Sunday, 3 April 2005

I see in today's Guardian...

I see in today's Guardian (2 March 2005) a profile of the Bangladeshi reporter Sumi Khan, in this country to receive the Index/Guardian/Hugo Young award for fearless journalism. Recently at Lincoln University where I teach, my students "adopted" three reporters under threat around the globe - and Sumi Khan was one of them. The others were Paul Kamara jailed for writing an article criticising the president of Sierra Leone and Hafnaoui Ghoul, imprisoned in Algeria since May 2004 for criticising local officials. The adoptions followed a well-attended public meeting at the university when Umit Ozturk, chair of Amnesty International's Journalists Network, and Trevor Mostyn, of the Writers in Prison Committee of English PEN, highlighted some of the dangers facing journalists who dared to expose corruption.

One of the units I teach is International Human Rights for Journalists. It includes theory, history, contemporary political controversies, human rights legislation, women's and workers' rights, US/UK military strategies and the promotion of "humanitarian" warfare - as well as basic journalistic issues such as privacy, confidentiality, censorship and freedom of expression. .

But it's also important to translate that study into positive action. Hence the letter writing campaign to support jailed journalists.

No comments: