India: Journalist Jagendra Singh Set on Fire and Burned to Death After Facebook Post Making Allegations Against Local Politician

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Lizzie Dearden reports: A journalist has reportedly been burned alive in India after publishing allegations of corruption and land grabs against a local politician.

Ram Murti Verma, a cabinet minister on Uttar Pradesh’s legislative assembly, has been arrested alongside five others in connection with the death of Jagendra Singh, the Press Trust of India reported.

Mr Singh died of his injuries in hospital in the city of Lucknow yesterday after he was doused with petrol and set on fire. Jagendra Singh died on Monday after suffering severe burns

Police in the town of Shahjehanpur told IBN Live that Mr Singh set himself alight.

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Jagendra Singh published allegations about a local politician on Facebook

“There was a case against Jagendra Singh. We tried to arrest him but he committed suicide,” a spokesperson said, without specifying the allegations.

Mr Singh, who was married, ran a local online newspaper in the town and published short reports in Hindi on Facebook.

He had two accounts. One was in his own name and another carried his picture under the title Shahjahanpur Samachar – Hindi for Shahjahanpur News. Read the rest of this entry »


Press Freedom Under Attack in Hong Kong

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Protest for press freedom in Hong Kong. March 2014.

Kevin Lau, former editor of the local Chinese-language daily Ming Pao in Hong Kongwas brutally attacked with a knife and suffered serious wounds on February 26, 2014.

This was the latest of hardships that Mr. Lau had to endure in Hong Kong, a city increasingly hostile towards the press.  In January he had been ousted from his position as Editor in Chief at the newspaper Ming Pao, sparking enough outrage that 90% of the editorial staff at Ming Pao signed a petition demanding that the company state its reasons for dismissing Kevin Lau. Many speculated that it was his critical reporting of the Hong Kong government that was the reason for his removal as Editor in Chief.

Under Lau’s leadership, Ming Pao was critical of numerous government policies and pushed for democratic reforms in Hong Kong. The newspaper also exposed several political scandals, embarrassing political leaders in the city.

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Map: Freedom Of The Press Worldwide

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Reporters Without Borders has published  its 2014 World Press Freedom Index, which measures the freedom of information and journalists in 160 countries around the world.

Finland tops the index for the fourth year running, followed by Netherlands and Norway. America fell 13 places to 46th for various reasons (Here’s a interactive list of the rankings).

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