Murdered Mexican journalist and similar cases in latest One Free Press coalition list

 La Jornada correspondent Miroslava Breach Velducea was shot eight times after reporting on links between politicians and organised crime. PHOTO: MIROSLAVA BREACH VELDUCEA/FACEBOOK
La Jornada correspondent Miroslava Breach Velducea was shot eight times after reporting on links between politicians and organised crime. PHOTO: MIROSLAVA BREACH VELDUCEA/FACEBOOK

As she was leaving her home, Mexican newspaper La Jornada correspondent Miroslava Breach Velducea was shot eight times after reporting on links between politicians and organised crime.

Her story, alongside nine others, are told in July's list of "10 Most Urgent" cases of journalists under attack that has been compiled by the One Free Press Coalition, a group that comprises pre-eminent editors and publishers who safeguard journalists persecuted for pursuing the truth.

To counter the rising threat to media freedom, the One Free Press Coalition was established during a meeting of the International Media Council at the World Economic Forum in March. The Straits Times joined the alliance in May.

Ms Velducea was leaving home in her car in the state of Chihuahua, in March 2017, when the shooting took place.

She was reporting on links between politicians and organised crime at that time.

La Jornada reported that a note was found at the scene of the murder that read: "For being a snitch. You're next, governor. - The 80."

Police say The 80 is Arturo Quintana, who allegedly leads a criminal gang associated with the organised crime syndicate known as La Línea.

Prior to her death, Ms Velducea had received threats on at least three occasions for her reporting. One suspect is in custody, and the next hearing is expected to take place in the coming months.

Here are the nine other cases mentioned is July's list of "10 Most Urgent" cases, in no particular order:

Mahmoud Abou Zeid and Alaa Abdelfattah, Egypt


Alaa Abdelfattah (left) and Mahmoud Abou Zeid (right), who goes by Shawkan, have to report to a police station at 6pm daily. PHOTO: NARIMAN EL-MOFTY,
FREEDOM FOR SHAWKAN/FACEBOOK 

Egyptian blogger Alaa Abdelfattah and photographer Mahmoud Abou Zeid, known as Shawkan, were released this year after spending more than five years behind bars on anti-state charges. However, both have to report to a police station each evening, and it is up to the police to decide whether they can leave. So far, both have spent every night of their "freedom" behind bars.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, Myanmar


Reuters journalists Wa Lone (left) and Kyaw Soe Oo gesture as they walk to Insein prison gate after being freed in a presidential amnesty in Yangon on May 7, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

Following their investigation into a security force massacre of Rohingya men and boys in western Rakhine State, the pair were convicted under the colonial-era Official Secrets Act and sentenced to seven years each in prison, even though a policeman testified that they had been entrapped.

The Myanmar Supreme Court recently upheld their convictions.

Anna Nimiriano, South Sudan


As editor of the Juba Monitor, Nimiriano fights to keep her colleagues out of jail for their reporting, and has in the past been ordered by the government to shut down the paper. PHOTO: THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR 

As editor of the Juba Monitor, a South Sudanese newspaper, Nimiriano fights to keep her colleagues out of jail for their reporting, and has in the past been ordered by the government to shut down the paper. She perseveres in spite of arrest threats and constant censorship of her and her colleagues.

Mimi Mefo , Cameroon


Cameroonian journalist Mimi Mefo was arrested on false news and cybercrime charges. PHOTO: MIMI MEFO

In November 2018, journalist Mimi Mefo was arrested on false news and cybercrime charges in connection with her reporting on unrest in the conflict-hit North-west and South-west regions of Cameroon. While she was released after four days, she continues to speak out against harassment of journalists throughout Cameroon and the impact of the conflict.

The Coalition's list of the most urgent cases for July includes a few that were featured last month. These include:

Aasif Sultan, India

A reporter with Kashmir Narrator, Aasif Sultan was arrested on anti-state charges in August 2018. He has been repeatedly interrogated and asked to reveal sources by police, and has experienced health issues as he remains behind bars.

Claudia Duque, Colombia


Claudia Duque endured kidnapping, illegal surveillance and psychological torture as a journalist. PHOTO: INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S MEDIA FOUNDATION

Veteran investigative reporter Claudia Duque has endured kidnapping, illegal surveillance, psychological torture and exile as a result of her work. Colombian courts convicted three high-ranking officers of the Colombian security services for torturing Claudia and her daughter in 2003 and 2004. However, as at May 2019, all the defendants in the case went free.

Miguel Mora and Lucía Pineda, Nicaragua


Journalists Miguel Mora and Lucía Pineda have been held for over five months on charges of "inciting hate and violence". PHOTO: ONE FREE PRESS FOUNDATION

The Nicaraguan journalists were detained amid a media crackdown. In December, Nicaraguan police raided TV station 100 per cent Noticias and arrested station director Miguel Mora and Lucía Pineda, its news director. Both journalists are being held on charges of "inciting hate and violence" and have been denied consistent access to legal services.

Azory Gwanda, Tanzania


Azory Gwanda, who was working in rural Tanzania, has been missing since Nov 21, 2017. PHOTO: MWANANCHI PUBLICATIONS LIMITED

Azory Gwanda, a freelance journalist working in rural Tanzania, has been missing since Nov 21, 2017. Before his disappearance, Gwanda had been investigating mysterious killings in his community. The Tanzanian government has so far failed to launch a credible investigation into his case.

Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia


The late Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi attending a press conference in 2014. PHOTO: AFP

Despite findings from the CIA that point to the Saudi crown prince's involvement in the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, no independent UN criminal investigation has been launched. Calls for the White House to release intelligence reports have gone unheeded, along with a deadline to reply to Congress as required under the US Global Magnitsky Act.

 

The Coalition's other members include the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, The Boston Globe, Buzzfeed, Huff Post (formerly The Huffington Post), Insider Inc, Quartz, Time, Voice of America, The Washington Post, Wired, and Yahoo News.

European members include CNN Money Switzerland, Corriere Della Sera, De Standaard, Deutsche Welle, Euractiv, Le Temps, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Republik, Reuters and Süddeutsche Zeitung.

From Asia, The Financial Times, India Today, Middle East Broadcasting Networks and Radio Free Asia have joined the network together with The Straits Times, while those from the rest of the Americas are AméricaEconomía, Estadão, Office of Cuba Broadcasting and TV Azteca.

Members of the public can join the conversation using the hashtag #OneFreePress and follow developments on Twitter @OneFreePress. To see the "10 Most Urgent" list every month, readers can visit https://www.onefreepresscoalition.com or @OneFreePress on Twitter.