Malala Maiwand’s murder comes one month after the targeted killing of RFE/RL’s Helmand correspondent Mohammad Ilyas Dayee.
INCIDENTS AND THREATS
Unidentified armed men shot dead a journalist in northwestern Pakistan on December 7, police and the journalist's relatives told Radio Mashaal. Qais Javed was attacked in the Madina colony of Dera Ismail Khan around 7 p.m. local time as he was entering his house. Javed had been running his own Urdu-language web channel, Ehad Nama, for the past three years; previously he worked as a cameraman with with the Urdu-language Geo television. (Radio Mashaal/Gandhara)
Iran's Supreme Court has upheld a death sentence handed down to opposition journalist and activist Ruhollah Zam, whose online work helped inspire nationwide economic protests in 2017. Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili did not say when the court issued its ruling. Zam was sentenced to death by a Revolutionary Court in June following what Reporters Without Borders (RSF) called a "grossly unfair" trial.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is urging Iran to stop jailing members of the press for their work after 72-year-old Kayvan Samimij began serving a three-year prison sentence over his coverage of protests last year. “Jailing an elderly journalist in the middle of a raging pandemic shows how much contempt the Iranian judiciary has for the press,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour in a statement on December 8.
Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, will examine the data from the criminal case against 30-year-old Ivan Safronov, a prominent former journalist who has served since May as an adviser to the head of Russia's Space Agency (Roscosmos), Dmitry Rogozin. Safronov was arrested on July 7 amid allegations that he had passed secret information to the Czech Republic in 2017 about Russian arms sales in the Middle East. The GRU has received a request from Russia’s spy agency, the FSB, to verify the data, which, according to the investigation, Safronov transferred to foreign intelligence, and determine if it was classified. (Russian Service)
A court in Kyiv has upheld the extension of pretrial detention for one of the suspects in the high-profile 2016 killing of journalist Pavel Sheremet in the Ukrainian capital. The appeals court on December 7 ruled that the decision of Kyiv’s Shevchenko district court in October to detain Andriy Antonenko until December 19 is valid, as dozens of Antonenko's supporters rallied in front of the court building.
Belsat TV journalist Ihar Ilyash has been released from detention after completing a 15-day sentence for allegedly participating in an unsanctioned protest. Ilyash’s wife, journalist Katerina Andreeva, remains behind bars after being detained while covering a rally in support of deceased protester Roman Bondarenko. Current Time also aired interviews with Belsat TV deputy director Alyaksei Dikovitsky, as well as the editor-in-chief of “Nasha Niva” newspaper Yehor Martinovich. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
In a letter received by RFE/RL’s Belarus Service four months after RFE/RL journalist Anton Trafimovich was detained and beaten in the center of Minsk, Belarus’ Investigative Committee stated that it would not look into the case for lack of evidence.. Trafimovich suffered a broken nose after being seized by riot police on July 15 while covering protesters gathered in front of the Central Election Commission (CEC) building to file complaints about the non-registration of presidential candidate Viktar Babaryka. (Belarus Service)
With parliamentary elections just over a month away, many political parties have turned to prominent journalists to run for office, some of whom combine their on-air work with party duties. Some experts suggest that, having gone into politics, these people can no longer call themselves journalists. Elections to Kazakhstan’s lower house of parliament and local representative bodies are scheduled for January 10, with five parties competing for seats. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
A court in Istanbul ruled to deport two Russian journalists working for the television channel NTV who were detained on December 3 near the offices of Turkish combat drone manufacturer Baykar Savunma. According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, the journalists did not have accreditation or a permit to film. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
“Ramzan Kadyrov visited,” “congratulated,” “declared,” etc. - these are the headlines on Chechnya’s state TV. Corruption, human rights violations and other tough topics are not covered. “Everything is under the control of the Radio director. If you say something or write something wrong, one can, as Kadyrov said,‘rip out your tongue,’ ‘break your fingers.’ Therefore, before writing something, journalists must think a hundred times what the response will be to our words," -- says Zulay [name changed by request] who worked over 15 years as a radio broadcaster. (Russian Service/Kavkaz Realii)
Several Armenian journalistic organizations condemned the obstruction of media activities during a December 5 rally in Armenia’s capital Yerevan. Protesters, in some cases using obscene language, demanded that journalists stop covering and recording the rally; in one case, a cameraman was threatened and had to flee the scene. (in Russian, Armenian Service)