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CONTENTS MESSAgE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & PRESIDENT

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ABOUT CJFE

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SCOTIABANk/ CJFE JOURNALISM FELLOwSHIP AT MASSEY COLLEGE

INTERNATIONAL PRESS FREEDOM AwARD wINNER

INTERNATIONAL PRESS FREEDOM AwARD wINNER

ERIC LEMUS

NOVAYA GAZETA

JILA BANIYAGHOUB TERRY GOULD

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FREE EXPRESSION INDEX

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IMPUNITY: GETTING AwAY wITH MURDER

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IMPUNITY IN CANADA TARA SINGH HAYER: Canadian Journalist’s Murder Still Unsolved

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IMPUNITY IN THE PHILIPPINES

A RARE EXAMPLE OF JUSTICE:

The Conviction of Edgar Damalerio’s Killer

IMPUNITY IN IRAN IN SEARCH OF THE TRUTH: Stephan Kazemi’s Fight for Justice

IMPUNITY IN SRI LANkA UNBOwED AND UNAFRAID:

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Lasantha wickrematunge

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CJFE REMEMBERS JOURNALISTS KILLED IN 2009 THANK YOU JOIN CJFE

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TARA SINGH HAYER AwARD wINNER

14 THANKS TO AWARDS BOOKLET STAFF Julie Payne editorial director Jaclyn Law managing editor Gigi Lau art director Cara Smusiak copy editor Max Rothschild editorial assistant Thank you to the writers who volunteered their time to tell these stories of free expression.

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Overcoming tremendous odds UBS is a proud supporter of the

International Press Freedom Award

Canadian Journalists for Free

Jila Baniyaghoub

Expression. We commend the 2009 International Press Freedom Award Winners for your dedication to the highest standards of journalism. www.ubs.com

Š UBS 2009. All rights reserved.

International Press Freedom Award Novaya Gazeta Tara Singh Hayer Memorial Award Terry Gould


MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & PRESIDENT CANADIAN JOURNALISTS FOR FREE EXPRESSION believes

that paying tribute to journalists who report the truth, often in the face of great personal danger, is one way to acknowledge the critical role of journalists and a free media in developing and maintaining a democratic society. This important fact directs our work every day at CJFE. And we don’t do this work alone. Being active participants and builders of a global free expression community is part of our mission at CJFE. In Canada, CJFE engages with a broad network of free expression defenders to intervene on important legal cases, which we hope will result in the creation of better laws protecting free expression. Our partnership with Scotiabank produced the first Scotiabank/CJFE Fellowship for Latin American journalists, which brought El Salvadoran Eric Lemus to Massey College at the University of Toronto for four months (turn to page 8). Initiatives like this create critical links between Canadian journalists and our colleagues in Latin America. As manager of the International Freedom of Expression eXchange (IFEX),

the global free expression network of 88 organizations, CJFE works closely with fellow members in raising our voices to draw attention to the many threats and violations to free expression in the world. One example is Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari, who was released from prison in Iran, thanks in part to sustained international campaigns on his behalf. CJFE also works with other organizations to coordinate humanitarian assistance to journalists who are at risk because they chose to raise the critical questions and now pay the price for bringing unwanted attention to the answers. At a time when media around the world are under threat, CJFE forges relationships to defend and promote free expression through information and awareness raising, advocacy and strategic partnerships—all of which ensure that free expression stays on the radar, and those whose rights are challenged will have organizations from around the world to champion their cause. We can’t do this work alone. Where CJFE depends on the volunteers, sponsors, activists, members and supporters to fulfil its mission, conversely many groups and individuals continue to depend on CJFE.

ARNOLD AMBER PRESIDENT

ANNIE GAME EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 5


ABOUT CJFE

CJFE’s work includes: • the

management of the global free expression network IFEX, which has more than 80 member organizations around the world • advocacy on free expression issues both in Canada and around the world • publicizing and profiling free expression issues through events and outreach • the protection of journalists through its Journalists in Distress Fund • programs such as the Scotiabank/CJFE Journalism Fellowship at Massey College for Latin American journalists

Journalists in Distress CJFE’s Journalists in Distress Fund provides humanitarian assistance to journalists whose lives and well-being are threatened. In most cases, the journalists we help have been attacked or threatened because of their profession. This year, CJFE took part in a unique fundraising campaign, driven by two Canadian journalists, Stephanie Levitz and Steve Chao. They had worked with Afghan fixer Javed “Jojo” Yazamy before his murder in March 2009. Together they encouraged other Canadians and journalists to donate money to help the family that Jojo had supported with his work. Thanks to them and a very generous donation from CTV, one of the media companies that Jojo worked for, CJFE was able to send $15,000 to help the family with medical bills, and education and training for Jojo’s siblings. The Journalists in Distress Fund

Afghan journalist Javed “Jojo” Yazamy

To find out more, visit cjfe.org.

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Helps journalists: • pay

lawyers’ fees when they are detained • pay for medical expenses when they are caught in the line of fire • pay for transportation costs when they are forced to flee


PHOTO: JASON SAHLANI

ABOUT CJFE

IFEX brings together free expression organizations from around the world.

OUTREACH AND EDUCATION

ADVOCACY wORk IN CANADA

Throughout the year, CJFE holds events that explore issues of free expression in order to raise awareness and understanding. In commemoration of World Press Freedom Day, we held “Reporting in Afghanistan.”The Globe and Mail’s Graeme Smith, along with CBC Television’s Susan Ormiston and award-winning photojournalist Louie Palu, discussed the dangers and rewards of reporting from the wartorn country. We also held two fabulous events as part of the Free to Speak series, one featuring filmmakers Atom Egoyan and Arsinée Khanjian; and the second featuring a panel discussion between Terry Milewski, Sandra Bartlett and Paul Pritchard, the Canadian who shot the video of the 2007 airport encounter between the RCMP and Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski. Pritchard’s footage shows four police officers repeatedly using a Taser on Dziekanski, ending in the 40-year-old’s death. Other CJFE events included a summer fundraiser featuring Austin Clarke for a youth-run newspaper in Sierra Leone, and in September 2009, we co-presented the premiere screening of Vladimir Kabelik’s documentary about exiled journalists, So Far From Home.

In 2008/09, CJFE intervened on a number of important cases that we hope will result in the creation of better laws protecting free expression in Canada. These include: DEFAMATION AND LIBEL CASES • wIC Radio Ltd. and

Rafe Mair v. Kari Simpson • Douglas Quan, Kelly Egan, Don Campbell, Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Citizen group Inc., Southam Publications (A Canwest Company) v. Danno Cusson • Peter grant and grant Forest Products Inc. v. Torstar Corporation, Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd., Bill Schiller, John Honderich, Mary Deanne Shears PROTECTION OF SOURCES • The National Post, Matthew Fraser

and Andrew McIntosh v. Her Majesty the Queen ACCESS TO INFORMATION • Amir Attaran v. Minister of Foreign

Affairs and International Trade • CBC v. Attorney general of Quebec,

SCC no. 32920.—issue of electronic access to the courts 7


SCOTIABANK/CJFE JOURNALISM FELLOWSHIP AT MASSEY COLLEGE

ERIC LEMUS SCOTIABANK/CJFE FELLOW TALKS ABOUT BEING A JOURNALIST IN EL SALVADOR by AMY SMART

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sk Eric Lemus what he does for a living and he’ll respond with a short history of his country. He has been working as a journalist since 1989, when El Salvador was still entrenched in a civil war. Covering everything from war and peace negotiations to human rights abuses and politics, Lemus’s career has developed in parallel with his country’s fundamental transformations. “To cover the war is to cover the death squads, the victims of human rights [violations], what’s happening on the front,” he says of his early work experiences. “It was regular for us. We say ‘regular’ but [those were] crazy days, obviously.” Lemus says that as the country began its recovery with the 1992 peace agreements, the struggle to normalize was difficult. “Our generation was in shock.” Though the violent conflict was officially over, the government and guerrillas carried their battle to the political sphere. Not surprisingly, the turbulence has affected press freedom. Aside from the danger of violence, Lemus says it has been difficult to report effectively in a climate of concentrated media ownership, heavily editorialized publications, and public mistrust of the media. 8

Lemus brings his experience to Canada as winner of the Scotiabank/ CJFE Journalism Fellowship at the University of Toronto’s Massey College. He hopes to make cross-cultural contacts and learn about Canadian journalism. Lemus has studied in Germany and Spain, but at the University of Toronto he is getting a distinctly Canadian perspective, with classes such as “Canada and the Global Change Since 9/11” and “Newspapers in Canada.” He is particularly fond of the way information is treasured in Canada. “I love libraries. I’m really happy here,” says Lemus. “In El Salvador, our books are lost and dying.” Despite his enthusiasm for learning, Lemus says that it is a difficult time to be away from his country. His friend Christian Poveda was killed this past summer while working on a documentary about gangs. “I would like to know who killed him. I think they were members of the death squads, because the death squads are still working there—undercover always,” says Lemus. According to an official report, Poveda was killed by five to seven gang members whom he had identified as police informants. Lemus is wary of the report and critical of the government for not investigating further.


PHOTO: AMY SMART

“I THINK OF MY FAMILY. EVERYTHINg I DID, EVERYTHINg I DO, wILL AFFECT THEM.” “[President Mauricio Funes] accepted the official report and nothing more,” Lemus says. He hopes that the case will draw international attention, putting pressure on officials for a more thorough investigation. IN A CLIMATE OF IMPUNITY for those who

SCOTIABANk/CJFE JOURNALISM FELLOwSHIP AT MASSEY COLLEGE CJFE launched the Journalism Fellowship with Scotiabank and Massey College as partners earlier this year. The four-month fellowship brings a mid-career journalist from Latin America to join Canadian journalism fellows at Massey College. This year’s fellow was chosen by a jury consisting of Anna Luengo and John Fraser from Massey College; Paul Knox and Julie Payne representing CJFE; and Frank Switzer from Scotiabank. with a focus on free expression, the Scotiabank/CJFE Journalism Fellowship at Massey College will help promote awareness in Latin America and Canada of the many challenges facing journalists today.

about what consequences his actions will have on others. In the meantime, he is focused on his studies in Toronto. “Massey [College] is a nice place,” Lemus says. He hopes to deepen his knowledge of his profession and learn how Canada functions socially. “In the end, you have the choice to learn or not. I have two goals—one is professional and the other is personal.” The fellowship continues until the end of the fall semester, at which time Lemus will return to El Salvador.

threaten press freedom in El Salvador, Lemus speaks of the potential advantage of having international contacts. “It’s impossible to write freely about the country from within it. There is a complex structure in place to create fear. When Christian died, everyone felt fear.” Lemus adds that while he and his colleagues were devastated by the murder, they were too afraid to rally publicly against such attacks. “I think of my family. Everything I did, everything I do, will affect them. It’s a small country, everybody knows me there.” Amy Smart is a freelance journalist. She is Though he hopes to investigate Poveda’s studying in the Master of Journalism program death when he returns, Lemus is worried at Ryerson University.

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The

UnsinkablE Novaya Gazeta

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PHOTOS: COURTESY NOVAYA GAZETA

INTERNATIONAL PRESS FREEDOM AWARD WINNER

FROM LEFT: STANISLAV MARKELOV, ANASTASIA BABUROVA AND ANNA POLITKOVSKAYA

by JAMESON BERKOW

he best measure of one’s commit- Because of the threats they face, Novaya ment to a cause or an idea is how Gazeta’s staff must often work using much one is willing to risk for its methods like those of undercover operadefense. For the reporters who walk tives. “[A]ll the top officials talk to me, at the beat for Moscow’s Novaya Gazeta my request, when I am writing articles or newspaper, there can be no questioning conducting investigations—but only in of their commitment to free expression. secret, where they can’t be observed, in Having seen four colleagues murdered the open air, in squares, in secret houses since 2001 simply for doing their jobs, that we approach by different routes, like Novaya Gazeta journalists suffer no illu- spies,” wrote the late Novaya Gazeta sions about the risks they face. journalist Anna Politkovskaya in an The latest murders happened in essay, published in the Washington Post January 2009, when young journalist Anas- barely one week following her murder. tasia Baburova was gunned down along Politkovskaya’s work informed readers with Stanislav Markelov, a Russian human of the torture and abuse inflicted on rights lawyer, in broad daylight in busy Chechen civilians by Russian soldiers. downtown Moscow. Baburova was cover- Her investigations resulted in more than ing Markelov’s press conference—he was 20 convictions. attempting an appeal against the release of Having survived two attempts on her a former Russian Army commander, con- life, Politkovskaya was keenly aware of victed of killing an 18-year-old Chechen the risks she was taking. “Putin’s deputy girl. Markelov died at the scene, and chief of staff explained that there were Baburova succumbed to her injuries that people who were enemies but whom night. Nearly a year later, there has been no you could talk sense into, and there were progress in the investigation. incorrigible enemies who simply needed 10


to be ‘cleansed’ from the political arena,” she explained in the Washington Post essay. “So they are trying to cleanse it of me and others like me.” On Oct. 7, 2006, an unknown gunman succeeded in “cleansing” Politkovskaya, 48, by shooting her four times. Since her death, her colleague Elena Milashina has continued Politkovskaya’s work, writing about the Russian government’s complicity in various terror acts blamed on Chechens. The work of Novaya Gazeta has become so dangerous that ex-KGB agent, banker and politician Alexander Lebedev, who helped save the paper from bankruptcy in 2006 by purchasing a minority of its shares, accused the Russian state of failing to protect his staff, and made a formal request for the Federal Security Service to allow them to carry guns. Over the years, a handful of arrests have been made in connection to the murders of Novaya Gazeta journalists, but only one triggerman has been charged. Politkovskaya’s murder received international press coverage and sparked protests in a number of Russian cities, but no one has answered for the crime, not even after then-prosecutor general Yuri Chaika vowed to take on the investigation personally. In a recent interview with the Times of London, Lebedev stressed that he did not believe that his paper was the target of an organized conspiracy, but that an atmosphere of lawlessness in Moscow allows people to “kill with impunity.” Indeed, at least two Novaya Gazeta journalists have received death threats while investigating Politkovskaya’s murder. The state duly noted the threats and

offered its usual level of assistance, that being none whatsoever. As if it weren’t bad enough to look the other way when journalists are killed, the Russian government is using intentionally vague anti-extremism laws to silence the remaining journalists brave enough to criticize its policies. In 2006, the Russian Duma (parliament) broadened the definition of extremism to include “public slander directed toward figures fulfilling the state duties of the Russian federation.” Vladimir Putin signed the law over objections from human rights groups worldwide. In November 2007, police raided Novaya Gazeta’s bureau in Samara, confiscating editor Sergei Kurt-Adzhiyev’s computer (the only one left after a police raid six months earlier) and the publication’s financial records. While the charges were for violating copyright, the majority opinion in Russia was that the paper was under pressure because it covered an opposition party’s campaign during an election year. Despite the risks, Novaya Gazeta’s staff are committed to upholding the principles upon which the paper was founded. In nominating the newspaper for the award, CBC journalist Alex Shprintsen said, “I can’t think of a better statement that the CJFE can make in 2009 than to recognize the awful truth about journalism in Russia by giving its International Press Freedom Award to Novaya Gazeta.” Jameson Berkow works as a freelance writer in Toronto. He is pursuing a Master of Journalism degree at Ryerson University. 11


INTERNATIONAL PRESS FREEDOM AwARD wINNER

by FIONA wAGNER

JILA BANIYAGHOUB

A VOICE FOR wOMEN’S RIGHTS

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HE FIRST CONTENTIOUS STORY that Jila Baniyaghoub wrote for a major Tehran daily was about children living in poverty. She was 11 years old. Now 39, Baniyaghoub—a prominent freelance journalist, women’s rights activist and online editor of news website Kanoon Zanan Irani (Focus on Iranian Women)—still writes the stories that Iranian authorities don’t want anyone to read, stories about government and social repression, legal discrimination and the particular challenges facing women. Baniyaghoub began her journalism career at the daily newspaper Hamshahri, where she disrupted her workplace and angered her bosses by insisting that her byline appear with her articles. Since then, she has faced repeated discrimination in the newsroom, and has been threatened or fired many times for refusing to censor her reporting. She has also lost employment when news outlets she was working for have been closed or banned. In a time of repressive press laws, Baniyaghoub’s work has made her a target and she has been threatened, beaten, arrested and imprisoned multiple times. On June 12, 2006, the Day of Solidar12

ity of Iranian Women, Baniyaghoub was arrested and charged with “acting against national security,” which carries a two- to five-year prison term, and “participating in an illegal demonstration” for covering the peaceful women’s rights rally against legal discrimination for the reformoriented newspaper Sarmayeh. (She was later released on bail.) While in prison in 2007 for her involvement with another women’s demonstration, Baniyaghoub was subjected to repeated interrogations while blindfolded, put in solitary confinement and made to drink dirty water, resulting in toxic shock. And on the Day of Solidarity in 2008, she was again arrested and imprisoned for “disturbing public order,” “failing to obey police orders” and “propagandizing against the Islamic regime.” Most recently, following the unrest after the disputed presidential election, Baniyaghoub and her journalist husband, Bahman Ahmadi Amouie, who writes for various pro-reform publications, were arrested in their home at midnight on June 20, 2009, and taken to Section 209 (the security wing) of Tehran’s Evin Prison without cause. Baniyaghoub was released


Aug. 19, 2009, on payment of 100 million a mother is a woman’s ultimate purpose, toman (approximately $110,000). At the Kowsar praises Baniyaghoub—and other time of writing, her husband remains female journalists like her—who spread the illegally detained, in solitary confinement, word about systemic discrimination against without access to legal representation. women in a time when so many people are Although Iranian President Mahmoud scared of touching this issue. Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Leader “This is precisely the way to change a Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claim that Iran is society … I believe it’s the women of Iran the “world’s freest country,” advocates for who can turn the Titanic in that country greater press freedom argue it has become around,” says CJFE jury member Sally the world’s worst jailer of media workers. Armstrong, who is an author, filmmaker In fact, journalists have suffered more this and human rights activist. “You need year under this regime, giving the country journalists reporting the facts and stirthe dubious distinction of ranking 172nd ring the argument for change to happen. out of 175 countries on the Reporters When a government needs to cling to Without Borders 2009 Press Freedom power by shutting down the media, you Index. Only Turkmenistan, North Korea need very courageous journalists like Jila and Eritrea (dubbed the infernal trio)— who risk prison and sometimes torture to “where the media are so suppressed they keep the public informed.” are non-existent”—rank lower. In a recent letter to her imprisoned While the threat of censorship, state husband, Baniyaghoub wrote, “Do surveillance, mistreatment, illegal arrest you remember that you always used to and imprisonment is commonplace for remind me of the Asian motto, ‘Let us all Iranian media workers, the situation is turn our sorrow into strength’? I promise worse for female journalists—especially you to turn all the sorrows that I face those who report on women’s rights. into strength.” “Right now, so many officials are saying Perhaps it is this strength that gives that these issues about women’s rights are Baniyaghoub the courage, commitment against Islam. It’s really scary to continue and passion to do what she believes is working on something that’s denounced her duty—to keep working, revealing the by the power and it’s a big threat to [Jila’s] truth and empowering Iranian women. security as well,” says Nik Kowsar, an “We cannot actually step forward to Iranian-born cartoonist now living in a real democratic society while half of Toronto, and a friend and former colleague society doesn’t even know its rights. She of Baniyaghoub, whom he nominated for wants to give a voice to half of society,” CJFE’s International Press Freedom Award. says Kowsar. “She wants to give voice to (Kowsar himself left Iran after being impris- the voiceless.” oned and threatened for his work.) In Iran, where Islamic traditionalists Fiona Wagner is a freelance magazine and contend that women should be supported web writer who works from her family’s farm by their husbands and fathers, and that being in Marmora, Ont. 13


TARA SINGH HAYER AwARD

TERRY GOULD

wHY THE wORLD NEEDS

JOURNALISTS by MARY DEANNE SHEARS

H

E wAS SHOCkED BY THE NUMBERS — the journalists living people.” they seemed to never stop growing. His much-acclaimed book, Murder Canadian journalist Terry Gould Without Borders: Dying for the Story in theWorld’s was on assi gnment in the Philippines. To Most Dangerous Places, is the first to recount his horror, nearly two dozen journalists the inner lives of local journalists assassinated were murdered with impunity between in the five most murderous countries for 2000 and 2004. He noticed a disturbing reporters. It was launched this year in Canada pattern: They had suggested changes to on World Press Freedom Day (May 3) and government and business, most had been later in the United States, appropriately at the threatened, and most predicted they would Newseum in Washington, D.C. Terry Gould’s life and career have been be killed. None of their killers had been full of unexpected twists and turns. He was brought to justice. “I was thinking, ‘These are extraor- born in 1949 in the rougher reaches of dinary people,’” Gould told CJFE in an Brooklyn, N.Y. Between the ages of nine interview. He set out to learn about their and 14, he was an A-list television and lives and why they kept at their work. “I magazine model, appearing in numerous wanted to get to the bottom of the psy- TV commercials including Colgate’s famed chology of sacrifice that they had. There “Invisible Shield” series. While attending must be something about them that made Brooklyn College, he supported himself by driving a taxicab. them face death like that.” In 1971, Gould moved to northern Gould also set out to honour them. “I wanted to put them back together as British Columbia, where he homesteaded human beings. I was attempting to make 160 acres with his wife, built a 2,000-square14


foot log home, and worked as a tree faller and brakeman on freights. In 1984, he published a collection of short stories, How the Blind Make Love, and moved to Vancouver, where he began his career as a journalist. Two other books followed: The Lifestyle and Paper Fan: The Hunt for Triad Gangster Steven Wong. Gould was also a contributing editor at Saturday Night, a story editor and programmer of CBC-TV’s Front Page Challenge, a docudrama scriptwriter for CBC-TV, and senior editor of both Vancouver and V magazines. His docudrama script about Asian organized crime, Racing with Dragons, was sold to the CBC in 1991. In his journalistic and writing career, Gould has won many awards and accolades, but one suspects Murder Without Borders holds special meaning. For the past four years, his life has been monopolized by exhaustive and often dangerous travels in order to delve into the lives and work of the murdered journalists. He visited victims’ hometowns to interview their colleagues, families and, in some cases, their suspected killers. In Iraq, the Philippines, Russia, Colombia and Bangladesh, he found their deeply personal motivations for risking death in lands of corruption and violence. The book has been hailed as “a work of love and passion, uplifting and even inspiring.” Gould says he wanted to learn where the journalists’ courage came from. Each had a “transformative” moment in life that convinced him or her that the powerful had to be prevented from oppressing the weak. “They didn’t arrive from somewhere else,” Gould says. “They lived where they died and tried to defend the people where they lived.” These journalists had three options, Gould says: “They could flee oppression, they could stay silent, or they could con-

tinue their work, despite knowing their lives were at risk.” They all chose the third option, usually with full knowledge and even acceptance of the fate that awaited them. “They believed that something good would come from their news … but they knew they would lose the battle.” Gould also believes they have a message for journalists everywhere. He’s concerned that because so many newspapers are struggling financially or going under, journalists will no longer ensure that local officials are held accountable for their actions and decisions. Doing so is a journalist’s “daily bread,” Gould says. If public officials are not held accountable, “then ordinary people can join law breakers. That’s why we should care—a system of organized crime takes hold. Journalists are ready to reverse that.” For his work, CJFE has awarded Gould the 2009 Tara Singh Hayer Award, which recognizes a Canadian journalist who, through his or her work, has made an important contribution to reinforcing and promoting the principle of freedom of the press in this country and elsewhere. It was last presented in 2007. Tara Singh Hayer, a Canadian journalist and editor of the Vancouver-based Indo-Canadian Times, was assassinated in 1998. “The award really goes to the victims of impunity whose lives I’ve told in the book’s pages,” Gould says. “They followed in the footsteps of murdered colleagues. They refused to bow to threats, they wrote their last exposé, and would have written their next had not the expected assassin arrived to stop them.”

Mary Deanne Shears is a CJFE Board Member and former managing editor of the Toronto Star. 15


FREE EXPRESSION INDEX

COMPLAINTS RECEIVED BY CANADA’S INFORMATION COMMISSIONER ABOUT ACCESS TO INFORMATION REQUESTS ON THE SUBJECT OF CANADA’S MILITARY MISSION IN AFgHANISTAN

JOURNALISTS KILLED IN MEXICO IN 2009

KILOMETRES LOggED BY CANADIAN JOURNALIST TERRY gOULD IN THE COURSE OF RESEARCHINg HIS BOOK, MURDER WITHOUT BORDERS

AgE OF PROMINENT SRI LANKAN JOURNALIST LASANTHA wICKREMATUNgE, wHO wAS MURDERED THIS YEAR AND POSTHUMOUSLY AwARDED THE wORLD PRESS FREEDOM PRIZE BY UNESCO NUMBER OF COMPUTERS INFECTED IN CYBER-ESPIONAgE NETwORK DISCOVERED BY TORONTO-BASED CITIZEN LAB AgE OF IRANIAN JOURNALIST JILA BANIYAgHOUB wHEN SHE PUBLISHED HER FIRST NEwSPAPER ARTICLE

16


FREE EXPRESSION INDEX

NUMBER OF JOURNALISTS KILLED IN RELATION TO THEIR wORK IN THE PHILIPPINES SINCE 1986

DAYS THAT CANADIAN JOURNALIST AMANDA LINDHOUT wAS HELD HOSTAgE IN SOMALIA wITH HER AUSTRALIAN COLLEAgUE NIgEL BRENNAN

PERCENTAgE OF MURDERS OF JOURNALISTS IN wHICH THE KILLER IS BROUgHT TO JUSTICE

NUMBER OF SECURITY OFFICERS wHO CAME TO ARREST JILA BANIYAgHOUB AND HER HUSBAND, BAHMAN AHMADI AMOUIE, AT MIDNIgHT ON JUNE 20, 2009 JOURNALISTS AND MEDIA wORKERS KILLED IN 2008

YEARS THE MURDER OF CANADIAN JOURNALIST TARA SINgH HAYER HAS REMAINED UNPUNISHED

JOURNALISTS wORKINg FOR RUSSIAN NEwSPAPER NOVAYA GAZETA wHO HAVE BEEN KILLED

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MEDIA PROFILE supports CJFE and the journalists who dedicate their lives to telling the stories that define the world in which we live.


by CAROL OFF IN THE FIRST wEEk OF 2009, the editor of Sri Lanka’s most popular newspaper, the Sunday Leader, sat down in his office to compose his usual weekly editorial. But there was nothing routine about what he wrote. Lasantha Wickrematunge crafted his own obituary (page 32). Within days, Wickrematunge was gone, shot dead in his car on his way to work. Sri Lanka lost one of its bravest journalists. The world gained another name to the shockingly long list of murdered reporters. To date, no one has been brought to justice for Wickrematunge’s assassination. The crime follows another familiar pattern: Rarely is anyone ever prosecuted for killing journalists.Those who target and kill them are literally getting away with murder. The Committee to Protect Journalists, a member of IFEX, issues an Impunity Index, which exposes the disturbing number of murders that go uninvestigated and unpunished in the media world. Each year’s index is more disturbing than the last. Almost all the victims were local reporters, not foreign correspondents. They were simply telling the stories of their own communities. Some statistics: •

Iraq continues to be the most dangerous place on earth for reporters: Almost 90 have been murdered since 2003, and there has not been a single conviction.

In Sri Lanka, where wickrematunge died for his work, another eight murders remain unsolved.

Colombia recorded no journalist murders recently only because reporters now selfcensor. But still, there is no justice for 16 who lost their lives in the past decade.

In Afghanistan, where Canada spends billions, the murderers of seven reporters got off scot-free.

In Russia, 16 reporters have been assassinated since 1999. There has been only one prosecution.

Canada is a minor player in the impunity game, but nonetheless, the murder of Tara Singh Hayer remains unsolved 11 years later.

In too many of these countries, assassination is dismissed as the unfortunate price a reporter sometimes pays for messing in other people’s business. Yet the journalists persevere, even when they face imprisonment, torture, harassment and death simply for doing their jobs. Please join CJFE in condemning the culture of impunity that surrounds the deaths of reporters all around the world. Carol Off is the host of “As It Happens” on CBC Radio and is the Chair of the International Press Freedom Awards planning committee. 19


IMPUNITY IN CANADA

T ara S in g h O Canadian Journalist’s Murder Still Unsolved

lobby. The one that hit his spine put n a day much like any other day in the fall of 1998, Tara Singh Hayer him in a wheelchair. His doctors said he pulled into the garage at his home shouldn’t have survived, but Hayer had in Surrey, B.C. As he got out of always been stubborn. his Cadillac, one man—or maybe two— The shooter initially told police he slipped under the closing garage door and was helped by BKI, but later claimed it shot Hayer in the head. They also stabbed was purely personal. He was sentenced to him once before fleeing the suburb. His 14 years in prison, and the investigation wife was home and heard the shot. Hayer, was closed. Hayer always suspected there the publisher of weekly Punjabi-language was more to the story, so he kept digging. newspaper Indo-Canadian Times, was dead It was that same persistent search for the before she could reach him. truth that would eventually kill him. Eleven years later, RCMP investigators have yet to lay any direct charges in the At the time of his death, Hayer was planning first assassination of a Canadian journalist. to testify as the Crown prosecution’s best Hayer was hardly a stranger to violence or witness in the trial of two BKI members. historic firsts: Due to a previous attempt Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaid Singh on his life, he was also the first Canadian Bagri were accused of masterminding the journalist to be shot in this country for bombings of a Japanese airport and Air India Flight 182, and the murder of 331 his work. people killed in the two bombings. In August 1988, Hayer wrote an article about Hayer’s death made his accusations an alleged confession that implicated the inadmissible, and in 2005, both men Canadian Sikh separatist group Babbar were acquitted. For the victims’ families, Khalsa International (BKI) in the 1985 who had awaited justice for 20 years, the bombing of Air India Flight 182. A week verdict was devastating. Others wondered later, a 17-year-old Sikh fired six bullets if Hayer had lost his life for nothing. at him with a .357 Magnum in the Times’ The married father of two was born 20


PHOTO: COURTESY INDO-CANADIAN TIMES

“A lot of people know who [killed Hayer] and who planned it, but they’ve lost faith in the system.”

H ayer by DANA LACEY

in 1936 in a small village in Punjab, India. Until the assassination attempt, he was a fervent supporter of the movement to create a separate Sikh homeland known as Khalistan—Punjabi for “The Land of the Pure”—which had risen in the shadow of India’s partition in 1947. The first attempt on Hayer’s life happened Hayer immigrated to Canada’s west seven months after the Air India disaster: coast in the 1970s and settled in Surrey, A bomb wrapped in newspaper was left at home to the world’s second-largest Sikh the front door of the Indo-Canadian Times; community. He held a few jobs (miner, it was defused by police. teacher, truck driver, journalist) before After the 1988 shooting, Hayer continlaunching Indo-CanadianTimes in 1978.The ued to report on and criticize the Khalistani community paper was among the first Sikh- movement, despite the agony caused by the run media outlets in B.C.—Hayer had to bullet stuck inside him. His critical editorials custom-order Punjabi type for the printer. about BKI accused Bagri of using donated In 1984, a much-criticized Indian money for his own political purposes. (Until military operation targeting Sikh militants, 1996, BKI enjoyed charitable status and dubbed Operation Blue Star, resulted in offered tax receipts for donations. In June the deaths of 492 civilians. Three months 2003, Canada put BKI on its list of known later, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi terrorist organizations, years after India and was killed by her Sikh bodyguards. Thou- the U.K. had done so.) sands of India’s Sikhs were murdered in In 1997, the Vancouver Sun received retaliation. Word began to spread of a a letter that threatened Hayer and Sun Sikh boycott on Air India, the country’s reporter Kim Bolan for their critical coverage of Malik, a local Sikh millionaire and national airline. 21


IMPUNITY IN CANADA Air India suspect.“You die Hayer man,” the letter read, “You die like Gandhi woman.” The RCMP convinced Hayer and Bolan to beef up security in their homes by installing cameras and panic buttons. They were given strict warnings about unannounced visitors and late-night dog walking. Unfortunately, there were no cameras in Hayer’s garage, which had the only entrance accessible by wheelchair. In December 2003, testimony at an unrelated murder trial claimed that two Sikh gangsters had been hired by BKI to kill Hayer for $50,000. One of those gangsters—the suspected shooter—is now missing and presumed dead. Today, the agenda of Indo-Canadian Times

remains the same. The threats have not stopped—the office windows were recently shot in. The paper’s editor, Hayer’s daughter, Rupinder Bains, insists the Times will continue to report on anything that affects the community. Tensions haven’t cooled at all, she says. “Not only is the [Khalistani] movement still active, it’s well-known to police, to politicians … but they close their eyes to it. A lot of people know who [killed Hayer] and who planned it, but they’ve lost faith in the system. Anyone that dares to come out and become a witness is putting their life on the line. My father is proof of this: The reason he was shot in 1988 and the reason he was shot in 1998 was because of his reporting.” The RCMP IS still following leads on what

it believes are a string of related murder cases, including Hayer and the missing 22

In 1999, CJFE renamed its Press Freedom Award the “Tara Singh Hayer Award” in Hayer’s honour. The award is given to a Canadian journalist who, through his or her work, has made an important contribution to reinforcing and promoting the principle of freedom of the press in Canada or elsewhere. (To read about this year’s recipient, turn to page 14.) gangster. Its investigation is called Project Expedio, although it’s been anything but speedy in bringing Hayer’s killers to justice. “The frustrating part of any homicide case is finding people who will share information,” says RCMP Inspector Kevin Hackett, the project’s Team Commander. He still hopes people will come forward, but understands the pressures potential informants face: “There have been an unprecedented number of homicides in the Lower Mainland in the past few years. Why would they now want to get involved in something that could put them and their family at risk?” Hayer’s family lives with the knowledge that the people responsible for their loss are still free. “You live day by day, and hope for the day someone is charged. But you don’t forget. I’m constantly reminded of what happened to our family,” says Bains. “My mother, the poor lady, she doesn’t sleep. Day and night she wakes up thinking someone is going to shoot her in her home. There is no closure, not until someone is charged.” Dana Lacey is a freelance writer in Toronto.


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EVENING PROGRAM Opening Remarks MCs: Lloyd Robertson and Heather Hiscox Introduction of the First Scotiabank/CJFE JOURNALISM Fellow at Massey College Eric Lemus By Annie Game and Anna Luengo Presentation of the Tara Singh Hayer Award Terry Gould, Canada By John Honderich and Mary Deanne Shears Moment of Silence Dinner Silent Auction CLOSES Message from CJFE Arnold Amber Presentation of the International Press Freedom Award Jila Baniyaghoub, Iran By Lori Abbitan and Patrick Gossage Presentation of the International Press Freedom Award Novaya Gazeta, Russia By Madeline Ziniak and Robert Hurst Thank Yous Carol Off Closing Remarks MCs: Lloyd Robertson and Heather Hiscox Cash Bar In Foyer


EVENING SPONSOR

Robert H. Pitfield Group Head, International Banking

The Bank of Nova Scotia Executive Offices, Scotia Plaza 44 King Street West Toronto, Ontario Canada M5H 1H1

December 9, 2009 Scotiabank is pleased to welcome you to the 2009 Canadian Journalists for Free Expression Annual Press Freedom Awards. We are very proud to join with Canadian Journalists for Free Expression to sponsor this year’s awards dinner, which recognizes courageous journalists around the world who face incredible risks to tell the stories they witness around them. A free media is one of the hallmarks of a free and democratic society; however, journalists in many countries around the world do not enjoy this freedom. We are honoured to support their work and the work of the CJFE in promoting and defending freedom of the press, in Canada and around the world. As Canada’s most international Bank, we have the privilege of working with outstanding journalists across the globe. We see the impact that a strong and free media can have and we are honoured to have this opportunity to celebrate the work of exceptional journalists. I applaud all those being honoured this evening and in years past; your courage in fighting for free expression is truly remarkable. Sincerely,

Rob Pitfield


MASTERS OF CEREMONIES MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & PRESIDENT

Heather Hiscox

Lloyd Robertson

Heather Hiscox is in her fifth season of As Chief Anchor and Senior Editor of answering the 3 a.m. alarm to host CBC CTV News, Lloyd Robertson is the leader News Now. of the country’s most-watched newscast, Hiscox covered the Dawson College CTV National News With Lloyd Robertson. shooting in Montreal; last year’s historic One of the most accomplished presidential election in the United States; journalists in North America, Robertson and the deadly Cougar helicopter crash in joined CTV in 1976 and has been broadthe Atlantic off St. John’s, Nfld. Her work casting for more than 50 years. In 1998, on the last story earned her a Gemini he became a Member of the Order of nomination as Best News Anchor. Canada, and in 2007, Robertson was the Previously, Hiscox worked in the field first journalist inducted into Canada’s Walk with CBC News The National. She has of Fame. worked extensively in Washington and Throughout his illustrious career, London, England, and covered three con- Robertson has guided Canadians through secutive Olympic Games, in Athens, Turin such events as the Quebec Referenand Beijing. dum, 9/11, Canadian and American Hiscox began her broadcasting career elections, budget specials, political and in 1982. Her first job was as a disc jockey economic summits, the 50th anniverat the radio station in her hometown of sary of D-Day, several Olympic Games, Owen Sound, Ont. She moved into televi- royal weddings, Expo ’86, openings of sion in 1991 and worked as a reporter and Parliament, state funerals, papal visits anchor in southwestern Ontario, Toronto, and the Terry Fox Run. Halifax and Montreal. A veteran of live news coverage as Hiscox studied French at the Uni- well as news anchoring, Robertson also versity of Toronto and holds a Master’s hosts CTV’s award-winning investigative degree in journalism from the University news series W5, and has helmed several of Western Ontario. of his own specials from Australia, Hong Kong, China and Great Britain.


From all of us at Intact Financial Corporation, our deepest congratulations to the recipients of the international press freedom awards, past and present. We salute and honour your dedicated and courageous efforts to uncover the truth.

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IMPUNITY IN THE PHILIPPINES

A R A RE E X A MPLE OF THE CONVICTION OF JUSTICE EDGAR DAMALERiO’S KILLER by KISHA FERGUSON

N

OV. 29, 2005: A packed room in the Cebu Regional Trial Court erupts in applause as Judge Ramon Codilla reads the verdict. Among its thousands of words are a few that everyone has waited more than three years to hear: Guillermo Wapile, sentenced to life in prison for the murder of journalist Edgar Damalerio.

even fellow journalists in illegal activities. Damalerio even filed legal cases against people who he believed were involved in the stories he reported.

Damalerio was the award-winning managing editor of the Zamboanga Scribe, a commentator on DXKP public radio in Pagadian City, and host of the cable television program Enkwentro (Encounter). According to colleague Luz Rimban, he was known for unflinching exposés on the involvement of local officials, police, military men and

happened on the street in front of the police station and City Hall—police cleaned up the crime scene and towed the jeep. At the time, Amorro and Onggue were not questioned. No photos were taken. There was no investigation of the scene, and no post-mortem on Damalerio. The gunman had doubled back after

May 13, 2002: On his way home from a press conference in Pagadian, Damalerio slows his jeep after noticing he’s being followed by two According to the Center for Media men on a motorcycle. Also in the jeep are Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), DXKP reporter and high school teacher Edgar 108 journalists have been killed in the Amorro, and farmer Edgar Onggue. They ask Philippines in relation to their work since Damalerio why he is slowing down, but before 1986, most of them since Gloria Arroyo he can answer, a gunman fires five shots at came to power in 2001. All but a few point-blank range. Amorro and Onggue are cases remain unsolved; even fewer have uninjured, but a bullet hits Damalerio in resulted in convictions. The sentencing the chest. An ambulance is called but when it of Damalerio’s killer was a significant step doesn’t come, a police car takes Damalerio to for press freedom, but more people died the hospital. He dies in the back seat. for making it happen. Shortly after the shooting—which

24


PHOTO: COURTESY CENTER FOR MEDIA FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY

“Murder has become mainstream. Life has become so cheap. It is easy to have someone killed.” the shooting to More than a year after the shooting, check his handi- Wapile was charged with Damalerio’s work, and Amorro murder. Despite this, numerous legal chaland Onggue got lenges by his lawyers left Wapile free to walk a clear view of the streets. He finally surrendered to police his face. It was more than two years after the murder. Guillermo Wapile, Onggue’s testimony was crucial to a former police securing Wapile’s conviction. Not even officer turned petty a US$10,000 bribe could stop Onggue, criminal. Both witnesses identified him who told the Committee to Protect Jourin a photo gallery at the National Bureau nalists (CPJ) that he was willing to risk his of Investigation and in a lineup. Despite life “to show that it’s not right just to kill this, Pagadian Police Chief Asuri Awani anyone and then get away with it.” charged gangster Ronnie Kilme with the murder, also naming Onggue and Amorro For a country that is not in the midst of as accessories. Wapile was not investigated, an internal uprising, isn’t at war with its and remained free because the police neighbours, and has a relatively peaceful history, the Philippines has an incredibly refused to arrest one of their own. high murder rate for journalists and an Three months after Damalerio was killed, incredibly low conviction rate for the Gury Lobitaña, an army auxiliary officer, murderers. In 2005, the year Wapile was was ambushed and shot. He had been charged with Damalerio’s murder, the CPJ scheduled to testify that he had turned declared the Philippines the “most murderdown an offer from a high-ranking police ous” country in the world for journalists. officer to kill Damalerio for 1,000 euros, Melinda de Jesus, executive director of CMFR, told the Philippine Center for and that Wapile had accepted. Three months after Lobitaña’s murder, Investigative Journalism that Philippine Amorro was shot outside the school journalists must deal with a doublewhere he taught, even though he and edged sword: The press enjoys “freedom Onggue were under the Department of from government interference [but] not Justice’s witness protection program. In freedom from violence.” No one stops 2002, Onggue’s wife was the target of them from speaking out, but they’re often an unsuccessful kidnapping attempt. Two killed after they do. years later, Onggue survived an attempt The preferred method of killing jouron his life only because his assailant’s gun nalists in the Philippines seems to be gunshot malfunctioned. He later went into hiding, at close range. One journalist was shot as she sat down to dinner with her children, another as did Damalerio’s wife and child. 25


IMPUNITY IN THE PHILIPPINES after being lured out of a restaurant via text message. Several have been killed after dropping their children off at school. One was even shot inside his radio booth. In a macabre confirmation of the country’s status as a graveyard for journalists, on Nov. 23, 2009, 31 were killed when a convoy they were travelling in was ambushed by more than 100 armed men. It happened in the southern province of Maguindanao. The journalists were among 57 people on their way to file papers nominating Esmael Mangudadatu as a candidate for provincial governor in next year’s elections. It’s being called the worst single attack on journalists anywhere in the world. Some were shot at close range, others beheaded or run over by jeeps. There is evidence that many of the women were raped and sexually mutilated. The bodies were dumped in shallow graves, dug days before the attack. The total number of journalists killed in the Philippines this year: 37. At press time, Andal Ampatuan Jr.—a local mayor who has close ties to President Arroyo and is the son of the current governor—had been charged with more than 20 murders. Twenty other suspects have been arrested.

CJFE joined with another

free expression organiZation

to provide legal funds to bring Damalerio’s killer to justice.

themselves, and even offers training sessions. But perhaps the real reason can be summed up by this statement from Stella Estremera, editor of the Davao-based Sun Star newspaper: “Murder has become mainstream. Life has become so cheap. It is easy to have someone killed.” Five years ago, “Task Force Newsman” was created by President Arroyo to “aggressively pursue” the people responsible for killing journalists. They claim to have solved many of the murders that have happened since 1986. But, in their own words, “solved” means only the identification of a suspect, not an arrest or conviction. At Global Campaign Against Impunity, a conference in Manila in February 2008, Philippine Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno delivered a keynote address in which he said, “Unless and until we do something to submerge this pernicious culture, these attacks will continue to litter our collective consciousness with the corpses of people who are the bearers of truth.”

What makes the Philippines dangerous for journalists is unclear, but it is likely a combination of factors: widespread government A journalist for almost 20 years, Kisha Ferguson and judicial corruption, witness intimidation, has written for magazines and newspapers, proand a culture of lawlessness in which guns duced television shows and documentaries, and are as common as cellphones and are carried worked as a radio reporter. She is the founder by everyone from gangsters to politicians. and former editor-in-chief of award-winning Guns are so often aimed at the media that Outpost Magazine. Kisha is currently a senior the government urges journalists to arm writer and producer at CBC News in Toronto. 26


" Who needs

newspapers?? " Or fair wages Or truthful politicians Or compassion...


IMPUNITY IN IRAN

IN SE ARCH OF THE

STEPHAN KAZEMI’S FIGHT FOR JUSTICE

Z

ahra Kazemi’s photographs offer a

rare glimpse into the lives of people living in poverty, under oppression and in war zones in troubled parts of the world. The Iranian-Canadian freelance photojournalist, who moved to Montreal in 1993, was known for exposing injustice and documenting the struggle for democracy. In June 2003, Kazemi’s work took her to Iran, the homeland she left in 1974 to work and study in France. Her visit coincided with the student uprisings in Tehran, and she went to photograph a protest outside Evin Prison, the infamous jail known for detaining political prisoners. “The photos would have shown the emotions and the spirit of people who have lost their family [or] their close friends and are worried about them, protesting for them,” says Kazemi’s only child, Stephan (Salman) Kazemi, 32. “They would have shown people who are fearless despite all the terror that’s going on. It’s that same spirit that made my mother stand up for what she thought was right.” We will never see those photos. Zahra

28

Kazemi, 54, was arrested outside the jail despite having obtained a government permit to take photos. Security officials interrogated her for approximately 77 hours, although she was never charged with a crime. Kazemi was tortured, beaten and raped by Iranian authorities. She was not permitted to seek legal counsel, contact her family or obtain assistance from the Canadian consulate. On the fifth day of her detainment, Kazemi was moved to a military hospital after being beaten unconscious. It wasn’t until days later that her mother, Ezat Kazemi, who lives in Iran, was notified of her daughter’s condition. She appealed to the Canadian government for help. By the time one of Kazemi’s supporters notified Stephan in Montreal, his mother was in a coma. When Canadian officials and Ezat Kazemi visited the hospital, they were only permitted to view her covered body from a distance, through a window. On July 10 or 11, Kazemi was declared brain-dead and taken off life support, contrary to the wishes of her family, who wanted her returned to Canada. At no


“The judge was belligerent with counsel and flippant in his reference to key events, counsel were denied access to key witnesses … and important documentary and physical evidence.” PHOTO: COPYRIGHT STEPHAN KAZEMI

TRUTH by RAINA DELISLE point did Iranian officials notify Kazemi’s family or Canadian authorities of her death. On July 12, the Iranian government announced Kazemi’s death through the country’s official news agency, and Canadian officials informed her son. An autopsy was conducted, though Iranian authorities refused to release the results to Kazemi’s family or the Canadian government. Moreover, the Kazemi family formally requested multiple times through diplomatic channels that the body be returned to Canada for burial, but Iranian officials pressured Kazemi’s mother into selecting a site in Iran. Kazemi was swiftly buried. Subsequent requests for the repatriation of her remains for independent autopsy in Canada have been ignored. “Iranian officials attempted to conceal Ms. Kazemi’s torture and sexual abuse,” states a civil lawsuit filed by Stephan in Montreal in June 2006.“They deliberately delayed contacting Ms. Kazemi’s family in order to prevent them from discovering the full extent of her injuries.”

CJFE honoured Zahra Kazemi with the Tara Singh Hayer Award in 2003. At press time, the hearing of Iran’s motion to dismiss the case was under way in Montreal from Dec. 2 to 8. Iran was expected to argue that Canada’s State Immunity Act bars proceedings against foreign states before Canadian courts. Stephan’s lawyers planned to bring up the State Immunity Act’s incompatibility with the Canadian Bill of Rights, which guarantees every Canadian the right to a fair hearing. Due to the highly political nature of the case, Stephan says he would be unable to obtain a fair hearing in Iran, which violates his rights as a Canadian. He adds that his team will argue that the State Immunity Act should be amended to eliminate the immunity enjoyed by governments that commit torture. 29


IMPUNITY IN IRAN Iran’s investigation into Kazemi’s death “has been marred by a lack of good faith, a lack of transparency and an unwillingness to pursue those in positions of authority who ordered and participated in the events that led to her death,” Stephan’s lawsuit states. It names the government of Iran, spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, former chief prosecutor (now deputy) Saeed Mortazavi and former deputy chief of intelligence Mohammad Bakhshi. Iran’s story of what happened to Kazemi has changed many times. In the weeks following her death, Mortazavi said she died as a result of a stroke, while Iran’s vice-president later called it murder, saying she died of a skull fracture from a blow to the head. A report released in October 2003 by Iran’s Article 90 Commission, which investigates complaints against the government, identified Mortazavi and other members of the judiciary as being directly involved in Kazemi’s death and attempting to cover it up. Despite this, the only person to face trial was interrogator Mohammad Reza Aghdam Ahmadi. Lawyers representing Kazemi’s family in Iran, including Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, said Ahmadi was a scapegoat, and they have accused Mortazavi of overseeing and participating in Kazemi’s interrogation. Bakhshi is accused of physically assaulting and torturing her. Authorities were already cracking down on press freedom when Ahmadi’s trial began in July 2004. At that time, 30

two reformist newspapers were forced to shut down, and Iranian journalists said a prosecutor warned them to censor their trial coverage. Foreign observers were barred from watching the second day of proceedings. Stephan says he did not want representation at the trial because it would give “legitimacy to a criminal regime,” and only accepted Ebadi’s offer to represent his family after numerous requests from the Canadian government. Stephan says he has repeatedly asked the Canadian government to take the case to the International Court of Justice, but that officials have done nothing. He also says Ahmadi’s trial was a sham. His lawsuit elaborates, “[T]he judge was belligerent with counsel and flippant in his reference to key events, counsel were denied access to key witnesses … and important documentary and physical evidence.” The accused was acquitted of “quasiintentional murder” on the grounds of “lack of proof,” and Iranian authorities again changed their story, saying Kazemi was killed by injuries sustained after fainting and hitting her head on the ground. In March 2005, a former staff physician in Iran’s Defence Ministry came forward to expose the cover-up. Shahram Azam fled Iran in August 2004, and with the help of Stephan, he made his way to Canada, where he was granted landed immigrant status. Azam said that he examined Kazemi in the hospital, and her injuries indicated torture. He revealed that she had a fractured skull, two broken fingers, missing fingernails, a crushed toe and a


IMPUNITY IN IRAN broken nose, among other injuries. Her body also showed evidence of savage rape and flogging. Despite the doctor’s revelations, an Iranian court first rejected an appeal to re-open the case in July 2005. Ahmadi’s acquittal was confirmed four months later by an appeal court, which re-opened the case. In November 2007, Iran’s Supreme Court ordered a new investigation, but neither Mortazavi nor Bakhshi has been called to account for Kazemi’s death, and neither has given evidence. “That’s most definitely a diversion,” Stephan says of the latest probe. “They closed it, they opened it, they closed it for all these years. Then they open it again when we launched the lawsuit here in Canada. What they want to say is, ‘Why would you have a lawsuit in Canada when we’re dealing with the situation?’ Don’t pay any attention to this.”

For more information about the Ziba Kazemi Foundation, please visit zibakazemi.org.

for allegedly acting on behalf of Western governments to fuel dissent. Mortazavi, known as “butcher of the press,” has ordered the closure of more than 100 newspapers, journals and websites deemed hostile to the regime. Another of his victims is Iranian-Canadian journalist Hossein Derakhshan, who has been imprisoned without charge since November 2008. Derakhshan is known for his work popularizing the use of blogs in Iran. Many organizations are working towards greater press freedom and human rights in Iran, including CJFE and the Ziba Kazemi Foundation, established by Stephan in 2004. The foundation’s mission is to promote respect for human rights by offering a community for individuals and organizations determined to hold the government of Iran responsible for its crimes against humanity. The foundation also offers a biennial photojournalism award in Kazemi’s memory. While efforts to challenge a regime that silences all critical voices may appear futile, Stephan is confident that change is possible. “It takes a lot of time and a lot of energy and lots of emotions,” he says. “I believe we will win this case and make strong contributions to human rights at the international level.”

The situation for journalists in Iran has only deteriorated since Kazemi’s death, with the country’s recent presidential election offering a disturbing example. Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari was arrested this past June 21 over allegations he was acting as a spy. CJFE worked with the Committee to Protect Journalists and Index on Censorship to organize a petition on Bahari’s behalf, signed by 100 prominent journalists and writers around the world. He was finally released on Oct. 17 and allowed to leave the country. Bahari, who was covering the disputed June 12 election for News- Raina Delisle is a freelance journalist week, is among many journalists arrested based in Vancouver.

31


IMPUNITY IN SRI LANKA

UNBOWED AND T

Terror, whether perpetrated by terrorists or his is an edited version of an article published in the Sunday Leader’s editorial the state, has become the order of the day. column on Jan. 11, 2009. The author, Sri Indeed, murder has become the primary Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge, tool whereby the state seeks to control the who co-founded the paper in 1994, was killed organs of liberty. Today it is the journalists, three days earlier by unidentified gunmen. His tomorrow it will be the judges. For neither group have the risks ever been higher or killers have not yet been brought to justice. the stakes lower. No other profession calls on its practitioners to lay down their lives for Why then do we do it? I often wonder that. their art save the armed forces—and, in After all, I too am a husband, and the Sri Lanka, journalism. In the course of father of three wonderful children. I too the last few years, the independent media have responsibilities and obligations that have increasingly come under attack. transcend my profession, be it the law or Electronic and print institutions have journalism. Is it worth the risk? Many been burned, bombed, sealed and coerced. people tell me it is not. Friends tell me to Countless journalists have been harassed, revert to the bar, and goodness knows it threatened and killed. It has been my offers a better and safer livelihood. honour to belong to all those categories, Others, including political leaders on both sides, have at various times sought and now especially the last. I have been in the business of journal- to induce me to take to politics, going so ism a good long time. Indeed, 2009 will be far as to offer me ministries of my choice. the Sunday Leader’s 15th year. Many things Diplomats, recognizing the risk journalhave changed in Sri Lanka during that time, ists face in Sri Lanka, have offered me and it does not need me to tell you that the safe passage and the right of residence in greater part of that change has been for the their countries. worse. We find ourselves in the midst of a Whatever else I may have been stuck civil war ruthlessly prosecuted by protago- for, I have not been stuck for choice. nists whose bloodlust knows no bounds. But there is a calling that is yet above 32


“When finally I am killed, it will be the government that kills me.”

UNAFRAID high office, fame, lucre and security. It is the call of conscience. The Sunday Leader has been a controversial newspaper because we say it like we see it: Whether it be a spade, a thief or a murderer, we call it by that name. We do not hide behind euphemism. We have exposed scandal after scandal, and never once in these 15 years has anyone proved us wrong or successfully prosecuted us. The free media serve as a mirror in which

the public can see itself sans mascara and styling gel. From us you learn the state of your nation, and especially its management by the people you elected to give your children a better future. Sometimes the image you see in that mirror is not a pleasant one. But while you may grumble in the privacy of your armchair, the journalists who hold the mirror up to you do so publicly and at great risk to themselves. That is our calling, and we do not shirk it. The Sunday Leader has never sought safety

by unquestioningly articulating the majority view (and let’s face it, that is the way to sell newspapers). On the

by LASANTHA WICKREMATUNGE

contrary, as our opinion pieces over the years amply demonstrate, we often voice ideas that many people find distasteful. For instance, we have consistently espoused the view that while separatist terrorism must be eradicated, it is more important to address the root causes of terrorism, and urge government to view

“Let there be no doubt that whatever sacrifices we journalists make, they are not made for our own glory or enrichment; they are made for you.” Sri Lanka’s ethnic strife in the context of history and not through the telescope of terrorism. We have also agitated against state terrorism in the so-called war against terror, and made no secret of our horror that Sri Lanka is the only country in the world to routinely bomb its own citizens. For these views we have been labelled traitors; and if this be treachery, we wear that label proudly. Many people suspect that the Sunday Leader has a political agenda; it does not. 33


IMPUNITY IN SRI LANKA If we appear more critical of the government than of the opposition, it is only because we believe that—excuse cricketing argot—there is no point in bowling to the fielding side. Neither should our distaste for the war be interpreted to mean that we support the Tamil Tigers. The LTTE is among the most ruthless and bloodthirsty organizations to have infested the planet. There is no gainsaying that it must be eradicated. But to do so by violating the rights of Tamil citizens, bombing and shooting mercilessly, is not only wrong but shames the Sinhalese, whose claim to be custodians of the dhamma is forever called into question by this savagery—much of it unknown to the public because of censorship. It is well known that I was on two occa-

sions brutally assaulted, while on another, my house was sprayed with machinegun fire. Despite the government’s sanctimonious assurances, there was never a serious police inquiry into the perpetrators of these attacks, and the attackers were never apprehended. In all these cases, I have reason to believe the attacks were inspired by the government. When finally I am killed, it will be the government that kills me. I have done nothing to prevent this outcome: no security, no precautions. I want my murderer to know that I am not a coward like he is, hiding behind human shields while condemning thousands of innocents to death. What am I among so many? It has long been written that my life would be taken, and by whom. All 34

“It has long been written that my life would be taken, and by whom. All that remained to be written was when.” that remained to be written was when. I hope my assassination will be seen not as a defeat of freedom but an inspiration for those who survive to step up their efforts. Indeed, I hope that it will help galvanize forces that will usher in a new era of human liberty in our beloved motherland. I also hope it will open the eyes of your president to the fact that however many are slaughtered in the name of patriotism, the human spirit will endure and flourish. If you remember nothing else, let it be this: The Leader is there for you, be you Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim, low-caste, homosexual, dissident or disabled. Its staff will fight on, unbowed and unafraid, with the courage to which you have become accustomed. Do not take that commitment for granted. Let there be no doubt that whatever sacrifices we journalists make, they are not made for our own glory or enrichment; they are made for you. Whether you deserve their sacrifice is another matter. As for me, God knows I tried.


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CeNSORSHIP, FReeDOM OF eXPRESSION and ACCeSS TO CANADIAN BOOKS and WRITING for more than 25 years. Join us this year in celeBrating our right to choose what we read.

FReeDOM TO READ

your 2010 kits and posters

online at WWW.FReeDOMTOREAD.ca or contact the Book and Periodical Council: 416.975.9366 puBLiciTy THeBPC.ca

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JANUARY Hassan Mayow Hassan, journalist Muhammad Imran, camera operator Saleem Tahir Awan, journalist Shafig Amrakhov, journalist Basil Ibrahim Faraj, journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge, editor Uma Singh, journalist Martín Ocampos Páez, radio director Orel Zambrano, editor Anastasia Baburova, journalist Badrodin Abbas, radio commentator Aamir Wakil, journalist Francis Nyaruri, journalist

SOMALIA PAKISTAN PAKISTAN RUSSIA PALESTINE SRI LANKA NEPAL PARAGUAY VENEZUELA RUSSIA PHILIPPINES PAKISTAN KENYA

FEBRUARY Said Tahlil Ahmed, media executive Ando Ratovonirina, journalist and camera operator Punniyamurthy Sathyamurthy, journalist Jean Paul Ibarra Ramírez, photojournalist Anak Agung Prabangsa, journalist Musa Khankhel, journalist Ernesto Rollin, radio host

SOMALIA MADAGASCAR SRI LANKA MEXICO INDONESIA PAKISTAN PHILIPPINES

MARCH Javed “Jojo” Yazamy, journalist Suhaib Adnan, camera operator Haidar Hashim Suhail, television journalist Omidreza Mirsayafi, blogger Aylin Duruoglu, journalist Raja Assad Hameed, journalist Rafael Munguía Ortiz, radio journalist 36

AFGHANISTAN IRAQ IRAQ IRAN INDIA PAKISTAN HONDURAS


APRIL Rolando Santiz, journalist

GUATEMALA

Wasi Ahmed, journalist

PAKISTAN

José Everardo Aguilar, radio journalist

COLOMBIA

MAY Carlos Ortega Samper, journalist

MEXICO

Abdirisak Mohamed Warsame, radio journalist

SOMALIA

Nur Muse Hussein, radio journalist

SOMALIA

Eliseo Barrón Hernández, journalist

MEXICO

Alaa Abdel-Wahab, sports journalist

IRAQ

JUNE Tiburcio “Jojo” Trajano Jr., crime journalist

PHILIPPINES

Marco Antonio Estrada, television journalist

GUATEMALA

Muktar Mohamed Hirabe, radio director

SOMALIA

Crispin Perez, radio journalist

PHILIPPINES

Antonio Castillo, radio journalist

PHILIPPINES

Jonathan Petalvero, radio journalist

PHILIPPINES

Vyacheslav Yaroshenko, newspaper editor

RUSSIA

JULY Gabriel Fino Noriega, radio journalist

HONDURAS

Mohamud Mohamed Yusuf, radio journalist and producer

SOMALIA

Martín Javier Miranda Avilés, journalist

MEXICO

Ernesto Montañez Valdivia, publisher

MEXICO

Juan Daniel Martínez Gil, journalist

MEXICO

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AUGUST Alireza Eftekhari, journalist

IRAN

Abdulmalik Akhmedilov, journalist and editor

RUSSIA

Siddique Bacha Khan, journalist

PAKISTAN

Bruno Koko Chirambiza, journalist

CONGO

Janullah Hashimzada, journalist

PAKISTAN

SEPTEMBER Christian Poveda, filmmaker

EL SALVADOR

Sultan Munadi, interpreter and journalist

AFGHANISTAN

Bayo Ohu, assistant news editor

NIGERIA

Diego Rojas Velázquez, journalist

COLOMBIA

Norberto Miranda Madrid, media outlet director

MEXICO

OCTOBER Orhan Hijran, photojournalist

IRAQ

NOVEMBER José Bladimir Antuna García, journalist

MEXICO

Olga Kotovskaya, television journalist

RUSSIA

Ian Subang, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Lea Dalmacio, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Gina De la Cruz, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Marites Cablitas, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Rosell Morales, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Henry Araneta, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Neneng Montaño, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Alejandro “Bong” Reblando, journalist

PHILIPPINES

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NOVEMBER (CONTINUED) Victor Nuñez, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Mark Gilbert “Mac-Mac” Arriola, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Hannibal Cachuela, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Ernesto “Bart” Maravilla, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Ronnie Perante, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Joel Parcon, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Bienvenido Legarte, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Rey Merisco, journalist

PHILIPPINES

John Caniban, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Arturo Betia, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Noel Decena, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Fernando Razon, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Jhoy Duhay, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Andy Teodoro, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Jimmy Cabilo, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Napoleon Salaysay, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Santos Gatchalian, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Lindo Lupogan, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Jolito Evardo, assistant cameraman and editor

PHILIPPINES

Reynaldo “Bebot” Momay, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Eugene Dohillo, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Rubello Bataluna, journalist

PHILIPPINES

Benjie Adolfo, journalist

PHILIPPINES

José Glaindo Robles, radio director

MEXICO

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THANK YOU We are deeply grateful to all the wonderful volunteers who have helped keep CJFE running over the past year. They have assisted us with mailings, listservs and J-Source: Freedom of Expression, and extended stints in the office, and at all of our events.Thank you also to the many volunteers who serve on CJFE committees and juries. Special thanks for the pro bono services of our lawyers and to Media Profile, which supports us with pro bono publicity work. CJFE salutes all of you!

CJFE VOLUNTEERS Maryam Aghvami Deidre Armstrong Sally Armstrong Marlene Benmergui Aaron Berhane Jameson Berkow Josh Bentley-Swan Andrew Bracht Glenn Brown Grant Buckler Rebecca Carnevale Cailin Clowes Samantha Craggs Mike Crawley Juan Pablo de Dovitis Raina Delisle Douglas Donegani Leigh Doyle Joanna Draghici Dan Eng Kisha Ferguson Susanne Gossage Julian Gray Mara Herscovitch Kokila Jacob Erin Kawalecki Paul Knox Grazyna Krupa 40

Nick Kyonka Dana Lacey Jaclyn Law Stacy Mahelal Dani Maisels Willa Marcus Melanie McCaig Susan McClelland Kylie Meyermann Megan Mittons Robert Morphy Umu Nabie Mike Odongkara Roxana Olivera Diana Pereira Marek Piekarzewski Abigail Plener Giselle Portenier Brian MacLeod Rogers Jason Sahlani Joe Schlesinger Violah Shamu Michelle Singerman Amy Smart Cara Smusiak Lesley Sparks Fiona Wagner

IPFA 2009 DINNER COMMITTEE LORI ABITTAN, President & CEO, Multimedia Nova Corporation NORM BOLEN, Director, mDialog PATRICK GOSSAGE, Chairman, Media Profile JOHN A. HONDERICH, Chair, Torstar Corp. ROBERT HURST, President, CTV News MADELINE ZINIAK, National Vice President, Rogers OMNI Television

IPFA 2009 COMMITTEE Carol Off (Chair) Arnold Amber Heather Armstrong Dawn Becker Jet Belgraver Theresa Burke Annie Game Susanne Gossage Dara McLeod Anita Mielewczyk Julie Payne Susan Reisler Max Rothschild Mary Deanne Shears Lesley Sparks


CJFE BOARD

CJFE/IFEX Staff

ARNOLD AMBER, PRESIDENT Director, CWA/SCA Canada

AnnIe Game Executive Director

Mori Abdolalian CJFE Journalists in Exile

Julie Payne CJFE Manager

Alison Armstrong Journalist/Filmmaker

Max Rothschild CJFE Events Coordinator

Bob Carty CBC Radio “The Sunday Edition”

Mark King CJFE/IFEX Finance & Administrative Coordinator

Havoc Franklin CBC Radio Peter Jacobsen Bersenas Jacobsen Chouest Thomson Blackburn LLP

Karen Knopf CJFE/IFEX Finance & Accounting Consultant Rachel Kay IFEX Manager

Alice Klein NOW Magazine

Michaël Elbaz IFEX Senior Action Alerts Coordinator

Donald Livingstone Promeus Inc.

Natasha Grzincic IFEX Online Editor

Anita Mielewczyk Journalist/Law Student

Maureen James IFEX Fundraising Coordinator

John Norris Criminal Lawyer

Zaynah Khanbhai IFEX Development/Outreach Coordinator

Mary Deanne Shears Journalist

Khadija Mahi IFEX Action Alerts Coordinator

Kelly Toughill King’s College School of Journalism Anna Maria Tremonti CBC Radio “The Current” Philip Tunley Stockwoods LLP

Katie Meyer IFEX Campaigns/Outreach Coordinator Kristina Stockwood IFEX Development/Outreach Coordinator Erin Woycik IFEX Action Alerts Coordinator Elysse Zarek IFEX Action Alerts Coordinator 41


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CJFE Press Freedom Review 2009/10  
CJFE Press Freedom Review 2009/10  

This annual publication by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression pays tribute to journalists who report the truth in the face of great da...

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