See also:
» 25.01.2010 - AU back in Madagascar’s boiling waters
» 07.04.2009 - UN launches humanitarian aid appeal for Madagascar
» 20.03.2009 - Swazi youth accuse SADC of double standards
» 16.03.2009 - There is a coup in Madagascar...!
» 19.10.2007 - Conflict over Malagasy mine
» 09.06.2006 - Uneasy run-up to Madagascar elections
» 27.05.2005 - Attacks on Madagascar press intensify
» 08.09.2003 - Madagascar turns hot spot for diamond explorers

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Human rights | Politics | Media

Political tension hampers media freedom

afrol News, 9 July - The Reporters Without Borders has raised alarm on the current climate of mistrust towards journalists, saying a number of journalists harassed in an Indian Ocean island has been growing rapidly.

RSF said the latest attacks by police and the army due to unstable government in Madagascar, has restricted freedom of media in the country. Reports said a website was also mysteriously blocked and a radio journalist was held for two weeks after being the victim of a heavy-handed arrest.

The organisation has urged President Andry Rajoelina's government to demonstrate its respect for press freedom. "The political tension does not justify the often shocking methods used by the police and military against journalists, especially opposition journalists,” RSF said.

Since taking over power after the 17 March resignation of the President Marc Ravalomanana, President Rajoelina's administration has been marred by wide criticism from both local and international organisations.

"We are nonetheless aware that the ongoing political crisis in Madagascar has sometimes led to excesses on the part of the news media and we reiterate our appeal to all journalists to behave responsibly, not take sides and avoid stirring up violence or hatred," the organisation said.

RSF said a number of attacks have been carried in June on opposition journalists, which according to the organisation tramples on the freedom of expression and freedom of media.

The continuing political tension in Madagascar is the consequence of a four-month power struggle between President Ravalomanana and Antananarivo Mayor Rajoelina that ended with Mr Ravalomanana resigning on 17 March.

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