Thursday, October 1, 2015
Dear CJFE members and supporters,
What a month! First, tickets for our 18th annual CJFE Gala: A Night to Honour Courageous Reporting are now on sale. Join us on Wednesday, December 2 as we honour brave individuals from Canada and abroad who have risked their jobs, their freedom or even their lives to bring us the truth.
Buy Your Ticket Today!
And now—on to two major victories right here in Canada this month:
- • #FreeAJstaff: Al Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed were finally pardoned and released from an Egyptian prison! A huge thank you to everyone who advocated on their behalf—without your help, we could never have done it!
- • Police-Journalist Cooperation: CJFE moderated a meeting between representatives of Montreal's independent media and the Montreal police (SPVM). This important meeting, discussing the assaults on and arbitrary detention of journalists during protests, opened conciliatory channels and saw a pledge of cooperation to end future conflicts.
We need your help! Canada’s FOI system must be reformed.
CJFE and a coalition of organizations are campaigning to make Access to Information an election issue on October 19. Protect your right to know: SIGN AN EMAIL to your MP today!
Free Expression In Canada
- • CJFE’s New Fellowship Winner: CJFE has granted the first Bob Carty Free Expression Fellowship to Erin Millar of Discourse Media, a Vancouver-based journalism organization that will work to break down barriers between reporters and Aboriginal communities.
- • Foreign Surveillance of Canadian Data: If you’re storing data in the cloud, it loses Canadian legal and constitutional protections. Your personal data could be subject to mass surveillance by security agencies around the world.
- • Right to Know Day: On September 28, CJFE celebrated International Right to Know Day by teaming with the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario on Twitter to chat about the power of Open Data and Access to Information.
- • Protections for Freelance Journalists: An increasing lack of legal protections and financial resources is putting freelance journalists’ ability to do their jobs at risk, reports Tim Alamenciak (Digital Media Producer, TVO).
- • Q&A: Luiz Hidalgo Nunes Jr.: The 2015-16 Scotiabank/CJFE Journalism Fellow has arrived in Toronto for a year of study at Massey College! We caught up with him to learn more about his work as a journalist, press freedom in Brazil, and his hopes for the Fellowship.
Free Expression Around the World
- • Azerbaijan: A coalition of organizations condemned the sentencing of journalist Khadija Ismayilova to a staggering 7.5 years in prison.
- • Hungary: Human rights organizations and journalists covering the refugee camps in Hungary have been beaten by police, denied access to the camps, and had their footage destroyed.
- • Nepal: Violence against media workers is on the rise during the current political unrest in Nepal, where they are victims of attacks from both government security officials and anti-government protesters.
- • Philippines: Three journalists were murdered in less than two weeks, indicating an increasing trend of attacks and murders on media workers in the country.
- • Syria: A victory for free expression—all charges were dropped against journalist and human rights defender Mazen Darwish, after years of campaigning by CJFE and human rights organizations around the world.
- • Turkey: Two British journalists and a local fixer for VICE were detained in Turkey. While foreign journalists Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury were released, journalist Mohammed Rasool remains behind bars.
- • United Nations: The Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development, signed by CJFE, was incorporated into the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This affirms the important role access to information has in creating a better world.
Thank you for your continued support of CJFE. This month has brought a number of victories for free expression around the world and even more reasons to continue this important fight—we could not do it without you!
Until next time,
CJFE Communications and Programs Assistant