobi in October. Kenyan officials said it was a case of mistaken identity and that police hunting car thieves opened fire on his vehicle as it drove through a roadblock without stopping.

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China accused of flooding social media with spam to cover up Covid protests

US firm says network of bot accounts also hijacking hashtags in large-scale attempt to obscure coverage

An attempt to flood social media platforms with spam in order to drown out coverage of the lockdown protests in China was probably backed by the Chinese government, according to analysis by a US cybersecurity firm.

Recorded Future found that networks of coordinated bot accounts were targeting non-Chinese social media platforms to crowd out genuine posts about the demonstrations with spam content and by hijacking hashtags of names of Chinese cities. It said China’s government was most likely to be behind the tactic.

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New Zealand woman takes Chinese media site to human rights tribunal over ban

Auckland woman says she was banned from popular Chinese-language media forum SkyKiwi for posting political content

A woman is taking New Zealand’s biggest Chinese-language media site to a human rights review tribunal after she claims she was banned from its online message board for posting political content.

May Moncur migrated from China 20 years ago and is a permanent resident of New Zealand. The Auckland employment advocate has used the New Zealand-based media company SkyKiwi for more than 15 years, regularly posting links about migrant exploitation or offering employment advice on its most popular message board, “FML”.

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Billionaire Modi ally on verge of taking over independent Indian news channel

Gautam Adani’s takeover of NDTV is ‘serious threat to democracy’ in India, says news anchor

One of India’s few remaining news channels known for independent reporting is about to be taken over by a billionaire ally of the prime minister, Narendra Modi.

In recent years, NDTV (New Delhi Television) has earned a reputation as one of the last bastions of independent journalism among India’s mainstream media, which have increasingly been put under pressure to toe the government line under Modi, who came to power in 2014.

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BBC says Chinese police assaulted and detained its reporter at Shanghai protest

Journalist Ed Lawrence was beaten after being arrested at a protest against China’s strict Covid restrictions, broadcaster says

Chinese police assaulted and detained a BBC journalist covering a protest in Shanghai on Sunday, releasing him after several hours, the broadcaster has said.

“The BBC is extremely concerned about the treatment of our journalist Ed Lawrence, who was arrested and handcuffed while covering the protests in Shanghai,” a spokesperson for the British public service broadcaster said.

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Evidence suggests reporter killed in Kenya was targeted, says Pakistan

Kenyan police decline to respond to interior minister’s comments regarding death of Arshad Sharif

Pakistan’s interior minister has said evidence suggests a prominent Pakistani journalist was the victim of a targeted killing in Kenya, rather than an accidental shooting, though he said he still needed more information on the incident.

The Kenyan police spokesperson Bruno Shioso declined to respond to Rana Sanaullah’s comments on Tuesday regarding the death of the TV journalist Arshad Sharif, who was shot dead on the evening of 23 October on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

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