CJFE newsletter: November / December 2013

Friday, November 29, 2013

Dear CJFE members and supporters,

There’s no question of what is at top of mind at CJFE – there is less than a week until the 16th Annual CJFE Gala: A Night to Honour Courageous Reporting!

Wednesday, December 4, at the Fairmont Royal York hotel in Toronto, our Gala will honour four journalists from Eritrea and Turkey with International Press Freedom Awards for their courageous reporting. We will also be honouring former Canadian foreign aid worker Bob Thompson with our 2013 Integrity Award for his intrepid disclosure of the “Ross Cables” during the 1973 Chilean coup d’état, which eventually led to more than 7,000 Chileans finding refuge in Canada.

If you haven’t already done so, this is your last chance to purchase your Gala ticket! For questions contact Kirsten Hering at [email protected] or (416) 515-9622 x. 231.

Can’t make it in person? CJFE is partnering with J-Source and ScribbleLive to broadcast a live video stream and capture highlights from the evening. Follow the program from anywhere at CJFE.org or using #CJFEGala on Twitter.

What happened in November

In addition to preparations for the Gala, CJFE has kept busy this month with a number of activities:

  • International Day to End Impunity: To mark the IFEX-led campaign, CJFE held an online discussion between exiled Eritrean journalist Aaron Berhane and writer Susan McClelland about the impact of impunity on free expression in Eritrea. The United Nationals General Assembly also voted last week to adopt November 2 as the International Day to End Impunity.
  • Impunity in Latin America: 2013 CJFE/Scotiabank Massey College Journalism Fellow José Peralta wrote about the struggle for free expression in Latin America, where a culture of impunity is deeply entrenched.
  • Anniversary of Tara Singh Hayer’s murder: November 18 marked the 15 year anniversary of when reporter, editor and publisher Tara Singh Hayer was shot and killed in his Surrey, BC home, in a case that remains unsolved.
  • Day of the Imprisoned Writer: On November 15, we reflected on the number of writers currently imprisoned for their work, and highlighted the importance of continuing to support their right to free expression.
  • Bill C-461: Back in the House of Commons for its Third Reading, CJFE released a statement addressing our concerns with how Bill C-461 threatens the CBC’s journalist integrity.
  • Bill 83: CJFE has also spoken out in support of Ontario’s Bill 83 with an op-ed in the Toronto Star, and a joint statement. We believe the bill will provide an effective response to the problem of strategic law suits against public participation (SLAPPs), and the threat they pose to free expression in the province.
  • Censorship in Eritrea: Read more about censorship in the country consistently ranked last in RSF’s press freedom index, and learn the stories of our three International press Freedom Award recipients from Eritrea.
  • International alerts: This month CJFE issued alerts about threats to free expression rights in Ethiopia, Mali and the UK.

Coming up in December

  • CJFE Gala highlights: Check back on our website after December 4 for more articles on our award winners, a live blog recap, and photos and video highlights from the evening.
  • International Human Rights Day: December 10 marks the anniversary of the UN’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in which Article 19 enshrines the right to free expression. Watch cjfe.org for ways to take action!

For more free expression news, commentary, and event updates, visit cjfe.org!

Until soon,
Amy Johnson