December 22, 2010 - Updated on January 25, 2016

Overview of Reporters Without Borders financial aid to journalists and media in danger in 2010

Reporters Without Borders disbursed 226 assistance grants to journalists and media in distress in 2010. Helping journalists in exile, paying medical bills, providing financial support for families, purchasing equipment and paying lawyers’ fees – the forms of assistance varied according to the situation. 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A total of 127 journalists from 23 countries – above all Iran, Somalia, Eritrea – were forced to leave their country to escape violence or oppression. Reporters Without Borders has continued its programme of support, launched in November 2009, launched in November 2009, for the journalists and netizens who have been fleeing Iran since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed reelection in June 2009 and the unprecedented crackdown that followed, the targets of which have included the press. The persecution of human rights defenders has not let up and continues to fuel an exodus of journalists and bloggers seeking a safe haven. Assistance was also provided to exiled Cuban journalists. The Cuban government promised the Spanish foreign ministry on 7 July that, over the next four months, it would release the political prisoners still held since the “Black Spring” crackdown of March 2003 as long as they went into exile. A total of 16 journalists flew to Madrid after being released from prison and most of them have stayed in Spain. But, after the initial flush of liberation, they have had to cope with being uprooted from their culture and a lack of material security. Reporters Without Borders has provided some of them with journalistic equipment and, after the initial media attention surrounding their arrival faded, has been trying to ensure they are not forgotten by the media and public. "chartType":"PieChart","chartName":"Graphique 5","dataSourceUrl":"//","options":"displayAnnotations":true,"showTip":true,"dataMode":"markers","maxAlternation":1,"pointSize":"0","colors":("#3366CC","#DC3912","#FF9900","#109618","#990099","#0099C6","#DD4477","#66AA00","#B82E2E","#316395"),"smoothLine":false,"lineWidth":"2","labelPosition":"right","is3D":false,"hasLabelsColumn":true,"wmode":"opaque","allowCollapse":true,"isStacked":false,"mapType":"hybrid","width":392,"height":335,"packages":"corechart","refreshInterval":5 Breakdown of recipients Arranging medical care and lawyers for detainees The editors of three newspapers, Cameroun Express, La Nation and Le Devoir, were jailed in March on a charge of forging a senior official’s signature and using it to discredit him. After calling for their release, Reporters Without Borders questioned the authorities about their state of health, especially that of Bibi Ngota, who finally died in Kondengui prison for lack of medical care on 22 April. When one of the other editors, Robert Mintya, was physically attacked by a cellmate a few months later, Reporters Without Borders paid for his hospitalization so that he could receive appropriate treatment for his condition, which was regarded as serious. The third editor, Serge Sabouang, was also given financial assistance as prisoners in Cameroon must pay for everything they need themselves. After nine months in prison, Mintya and Sabouang were finally released conditionally on 24 November. Abdifatah Jama Mire, the director of Horseed Media FM, a radio station based in Bosaso, the commercial capital of Puntland, a semi-autonomous region in northeastern Somalia, was sentenced to six years in prison in August on a charge of violating the local anti-terrorism laws for broadcasting an interview with a rebel chief linked to Al-Qaeda. He was tried summarily, without being defended by a lawyer, just 24 hours after his arrest. When the case came up for appeal, Reporters Without Borders paid for him to be represented by a lawyer. As a result, the judge ruled that there was no basis for the charge. After 86 days in detention, he finally received a pardon from Puntland’s president on 8 November. Intervening after natural disasters Haiti’s earthquake in January and Pakistan’s flooding in August were major humanitarian disasters. As providing the population with information is crucial during a crisis, Reporters Without Borders helped to ensure that local media could continue to operate. In Pakistan, financial assistance was provided to Shamal, Salam and Chand, three independent publications in the Swat valley, one of the regions worst hit by the flooding. Reporters Without Borders paid for the fuel for their generators. In Haiti, Reporters Without Borders and the Canadian company Quebecor jointly created a Media Operations Centre in Port-au-Prince with support from Fondation de France and the Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques. Inaugurated on 21 January, the Media Operations Centre provides Haitian print media and online journalists with the equipment and resources they need to keep working. All these different forms of assistance were made possible in part by the EU’s European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), of which Reporters Without Borders is a beneficiary.