FCA Statement Nigeria Visa Refusal

The Foreign Correspondents Association of Southern Africa appeals to the Nigerian government to issue visas and press accreditation to journalists wanting to cover the elections on Feb. 14. 

Many of our members in South Africa, representing news media from around the world, have been refused visas and are not able to travel to Nigeria to cover the important elections in Africa's most populous country. Some were told specifically that they were not getting visas because they are journalists. Other journalists with existing visas have not been able to get press accreditation. Free access to the press, both domestic and foreign, is widely acknowledged to be a requirement for free and fair elections. Election monitors will note that many foreign journalists based in Africa and elsewhere have not been granted access to Nigeria. Our members are discussing this problem with our embassies and monitoring bodies. 
Even at this late date, it would be beneficial to issue visas and press accreditation to journalists wanting to cover the elections. 

FCA extends condolences on death of Vuyo Mbuli

Dear Mr. Kaiser Kganyako, Spokesperson of the SABC,

The Foreign Correspondents Association of Southern Africa (FCA) would like to extend condolences to the South African Broadcasting Corporation on the  passing away of Mr. Vuyo Mbuli.  The media fraternity is certainly poorer today without Mr. Mbuli.  We will remember him for his charm and articulate narration of South African current affairs. The FCA would also like to extend condolences to his family and friends.

Regards,

Thembisa Fakude
Chairperson - Foreign Correspondents' Association

FCASA Mourns the death of photographer Anton Hammerl

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Press release: Friday, May 20, 2011

The Foreign Correspondents' Association of Southern Africa expresses its condolences for the tragic death of South African photographer Anton Hammerl.

We strongly condem his killing in the Libyan desert by pro-Gaddafi security forces on 5 April 2011. As fellow journalists working in foreign territories we would like to state that the misleading information about Hammerl's whereabouts given by the Government of Libya is totally unacceptable.

The FCA is very alarmed by this brutal violation of human rights and reiterates its call to uphold the principles of freedom of the media.

FCA SA condemns treatment of journalists in Swaziland

Released Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Foreign Correspondents' Association of Southern Africa strongly condemns the treatment of journalists by the security forces in Swaziland.

Yesterday and today a number of our members, including an FCA board member, were detained, harassed and expelled for merely doing their jobs.

We believe that as a member of SADC, the government of Swaziland has a responsibility to uphold the principles of freedom of the media. We call upon the government of Swaziland to release all journalists detained immediately.

FCA SA alarmed by arrest of journalist in South Africa

Released Friday, August 6, 2010

The Foreign Correspondents' Association is very alarmed at recent moves to curtail press freedom in South Africa and the arrest this week of an investigative journalist.

In our view, there appears to be a deliberate attempt by the governing party, through proposed legislation, to curb our profession's ability to hold the government to task.

A free and open press is one of the pillars of democracy and unfortunately there is little evidence of this on the African continent, other than in South Africa.

Any attempt by government to control, monitor or limit the ability of journalists to do their job threatens democracy.

The arrest this week of a journalist from the Sunday Times and the manner in which it was conducted is deeply worrying.

That a media house is forced to go to court to release a journalist being held without charges and no apparent case, is eerily reminiscent of what we have seen in Zimbabwe and other countries with a tradition of intimidating journalists.

FCA SA condemns treatment of journalists at ANC YL press conference


Released Friday, April 9, 2010

The Foreign Correspondents' Association wishes to express its outrage at the treatment of members of the foreign media during Thursday's ANCYL press conference at Luthuli House.

Mr Malema's personal attack on a BBC correspondent Jonah Fisher for asking tough questions was both abusive and unbecoming of a politician in any democratic society.

The foreign media, including the BBC, played a major role in exposing the atrocities and inequalities of Apartheid.

We pride ourselves in exposing hypocrisy, corruption and the abuse of power, no matter who governs.

That the media, including foreign broadcasters, were invited to this press conference at the headquarters of the ruling party and then subjected to an attack is a worrying sign for democracy and the role of the free press in this country.

FCA statement on release of journalist in Eastern Congo

STATEMENT ON RELEASE OF CORRESPONDENT THOMAS SCHEEN

Johannesburg, November 7, 2008

The Foreign Correspondents’ Association of Southern Africa welcomes the release of Thomas Scheen, correspondent for the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) today, who was kidnapped by Mai-Mai fighters in Eastern Congo.

Mr Scheen, a member of the FCA of Southern Africa, had been taken captive by armed Mai-Mai militias in the conflict region of the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday. He was working on a story for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung near the village of Kiwanja, an area where there has been heavy fighting between the Mai-Mai-militias and rebel general Laurent Nkunda`s forces.

Mr. Scheen and his three congolese colleagues have been taken care of by the authorities of the UN peacekeeping mission MONUC since Friday.

The FCA strongly condemns the kidnapping of Mr. Scheen and urges journalists to take precaution while travelling and working in the conflict area in East Congo.

* The Foreign Correspondents’ Association of Southern Africa is a nonprofit organization representing the interests of some 200 international journalists based in southern Africa. In addition to holding regular events with newsmakers, the association acts as a watchdog for press freedom and strives to ensure that its members are able to work throughout the region without being intimidated or harassed.

Isabel Parenthoen

Chair

FCA Southern Africa

Joint statement on murders, harassment and jailing of journalists across Africa

MURDERS, HARASSMENT AND JAILING OF JOURNALISTS IN AFRICA

Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi, Dakar

September 18, 2006

The Foreign Correspondents’ Associations of Southern Africa and the Foreign Correspondents

Association of East Africa are deeply concerned about the murders, harassment and jailing of journalists across Africa recently. We believe that functioning democracies need an independent and unfettered press. Freedom of the press and respect for journalists play a crucial role in building good governance.

Attacks on journalists damage societies and run counter to the expressed aims of the African Union, the

New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the Commission for Africa.

In the past few months journalists working in Africa have been charged with espionage, murdered,

harassed by government officials, and jailed for defamation and for publishing “false news.”

In Sudan, respected Sudanese editor Mohammed Taha, was kidnapped and murdered by unknown

parties.

The Sudanese government charged American journalist Paul Salopek with espionage and spreading false news. Mr Salopek, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, was released on "humanitarian grounds" before his trial began.

In Khartoum, a crew from Canadian TV CBC that had the necessary permit to film was detained and

assaulted in front of their hotel. Cameraman Simon Munene was punched in the head, which left him

bleeding from his eye.

In Ethiopia, at least 20 journalists were jailed, according to statistics by the International Federation of

Journalists from August. A female journalist, Serkalem Fasi, gave birth to her son in a police prison.

In Somalia in June, freelance Swedish cameraman Martin Adler was shot dead at a large rally in the

capital, Mogadishu.

In Democratic Republic of Congo in July, reporters were harrassed and beaten by supporters of Joseph

Kabila.

In Niger, a court last week handed down 18-month prison sentences and heavy fines against the

director and editor of the Niger private weekly Le Républicain. The pair were charged with defaming

the government in connection with a July opinion piece that suggested that Niger’s foreign policy was

“deserting the West for Iran.”

In Senegal, a court last week gave Alioune Ndiaye and Saliou Sambe, director and reporter with the

private daily L’Observateur, six-month suspended prison sentences over a story about alleged corruption.

Journalists complain on a regular basis on non-transparent visa procedures, "lost visa files", very long

delyas and lots of red tape that makes it very difficult to travel to countries like Sudan and Nigeria.

The Foreign Correspondents’ Associations note that the attacks have been on foreign and local journalists

alike. The Associations condemn the attacks and call for the immediate release of jailed journalists.

For more information, please contact:

John Chiahemen, Chairman, the FCA of Southern Africa: fca@onwe.co.za

Dr. Ulrike Koltermann, Chairwoman, the FCA of East Africa, board@fcaea.org

FCA concerned by detention of journalist in Sudan

STATEMENT ON PAUL SALOPEK

Johannesburg, August 28, 2006

The Foreign Correspondents' Association of Southern Africa is deeply concerned 

about the detention by Sudanese authorities of Paul Salopek, a journalist for 

the Chicago Tribune and National Geographic magazine. Mr Salopek, a former 

member of the FCA of Southern Africa, was arrested by Sudanese authorities 

three weeks ago along with two Chadians assisting him. Mr Salopek was working 

in Darfur on a story for National Geographic. On Aug. 26, a Sudanese court in 

El Fasher charged Mr Salopek with espionage, passing information illegally, 

writing "false news" and entering the country without a visa. 

The FCA vigorously protests the idea that Mr Salopek was involved in espionage 

of any kind. Mr Salopek is not a spy but a well-respected and two-time 

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter.

The FCA of Southern Africa believes that freedom of the press and respect for 

journalists play a crucial role in building good governance. Both the New 

Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the Commission for Africa see 

good governance as key to growth in Africa. Holding Mr Salopek hinders those 

aims. We urge NEPAD and the Commission for Africa to use their influence with 

Khartoum and ask for the immediate release of Mr Salopek.

"Paul Salopek is not and never has been a spy," said FCA of Southern Africa 

Chairman John Chiahemen. "His continued detention on these charges makes a 

mockery of Sudan's commitment to freedom of the press."

For more information please phone Martina Schwikowski on 083 260 4488

* The Foreign Correspondents' Association of Southern Africa is a nonprofit 

organization representing the interests of some 175 international journalists 

based in southern Africa. In addition to holding regular events with 

newsmakers, the association acts as a watchdog for press freedom and strives 

to ensure that its members are able to work throughout the region without 

being intimidated or harassed.