Fortrea Completes Expansion of Clinical Pharmacology Solutions Following Targeted Investments at its Four Clinical Research Units in U.S. and U.K.

Adds speed and agility with cGMP production at on-site pharmacies, adds capacity, improves flexible therapeutic capabilities and enhances experience for study volunteers

DURHAM, N.C., Nov. 02, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Fortrea (Nasdaq: FTRE) (the “Company”), a leading global contract research organization (CRO), today announced that it has completed a multi-year effort to expand its clinical pharmacology solutions and capacity, which are now fully available for customers. The expansion includes a 100,000 square feet state-of-the-art facility in Leeds, U.K. as well as approximately 20,000 square feet of new or renovated space, adding capacity and capabilities across its clinical research units (CRUs) in Dallas, Texas; Daytona, Florida; and Madison, Wisconsin.

“The increasing complexity of clinical pharmacology studies demands fit-for-purpose infrastructure, experience and expertise to protect the safety of study participants and the integrity of critically important data,” said Oren Cohen, M.D., Fortrea’s president of Clinical Pharmacology and chief medical officer. “Our integrated platform of services includes best-in-class infrastructure and experienced professionals who are fully dedicated to clinical pharmacology, including physicians, nurses, clinical scientists, CRAs and pharmacokineticists. The investments we have made target the capabilities and capacity that customers need to accurately assess early pipeline candidates and speed those with promise to later-phase development and ultimately to patients who need them.”

Facility enhancements following the completed expansion include Fortrea’s new CRU in Leeds as well as purpose-built rooms in Madison and Daytona designed for flexibility in executing complex early phase clinical studies. Improvements in recreational, living and “work-from-home” spaces at Fortrea CRUs have been constructed to enhance the experience of volunteers participating in research at the sites.

The expansion of Fortrea’s early clinical development pharmacy services facilities includes new state-of-the-art cGMP pharmacies in the Leeds and Daytona CRUs. All Fortrea CRUs will now have cGMP pharmacies within them. This enables on-site manufacture of sterile and non-sterile drug product. The design of its GMP-compliant facilities provides safe handling and delivery of GMP-quality drug product for the unique demands of clinical pharmacology studies, focusing on efficiency and flexibility with the level of controls expected by regulatory authorities and sponsors.

Enhancements in science and technology include the addition of artificial intelligence-enabled programs that optimize bed space utilization and clinic scheduling, and the application of failure modes and effects analysis to de-risk study execution before a study begins. Following investments in data collection systems, all clinical pharmacology study data collected within Fortrea’s CRUs are input directly into a digital bedside data capture system, which can also be used as an efficient electronic data capture solution.

“I believe Fortrea’s early clinical development solutions set a new standard for what the research industry should expect from its partners,” said Dr. Cohen. “I’m so proud of this team and know they will also benefit from the changes we have made. Just as they are inspired by our mission of bringing life-changing treatments to patients faster, I’m inspired by their dedication each day as we deliver solutions to our customers.”

About Fortrea

Fortrea (Nasdaq: FTRE) is a leading global provider of clinical development and patient access solutions to the life sciences industry. We partner with emerging and large biopharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostic companies to drive healthcare innovation that accelerates life changing therapies to patients in need. Fortrea provides phase I-IV clinical trial management, clinical pharmacology, differentiated technology enabled trial solutions and post-approval services.

Fortrea’s solutions leverage three decades of experience spanning more than 20 therapeutic areas, a passion for scientific rigor, exceptional insights and a strong investigator site network. Our talented and diverse team of more than 19,000 people working in more than 90 countries is scaled to deliver focused and agile solutions to customers globally.

Learn more about how Fortrea is becoming a transformative force from pipeline to patient at Fortrea.com and follow us on LinkedIn and X (formerly Twitter) @Fortrea.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Some of the statements in this press release, particularly those relating to the anticipated financial and other benefits, including, but not limited to, whether the investments at clinical research units in U.S. and U.K. will add capacity, improve therapeutic capabilities, enhance experience for study volunteers, speed development to later-phase trials and improve the integrity of data and whether the addition of artificial intelligence-enabled programs will optimize bed space utilization and clinic scheduling, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company’s control. Actual results could differ materially from expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements if one or more of the underlying assumptions or expectations prove to be inaccurate or are unrealized. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from such expectations are and will be detailed in Fortrea’s registration statement on Form 10 initially filed with the SEC on May 15, 2023 (as amended and further supplemented), Fortrea’s quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on August 14, 2023, and in Fortrea’s other filings with the SEC. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and are subject to certain risks, uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Fortrea does not undertake responsibility for updating these statements, and these statement speak only as of the date of this press release.

Fortrea Contacts:

Fortrea Media: Sue Zaranek – 919-943-5422, media@fortrea.com
Fortrea Media: Kate Dillon – 646-818-9115, kdillon@prosek.com
Fortrea Investors: Hima Inguva – 877-495-0816, hima.inguva@fortrea.com

IDEI 2023: MFWA demands commitment to democratic tenets to ensure safety of journalists

The global event marking this year’s International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists will be held at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington D.C. on November 2-3. It is being marked under the theme “violence against journalists, the integrity of elections, and the role of public leadership.”

In line with this theme, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) hereby urges West African leaders, media and political actors, civil society and governments to take stock of the deteriorating election standards, the return of military regimes and its impact on the work of journalists as well as the increasing disillusionment with democracy among the citizens, in order to chart a new course towards restoring the sub-region’s reputation as a bastion of democracy in Africa.

West Africa was long touted as one of Africa’s most democratic enclaves. Elections in the sub-region were generally judged free and fair; changes in government through the ballot were fairly regular and constitutional term limits largely respected. However, the past four years have seen considerable regression characterised by copycat military takeovers in four countries; Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, besides a failed attempt in Guinea Bissau. The press freedom and safety of journalists’ situation in West Africa have deteriorated sharply as a result.

Working conditions for journalists in West Africa’s Sahel countries

The autocratic tendencies of military governance have worsened the precarious security conditions in which journalists work, particularly in the three Sahel countries where jihadist groups have been very active. Journalists and civil society activists in Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali practise widespread censorship due to the precarious security situation. Journalists operate with extreme caution, anxious not to provoke the government or the rebels. Journalists’ movement is heavily restricted by the security situation, with the risk of being killed or kidnapped very high. The restriction of movement also makes it difficult to access information to independently verify official information and claims made by the insurgents. Moreover, contradicting any side carries a high risk of being targeted. The governments also weaponise laws on terrorism to silence criticism of excesses committed by government forces during their counter-terror operations.

Another critical dimension of the problem is the growing influence of Russia on the troubled Sahel countries, which has introduced an intense propaganda war against the West and its values including democracy itself. The phenomenon led to the imposition of a culture of “pensée unique” or one-track thinking which requires uncritical support for the state and its position on international affairs. To enforce the culture of either silence or submissive journalism, critical local media organisations have been suspended or threatened with closure while almost all foreign, particularly France-owned media, have become unwanted elements in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. The junta governments have resorted to the arrest and detention of critical journalists and bloggers, dissidents and political opponents, closure of media organisations with divergent editorial lines and repatriation of foreign correspondents.

Guinea’s government has dissolved the main political pressure group, Front National pour la Defense de la Constitution (FNDC), and banned all public marches and processions, effectively shutting the civic space. On October 16 this year, the security forces unleashed violence against a procession of journalists demanding an end to the restriction of access to the news website, Guineematin. A dozen journalists were detained and later arraigned for unlawful assembly, after being assaulted.

Besides the coup-hit countries, the leading lights of democracy and press freedom, Ghana, Senegal and Benin have in recent years descended into autocracy, recording press freedom violations on a scale and severity that defy their reputation.

Elections standards

In addition to the return of junta regimes, there has been a noticeable decline in the standards of elections with the outcome of elections in Ghana and Nigeria having to be bitterly contested in the courts. Sierra Leone’s opposition has boycotted Parliament in protest at the results of the country’s presidential elections while Benin’s Parliament has no opposition representation as a result of a controversial change in electoral laws that made it almost impossible for the opposition to field candidates. In Senegal, the government has by decree barred the main opposition figure, Ousmane Sonko from the February 2024 polls. In what can be described as a systematic purge of the top brass of Sonko’s party, PASTEF-Les Patriotes, the party’s National Secretary, Secretary General, Second Ranking Member and Communication Officer, among a dozen others, have been imprisoned.

Senegal’s main opposition figure, Ousmane Sonko, has been barred from the country’s February 2024 elections |Photo: Agenzia Nova

Several other religious leaders, Civil Society actors and individuals who have gone out to criticize the Macky Sall government over its iron-fist handling of the Sonko case have been imprisoned.

Clearly, tactics such as these and other acts such as the manipulation of national constitutions or the judiciary for political ends are in clear breach of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance (2012). Article 2 of the Charter urges State parties to, among others:

Promote adherence to the universal values and principles of democracy and respect for human rights;

Promote and enhance adherence to the principle of the rule of law premised upon the respect for, and the supremacy of, the Constitution and constitutional order;

Promote the holding of regular free and fair elections to institutionalize legitimate authority of representative government as well as democratic change of governments; and

Prohibit, reject and condemn unconstitutional change of government in any Member State as a serious threat to stability, peace, security and development.

Election-related violence against journalists

A new UNESCO report indicates that from January 2019 to June 2022, 759 journalists and media professionals were attacked during elections in 70 countries across the world, 42% of whom were attacked by law enforcement agents.

As Nigeria’s February 2023 presidential elections drew near, the MFWA published this report about the serial attack on journalists, especially by the ruling party or persons linked to the ruling party. After the elections, we published this statement detailing the attacks on journalists during the polls and urged the authorities to ensure that the victims receive justice. The European Union Observer Mission also issued a report blaming police inaction for the several attacks on the media during the election, which we highlighted.

Ghana’s 2020 elections also recorded a number of attacks on journalists including a near-fatal incident in which Pius Kwanin Asiedu, a reporter for news website newswatchgh.com, was shot in the left leg at a collation Centre in Accra. The journalist was rushed to the hospital where the bullet hole in the leg was plugged with a metallic piece.

As indicated above, the build-up to Senegal’s 2024 elections has been tempestuous. Indeed, the path to elections in Senegal is already strewn with blood, tension and violence. Sadly, journalists have not been spared the consequences of the bad temper. The three-time detention of investigative journalist Pape Alé Niang highlights the deteriorating press freedom environment in Senegal. Other journalists arrested in connection with the politically-sensitive Ousmane Sonko case are Serigne Saliou Guèye, editor of the daily Yoor-Yoor; Pape Ndiaye, a journalist with the Walfadjri television station; Babacar Touré, and Oustaz Assane Seck, preacher and columnist on Sen TV.  The authorities have also on several occasions cut the signal of the critical television station Walf TV because of its coverage of the political scene.

Investigative journalist, Pape Alé Niang, has been detained at least three times

The widespread election-related violence against the media also infringes on Article 20 of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance (2012). Article 2(10) – This article states that the Charter seeks to:

Promote the establishment of the necessary conditions to foster citizen participation, transparency, access to information, freedom of the press, and accountability in the management of public affairs.

The attacks on the media also contravenes Article 27(8) which urges State parties to, among others, commit themselves to promoting freedom of expression, in particular, freedom of the press and fostering a professional media.

The MFWA bemoans the failure of the various governments to ensure, or even allow, the effective functioning of state institutions and constitutional bodies including electoral bodies, anti-corruption agencies and the police which has undermined democracy in the sub-region.

We are alarmed at the fact that the police are among the leading perpetrators of violence against journalists, which hinders appropriate investigations and prosecution of attacks on journalists.

Recommendations

We call on governments in West Africa to ensure effective protection of journalists, especially during elections, in accordance with the new UNESCO guidelines on the protection of journalists during elections.

We call on all states in the region to ensure that their laws on national security, public order and counter-terrorism are in line with international human rights laws.

We urge all governments in West Africa to ensure that media regulatory bodies are truly independent and their members are selected in an inclusive manner.

We urge the media to shed its inertia with regard to the issue of the safety of journalists which has manifested in their failure to follow-up on violations to ensure the prosecution of perpetrators of attacks on journalists.

Finally, we urge the authorities in the various countries to ensure effective and timely investigation and prosecution of attacks on journalists, especially during electoral periods.

LeddarTech Anuncia sua Participação em Conferências do Quarto Trimestre de 2023 com o Investidor

QUEBEC CITY, Canadá, Nov. 01, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A LeddarTech®, uma empresa de software automotivo que fornece tecnologia patenteada de software de fusão e percepção de sensores de baixo nível para ADAS e AD, anuncia a participação de Frantz Saintellemy, Presidente e CEO, nos seguintes eventos com investidores:

A LeddarTech participará de reuniões e de bate-papos informais com potenciais investidores e analistas do setor. Para mais informação ou para se inscrever, visite a seção “Events & Presentations” de relações com o Investidor da LeddarTech.

No dia 13 de junho de 2023, a Prospector Capital Corp. (“Prospector”) (NASDAQ: PRSR, PRSRU, PRSRW), uma empresa com isenção das Ilhas Caimã liderada pelo ex-Presidente da Qualcomm, Derek Aberle, e presidida pelo ex-Vice-Presidente da Qualcomm, Steve Altman, entraram em um acordo definitivo de fusão da empresa com a LeddarTech. Após a conclusão da transação, prevista para o quarto trimestre de 2023, a nova empresa conjunta, LeddarTech Holdings Inc. (“Newco”), deverá ser listada na NASDAQ sob o símbolo “LDTC”.

Sobre a LeddarTech

Uma empresa global de software fundada em 2007 e sediada na cidade de Quebec, com centros adicionais de P&D em Montreal, Toronto e Tel Aviv, Israel, a LeddarTech desenvolve e fornece soluções abrangentes de software de percepção que permitem a implantação de aplicações ADAS e de condução autônoma (AD). O software de nível automotivo da LeddarTech aplica algoritmos avançados de IA e visão computacional para gerar modelos 3D precisos do ambiente, permitindo uma melhor tomada de decisão e navegação mais segura. Esta tecnologia de alto desempenho, escalonável e econômica é disponível para OEMs e fornecedores de Nível 1-2 para a implementação eficiente de soluções ADAS para veículos automotivos e off-road.

A LeddarTech é responsável por várias inovações de sensor remoto, com mais de 150 patentes solicitadas (80 concedidas) que aprimoram os recursos de ADAS e AD. A percepção de veículos é fundamental para tornar a mobilidade global mais segura, eficiente, sustentável e acessível: e é por isso que a LeddarTech deseja se tornar a solução de software de fusão e percepção de sensores mais amplamente adotada.

Para mais informação sobre a LeddarTech, visite www.LeddarTech.com, LinkedIn, Twitter (X), Facebook e YouTube.

Sobre a Prospector Capital Corp.

A Prospector é uma empresa de aquisição com finalidade especial criada com a finalidade de realizar fusão, troca de ações, aquisição de ativos, compra de ações, reorganização ou fusão de empresas semelhante com uma ou mais empresas, com foco em empresas com soluções avançadas e altamente diferenciadas para o setor de tecnologia. A empresa é liderada por uma equipe de investidores e executivos experientes focados em identificar e investir em empresas de alto crescimento, com equipes de gerenciamento fortes e oportunidades de mercado atraentes. Os títulos da Prospector são negociados na NASDAQ sob os símbolos “PRSR”, “PRSRU” e “PRSRW”.

Informações Importantes Sobre a Transação Proposta e Onde Encontrá-la

Em conexão com a proposta fusão das empresas, a Prospector, a LeddarTech e a Newco irão preparar e protocolar a Declaração de Registro na SEC no Formulário F-4 (a “Declaração de Registro”), e a Prospector irá enviar as procurações/prospecto da Declaração de Registro para seus acionistas e protocolar outros documentos sobre a fusão da empresa na SEC. Este comunicado à imprensa não substitui nenhuma procuração, declaração de registro, declaração/prospecto de procuração ou outros documentos que a Prospector ou a Newco possam protocolar na SEC em conexão com a fusão das empresas. OS INVESTIDORES E DETENTORES DE VALORES MOBILIÁRIOS DEVEM LER ATENTAMENTE E NA ÍNTEGRA A DECLARAÇÃO DE REGISTRO QUANDO DISPONÍVEL, QUAISQUER ALTERAÇÕES OU SUPLEMENTOS À DECLARAÇÃO DE REGISTRO E OUTROS DOCUMENTOS PROTOCOLADOS PELO PROSPECTOR OU PELA NEWCO NA SEC EM CONEXÃO COM A FUSÃO DA EMPRESA PORQUE ESSES DOCUMENTOS CONTERÃO INFORMAÇÕES IMPORTANTES. Investidores e detentores de valores mobiliários poderão obter cópias gratuitas da Declaração de Registro e outros documentos protocolados na SEC pela Prospector ou pela Newco no website da SEC em www.sec.gov.

Declarações de Previsão

Certas declarações contidas neste comunicado de imprensa podem ser consideradas declarações de previsão na acepção da Lei de Reforma de Litígios de Títulos Privados dos EUA de 1995, Seção 27A da Lei de Títulos e Valores Mobiliários e Seção 21E da Lei de Câmbio (cujas declarações de previsão também devem incluir declarações de previsão e informações de previsão na acepção das leis de valores mobiliários canadenses aplicáveis), incluindo, mas não se limitando a, declarações sobre a fusão de empresas envolvendo a Prospector, a LeddarTech e a Newco, a capacidade de concluir a fusão das empresas e a sua ocasião, os benefícios previstos da fusão das empresas, o fechamento do financiamento de colocação privada, as receitas e declarações previstas relacionadas à estratégia antecipada da Newco, operações futuras, perspectivas, objetivos e projeções financeiras e outras métricas financeiras. As declarações de previsão geralmente incluem declarações de natureza preditiva e dependem ou se referem a eventos ou condições futuras, e incluem palavras como “pode”, “irá”, “deveria”, “esperaria”, “antecipa”, “planeja”, “provável”, “acredita”, “estima”, “projeta”, “pretende e outras expressões semelhantes, entre outras. Declarações que não sejam de fatos históricos são declarações de previsão. Declarações de previsão tomam por base convicções e suposições atuais sujeitas a riscos e incertezas e não são garantias de desempenho futuro. Os resultados reais podem ser substancialmente diferentes dos resultados contidos em qualquer declaração de previsão devido a vários fatores, incluindo, sem limitação: (i) o risco de que as condições para o fechamento da fusão das empresas não sejam satisfeitas, incluindo a falha em obter a aprovação dos acionistas em tempo hábil ou obter a aprovação dos acionistas para a fusão das empresas ou a falha em obter quaisquer autorizações regulatórias necessárias e em tempo hábil, incluindo do Superior Tribunal de Justiça do Quebec; (ii) incertezas quanto ao momento da consumação da fusão das empresas e a capacidade da Prospector, da LeddarTech e da Newco de concluir a fusão das empresas; (iii) a possibilidade de que outros benefícios antecipados da fusão das empresas não sejam realizados e o tratamento fiscal antecipado da fusão das empresas; (iv) a ocorrência de qualquer evento que possa dar origem à rescisão da fusão das empresas; (v) o risco de que o litígio dos acionistas em conexão com a fusão das empresas ou outros acordos ou investigações possa afetar o momento ou a ocorrência da fusão das empresas ou resultar em custos significativos de defesa, indenização e responsabilidade; (vi) mudanças gerais na economia e/ou condições específicas do setor; (vii) possíveis interrupções da fusão das empresas que poderiam prejudicar os negócios da LeddarTech; (viii) a capacidade da LeddarTech de reter, atrair e contratar pessoal-chave; (ix) possíveis reações adversas ou mudanças nas relações com clientes, funcionários, fornecedores ou outras partes resultantes do anúncio ou conclusão da fusão das empresas; (x) potencial incerteza nos negócios, incluindo mudanças nas relações comerciais existentes durante a pendência da fusão das empresas que possam afetar o desempenho financeiro da LeddarTech; (xi) desenvolvimentos legislativos, regulatórios e econômicos; (xii) imprevisibilidade e gravidade de eventos catastróficos, incluindo, mas não se limitando a, atos de terrorismo, eclosão de guerra ou hostilidades, e qualquer epidemia, pandemia ou surto de doença (incluindo COVID-19), bem como a resposta da administração a qualquer um dos fatores mencionados acima; (xiii) acesso a capital e financiamentos e a capacidade da LeddarTech estar em conformidade com os acordos de dívidas; e (xiv) outros fatores de risco, detalhados ocasionalmente nos relatórios da Prospector protocolados na SEC, incluindo o Relatório Anual da Prospector no Formulário 10-K, Relatórios Trimestrais periódicos no Formulário 10-Q, Relatórios Atuais periódicos no Formulário 8-K e outros documentos protocolados na SEC, bem como os fatores de risco mencionados da Declaração de Registro. A lista anterior de fatores importantes não é exaustiva. Nem a Prospector nem a LeddarTech podem dar qualquer garantia de que as condições para a fusão das empresas serão satisfeitas. Exceto conforme exigido pela lei aplicável, nem a Prospector nem a LeddarTech assumem qualquer obrigação de revisar ou atualizar qualquer declaração de previsão, ou de fazer quaisquer outras declarações de previsão, seja como resultado de novas informações, eventos futuros ou de outra forma.

Sem Oferta ou Solicitação

Este comunicado à imprensa não constitui uma oferta de venda nem uma solicitação de uma oferta de compra de qualquer título mobiliário da Prospector ou da Newco, uma solicitação de qualquer voto ou aprovação, nem deverá haver qualquer venda desses valores mobiliários em qualquer estado ou outra jurisdição onde tal oferta, venda ou solicitação seja ilegal antes do registro ou qualificação sob as leis de valores mobiliários de qualquer estado ou jurisdição. Nenhuma oferta de valores mobiliários será feita, exceto por meio de um prospecto que atenda aos requisitos da Seção 10 da Lei de Valores Mobiliários de 1933, alterada (Lei de Valores Mobiliários).

Participantes da Solicitação

A Prospector, a LeddarTech, a Newco, e alguns dos seus respectivos diretores, executivos e funcionários, podem ser considerados participantes da solicitação de procurações em conexão com a fusão das empresas. Informações sobre os diretores e diretores executivos da Prospector podem ser encontradas no Relatório Anual no Formulário 10-K do exercício fiscal encerrado em 31 de dezembro de 2022, protocolado na SEC em 31 de março de 2023. As informações sobre as pessoas que podem, de acordo com as regras da SEC, ser consideradas participantes na solicitação de procurações em conexão com a fusão das empresas, incluindo uma descrição dos seus interesses diretos ou indiretos, por participações em títulos ou de outra forma, serão incluídas na Declaração de Registro e outros materiais relevantes quando protocolados na SEC. Esses documentos podem ser obtidos gratuitamente na fonte indicada acima.

Contato:
Daniel Aitken, Vice-Presidente, Marketing Global, Comunicações e Relacionamento com o Investidor, LeddarTech Inc. Tel.: + 1-418-653-9000 ramal 232 daniel.aitken@LeddarTech.com

Os logotipos Leddar, LeddarTech, LeddarVision, LeddarSP, VAYADrive, VayaVision e afins são marcas comerciais ou marcas comerciais registradas da LeddarTech Inc. e suas subsidiárias. Todas as outras marcas e nomes de produtos são ou podem ser marcas comerciais ou marcas comerciais registradas usadas para identificar produtos ou serviços de seus respectivos proprietários.

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Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights Calls for Action on Crimes Against Journalists

HARARE — On the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has called on the Zimbabwean government to take concrete measures to combat the prevailing culture of impunity for crimes committed against journalists and ensure a secure environment conducive for the independent and unfettered operation of media professionals.

According to Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, the significance of the day, observed annually on November 2nd, is to raise awareness and foster dialogue about the high levels of impunity for attacks on journalists globally. The Committee to Protect Journalists has reported a toll of at least 31 journalists and media workers killed since the onset of the war early in October 2023, with incidents of injury, detention, or disappearances also noted up to October 31st, highlighting the ongoing risks to journalists in conflict zones including Palestine, Israel, and along the Israel-Lebanon border.

The ZLHR underscored the pivotal function of journalists in conveying factual information for societal consumption and stressed that immunity for assailants impairs journalists’ capacity to disseminate crucial information, thereby dampening public awareness and inhibiting informed discourse.

Highlighting the pernicious effect of such impunity, the ZLHR emphasized that when offenders are not held to account, it erodes the public’s right to scrutinize those in power and impedes the free exchange of information.

The theme for this year’s observance, “Violence against journalists, the integrity of elections and the role of public leadership,” calls upon governments to protect journalists from violence, facilitate safe reporting conditions, and commit to prosecuting offenses against media personnel.

In Zimbabwe, the ZLHR expressed deep concern over the ongoing unaccountable actions by perpetrators against journalists, noting an uptick in assaults, wrongful arrests, and coercion to erase recorded material, particularly during election periods. This pattern of impunity, which thwarts justice and redress for victims, calls for urgent action.

The ZLHR has urged the Zimbabwean government to implement measures to reduce and eliminate impunity, make crimes against journalists punishable by law in Zimbabwe, and ensure a safe and enabling working environment. This includes adherence to the African Commission for Human and Peoples Rights’ August 2020 recommendations for the protection of journalists’ rights from arbitrary arrest and detention.

The advocacy by ZLHR is a call for governmental accountability and a reminder of the need to uphold the freedoms essential for a democratic society.

Bandarbeyla District in Somalia Suffers Fatalities and Displacements After Torrential Rains

BANDARBEYLA, Somalia – Torrential rains have ravaged parts of Somalia, leading to fatalities, injuries, and the displacement of hundreds in the Bari region. The Bandarbeyla district, within Puntland state, witnessed severe devastation as two children lost their lives and three sustained injuries following the collapse of their home.

According to Somali National News Agency, the district commissioner of Bandarbeyla, the region experienced four days of incessant rainfall, resulting in the displacement of over 100 families. Yusuf, in a statement to national media, confirmed his communication with higher administration and noted that aid was promptly extended to those affected by the downpour.

The deluge has severely impacted transportation and communication within the region, presenting significant challenges for relief efforts. The Somali government, alongside international partners, has issued an appeal for additional support to manage the crisis and mitigate further dangers to both residents and their means of sustenance.

Attributed to the La Niña climate pattern, these heavy rains are part of an expected trend of increased precipitation affecting East Africa. The Somali Disaster Management Authority (SoDMA) has issued warnings of potential flash and riverine floods anticipated in the near future and advises the populace to exercise caution.