NGOs, Journalists Challenge FG’s Twitter Ban At ECOWAS Court

Twitter is also having issues with the Nigerian government.

 

Five non-governmental organisations and four journalists have filed a suit against the Federal Government at the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in Abuja.

In the suit filed on Monday, they asked the court to declare the indefinite suspension of Twitter in Nigeria a violation of their human rights under international law.

They also want the court to order the government to immediately rescind the suspension order and compensate them for the violation of their rights.

The NGO applicants are Media Rights Agenda (MRA), Paradigm Initiative (PIN), Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), the International Press Centre (IPC), and Tap Initiative for Citizens Development (TICD), while the journalists are David Hundeyin, Samuel Ogundipe, Blessing Oladunjoye, and Nwakamri Apollo.

The suit, lodged with number ECW/CCJ/APP/29/21 ECW/CCJ/APP/29/21, in a 73-page documentation, was filed on their behalf by Abuja-based human rights and free expression lawyer, Mojirayo Nkanga, under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Revised ECOWAS Treaty, and the Nigerian Constitution, among others.

The applicants claimed that Nigeria’s ongoing suspension of Twitter, which came into effect on or around June 4, violated their right to freedom of expression and interfered with the ability of the journalists to do their work.

Similarly, they alleged that the general situation in Nigeria with respect to human rights has created an environment where freedom of expression was stifled, stressing that it has contributed to creating a chilling effect on press and media freedom.

According to them, Nigeria has consented to be bound by the obligation to respect and protect the right to freedom of expression under the ICCPR and the ACHPR and therefore, any limitation imposed by the government on the right to freedom of expression can only be justifiable where the restriction is provided by law, serves a legitimate aim, and is necessary and proportionate in a democratic society.

Contending that these three conditions must all be met before any restriction on the right to freedom of expression can be considered legitimate, the applicants noted that the suspension of Twitter was not provided by law, that there was no justification for it under Nigeria’s domestic laws, and that it was done by the government in an arbitrary manner in circumstances where there was no public or judicial oversight, transparency or accountability.

They, therefore, asked the court to declare the indefinite suspension of Twitter a continuous violation of their human rights under international law, particularly the right to seek and receive information, as well as the right to express and disseminate opinions under Article 9(1) and (2) of the African Charter; Article 19(2) of the ICCPR and the rights of journalists under Article 66(2)(c) of the Revised ECOWAS Treaty.

They also sought a declaration that the government’s directive, through the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), for the deactivation of Twitter accounts in Nigeria violated their human rights under international law and that the threat by the Attorney-General of the Federation to criminally prosecute anybody found to be using Twitter in Nigeria following the suspension of the platform also violated their human rights under international law.

They urged the court to issue orders mandating the government to immediately take all necessary measures to rescind the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria and to take all necessary measures to guarantee non-recurrence in order to prevent the same violation from occurring in the future.

They also want the court to compel the government to issue adequate reparations, including restitution, compensation, and measures of satisfaction to them to be specified and submitted to the court, as well as to issue an order of injunction restraining the government, its servants, and agents from imposing criminal sanctions on individuals, including the applicants, who use Twitter or any other social media service provider.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Cambodia Bans Media Coverage From Covid Lockdown ‘Red Zones’

A soldier (R) gives instruction as people line up to receive a dose of China’s Sinopharm Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine at a school and a health centre in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on May 3, 2021, as part of the government’s campaign to halt the rising number of cases of the virus. PHOTO: TANG CHHIN Sothy / AFP

 

Cambodia on Tuesday ordered journalists to stop reporting from blockaded coronavirus “red zones” and from chasing ambulances as the country battles against a record surge in infections.

The country has seen Covid-19 cases surge since February when an outbreak was first detected among its Chinese expatriate community.

On Tuesday, officials announced a record 938 new infections, bringing the total cases to 16,299 with 107 deaths.

READ ALSO: US To Authorize Pfizer Vaccine For Age 12 And Up – Report

Authorities have transformed schools and wedding party halls into covid treatment centres as hospitals are running out of beds and Prime Minister Hun Sen warned the country was “on the brink of death” from the virus outbreak.

Phnom Penh and adjacent city Ta Khmau have been under lockdown for 20 days and the government has announced the blanket would end from Thursday.

But authorities said areas with high infection rates would remain under lockdown.

Police have set up blockades around red zones barring residents from leaving their homes, except on medical reasons.

On Tuesday the information ministry ordered journalists to immediately stop reporting from the red zones, warning they would face prosecution.

The ministry said some journalists had reported from red zones and banned areas such as treatment centres and hospitals.

It also said some had “chased ambulances” and caused confusion and unrest.

The order comes as residents living in red zones complained about food shortages and took to social media to appeal for essential aid.

Rights group Amnesty International issued a strong condemnation of Cambodia’s lockdown measures last week, saying they had left many people to go hungry and humanitarian groups had been barred from distributing food and other essential aid.

“The Cambodian government’s outrageous mishandling of this COVID-19 lockdown is causing untold suffering and sweeping human rights violations across the country,” said Yamini Mishra, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Regional Director.

“Right now, residents of ‘red zones’ and others in Cambodia are going hungry because of fundamentally unreasonable policies.”

Cambodian authorities have asked residents in the red zones to apply for food aid and said they distributed rice and canned fishes to tens of thousands of households each day.

AFP

NASS Will Never Pass Any Law To Hinder Press Freedom – Lawan

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan and Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila speak to a journalist after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa Abuja. PHOTO: State House

 

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan has felicitated with Nigerian journalists on the occasion of the 2021 World Press Freedom Day, saying the National Assembly under his watch will not suppress press freedom.

Lawan in a statement issued on Sunday by his spokesman, Ola Awoniyi, May 3 is set aside every year to remind governments around the world of their obligation to facilitate and respect press freedom, and also to remind journalists of the need to respect the ethics of their profession.

“The Ninth Senate and the National Assembly, in general, will never pass any law that inhibits the freedom of the press but rather work with the media to further enhances the practice of the profession,” he said.

READ ALSO: Train Derails In Kaduna

“I also celebrate the Nigerian journalists for the invaluable contributions and sacrifices that they have made throughout our national history to nation-building and entrenchment of democracy.

“I pay tribute to the patriots who have lost their lives in the line of duty and pray that their death will not be in vain.”

“It is in this light that I call on the practitioners to purge their noble profession of the bad eggs whose nefarious activities are denting the credibility and reputation of the mainstream practitioners.

“The leadership organs of the profession also need to adopt practical measures to check the activities of the purveyors of fake news.

“My belief is that the menace of fake news is capable of eroding the integrity and credibility of the media in general, and this should not be allowed to happen,” Lawan said.

The Senate President wishes the media a happy celebration.

Signed:

Ola Awoniyi

Special Adviser(Media) to President of the Senate

Sunday, 2nd May 2021

Zamfara School Abduction: Mob Attack Journalists

 

A mob on Friday attacked a vehicle conveying journalists travelling to Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, Zamfara State.

Schoolgirls numbering 317 were abducted from the school in the early hours of Friday.

Youth who were angry as a result of the abduction created roadblocks inside Jangebe town and attacked the vehicles conveying journalists.

Journalists crew from Channels TV, TVC, Daily Trust, News Agency of Nigeria, and Thunder Blowers Multi-Media services were in the vehicle that was attacked.

READ ALSO: School Abductions: Education Is Under Attack In Northern Nigeria – Amnesty International

The angry youths hurled stones at the vehicles and smashed part of the vehicle, causing injury on one of the cameramen, Babangida Calipha.

The situation at Jangebe community is tensed as residents have mobilised themselves blocking security operatives, journalists, and government officials from getting access to the main town.

In reaction to the abduction of the schoolgirls, the Zamfara Police Commissioner, Abutu Yaro said a joint search and rescue operation is already underway with a view to rescuing them.

Yaro added that the Force Commander Operations Hadarin Daji, Major General Aminu Bande, Brigade Commander 1 Brigade, Nigeria Army Gusau, and other state government officials led a heavily armed re-enforcement team to Jangebe to complement the ongoing rescue operation in the locations where the students were believed to have been whisked to.

Ugandan Soldiers Jailed For Assaulting Journalists

Supporters of Uganda opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, and local and foreign journalists are assaulted by Uganda Military Police outside the UN Human Rights offices on February 17, 2021. PHOTO: Badru KATUMBA / AFP

 

Six Ugandan soldiers were handed prison sentences of up to three months by a military court on Thursday for taking part in the brutal beating of local journalists covering the country’s opposition leader.

The seven injured journalists were covering an effort by opposition leader Bobi Wine to file a petition on Wednesday with the United Nations against human rights abuses, when they were set upon by security forces.

One of the journalists remained hospitalised with a deep head wound, according to the Uganda Editors’ Guild.

The 38-year-old former popstar Wine has alleged January’s election was rigged, and his petition to the UN detailed alleged abuses such as illegal detentions, torture, forced disappearances, and continued harassment of opposition groups.

READ ALSO: Iran Renews Call To US To Lift All Sanctions Imposed By Trump

The journalists were injured as military police chased his supporters away from the United Nations’ offices in Kampala.

An army statement said a disciplinary committee of the court-martial had “convened and deliberated on its officers and militants who misbehaved and assaulted members of the fourth estate”.

Six soldiers were given detentions of between 60-90 days and a seventh was issued with a severe reprimand, it said.

A first statement identified four soldiers who had been jailed, but a later statement gave the names of two more.

Also on Thursday defence forces chief David Muhoozi called a press conference to apologise to the media, promising to pay for the medical care of the injured journalists.

Journalists in Uganda often face rough treatment at the hands of security forces, which soared during an election marred by the worst bloodshed in years, as well as a sustained crackdown on government critics.

Shortly before the election, when asked why police were assaulting journalists, police chief Martin Ochola said it was for their own good, and refused to apologise.

“We are telling you there’s a danger there, but you are insisting you must go where there is danger. Yes, we shall beat you for your own sake, to help you understand not to go there. Yes, we shall use reasonable force to ensure that you don’t go where there’s a risk,” he said.

The head of the UN in Uganda, Rosa Malango, condemned Wednesday’s attack.

“We deplore the excessive use of force by military police which contravened the arrangements made… to ensure safe delivery of this petition”.

US Ambassador to Uganda Natalie Brown said journalists should not be attacked for doing their job: “Those who violate press freedom must be held to account.”

The incident was also widely condemned by media and civil society institutions.

“We note with concern that attacks against journalists which started during the campaigns for presidential elections continue to date and appear to have become an operational norm for Ugandan security personnel,” the Federation for African Journalists said.

AFP

Belarus Jails Journalists For Two Years Over Protest Coverage

A file photo of a court gavel.

 

A court in Belarus on Thursday sentenced a pair of television journalists to two years in prison for covering a protest last year, the first lengthy jail term in a legal crackdown on independent news media.

Standing defiant in a cage, Katerina Bakhvalova, 27, and Daria Chultsova, 23, flashed V for victory signs as they smiled and blew kisses to the courtroom ahead of the verdict.

The two women were detained in November while filming one of the anti-government rallies that swept Belarus after strongman Alexander Lukashenko claimed victory in an August election that the opposition said was rigged.

The women, who denied their guilt on the first day of their trial earlier this month, were accused of “attracting people to participate in a mass event” via their broadcast and convicted of leading “group actions that grossly violate public order”.

Exiled opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya praised the two journalists for their defiance following the verdict.

READ ALSO: Ugandan Soldiers Jailed For Assaulting Journalists

“I know that we will not live in a cage. We will achieve truth and freedom — thanks to Ekaterina Andreyeva, Daria Chultsova, all honest journalists,” she wrote on her Telegram channel, using Bakhvalova’s pen name.

The case has sparked widespread condemnation from Western countries and advocacy groups.

Human Rights Watch on Thursday urged Belarusian authorities to “stop treating journalists as their enemies”, while the president of neighbouring Poland called for “an amnesty”.

“At the same time, Poland calls on all partners in the European Union to respond in solidarity, consistently and resolutely to the latest manifestation of suppression of fundamental rights and freedoms,” Krzysztof Szczerski, an advisor to Polish President Andrzej Duda, wrote on Twitter.

EU foreign policy spokesman Peter Stano called the case a continuation of a “shameful crackdown on media” and said the bloc “strongly condemns” the prison sentences.

– ‘Absurd situation’ –

After protests erupted last year, Belarusian authorities unleashed a crackdown that left at least four dead and thousands in jail.

Bakhvalova and Chultsova, who work for the Poland-based television channel Belsat, were detained while filming a rally in November in support of a protester the opposition believes died at the hands of Lukashenko’s security services.

“I showed these events live. For this I was thrown into jail on trumped-up charges,” Belsat reported Bakhvalova as telling the judge Wednesday in her final statement before sentencing.

“It’s an absurd situation because the journalists were just covering the protest,” her lawyer told reporters after the ruling outside the court in the Belarusian capital Minsk.

The demonstrator, 31-year-old former soldier Roman Bondarenko, died from brain damage in Minsk after police arrested him.

Investigators later said he showed signs of intoxication, but independent Belarusian media cited a doctor as saying no alcohol had been found in his system.

The journalist who published the story, Katerina Borisevich, and the doctor, Artyom Sorokin, were soon detained on charges of “divulging medical secrets, which entailed grave consequences”. They are set to face trial on Friday.

The prosecutor general’s office said in a statement Thursday that it had opened a criminal case into Bondarenko’s death.

– Growing crackdown –

Lukashenko weathered the protests and last week claimed his ex-Soviet country had defeated a foreign intervention.

As the demonstrations subside, the authorities are pursuing a number of criminal cases against activists and the press.

Eleven journalists are currently detained in connection with the protests, according to the independent Belarus Association of Journalists (BAJ).

On Wednesday a trial also began of leading opposition member Viktor Babaryko, who was arrested ahead of the presidential election after he announced he would run against Lukashenko.

The former banker was one of several opposition figures who were arrested or fled the country.

Several Western leaders have refused to recognise the election results, and the European Union has imposed sanctions on Lukashenko and his allies.

But Lukashenko continues to receive Moscow’s backing and the Kremlin said Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin would meet with him next week.

AFP

More Than 600 Journalists Killed Worldwide By COVID-19, Says NGO

 

More than 600 journalists have died of Covid-19 last year since March 1, a press freedom organisation said, calling for media workers to have priority access to vaccines.

The Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), which tracks the death of journalists around the world, said that of the 602 media workers known to have died from the new coronavirus, more than half were from Latin America, with 303 fatalities.

Some 145 deaths were recorded in Asia, with 94 in Europe, 32 in North America and 28 in Africa.

READ ALSO: Hospitals Under ‘Pressure’ As Portugal Confirms Single-Day Highest Cases

The PEC said it was not possible to differentiate journalists who had become infected whilst working, and their list also includes retired journalists.

The Geneva-based group said it believes journalists “should have priority access to immunisation upon request”.

“Because of their profession, journalists who go into the field to testify are particularly exposed to the virus. Some of them, especially freelancers and photographers, can’t just work from home,” PEC secretary-general Blaise Lempen said in a statement.

The PEC tally is based on information from local media, national associations of journalists, and regional PEC correspondents.

It said the actual number would be higher than 602 as the cause of journalists’ deaths is sometimes not specified, their deaths are not announced or there is no reliable local information.

Peru has the heaviest death toll at 93 journalists, followed by Brazil (55), India (53), Mexico (45), Ecuador (42), Bangladesh (41), Italy (37) and the United States (31).

The international non-profit organisation founded in 2004 supports requests for financial assistance from the families of journalists who have died from Covid-19.

AFP

Luther King’s Daughter, US Lawmaker, Others Ask Buhari To Release Jailed Protesters, Journalists

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari addressing the nation on April 28, 2020,

 

Global activists and celebrities have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the release of all #EndSARS protesters, as well as activists and journalists jailed in various parts of the country.

They made the call in an open letter dated December 10, 2020, and addressed to the President – a copy of which was sighted by Channels Television on Thursday.

The 60 activists and celebrities, under the auspices of Diaspora Rising, asked President Buhari to ensure the reinstatement of the international passports, bank accounts, and other items seized from the jailed persons.

They demanded that the military, security, and intelligence officers found culpable in the incident at the Lekki toll plaza, either giving the order or carrying out the shooting, must be made to face the consequences of their actions.

Signatories to the letter included Reverend Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr; US activist Opal Tometi; as well as actors Danny Glover and Kerry Washington.

Swedish teenage eco-warrior Greta Thunberg, singer Alicia Keys, civil rights campaigner Angela Davis, US congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and Nigerian-American rapper Jidenna, among others, also signed the letter.

According to them, the President should allow a transparent investigation by human rights monitors into the actions that led to the shooting at the Lekki tollgate and ensure the findings are published by media outfits accredited nationally and internationally.

The signatories also called on the President to support peaceful demonstrations in any part of the country to allow citizens exercise their constitutional right to protest.

“As people who have supported the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States and throughout the diaspora, we cannot be silent when similar atrocities take place in African countries.

“We demand respect for the Nigerian people, especially as they engage in their constitutional right to protest grave injustices,” part of the letter read.

It added, ”As President of the world’s most populous Black republic, you assume a leadership role on the global stage. Nigeria matters.

“We expect nothing short of care for your people and concern for the reputation of your country. As Nigeria is a major powerhouse for the continent of Africa, you must know, President Buhari, that your response has exponential implications for the continent and the African diaspora.”

Attacks On Journalists During Protests Increasing – UNESCO

 

The number of incidents of violence against journalists covering protests across the world has risen sharply, with police and security forces the main culprits, the United Nations cultural agency said on Monday.

UNESCO said it had counted 21 protests between January and June of this year where journalists were attacked, arrested or killed.

The organisation, whose role includes monitoring media developments, said in a report the spike came as part of “a wider upward trend in the use of unlawful force by police and security forces over the last five years”.

At least 10 journalists were killed during protests between 2015 and mid-2020 when there were 125 instances of attacks on, or arrests of, reporters, according to UNESCO which investigated protests in 65 countries for the report.

The reporters who died on the job worked in Syria, Mexico, Israel, Nicaragua, Northern Ireland, Nigeria and Iraq.

“Hundreds of journalists around the world trying to cover protests have been harassed, beaten, intimidated, arrested, put under surveillance, abducted, and had their equipment damaged,” the report said, adding that “a majority of the attacks” had been carried out by police and security forces.

“Police use of non-lethal ammunition ranging from rubber bullets to pepper balls, has injured dozens of journalists, with a few having been left blinded in one eye” it said.

Often police don’t have to fear punishment for their treatment of reporters. “Impunity has continued to remain the norm in recent years for attacks on the press covering protests,” UNESCO said.

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay called on governments to make sure that journalists can do their job without fear for their safety.

“Journalists have a critical role in reporting and informing audiences on protest movements,” she said in a statement.

“We call on the international community and all relevant authorities to ensure that these fundamental rights are upheld.”

UNESCO said protests are often about economic injustice, government corruption, the decline of political freedoms, and growing authoritarianism, giving some governments a vested interest in preventing balanced reporting.

“The UN in several resolutions has expressed concern at hostile rhetoric by political leaders against the press,” it said.

AFP

UN Decries Attacks On Journalists, Activists In Pakistan

(FILES) In this file photo, The United Nations flag is seen during the Climate Action Summit 2019 at the United Nations General Assembly Hall on September 23, 2019, in New York City. Ludovic MARIN / AFP.

 

The United Nation voiced alarm Tuesday at growing attacks on journalists and activists in Pakistan, often amid cries of blasphemy, urging Islamabad to protect those facing threats and probe any violence.

The UN rights office said it was growing increasingly concerned at numerous instances of incitement to violence, both online and off, particularly against women and minority journalists and activists, as well as physical attacks.

It pointed to the case of journalist Shaheena Shaheen, who was shot dead last Saturday by unidentified men in Balochistan’s Kech district.

And last year, four journalists and bloggers were killed in Pakistan in connection with their reporting, including Arooj Iqbal, a woman who was shot dead in Lahore as she tried to launch her own local newspaper.

“In the vast majority of such cases, those responsible have not been investigated, prosecuted and held to account,” rights office spokesman Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva.

He pointed out that women journalists in Pakistan last month had warned of a “coordinated campaign” of social media attacks against anyone who was critical of government policies.

He stressed that accusations of blasphemy were “especially worrying”, pointing out that they “can put accused individuals at imminent risk of violence”.

Colville said the rights office had raised its concerns directly with the Pakistani government and had urged it to take “immediate, concrete steps to ensure the protection of journalists and human rights defenders who have been subjected to threats.”

“We also stress the need for prompt, effective, thorough and impartial investigations with a view to ensuring accountability in cases of violence and killings,” he said.

The UN rights office had also called on the Pakistani leadership to “unequivocally condemn incitement to violence against religious minorities”, he said, as well as “what appears to be an increase in the use of blasphemy laws for personal or political score-settling”.

AFP

Taiwan Expels Two Chinese Journalists Over Political Shows

 

 

Taiwan expelled two mainland Chinese journalists Friday after a talk show on their channel pushed for Beijing “unifying” with the self-ruled island, in the latest sign of deteriorating ties between the two rivals.

The move comes after a spate of tit-for-tat expulsions of reporters between China and the United States, as the two superpowers spar over trade and the coronavirus pandemic.

The reporters with China Southeast TV were ordered to leave by Friday for violating regulations covering mainland journalists, according to the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Taiwan’s top China policy body.

They “are suspected of violating the regulations and the authorities have decided not to extend (their permits)… they are scheduled to leave on July 3,” MAC spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng told reporters.

Ai Kezhu, one of the deported journalists involved in producing the shows, told local media at Taoyuan international airport before her departure Friday that they were puzzled by the order.

“We have reported our activities in Taiwan and work content to relevant departments. We have done that in the past 12 years. We think it’s very strange that there were no problems in the past but now there is this kind of situation,” she said.

The channel has routinely aired pro-Beijing content, but a recent series of shows produced in Taiwan provoked public anger for featuring guests especially vocal in their criticism of Taiwan’s government and who pushed for Beijing “unifying” with the island.

“If you enjoy the powers Taiwan has given to belittle and degrade our country and people… we have to ask you to leave because Taiwanese people will not welcome you,” Chen Ting-fei, a lawmaker with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, wrote on Facebook.

– Rising tensions -Unlike authoritarian China, which only permits heavily censored state media and routinely harasses foreign reporters, democratic Taiwan has a rambunctious free press — although mainland reporters work under heavier restrictions than other journalists.

Some outlets are vocally pro-Beijing, others deeply critical.

Beijing views Taiwan as its own territory and has vowed to one day seize it, by force if necessary.

Tensions between the sides have grown since Tsai came to power in 2016, as she has refused to acknowledge Beijing’s idea that the self-ruled democratic island is part of “one China”.

Tsai, who views Taiwan as de facto independent, won a landslide reelection in January in what was seen as a strong rebuke to Beijing’s campaign to isolate the island.

Beijing has ramped up diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan as well as increasing military drills near the island, including its military jets breaching Taiwan’s air defence zone with unprecedented frequency in recent weeks.

 

 

-AFP

Coronavirus Kills 20 Journalists In Peru – Union

 

At least 20 journalists have died from the coronavirus outbreak in Peru, most of them infected while reporting on the pandemic, often with little protection, the country’s journalists’ union reported Tuesday.

Peru is Latin America’s second worst-hit country after Brazil with more than 170,000 cases and 4,600 deaths.

“As of June 1, the number of dead colleagues is 20 in all of the country,” said Zuliana Lainez of the National Association of Journalists.

Many of them contracted the disease while reporting from streets, markets and hospitals on the effects of the virus, without proper protective equipment, Lainez said.

“They have gone to hospitals, which are foci of infection, with homemade masks,” she said.

Seven of the victims were from Loreto, in the Amazon basin, one of Peru’s worst affected areas.

A large proportion of journalists who fell victim to the virus were freelancers, with none of the protections afforded to company employees.

“Journalists dying from COVID-19 confirms the urgency of addressing health protection and job insecurity,” the union said.