Tikrit-based reporter released provisionally, banned from leaving country

first_imgNews Reporters Without Borders voiced relief today on learning that Tikrit-based journalist Kalshan Al-Bayati, who writes for the Arab-language daily Al Hayat, was provisionally released yesterday after being held illegally for a month by Iraqi security authorities. She is still being investigated in connection with her relations with armed groups.“Her rights were not respected while she was held,” the press freedom organisation said. “She was not allowed to see a lawyer or receive visits from her relatives. It was impossible to get any news of her or to know if she was being treated properly. All this was very worrying.”Reporters Without Borders added: “As long as the investigation continues, she risks being arrested yet again at any time. We call on the competent authorities to drop the charges against her or to produce hard evidence of her guilt.”Bayati has been banned from leaving the country until further notice, and her ID papers and passport have been confiscated.Al Hayat’s correspondent in Tikrit, Bayati is known for criticising the US occupation of Iraq in her articles. The Iraqi security forces first arrested her on 11 September, confiscating her computer.She was freed two days later after being interrogated at length about her links with armed groups. Her response was that it was her job as a journalist to maintain contacts with many kinds of people including members of the military, Iraqi police officers, and members of resistance groups.When released for the first time, she was ordered to remain at home and make no public statements. She nonetheless asked to speak with the head of the security forces in Tikrit to inform him of her arrest and the conditions in which she had been held.On 20 September, five days after she was freed, Bayati was summoned to “Saddam’s Palace” in Tikrit – now the headquarters of the security forces based in the city – to recover her confiscated computer equipment. That was when she was re-arrested. Receive email alerts Organisation RSF_en October 18, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Tikrit-based reporter released provisionally, banned from leaving country December 16, 2020 Find out more February 15, 2021 Find out more Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan Follow the news on Iraq to go further Help by sharing this information Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” Kalshan Al-Bayati, the Tikrit correspondent of the Arabic-language daily Al Hayat, was released yesterday after being held for a month by the Iraqi security authorities. But she is still being investigated, she is banned from leaving the country, and all her ID papers have been confiscated. IraqMiddle East – North Africa IraqMiddle East – North Africa RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” News News December 28, 2020 Find out more Newslast_img read more

Russia: Reporter’s long jail sentence is “disgraceful,” RSF says

first_imgRussia is ranked 148th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. Russia urged to free journalist held for 12 months on spurious charge (July 2016) Two Russian journalists persecuted for investigating police corruption “This sentence is disgraceful,” said Johann Bihr, the head of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk at Reporters Without Borders (RSF), which has been calling for Sokolov’s release for the past two years. to go further May 21, 2021 Find out more RSF urges as many journalists as possible to be present when the verdict is issued at midday today at Moscow’s Tverskoy district court, Room 20. Follow the news on Russia Russia : Investigative reporter Alexander Sokolov must be acquitted! Читать по-русски в PDF / Read in Russian News RussiaEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses CorruptionJudicial harassmentImprisoned “After two years too many behind bars, Alexander Sokolov must be acquitted and freed,” said Johann Bihr, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk. “This trial has highlighted the urgent need to reform Russia’s anti-extremism legislation to prevent its arbitrary use for repressive purposes.” The indictment does little except criminalize peaceful activities. It makes little reference to Sokolov’s role with the group, which appears to have been very limited. August 10, 2017 Russia: Reporter’s long jail sentence is “disgraceful,” RSF says In the opinion of RSF, which has been campaigning for Sokolov’s release ever since his arrest, the weakness of the prosecution’s case shows that Sokolov’s journalistic activities are the real reason he has been put on trial. In a textbook example of how free speech is crushed in Russia, Sokolov was arrested in July 2015 after exposing a corruption scandal and has been held ever since on unsubstantiated “extremism” charges. In the trial that began nine months ago, the prosecution is seeking a four-year prison sentence. Sokolov had specialized in covering politics and corruption at his job with the independent media group RBC since 2013. His last story was about massive embezzlement of public funds in the construction of the Vostochny Cosmodrome. He has a PhD in economics for which his thesis was about embezzlement by major Russian companies. RSF_en See RSF’s previous press releases on this case:center_img Listed as a “foreign agent”, Russia’s most popular independent website risks disappearing June 2, 2021 Find out more Organisation Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges the Moscow court trying Russian investigative reporter Alexander Sokolov to acquit him when it issues its verdict today. RSF also calls for the immediate release of this journalist, who has been held for the past two years. RussiaEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses CorruptionJudicial harassmentImprisoned Help by sharing this information Russian journalist to appear in court after 15 months in detention (November 2016) Update: A court in Moscow’s Tverskoy district today sentenced Russian investigative reporter Alexander Sokolov to three and a half years in a penal colony for “perpetuating the activities of a banned extremist organization.” Related documents cp_sokolov_ru.pdfPDF – 279.57 KB The official reason for his arrest was his previous activist links. He and three others were accused of “pursuing the activities of a banned extremist organization” by running the website of a group called “For Responsible Government” (ZOV). Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown News News Receive email alerts “By persisting with this prosecution despite two years of pre-trial detention, vacillating allegations, no hard evidence and an Orwellian charge, the judicial authorities have just reinforced the impression that Alexander Sokolov is being persecuted because his journalistic activities were a source of irritation.” ZOV was campaigning for a referendum to amend the Russian constitution so that politicians could be held accountable under criminal law. As this could hardly be regarded as a crime, the indictment claims that Sokolov “realized” that the group’s true aims were “destabilization of the government” and “distribution of extremist texts.” News May 5, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more