Reporters Without Borders (RWB), the Paris-based press freedom watchdog, and its advertising agency BETC are back in the public eye again at this troubled time for freedom of information, with journalists being murdered, jailed or censored.
Coinciding with the release of its 2014 round-up of abuses against journalists, Reporters Without Borders has launched a campaign to mobilise support for media freedom and independence and to appeal to public generosity.
BETC has produced a film based on a true story that shows a shipping container. It is a rather special container because, instead of transporting merchandise, it has been used as a prison cell for a journalist in the Eritrean desert for the past 12 years. The Eritrean prisoner is Dawit Isaak, who has been imprisoned without trial for 13 years after being arrested along with other newspaper editors in 2001. Isaak is reported to be dying slowly in a prison camp where detainees are tortured by being shut inside steel containers during periods of intense heat. And RWB has used that image of a container to publicise its campaign.
Directed by the duo Johnny Alves and Benjamin Darras (One More) and produced by RITA films, the film launched mid-December in parallel with a special operation in Paris, on the Champs de Mars where RSB has installed a similar shipping container in front of the Eiffel Tower.