80 assaults on journalists documented during May

June 15, 2016

At least 80 cases of attacks on journalists were documented in May as part of a new monthly report by Journalists Against Torture Observatory (JATO). Thirty cases were reported during the first week; 11 cases in the second week; 9 in the third; and 30 in the last week of May.

JATO adopted different ways to monitor violations against journalists. Among the cases documented for the month of May, 67 cases of violations have full documentation, while 13 violations were recorded but without full documentation. The observatory uses different means of documenting including: testimonies given to the observatory; published testimonies; official documents; and quoting official sources.

JATO highlighted that the number was not a comprehensive count of all assaults, only taking into account cases where verification was possible.

Fourteen varieties of violations against journalists were recorded during May. Thirty cases were recorded as “banned from press coverage” where journalists said they were denied coverage or their cameras were temporarily confiscated and content erased. There were 15 cases of physical assault and 14 cases of verbal insult in total during the month, with five arrests with charges pressed. There were three acquittals with a large fine.

According to the report, assaults on journalists committed by authorities were higher than those committed by civilians, with 58 assaults occurring by authorities and 21 by civilians. Out of the 58, the Ministry of Interior was responsible for 28 assaults.



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