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Mongolia 3 July 2008

Violence against press during post-election protests

Reporters Without Borders calls on the Mongol authorities and political parties to protect journalists and guarantee media freedom after a series of incidents involving the press during violent demonstrations following the 29 June legislative elections.

“We condemn the violence by demonstrators, who seriously injured three reporters,” the press freedom organisation said. “It is also very regrettable that the government chose to stop all of the capital’s TV stations, except the state TV, from broadcasting. Censorship is not the way to maintain law and order.”

Several journalists were injured on the night of 1 July. B. Byamba-Ochir, a photographer with the Mongol newspaper Unuudur, and H. Erdenebulgan of the national radio and TV broadcaster were badly hurt while covering protests by opposition supporters in the capital. A Japanese journalist working for Fuji TV was attacked. All three were hospitalised with head injuries. A European photographer told Agence France-Presse he was also hit on the head.

The headquarters of the newspapers Hummuussiin Amidral, Humuus and Unuudriin Mongol were all burned down in what were reported to be arson attacks.

All TV stations except the state TV were ordered to stop broadcasting under a state of emergency decreed by the president on 1 July. Privately-owned Eagle TV continued to post reports on its website.

Thousands of people staged violent street protests after the authorities announced that the ruling party won the elections and the opposition claimed there had been massive fraud. Five people were killed in Ulan Bator.




In this country
13 July - Mongolia
TV station editor beaten up over report about broken privatisation promises
5 May - Mongolia
Journalist imprisoned for defamation
2 August - Mongolia
An editor jailed for publishing false information that led to woman’s death

in the annual report
Mongolia - Annual report 2007

reports
4 May 2009 - Nepal
Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity
2 April 2009 - Pakistan
Fact-finding visit by Reporters Without Borders to Swat “valley of fear”
16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
Report of fact-finding mission : Press freedom in free-fall in run-up to presidential election
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Asia press releases
3 June - North Korea
Pyongyang judges asked to be lenient with two American journalists
3 June - Afghanistan
US forces arrest a journalist in Khost
3 June - China
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2 June - China
Blocking of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger deprives Chinese of Web 2.0
2 June - Sri Lanka
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