CubaBrief: Reporters Without Borders finds Cuba is “worst country for press freedom in Latin America.” Geneva Summit coalition calls on UN to demand jailed Russian dissident be freed.

Today, May 3rd is World Press Freedom Day. It was established 29 years ago on May 3, 1993. Reporters Without Borders has released the 20th edition of its World Press Freedom Index. Out of a list of 180 countries with Norway identified as first in press freedom in the world and North Korea at 180th in last place, Cuba’s place in the index fell from 171 in 2021 to 173rd this year. Reporters Without Borders in their entry on Cuba states: ” Cuba remains, year in and year out, the worst country for press freedom in Latin America.”

The full entry in the World Press Freedom Index on Cuba by Reporters Without Borders is available below. On another front, that of human rights defenders, the international community is being called upon to condemn the imprisonment of a leading Russian dissident and demand he be freed.

Yesterday, the Center for a Free Cuba (CFC) joined with a coalition of over 25 human rights organizations and called on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, along with all other relevant UN human rights mandate-holders and special procedures, to condemn Russia’s imprisonment of leading Russian dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza and to demand his immediate release, along with all other prisoners of conscience detained for speaking out since the start of Putin’s war in Ukraine.

On February 26, 2022 the Center for a Free Cuba called on the international community to convene a war crimes tribunal against Vladimir Putin and his accomplices for the invasion of Ukraine. CFC initiated a petition drive that to date has 557 signers. What is being done to Russian dissidents such as Vladimir Kara-Murza for speaking out truthfully only underscores the criminal nature of the Putin regime, and the need for the international community to take a stand against the invasion of Ukraine, but also for these courageous Russian dissidents.

Reporters Without Borders, May 2, 2022

Cuba remains, year in and year out, the worst country for press freedom in Latin America.

Media landscape

Television, radio, and newspapers are all closely monitored by the government. The Constitution prohibits privately owned press. Tele Rebelde and Cubavision are the country’s most important television networks, and Radio Reloj is the most popular radio station. Granma is the leading newspaper, and like all media, it is under state control. Independent journalists, for their part, are kept under surveillance by agents who aim to lessen their ability to move about, and subject the reporters to interrogation and delete information in their possession.

Political context

Miguel Díaz Canel, a protegé of Raúl Castro, replaced the latter in 2019 as the country’s president, and then as first secretary of the Cuban Communist Party. Tied to the Castro family lineage that has ruled since 1959, he maintains virtually total control over information.

Legal framework

The government controls internet access. Although bloggers and citizen-journalists see a space for freedom on the web, they navigate at their own risk, and are frequently imprisoned or forced into exile. In 2021, new regulations that flatly violate the rights of free expression, information, and association in the cyber-sphere, made the principle of an open, free and inclusive internet an even more distant dream.

Economic context

The Covid-19 pandemic and the strengthening of US sanctions are forcing Cuba into its worst economic crisis in 30 years, pushing many Cubans to try to emigrate by any means possible.

Sociocultural context

The open dissidence of the San Isidro movement in November and December of 2020, in addition to mass demonstrations on July 11, 2021, unleashed a wave of fierce repression not seen since the Black Spring of 2003.

Safety

Arrests, arbitrary detentions, threats of imprisonment, persecution and harassment, illegal raids of homes, confiscation and destruction of equipment – all this is the daily lot for journalists who do not follow the Castroist party line. Likewise, officials control foreign journalists’ coverage by granting accreditation selectively, and expelling reporters considered “too negative” toward the regime.

https://rsf.org/en/country/cuba

https://rsf.org/en/rsfs-2022-world-press-freedom-index-new-era-polarisation

News 18, May 3, 2022

World Press Freedom Day 2022: Theme, History, and Significance

World Press Freedom Day 2022: The special day celebrates the spirit of journalism and recognises the dedication of journalists.

World Press Freedom Day 2022: The Theme of this year’s World Press Day is “Journalism under digital siege”. (Image: Shutterstock)

WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY 2022: Hailed as the fourth pillar of democracy, journalists have time and again risked their lives and reputation to reveal the truth behind an incident, event or scandal. In a bid to appreciate their hard work, every year, May 3 is observed as World Press FreedomDay. The special day celebrates the spirit of journalism and recognises the dedication of journalists. It is extremely significant, as the United Nations considers it an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, assess the state of press freedom across the globe, defend the attacks on media independence, and pay tribute to the journalists who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.

Theme

Every year, a specific theme is chosen for World Press Day, and this year’s theme is “Journalism under digital siege”. This year’s theme not only highlights the ways that endanger journalism but also the consequences of all this on public trust over digital communications. Mostly, it focuses on the risks faced by journalists by surveillance and digitally-mediated attacks. The origin of World Press Day dates back to 1991, when an African Journalist present at a UNESCO conference in Windhoek, which was based on ‘Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Media’, opened up about an idea to encourage press freedom in different parts of the world.

History

UNESCO adopted the Windhoek declaration on May 3 in 1993, which aimed toward the ‘development of a free, independent and pluralistic press. The day also highlights the importance of freedom of journalists in few countries, like China, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Eritrea, Djibouti, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, and Cuba, that have severely limited press freedom. Last year’s theme was, “Information as a Public Good” which focused on the importance of cherishing the information as a public good and explored the ways to strengthen the fourth pillar of democracy.

Read all the Latest News Breaking News and IPL 2022 Live Updates here.

https://www.news18.com/news/lifestyle/world-press-freedom-day-2022-theme-history-and-significance-5086861.html


UN Watch, May  3, 2022

25 Human Rights Groups Urge U.N. Leaders to Help Release Russian Dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza

GENEVA, May 2, 2022 — A coalition of 25 human rights groups that co-sponsor the annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy today called on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and the UN Human Rights Council’s 55 independent investigators to demand the release of leading Russian dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza, along with all other prisoners of conscience jailed for protesting Putin’s war in Ukraine. See joint appeal below.

Mr. Kara-Murza was the 2018 recipient of the prestigious Geneva Summit Courage Award.

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JOINT APPEAL FOR RELEASE OF RUSSIAN DISSIDENT VLADIMIR KARA-MURZA

GENEVA SUMMIT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY

May 2, 2022

We, the undersigned human rights and non-governmental organizations, demand the immediate release of Russian dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza, an alumnus of the Geneva Summit. He has been imprisoned and now charged for bravely speaking out against the Putin regime’s brutal war in Ukraine.

On April 11, 2022, Mr. Kara-Murza appeared on CNN and stated that “the Putin regime will end over this, and there will be a democratic Russia.” Hours later he was taken away by authorities, and summarily sentenced to 15 days in prison.

Subsequently, on April 22nd, Mr. Kara-Murza was charged under a repressive new law that criminalizes the sharing of “fake news” about the Russian military. He now faces up to 15 years in prison. These most recent charges are spurious and aim only to silence dissent inside Russia. They reflect the Putin regime’s fear of the truth.

A prominent journalist and writer, Mr. Kara-Murza has already survived two near-fatal poisoning attempts by the Putin regime. His close friend and colleague Boris Nemtsov, the Russian opposition leader, was assassinated in Moscow in 2015.

We condemn Russia’s imprisonment of Mr. Kara-Murza and call for his immeediate release, along with all other prisoners of conscience detained for speaking out since the start of Putin’s war in Ukraine.

We call on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, along with all other relevant UN human rights mandate-holders and special procedures, to do the same.

NGO COALITION SIGNATORIES:

CADAL

COLLECTIF URGENCE DARFOUR

CENTER FOR A FREE CUBA

CULTURA DEMOCRATICA

DARFUR PEACE & DEVELOPMENT CENTER

DIRECTORIO

FORUM 2000

FREEDOM AND ROAM UGANDA

FREEDOM RIGHTS PROJECT

HUMAN RIGHTS FOUNDATION

HUMAN RIGHTS WITHOUT FRONTIERS

INICIATIVA POR VENEZUELA

INITIATIVES FOR CHINA

INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF LIBERAL YOUTH

LANTOS FOUNDATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

LIBERAL INTERNATIONAL

LIGUE INTERNATIONAL CONTRE LE RACISME

NORTH KOREA WATCH

RAOUL WALLENBERG CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

TIBETAN WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION

VOICES OF NICARAGUA

WORLD UΥGHUR CONGRESS

UNITED NATIONS WATCH

VIET TAN

https://unwatch.org/25-human-rights-groups-urge-u-n-leaders-to-help-release-russian-dissident-vladimir-kara-murza/