Archive for December 20th, 2012

20/12/2012

Record Number of Journalists in Prisons Around the World

A record number of journalists are being detained in prisons around the world, according to a report by the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).  In total, CPJ found 232 media professionals imprisoned worldwide, an increase of 53 compared to the same day in 2011 and the highest since the group began its survey in 1990.  The number also represents an increase of 47 compared to the previous record of 185 set in 1996.

Source: CPJ

Source: CPJ

The group explained that the high number of incarcerated media workers is predominantly down to the widespread use of charges related to terrorism and anti-state laws.

Large numbers of journalists imprisoned in Turkey, Iran and China have contributed towards the international record, they noted.

CPJ executive director, Joel Simon said: “We are living in an age when anti-state charges and ‘terrorist’ labels have become the preferred means that governments use to intimidate, detain, and imprison journalists.”

“Criminalising probing coverage of inconvenient topics violates not only international law, but impedes the right of people around the world to gather, disseminate, and receive independent information,” he added.

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20/12/2012

What Do Cooking Pots and Missiles Have in Common?

Human Wrongs Watch

 Dr Sibylle Bauer*, SIPRI  What do cooking pots and missiles have in common? Or toothpaste and chemical weapons? In both cases, a so-called dual-use item: the same machine tool can be used in the production of both pots and certain missile parts, while fluoride compounds, industrial chemicals that are needed to manufacture the deadly nerve agent sarin are also used in common bathroom products.

**Credit: Jebulon | Wikimedia Commons

**Credit: Jebulon | Wikimedia Commons

Cooking pots and toothpaste are harmless consumer products, but we want to strictly limit who can produce missiles and prevent the production of chemical weapons altogether.

No wonder dual-use goods—those with both civilian and military applications—pose so many dilemmas for policymakers, export licensing authorities and frontline customs officers.

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