Biden’s message at the Arab summit on freedom of the press and democratic rights

U.S. president Joe Biden said in his speech at the Arab summit in Saudi Arabia that the United States will keep its close partnership with the Middle East while urging leaders who attended the summit to advance human rights as a powerful source of economic and social changes. With that being said, freedom of the press and democratic rights are highlighted. He urged the necessity of releasing journalists.

Biden sent a message to the leaders saying: ‘Accountable, accountable institutions that are free from corruption and act transparently and respect the rule of law are the best way to deliver growth, respond to people’s needs, and I believe ensure justice.’

Relatives of Al Jazeera reporter accused the U.S. of trying to erase Israel’s responsibility for her death

Relatives of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed while covering an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank in May, showed their deep disappointment in President Joe Biden in a letter released over his administration’s response to her death.

The family accused the U.S. of trying to deny Israel’s responsibility for her death, saying in an official statement that Israeli fire most likely killed her but that the shooting in the West Bank town of Jenin was an accident. They sent a request to Biden for meeting with them when he visits the region, which The White House declined to comment on, alongside with the matters of the letter.

Palestinian eyewitnesses who claimed they saw she was shot by Israeli forces gained support from a reconstruction made by The Associated Press, investigations by CNN, New York Times, and The Washington Post as well as monitoring by the U.N. human rights office.

Turkish court jails 16 Kurdish journalists over alleged terrorist links

A Turkish court has jailed 16 Kurdish journalists for “belonging to a terrorist organisation” and their close cooperation with the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Diyarbarkir. They were also accused of spreading terrorist propaganda and since 2016 several hundred HDP members have already been detained.
Nazim Bilgin, the president of the Journalists’ Association of Turkey warns that: “We are living in the darkest days of our country as far as press freedom is concerned.” It is also alarming that Turkey has jailed more reporters than most other countries in the previous decade, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Coalition of 45 rights organisations decries new Bangladesh draft rules

Forty-five international organisations signed a communication to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) urging them to withdraw or reconsider proposed regulations for digital media, social media, and over-the-top (OTT) platforms. The draft is dated October 2021 but was published on 6 February 2022. Stating that ‘The Draft Regulations seek to implement a content governance framework devoid of adequate judicial oversight, clarity and predictability, and integration of human rights and due process,’ the letter details eleven initial key concerns that require discussion.