Tag: journalists

People’s Tribunal to indict governments, seeking justice for murdered journalists


By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 15 October 2021: In an unprecedented effort to achieve justice for the killing of journalists, three global leading press freedom groups have established a People’s Tribunal to investigate their murders and hold governments accountable. The Tribunal, a form of grassroots justice, relies on investigations and high-quality legal analysis involving specific cases in three countries. An opening hearing will be held on 2 November 2021 in The Hague

Violence against journalists is on the rise worldwide. Since 1992, more than 1400 journalists have been killed, and in eight out of ten cases where a journalist is murdered, the killers go free. The persistently high level of impunity perpetuates a cycle of violence against journalists, posing a threat to freedom of expression.

In a major push towards justice, leading press freedom organizations Free Press Unlimited (FPU), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), requested the Permanent People’s Tribunal to convene a People’s Tribunal on the Murder of Journalists. People’s Tribunals are designed to hold states accountable for violations of international law by building public awareness and generating a legitimate evidence record and play an important role in empowering victims and recording their stories. The People’s Tribunal on the Murder of Journalists will indict the governments of Sri Lanka, Mexico, and Syria for failing to deliver justice for the murders of Lasantha Wickrematunge, Miguel Ángel López Velasco, and Nabil Al-Sharbaji.

Renowned human rights lawyer Almudena Bernabeu will lead the prosecution for the opening hearing. A keynote address will be delivered by Baroness Helena Kennedy of the Shaws QC, a member of the High-Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom.

Key witnesses delivering testimonies include prominent Filipino journalist Maria Ressa, Hatice Cengiz, academic and fiancée of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was murdered in 2018, Matthew Caruana Galizia, journalist and son of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia who was murdered in 2017, and Pavla Holcová, investigative journalist and colleague of Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak, murdered in 2018.

The opening hearing will take place from 09:00-18:00 Central European Time on Tuesday 2nd November 2021 in The Hague, and can be attended in person by emailing info@freepressunlimited.org or joined via live stream on: saferworldforthetruth.com/tribunal.

Leon Willems, Director, Policy & Programmes of Free Press Unlimited (FPU), says, “Too many brave journalists were murdered for doing their vital job: reporting the truth. The People’s Tribunal demands justice for these heinous crimes and creates leverage to mobilize states to address impunity for the murders of journalists. More can and should be done to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice. That is the inspiration for ‘A Safer World of the Truth’.”

Joel Simon, Executive Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), says, “The role of the Tribunal is important to seek justice for these courageous journalists, but it also gives family members and colleagues an opportunity to speak up and share their own stories and the impact of these brutal murders. Those left behind have worked tirelessly to keep the stories of these journalists alive, often in the face of threats and harassment. Their voices have been crucial in ongoing efforts to fight back against impunity.”

Christophe Deloire, Secretary-General of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), states: “The opening hearing on November 2nd marks the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. This initiative goes beyond naming and shaming authorities which allows the horrifying impunity level. It’s about setting a concrete and useful example of what should be done by the judiciary .”

“Freedom of expression is an essential human right. And yet, the frequency of grave violations committed against journalists coupled with prevailing high levels of impunity is alarming. It is time that states are held accountable,” says Almudena Bernabeu, Prosecutor of the People’s Tribunal on the Murder of Journalists.

Source- https://ptmurderofjournalists.org/

As Indian names emerge in ‘Pandora Papers’ expose, New Delhi announces investigation

Photo- icij.org

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 5 October 2021: Some Indian names have emerged in the ‘Pandora Papers’, released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) on October 3, 2021.

The ICIJ website says:
” 2.94 terabyte data trove exposes the offshore secrets of wealthy elites from more than 200 countries and territories. These are people who use tax and secrecy havens to buy property and hide assets; many avoid taxes and worse. They include more than 330 politicians and 130 Forbes billionaires, as well as celebrities, fraudsters, drug dealers, royal family members and leaders of religious groups around the world.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists spent more than a year structuring, researching and analyzing the more than 11.9 million records in the Pandora Papers leak. The task involved three main elements: journalists, technology and time.”

Indian media has reported the names and some have published their photographs. SEE INDIAN EXPRESS 4, Oct 2021, Page 1:

Photo courtesy- Indian Express

The ICIJ has said it will release more details soon. One has to wait and see as some whose names in different countries have emerged have denied the ICIJ allegations.

In India, the central government has in a media release (READ HERE) said it has taken note of these developments and ” The relevant investigative agencies would undertake investigation in these cases and appropriate action would be taken in such cases as per law.”

“The Pandora Papers investigation is the world’s largest-ever journalistic collaboration, involving more than 600 journalists from 150 media outlets in 117 countries,” says the ICIJ.


In a rebuff to big media outlets, the Fair Work Commission rules digital journalists also covered by Award benefits

Photo: MEAA

By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 21 November: In a landmark verdict on 20 November 2019 the Fair Work Commission ruled digital journalists will be entitled to penalty rates, overtime and other key conditions, which print journalists access from the Journalists Published Media Award, the benchmark award in the published media industry (covering news titles and magazines).

The verdict removes an anomaly where digital journalists, doing the same job as print journalists, were denied access to Award conditions.

In its historic ruling yesterday but announced today, the full bench of the Fair Work Commission has agreed with the Media Entertainment Arts Alliance’s (MEAA), the premier media union in Australia, argument that digital media workers should have full access to the Award.

The decision removes an anomaly where digital journalists, doing the same job as print journalists, were denied access to the award.

It means that digital media journalists will have access to minimum standards for their wages, penalty rates, overtime and other conditions of employment such as hours of work and breaks.

A media release from the MEAA says, “The Fair Work decision is part of the four-yearly review of modern awards. MEAA first put its case to the Commission in 2015. MEAA’s arguments for including digital journalists were strongly opposed by some of Australia’s biggest media outlets (including Nine Entertainment – incorporating the former Fairfax company, Rural Press and the Daily Mail).”

MEAA Media director Neill Jones says, “The Fair Work ruling means that if you work for a digital media start-up or a digital-only publication you are no longer treated as a second-class journalist.

“This decision removes the award’s outdated focus solely on print journalists which placed digital workers at a disadvantage. The decision to modernize the award brings those journalists together under one standard, in recognition of their shared roles and responsibilities as media professionals, regardless of whether they work online or in print.”

MEAA Media federal president Marcus Strom says, “Digital is the reality of all newsrooms today. It’s about time the award caught up with the working lives of our members.

“Congratulations to the MEAA Digital Media Committee made up of working journalists at a range of online publications. Now, more than ever, journalists working in digital media need to join the union so we can collectively enforce these new entitlements.”

The FWC has also ruled that journalists working for country non-daily newspapers should be entitled to a 10% weekend penalty rate loading if they have to work on a Saturday or Sunday. This is the second significant outcome for workers in this Fair Work ruling.

The decision has a 12-month transition period before it comes into full effect.