Muslim Expert Banned From MSNBC for Saying Bobby Jindal ‘Might Be Trying to Scrub Some of the Brown Off’

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Governor "Might Be Trying to Scrub Some of the Brown Off"

MSNBC has banned from its airwaves a Muslim human rights lawyer and commentator who said Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, an Indian American, "might be trying to scrub some of the brown off his skin" by claiming that there are "no-go zones" for non-Muslims in Europe.


The Chicago-born commentator, Arsalan Iftikhar, calls himself "The Muslim Guy" and has appeared frequently as a talking head advocating for Muslims, often when they are under attack. His website says he "has regularly appeared in virtually every major media outlet in the world" and he is listed by the Asian American Journalists Association as a resource for journalists seeking information about Muslims.

Jindal is a conservative Republican with presidential ambitions. The son of Hindu parents, he converted to Christianity as a teenager. Jindal "continued to claim Muslim 'no-go zones' exist in Europe Monday, even as British political leaders and American media outlets issued statements repudiating such statements," Julia O'Donoghue of and the Times-Picayune reported on Tuesday.


" 'I think your viewers know absolutely there are places where the police are less likely to go. They absolutely know there are neighborhoods where they wouldn't feel comfortable,' Jindal told CNN in London Monday. . . ."

O'Donoghue also wrote, "British Prime Minister David Cameron has insisted that 'no-go zones' don't exist in the United Kingdom, as Jindal has asserted.


" 'When I heard this, I frankly choked on my porridge and I thought it must be April Fools Day,' said Cameron, about the existence of 'no-go zones' in England.

"On Saturday, Fox News issued a slew of apologies and corrections about the cable network's reporting on 'no-go zones,' which was initially very similar to claims made by Jindal in his London speech. . . ."


Referring to Iftikhar, Rachel Racusen, an MSNBC spokeswoman, messaged Journal-isms Wednesday by email, “We found this guest's comments offensive and unacceptable, and we don't plan on inviting him back."

She declined to say how many others have been similarly barred from the network.

But in 2013, MSBNC forced Martin Bashir to resign from afternoon show after he suggested someone should defecate and urinate in Sarah Palin's mouth. Later in the year, the network suspended, then pulled Alec Baldwin's show after an alleged off-air insult to gays was caught on tape. Detractors of weekend host Melissa Harris-Perry pounced when she joked last January about Mitt Romney welcoming into his family an adopted black grandson, Kieran Romney, to the family. 


Iftikhar told Journal-isms that he would have no further comment beyond what he told CNN: "I will apologize to Bobby Jindal when he apologizes to seven million American Muslims for advancing the debunked 'Muslim no-go zones' myth.”

If Jindal was playing politics, he succeeded, Chris Cillizza wrote Tuesday for the Washington Post.


"Here's what Jindal is up to: He is struggling for political oxygen in a Republican field that includes (or might include) the likes of Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush. So, how do you solve that problem? Throw red meat to the Republican base while simultaneously trolling the left," Cillizza wrote in his "The Fix" column.

"It worked.

"Conservatives leaped to Jindal's defense. . . ."

But the governor's hometown paper was less impressed.

In an editorial headlined, "Bobby Jindal isn't speaking for Louisiana," the Times-Picayune wrote Wednesday, "While our state has abundant natural resources and unparalleled food and music, it has many struggles. That is evident in the painful budget discussions lawmakers are having in Baton Rouge to prepare for their spring session.


"With President Obama delivering the state of the union address Tuesday night, Politico came out with its second assessment of the quality of life in every state. The rankings included data from the Census Bureau, the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on income, health and crime.

"Louisiana came in 49th, one spot ahead of Mississippi.

"Gov. Jindal's trip to Europe was billed in part as an economic development mission. And his focus on growing jobs has been an important component of his two terms in office.


"Perhaps this trip will yield some future jobs for our state. That would be some comfort for taxpayers who paid part of the travel costs.

"But Gov. Jindal's talk in London about 'no-go zones' doesn't seem like a smart strategy for wooing corporations to invest in Louisiana. Then again, that wasn't the point, was it?' "


Paul Cheung, Asian American Journalists Association: Quick guide to covering Islam and Muslims

Jarvis DeBerry, | the Times-Picayune: Louisiana's Bobby Jindal isn't ready for the country or the world


Aldo Guerrero, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting: The Only 'No-Go Zones' Are Found in Fox News' Fantasyland

Brendan James, Talking Points Memo: French Comedians Parody Terrified Fox Reporters In Paris 'No-Go Zones' (VIDEO)


Phillip Morris, Plain Dealer, Cleveland: Killing in the name of God and religion must stop

Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: How speech rights went wrong in France

Brian Stelter and Tom Kludt, CNN: MSNBC shuns guest who made racially charged remark about Jindal


Erik Wemple, Washington Post: Fox News calls Paris mayor's lawsuit threat 'misplaced' 

Erik Wemple, Washington Post: CNN again hammers Fox News over 'no-go zones,' with a touch of hypocrisy


Erik Wemple, Washington Post: Fox News's Bill O’Reilly says he 'didn't have anything to do' with no-go zone thing. Oh yeah?

Multimedia State of Union Presentation Declared a Hit

"Change has come to the State of the Union address," David Knowles wrote Tuesday for Bloomberg.


"Using a slick, multimedia presentation at that was geared to social-media sharing, President Barack Obama drastically revamped the presentation of the State of the Union address Tuesday night."

He added, " 'Don't just watch the speech — participate,' text on the site encouraged users. Share and interact with our continuously flowing river of #SOTU content below.'


"To be sure, engagement with the content meant tacit approval of the themes in Obama's speech, but the White House also took steps to [make] the State of the Union more accessible for those who do not share his political ideology by releasing the entire speech to the general public on . . ."

Knowles also wrote that despite some glitches, "it was clear after watching this approach to spreading the Democratic president's message, and the shares on Twitter and Facebook were evident as the speech went on, that all future presidents, regardless of party, will not be able to go back to the old way of doing the State of the Union."


Brendan Bordelon, National Review: White House Drops 'News' from Fox News Place Cards at State of the Union Lunch

Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: Obama and the State of the Union are strong

Editorial, Daily News, New York: Obama's too-small State of the Union

Charles D. Ellison, The Root: 5 Takeaways From the President's Muscle-Flexing SOTU


Josh Feldman, Mediaite: NBC's Engel Rips SOTU: The World Obama 'Wishes We Were All Living In' Doesn't Exist

Suzanne Gamboa, NBC News Latino: Behind State Of The Union, A Fight for The Latino Vote


Jens Manuel Krogstad and Richard Fry, Pew Research Center: Hispanics to benefit from Obama's community college plan

Howard Kurtz, Fox News: Media debate Obama's cry against cynical politics — and coverage


Don Lemon, Should President Obama Stop Trying to Play Robin Hood?

David A. Love, Pres. Obama's SOTU address reminds us why he won ‘both’ times


Pew Research Center: Obama in a Word: 'Good,' 'Incompetent'

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Two very different States of the Union

Michael Roston and Derek Willis, "The Upshot," New York Times: The State of Our Union, Tweeted


David Uberti, Columbia Journalism Review: Should journalists care about the State of the Union address?

Reporter Held Hostage Went to Syria to Help a Friend

"It is an unlikely friendship that ties the fates of war correspondent Kenji Goto and troubled loner Haruna Yukawa, the two Japanese hostages for which Islamic State militants demanded a $200 million ransom this week," Antoni Slodkowski reported Wednesday for Reuters.


"Yukawa was captured in August outside Aleppo. Goto, who had returned to Syria in late October to try to help his friend, had been missing since then.

"For Yukawa, who dreamed of becoming a military contractor, traveling to Syria had been part of an effort to turn his life around after going bankrupt, losing his wife to cancer and attempting suicide, according to associates and his own accounts.


"A unit at Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs had been seeking information on him since August, people involved in that effort said. Goto's disappearance had not been reported until Tuesday's video apparently showing him and Yukawa kneeling in orange t-shirts next to a masked Islamic State militant wielding a knife. . . ."

Roy Greenslade added Tuesday for Britain's Guardian newspaper, "Both hostages are believed to be held in Raqqa, where all of the western reporters and aid workers captured so far have been taken. The jihadist group is thought to be holding two more hostages, whose identities have not been announced."


Debra Kamin, Variety: The Islamic State Plans TV Channel, According to Reports

Reuters: Analyst says video of Japanese hostages is manipulated (video)

Meg Wagner and Corky Siemaszko, Daily News, New York: Bizarre portraits of ISIS-held Japanese hostages emerge as mystery surrounds why the duo returned to Syria


Radio One Cancels Radio Portion of Roland Martin Show

Just days after TV One announced that "News One Now With Roland Martin" was "the number one cable news show in its timeslot among all African American viewers," Radio One cancelled the show's radio and Internet components.


However, Martin's own company quickly signed a deal with Empowerment Radio Network to begin "The Roland Martin Show" daily from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern in 20 markets. That show began on Monday, an Empowerment spokeswoman said.

"News One Now" was designed as a multiplatform show that simulcast on television, an innovative experiment when it debuted in October 2013.


"News One Now with Roland Martin was cancelled due to performance ratings," Yashima White AziLove, vice president for corporate communications of Radio One, Inc., messaged Journal-isms on Wednesday.

"The syndicated show will not be replaced by Reach Media, however local programming will be determined at the discretion of the affiliate and/or Radio One market."


[Martin tweeted on Thursday, "Show was not cancelled for performance. It was cancelled for budgetary reasons. I was told direct."]

The television show continues successfully. TVOne announced on Jan. 12, "News One Now, the first morning news program in history to focus on news and analysis of politics, entertainment, sports, and culture from an explicitly African American perspective, finished 2014 as the number one cable news show in its timeslot among all African American viewers, and in the key demos of P25-54 and W25-54. Including broadcast television, News One Now's performance among Black viewers in the aforementioned demos was second to only NBC's Today.. . ."


"News One Now" aired Monday through Friday from 7 to 10 a.m. ET on Radio One network stations in select U.S. markets and was simulcast on TV One from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The show ended Friday on radio and the Internet.

That same day, Empowerment Media announced the deal with Martin. "Always relevant, insightful and provocative, Award-winning journalist and host of News One Now Roland Martin is announcing a new partnership between his media company Nu Vision Media and Empowerment Radio Network to launch a new syndicated daily radio show," the announcement said. "Covering pop-culture, entertainment, breaking news and political topics of the day, 'The Roland Martin Show' will premiere on Monday, January 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET in 20 markets across the nation. . . ."


Referring to David Anderson, founder of Empowerment Radio Network, Martin said in the Empowerment announcement, "Radio is a tremendously powerful medium. It allows me to get up close and personal with the audience, and to hear what is happening on the ground around the country. I am excited to own my show, and to grow it in partnership with David. It's time to #bringthefunk!"

Martin is host and managing editor of the television version of "News One Now With Roland Martin." He is also senior analyst for the "Tom Joyner Morning Show," an author, speaker and CEO of Nu Vision Media. On Wednesday, Martin appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." While he continues to write periodically for online publications, he no longer writes a syndicated column for Creators Syndicate, a syndicate spokesman said. Martin said Thursday he chose instead to write for the Daily Beast. [Updated Jan. 22.]


Sinclair Boosts Armstrong Williams, Ben Carson

The politically conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group, largest owner of TV stations in the nation, is debuting a half-hour weekly news discussion show featuring commentator Armstrong Williams and providing a television home for retired pediatric surgeon Ben Carson, a possible GOP presidential candidate.


"The Right Side Forum With Armstrong Williams" is set to originate Saturday from NewsChannel 8 in Washington, a recently acquired Sinclair cable property, and is to air on other Sinclair stations. Sinclair operates 162 stations.

"The weekly Saturday show offers a summary of the week's news after the closing bell," according to a Sinclair description. "The show is specifically targeted to travelling executives/ thought leaders, churchgoers (who may miss out on the Sunday morning shows) and just ordinary people who may not have had an opportunity to tune into the news during the week and want to get caught up on current events


"The Right Side Forum delivers a relaxed, Saturday morning format featuring celebrated media personality and entrepreneur Armstrong Williams as host, and a wide range of local, national and international guests.

"It [premieres] on News Channel [8] in Washington, D.C., which is arguably the most important news market in the world, home to some of the top national and international voices that drive global perspective. The unique feature of the show is that it will address some of the underlying concerns and perspectives surrounding the week's events with a little more perspective than weekly news, and less spoilage than the Sunday shows. The viewer thus gets the benefit of timely news and perspective before it has been completely trampled. . . ."


Williams is Carson's business manager and has developed a partnership with Sinclair, which has helped him obtain ownership of television stations.

Meanwhile, Paul Farhi reported Wednesday for the Washington Post that although Fox News cut ties with Carson because of his potential candidacy, "On Monday, Carson was a panelist on a televised 'town hall' meeting about race relations.


"The one-hour discussion program was produced by Arlington, Va.-based WJLA, the largest of Sinclair's chain of TV stations, and aired on NewsChannel 8, the regional cable news channel. But the program's reach was much wider than just the Washington area: Sinclair streamed or broadcast the program on stations it owns in 78 markets, giving Carson a national presence.

"Carson appeared on another Sinclair-produced town hall in October, this one about the national response to the Ebola outbreak. The program was produced by WJLA and also carried across the country on Sinclair stations.


"The two appearances bookended Carson's splashiest TV appearance to date — an hourlong autobiographical promotional film that aired in early November and touched off speculation that Carson would soon declare his candidacy. The program, called 'Ben Carson: A Breath of Fresh Air, A New Prescription for America,' was also carried by Sinclair’s stations. WJLA even ran a commercial announcing Carson’s infomercial, in effect airing an ad promoting a program-length ad.

"Scott Livingston, Sinclair's vice president of news, said that Carson was invited to be on the two panels because he 'offers a unique, fresh perspective on the issues. He has always been on panels with multiple viewpoints. Our goal is to offer a wide range of views.' . . ."


Paul Farhi, Washington Post: Under new ownership, WJLA-TV takes a slight turn to the right (Sept. 16)

Defiant Newspaper Continues to Use "Illegals" Term

"A few decades ago, it wasn't unusual for American newspapers to refer to people living in the United States without legal permission as 'illegal aliens,' or even 'illegals,' " Amanda Covarrubias reported Monday for the Los Angeles Times.


"Those terms were criticized as offensive and eventually gave way to 'illegal immigrant,' a label that itself was jettisoned by most outlets two years ago, when the Associated Press banned the term from its stylebook in favor of language that more precisely describes a person's immigration status.

"That approach — adopted by The Times in 2013 — seemed to have taken root and defused the criticism in most places. But the local newspaper's decision to call such immigrants 'illegals' has turned idyllic Santa Barbara into an unlikely flashpoint in the nation's immigration battles.


"The News-Press ran the headline 'Illegals Line Up for Driver's Licenses' on Jan. 3, prompting protests and a message painted in red on the wall of the newspaper's offices. The paper used the term again last Friday in another front page story: 'Driving Legal Opens Door to Illegals' Past.'

"News-Press officials have stuck by their choice of language, saying that describing someone living in the country illegally as an 'illegal' is accurate, and compared the vandalism on their offices to the deadly attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris.


" 'We will not give in to the thugs who are attempting to use political correctness as a tool of censorship and a weapon to shut down this newspaper,' News-Press co-publisher Arthur von Wiesenberger wrote on the website of the Minuteman Project, which opposes illegal immigration. . . ."

Rubén Rosario, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.: Down on Main Street, they're still building America


What About the Latinos Who Deserved Oscar Nominations?

"Say what you will, but had the academy — whose members are 93 percent white, even though the president of the organization is black — been practicing even a mild form of affirmative action, it could have avoided the public relations ruckus at hand," Ruben Navarrette Jr. wrote Wednesday for the Washington Post Writers group, referring to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


"This year's roster of nominees in acting categories is all white. Four categories — Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress — and there's not a single person of color in the bunch. Is this 2015, or 1935?

"By the way, 'person of color' is typically a polite euphemism for African-American. As far as people like the Rev. Al Sharpton are concerned, the problem with this year's crop of nominees is not that it lacks Hispanics, Asians, Arabs or Native Americans. The only problem is that there are no African-Americans.


"The group formerly known as America's largest minority is accustomed to seeing itself represented among acting nominees, and even taking home a statue or two at the end of the night.

"Well, as a community whose influence can be seen everywhere except Hollywood, Hispanics have a message for African-Americans who feel shut out: We feel your pain. Or rather, you feel ours.


"There have been many African-American nominees in acting categories over the years, and more than a dozen actors and actresses — including Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Morgan Freeman, Forest Whitaker, Jamie Foxx, and Whoopi Goldberg — have emerged as winners.

"By contrast, sightings of Hispanic actors and actresses at the Oscars are much rarer. Jose Ferrer won for best actor in 1950. For best supporting actor, the winners include Anthony Quinn in 1952 and 1956, Benicio del Toro in 2000 and Javier Bardem in 2007. For best supporting actress, the winners include Rita Moreno in 1961, Mercedes Ruehl in 1991, and Penelope Cruz in 2008.


"In the nearly 100-year-history of the Academy Awards, only a tiny handful of Latinos have snagged Oscars. That's pathetic. . . ."

Meanwhile, Callie Crossley, host of the "Under the Radar" show on WGBH-FM in Boston, weighed in on the controversy around "Selma," the civil rights movie nominated for the best picture Oscar. "It was my great honor to chronicle the events and the people for the documentary series, 'Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years 1954-1965,' " Crossley said Monday in a commentary for WGBH.


" 'Eyes on the Prize' captured Selma’s powerful story in precise historical detail, something the movie Selma does not do. But, if the Oscar-nominated film can draw people into the history and raise awareness of what it took for African-Americans to get a guaranteed right to vote, then that's a good thing. And maybe the next time someone proclaims, 'This is our Selma!; what will come to mind are the ordinary people who survived tear gas, Billy clubs, and murder, and would not be deterred from marching to justice."

David Bauder, Lynn Elber, Frazier Moore, Associated Press: Network TV is getting blacker but still has work to do


Brittney Cooper, Salon: Maureen Dowd's clueless white gaze: What’s really behind the "Selma" backlash

Bill Cromwell, Finally, broadcast TV embraces black

Lynn Elber, Associated Press: Executives made concerted effort to make Fox's 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' diverse


Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report: Selma: Black History According to Oprah

Robert Jones, Jr., Shadow and Act: An Open Letter to My Sister, Ava DuVernay

Latino Rebels: #YoSoyRosie: Latina Leaders Demand ABC Apologize for 'Derogatory Remarks' About Rosie Perez


Bill Moyers, Bill Moyers on LBJ and 'Selma' (Jan. 15)

R. Thomas Umstead, Multichannel News: Oscar De La Hoya To Launch Cable Channel

Short Takes

"Sometimes people ask about the 'ground rules' when they're being interviewed or photographed by AP," Tom Kent, deputy managing editor and standards editor for the Associated Press, wrote Tuesday. "Previously in this blog, we've described what you should expect when working with an AP reporter, photographer or videographer. Here's that advice again, slightly expanded in light of some questions we've been asked . . ."


Despite commentators' recommendations that Ferguson, Mo., residents become more civically engaged, Alan Scher Zagier reported Wednesday for the Associated Press that "Ferguson's first municipal election since a fatal police shooting sparked months of protests and exposed the city's deep racial divide drew relatively little interest from prospective candidates as Tuesday's filing deadline passed. Three of the St. Louis suburb's six City Council seats are up for election on April 7 and none of the three incumbents decided to seek re-election. Three of the eight residents who did declare as candidates waited until hours before Tuesday's late afternoon filing deadline. . . ."

After a year and a half as Al Jazeera America's senior executive producer for sports programming, veteran sports journalist Neal Scarbrough announced Tuesday that "I'm taking my talents to Boston, where I have been named the new Senior Director for Network and Technical Operations at the New England Sports Network (NESN) . . .. I will oversee NESN's broadcast Operations — studio and remote production, master control, media management and an awesome staff — at a great company."


"Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder did something that absolutely floored those of us who have been dismayed by the Obama Justice Department's less than impressive record on civil liberties," Tony Norman wrote Tuesday for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  Norman also wrote, "With a flick of a pen, Mr. Holder issued an order ending the federal practice of 'adoptions' — a partnership with state and local law enforcement agencies that made it possible to seize and hold onto cash, cars and other valuable assets regardless of whether the owner is charged and convicted of a crime. . . ." Leonard Pitts Jr., in his syndicated Miami Herald column, also approved.

"An Evening With Gwen Ifill" premieres on PBS station WETA-TV in Washington on Friday at 9:30 p.m. EST, the HistoryMakers, which staged the event, announced. "Taped in the historic Coolidge Auditorium of the Library of Congress' Thomas Jefferson Building, and hosted by Gwen's friend and fellow journalist Michele Norris, An Evening With Gwen Ifill turns the tables on The HistoryMakers long-time host, giving an insider's perspective into Ifill's childhood and her development as a print and television correspondent. . . ." Check local PBS stations for air times.


A memorial for Al Martinez, the Los Angeles columnist who died Jan. 12 at 85, is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 8, from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., at Bergamot Station Arts Center, 2525 Michigan Ave. in Santa Monica, Calif., in the Writers Boot Camp building, Kevin Roderick reported Tuesday for LAObserved.

"Kris Gutierrez is circling back to North Texas to become co-anchor of NBC5's 5 p.m. weekday newscasts," Ed Bark wrote Wednesday on his Dallas/Fort Worth television blog. Bark added, "Gutierrez had been a Dallas-based national correspondent for Fox News before leaving in early 2012 to co-anchor the early morning newscasts on Chicago’s WBBM-TV. . . ."


"Nesita Kwan, the longtime Healthwatch reporter for Chicago's WMAQ, has announced her departure from the NBC-owned station," Aneya Fernando reported Tuesday for TVSpy. "Kwan, whose last day was last Wednesday, started at the station as a weekend news anchor back in 1994. . . ."

"Martin Luther King, Jr. is the face of the civil rights movement, but the architect who tore down the framework of legalized discrimination, Thurgood Marshall, is often overlooked except, perhaps, during Black History Month despite his impact on American history," Tracie Powell wrote Wednesday on "That’s why filmmaker Mick Caouette made 'Mr. Civil Rights,' a documentary about Marshall's early life . . .   'Mr. Civil Rights' was completed more than a year ago, but unfortunately, many public broadcasting stations have yet to air it. Of the more than 351 public television stations that receive support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, 'Mr. Civil Rights' is airing on less than half of them. . . ."


Madame Tussauds in the nation's capital plans to unveil a wax figure of Frederick Douglass, abolitionist and publisher of the North Star, in a ceremony at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, 1411 W St. SE, on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. The figure is to be housed in the D.C. wax museum the next day, spokeswoman Samantha Friedman told Journal-isms on Wednesday. Tussauds makes all its wax figures in London. The Douglass figure is based on an 1879 portrait.

Human Rights Watch Wednesday released "Stop Reporting or We'll Kill Your Family: Threats to Media Freedom in Afghanistan," a 48-page document that "focuses not only on the rising number of attacks and threats against journalists in the conflict-ridden nation, but also on the Afghan government's failure to investigate and prosecute those responsible," Germany's Deutsche Welle reported.


"After more than a century in the hands of the Mantilla family, one of Ecuador's oldest and most traditional newspapers — El Comercio — has been sold to Latin American media mogul Remigio Ángel González, a Mexican who launched his TV empire in Guatemala and is known for avoiding editorial conflict with governments," Eva Hershaw reported Tuesday for the Journalism in the Americas blog of the Knight Center for Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. "The sale marks a turning point for Ecuador, where El Comercio was considered one of the last bastions of opposition in a media landscape that increasingly favors President Rafael Correa's administration. . . ."

Writing about Niger, Reporters Without Borders said Wednesday it "deplores the fact that privately-owned media were attacked by police during demonstrations in Niamey on 17 and 18 January although President Mahamadou Issoufou has assured the international community he is committed to media freedom. During an anti-Charlie Hebdo demonstration on 17 January and during an opposition march the next day, the police stormed the headquarters of four news organizations and physically attacked at least eight journalists . . ."


In Lima, Peru, Greenpeace has urged prosecutors to drop legal proceedings against two journalists who covered a Dec. 8 a protest for renewable energy, Associated Press photographer Rodrigo Abd and Reuters video journalist Herbert Villarraga, Frank Bajak reported Tuesday for the Associated Press. The Foreign Press Association of Peru, the Institute for Press and Society of Peru and the Inter-American Press Association have also backed the journalists.

The Uganda Journalists Union said Tuesday that it "condemns in the strongest terms possible the clobbering, flogging and torture of Wavah Broadcasting Services (WBS) Television Journalist by the Police. WBS Television cameraman Andrew Lwanga was filming the arrest of youth activists when Old Kampala Police DPC, Joram Mwesigye, ordered [him] arrested and instructed his men to clobber and flog him on the road side. . . ."


The International Federation of Journalists said Tuesday that it joined the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines "in expressing our deepest sympathies over the tragic death of a senior journalist [Alberto 'Pastor' Martinez, 57], paralysed in 2005 following a failed assassination attempt. The IFJ and the NUJP deplore the slow-pace of the court case against the journalists' attackers, which has caused a decade of heartache and now his sad passing without justice. . . ."

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