CJFE Newsletter: May/June 2014

Friday, May 30, 2014

Dear CJFE members and supports,

May has been a busy month for CJFE, and we can’t wait to see you at our upcoming Annual General Meeting on Tuesday June 17th. It takes place at the NOW Lounge, 189 Church Street, Toronto, from 6-7 p.m. Following the AGM at 7:30 p.m., we are excited to host a panel discussion on digital surveillance in Canada, “Should Surveillance Scare You?”, featuring Citizen Lab’s Chris Parsons and Toronto Star national security reporter Michelle Shephard.

In ongoing news, May 27 marked the 150th day of the arbitrary imprisonment of Canadian journalist Mohammad Fahmy and his colleagues in Cairo. CJFE has been closely monitoring their trial and advocating for their release since their arrest, and we are dismayed to report that the proceedings continue to be riddled with delays and injustice.

What happened in May:

Review of Freedom of Expression in Canada: CJFE released our annual Review earlier this month, which found that Access to information in Canada is deteriorating and Canadians seem worryingly apathetic about CSEC surveillance. Check out our signature report card for a break-down of Freedom of Expression in Canada this year, and see how you would have graded free expression issues in Canada.
Al Jazeera Staff in Cairo: CJFE has been closely following Canadian journalist Mohammad Fahmy’s trial. Updates about his court appearances throughout the month can be found here, here, and here. Earlier this month, Fahmy won the 16th annual CCWPF World Press Freedom Award and also wrote a letter about his experiences in honour of World Press Freedom Day.
Camille Lepage: Freelance journalist Camille Lepage was discovered dead in the Central African Republic on May 14. CJFE expressed our deep concern for the safety of journalists in the area.
Mae Azango: Liberian journalist and former CJFE International Press Freedom Award Winner Mae Azango won the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) Women Rights Award for her courageous reporting on women’s issues and advocacy for women’s rights.
Anna Politkovskaya: On May 20, five men were convicted for the killing of Russian journalist and human rights advocate Anna Politkovskaya in 2006. CJFE applauds the conviction, but remains concerned that those responsible for orchestrating the murder still remain unidentified.
Rwanda: See our in-depth analysis on the state of freedom of expression in post-genocide Rwanda.
Anniversary of Tiananmen Square: CJFE is deeply troubled by the recent government crackdown on Chinese media outlets in the run-up to the 25th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre on June 4th
Ethiopia: See our report on freedom of expression in Ethiopia from 2009-2014, complete with an infographic to understand the situation at-a-glance.

What’s coming up:

Save the date! We’ve officially set December 3, 2014 as the date for our annual Gala. Be sure to mark your calendars! Tickets will be available in September.
Bill C-13: We’re currently analysing the Canada’s proposed extremely broad anti cyber-bullying legislation which will increase the scope of government power to monitor online activity and prosecute users.
Ukraine: We will be contacting on-the-ground journalists in Ukraine to ask for their perspective on press freedom, as well as their experiences reporting on the recent unrest between Ukraine and Russia.
Brazil: With the FIFA World Cup taking place in June, we’re taking a closer look at the state of impunity in Brazil and what the government is doing to bring those responsible for the killing of journalists to justice.

Hope to see all of you at the AGM and panel discussion on June 17th!

Diane Shnier, CJFE Outreach and Communications Assistant