December 17, 2018

Press Freedom

Report of the Press Freedom Committee to OPC Board October 25, 2010

United States
On October 20, the Committee sent a strongly worded letter to U.S. Senate candidate, Joe Miller, following his security team’s “arrest” of reporter, Tony Hopfinger, of Alaska Dispatch at a publicly advertised town hall in Anchorage. Americans will tolerate all sorts of quirks in their politicians, we told Miller, but we loathe a bully.


Iran

On October 8, we were in touch with President Ahmadinejad about the on-going intimidation of journalists by the Iranian government. Citing only the most recent examples, we called the brutality of the police and courts “dishonorable” and illegal — not only under Iran’s laws — but under those of international conventions to which it is a signatory.


Russia

October 6, we wrote a rare letter of commendation to Russia applauding the announcement by Aleksandr Bastrykin, chairman of an Investigative Committee, pledging to pursue 19 cases of murdered journalists in recent years.

Iraq
On October 4, we told Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, about this month’s move to evict journalists from the well-known Mansour Hotel — which has been a symbol of free expression since the hardest days of the American invasion. We viewed the move as a part of the amplifying pressure on journalists to get in line in advance of next year’s Arab League Summit in Baghdad.

Mexico
That same day, we gave the Club’s active support to Mexican president following this fall’s formation of a new program to protect journalists who have been threatened in Mexico’s escalating drug wars.

Respectfully submitted by: Kevin McDermott