Saturday, May 9, 2015


Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Truth and Peace
 (#1 May 3, 2011; #2 May 3, 2012; #3 May 3, 2013; #4, May 3, 2014).  Final number.

Dedicated to journalists imprisoned and killed for doing their job of pursuing truth, and to protect future journalists.

Here is the link to all OMNI newsletters:   For a knowledge-based peace, justice, and ecology movement and an informed citizenry as the foundation for change.    James Madison:  “A people who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”   See Journalists’ Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Killed documents in Journalism Folder.


Contents:  United Nations World Press Freedom Day, OMNI Newsletter
    May 3, 2015
Google Search
From UNESCO, Let Journalism Thrive

UN World Press Freedom Day in the News, Google Search
Pre-Election Repression on the Rise in Honduras

USA from UN Headquarters
Google Search, May 9-15
Every year, 3 May is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from ...
United Nations
2015 Theme: Let Journalism Thrive! Towards better ... World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the ...
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United Nations
3 May 2015 – Freedom of expression and press freedom are critical to the successful implementation of good governance and human rights around the world, ...

UN event addresses gender equality and safety of journalists ahead of World Press Freedom Day
Credit: UNESCO

1 May 2015 – The United Nations today commemorated World Press Freedom Day 2015 with a moment of silence for journalists killed in the line of duty, and drew attention to the need for greater gender equality in the media and the safety of journalists in the digital age, where protection from surveillance will become increasingly important.

In advance of World Press Freedom Day, celebrated annually on 3 May and which falls this year on Sunday, the United Nations and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) held today in New York a commemoration on this year's theme, 'Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality, & Media Safety in the Digital Age.'

UN Under-Secretary-General for Public Information, Cristina Gallach, said the event “gives us an opportunity to address two vital topics, gender equality and the safety of journalists, in the digital age, where protection from surveillance will become increasingly important.”

Noting that 2015 is a historic year during which the United Nations celebrates its 70th anniversary and is “also the year when the international community must take once-in-a-generation decisions on sustainable development goals, on climate change, and on financing for development,” Ms. Gallach said: “It is a fitting to reaffirm today the relevance of the right to freedom of expression, without which we would not be able to achieve many of the goals for 2015.”

In his remarks, General Assembly President Sam Kutesa said that in 1993, the Assembly established the Day. Some 22 years later, delegations were gathered to express our utmost respect to the many courageous men and women who brave hazardous terrain and dangerous environments to tell the important stories the world needs to hear.

“These men and women go about their critical work in often inhospitable environments. From the comfort and safety of our homes and workplaces, we can learn about important issues around the world, including some dark and troubling events,” he said, stressing that journalists bridge the information gap and through that work, we learn about important discoveries and innovations shaping our world.

“Without them, we would have difficulty knowing about positive developments in the furthest corners of the world. In the same way, we would never hear the cries that are being silenced or the injustices being committed, said President Kutesa, adding: “We may never know of abuses being perpetrated, hostages being taken or lives brutally stolen.”

Noting that already this year, more than 40 journalists and media staff have been killed around the world, with many more are being held hostage or simply disappeared, he said the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is clear: the freedom for all to seek, receive and impart information, regardless of borders should not be tampered with.

“I urge all Member States to do their utmost to uphold these rights for the press and media staff. We must strive to guarantee these universal standards,” he said.

On the importance of freedom of the press, Kaha Imnadze, Chairperson of the UN Committee on Information and Permanent Representative of Georgia to the UN, noted the importance of free flow of information to the functioning of the Organization, and focused on gender equality as a foundation for these purposes.

And on the issue of safety of journalists, Kahram Haliscelik of the UN Correspondents Association (UNCA) said the UN-based press corps were awaiting Security Council action on protection of journalists in conflict areas.

Speaking on the issue gender equality, George Papagiannis, Representative of the UNESCO New York Liaison Office, noted that women hold just 26 per cent of positions in media governance.

Representing the UN Secretary-General, who is travelling on official business, his Chef de Cabinet, Susana Malcorra, led an observance of a moment of silence in remembrance of journalists who had given their lives to deliver information.

Every year, May 3rd is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession. World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993.

Taking part in a lively discussion on press freedom was a panel of journalists consisting of David Rohde, an investigative journalist from Thomson Reuters, and a two-time Pulitzer prize winner; Frank La Rue, the Director of the Robert F. Kennedy Centre for Human Rights Europe, and the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression; Michelle Ferrier, Associate Dean at Scripps College of Communications at Ohio University; and Nighat Dad, Director at the Digital Rights Foundation from Lahore, Pakistan via videoconference.

In a joint message on the Day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein, said: “For peace to be lasting and development to be sustainable, human rights must be respected.”

“Everyone must be free to seek, receive and impart knowledge and information on all media, online and offline,” they said. “Quality journalism enables citizens to make informed decisions about their society's development. It also works to expose injustice, corruption, and the abuse of power.”

UN WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY In the news 2015, Google Search
New York Observer - 2 days ago
The press have been denied entry to a World Voices Festival of International Literature ...
Global Voices Online - 2 days ago
Breitbart News - 2 days ago
Global Voices Online
6 days ago - World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) was proclaimed by the United Nations in 1993 following the recommendation of the United Nations ...
IFJ denounces war on journalism ahead of World Press Freedom Day 2015 ... professionals at the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day conference in Riga, ... › Events
UNESCO leads the worldwide celebration of World Press Freedom Day 2015 by co-hosting a three-day conference in Riga, Latvia, together with the ...
UNESCO marks World Press Freedom Day by conferring the ... 2014 : Paris, France - "Media Freedom for a Better Future:Shaping the post-2015 Development ...

Pre-Election Repression on the Rise in Honduras

SOA Watch via 
11:17 AM (12 minutes ago)

to James
Manuel Murillo ¡PRESENTE! Take a Stand for Justice! End Impunity!
Pre-Election Repression on the Rise in Honduras

On October 24, Honduran journalist Manuel Murillo was found dead, shot in the head. Manuel was a cameraman, well known for filming the militarized scene immediately following the 2009 coup 
led by SOA graduates that removed democratically elected Honduran President Zelaya. He then filmed many of the resistance marches and protests calling for ousted President Zelaya's return. In retaliation, in 2010 he and a co-worker were kidnapped and tortured by Honduran police officers who demanded he turn over videos from the protests. Before he was killed, Manuel was working for one of the Congressional candidates for LIBRE, the new political party formed out of the Honduran resistance movement to the coup. 

Manuel Murillo was just 32 years old and leaves behind a 7-year old and 9-year old. Despite death threats he continued his work but had previously told Honduran human rights organization COFADEH that "I am afraid for my life, these people keep looking for me, my daughters and my mother are in danger." 

His body was found exactly one month before the November 24, 2013Honduran elections, the same weekend we will gather at the gates of Ft. Benning to remember all the victims of social and political violence unleashed by SOA graduates and the destructive policies they impose. 

In Honduras, LIBRE presidential candidate Xiomara Castro, the wife of ousted President Zelaya, is leading in the polls as many Hondurans look to take their country back from the extreme right-wing privatization agenda imposed through military force in the four years since the coup. As a result, murders and attacks against LIBRE candidates and activists are increasing.

With the US heavily funding the Honduran elections process, Representatives Raul Grijalva, Mike Honda, and Hank Johnson recently sent a letter to Secretary Kerry, expressing concern that the US Embassy "has not spoken forcefully about the militarization of the police,” nor expressed concern about the ruling party's illegal concentration of power and intimidation of the opposition.

In October, the newly created Military Police, a project of the current head of the Congress who is the ruling party's presidential candidate, took to the streets and have already established a pattern of targeting the political opposition. On October 10, they raided the house of union leader and LIBRE member Marco Antonio Rodríguez, forcibly removing Marco Antonio and his young son from the house with guns pointed at their heads, forced them to lay face down in the street, and handcuffed them. When he asked for a search warrant, the Military Police responded, "what search warrant? here we can do whatever we want." 

Then on October 23, the Military Police broke into the house of long-time Honduran resistance activist Edwin Espinal, 
breaking down over 15 doors, blocking off the entrance, damaging the house, to supposedly search for“weapons and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.” The search warrant confirmed the clear political nature of this persecution and criminalization campaign, saying that Edwin "belongs to the LIBRE party and is one of the leaders of that area" and that the house had a LIBRE flag outside. 

Despite so much repression and the electoral apparatus in the hand of the two ruling parties, setting the stage for anything but free and fair elections, the Honduran resistance movement continues full speed ahead, determined to create a new future for the country. People across Honduras are preparing to go to the polls on 
November 24th and speak out for their right to determine Honduras' future. Social movements continue organizing to defend their land, resources and lives from privatization and militarization. 

Given the reality in Honduras right now, we must continue to speak out against the SOA training of military officials to enforce corporate interests in Honduras and elsewhere in Latin America and call on the US government to respect the sovereignty of the Honduran people. Join us at the SOA Watch vigil at the gates of Ft. Benning where many of these militaries are trained to call for an end to US backing for the repressive and violent government in Honduras. Thevigil will be happening at the same time as the elections, and delegations will be on the ground from SOA Watch and the Honduran Solidarity Network to report on the situation. 

Remembering the Dead to Change our Future 

This Day of the Dead/ Dia De Los Muertos, SOA Watch activists throughout the country remembered those who died as a result of U.S. foreign policy and the School of the Americas, and mobilized for the upcomingNovember 22-24 vigil a the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia.

To view photos from the DC event on Capitol Hill, click here.

National Mobilizing Call!

The SOA Watch November Coordinating Team is hosting a National Mobilizing Call at 
2pm EST today (Nov. 7) to strengthen our collective efforts for the Vigil. 

For more information, including call-in number and times, click here!

Protect Romero's Legacy and Denounce the Closure of Tutela Legal! 

September 30, Archbishop Escobar of San Salvador abruptlyshut down the Archdiocese's historic human rights office Tutela Legal - founded by martyred Archbishop Óscar Romero - and fired all staff. The employees and the thousands of Salvadoran survivors of war crimes whose cases they represent were not consultedprior to the closure. Today, the archives of Tutela Legal – containing over 50,000 cases of human rights violations, the majority committed by Salvadoran armed forces trained at the School of the Americas during El Salvador’s civil war — are in jeopardy. Archbishop Escobar has refused to respect the voices of survivors and their allies, and denied them and El Salvador’s Human Rights Ombudsman access to the archives since the closure. Click to Sign and Share this Petition Calling on the Archbishop to Listen to the Survivors and Protect the Archives Today! 

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This newsletter continues OMNI’s NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL DAYS (or Weeks or Months) PROJECT.  Half of the Project affirms nonviolent DAYs, such as Human Rights Day.  The other half offers nonviolent, world cooperative alternatives to violent, imperial, or generally superficial, misleading, or false days, as with the following:
Feb. 14:  Standing on the Side of Love Day (formerly Valentine’s Day)
May, 2nd Sunday: Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day for Peace (Mother’s Day)
3rd Sat. in May: Peace Forces Day (Armed Forces Day)
May, last Monday:  Day of Mourning for Victims of Wars (Memorial Day)
June 14:  Liberty and Justice for All Day (Flag Day)
June, 3rd Sunday:  Father’s Day for Peace (Father’s Day)
September 11 (9-11):  Peaceful Tomorrows Day (Patriot Day)
Oct., 2nd Monday: Indigenous Peoples of Americas Day (Columbus Day):
Nov. 11: World Unity Day  (Veterans Day) (Or Armistice Day in 1918 when WWI ended).
November: Fourth Thursday:  National Day of Gratitude and Atonement (Thanksgiving)
December 7:   Pacific Colonial War Day (Pearl Harbor Day)
December 25:  Love and Peacemaking Day (Christmas)

Contents #4, May 3, 2014
UN World Press Freedom Day 2014
    2014 Theme
     Google Search
Farhi and Dewey, Journalists Killed in Egypt
Josh Steams, Free Press:  US Justice Dept. Harasses Journalists
Union for Democratic Communication
Investigative Journalism


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