Africa

2011


Blog   |   Tanzania

How to survive in Tanzania's press

There is one simple rule for survival in Tanzania's media - whether you are an editor, reporter, columnist, printer, or even news vendor: don't be critical. Thanks to repressive laws on Tanzania's books, an article considered libelous by the state can get anyone in trouble, even prominent journalists such as Absalom Kibanda -- the chairman of the Tanzania Editor's Forum and managing editor of the popular Swahili daily Tanzania Daima ("Tanzania Forever").

Alerts   |   Tanzania

In Tanzania, two journalists charged with incitement

Tanzania Daima Managing Editor Absalom Kibanda has been charged with inciting police to subordinate. (IPP Media)

New York, December 22, 2011--Authorities in Tanzania have arrested and charged a columnist and an editor with inciting the police force to subordinate in connection with an editorial critical of the government, according to local journalists and news reports. The printer of the publication has also been summoned to court twice in relation to the article.

Alerts   |   Somalia

Somali government should probe journalist's murder

Somali journalists carry the body of Abdisalan Sheikh Hassan. (AFP/Mohamed Abdiwahab)

New York, December 19, 2011--Somali authorities must pursue all leads in investigating the murder on Sunday of a broadcast journalist who had reported receiving several recent threats. A gunman in a military uniform shot freelance reporter Abdisalan Sheikh Hassan, according to local and international reports.

Alerts   |   South Africa

Criminal probe targets AP, Reuters cameras on Mandela

Reuters and The Associated Press are being investigated by authorities in South Africa for installing cameras pointed at Nelson Mandela's house, seen here. (AFP)

New York, December 16, 2011--South African authorities announced on Thursday the launch of a criminal probe against international news agencies The Associated Press and Reuters for installing cameras outside the home of anti-Apartheid figure Nelson Mandela, according to news reports.

Blog   |   CPJ, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Journalist Assistance, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Uganda

In Nairobi, plans to improve aid to exiled journalists

Kassahun Yilma left Ethiopia quickly in December 2009. He didn't have time to save money for the journey, choose a place to go, arrange housing or a job. He left his wife, his mother, his house and all his friends behind. Yilma didn't know what lay ahead. He only knew that if he stayed, he risked becoming a victim of a government-waged campaign against Addis Neger, the newspaper where he worked as a reporter.  "I ran away just to save my life," says Yilma, "because I was in fear for it."

December 16, 2011 10:25 AM ET

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Blog   |   Gambia

Pursuing justice for Gambia's Deyda Hydara

Deyda Hydara and his wife Maria circa 1989 (Hydara family)

December 16 will be the seventh anniversary of the killing of Deyda Hydara, the dean of Gambian journalism. It is also the 20th anniversary of the first issue of The Point, the courageously independent-minded daily that Hydara founded and directed for many years. He was murdered in a drive-by shooting as he drove himself and two staff members home from an evening of somber celebration at The Point's premises. He had received multiple death threats in the preceding weeks and months. In his last column, he vowed to keep fighting to the end for Gambians' right to speak their minds.

Alerts   |   Ivory Coast

Three newspapers suspended in Ivory Coast

Three Ivorian newspapers were temporarily suspended for running political commentary.

New York, December 14, 2011--The government of Ivory Coast should immediately lift its suspensions on the circulations of three newspapers that published critical commentaries on the country's five-month post-election conflict and its aftermath, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Blog   |   South Africa

Mission Journal: Secrets bill spurs South African press

A protest against pending state secrets legislation in South Africa. (Chris Yelland)

Irrespective of whether South Africa actually implements the most draconian parts of state secrets legislation now under consideration, the media in the continent's most open democracy already feel under threat. The prospect of 25-year jail sentences for journalists publishing "classified" information has galvanized disparate news outlets and journalists groups to work together like never before. 

Blog   |   Ethiopia

Awramba Times is latest Ethiopian paper to vanish

Awramba Times featured parliamentary affairs, health issues, women's issues, satire, and folklore. (CPJ)

A couple of weeks ago, newspaper editor Dawit Kebede, an International Press Freedom award winner, fled Ethiopia. Sadly, Dawit's Awramba Times is the latest in a long list of Amharic-language private publications to vanish from the market following the incarceration or flight into exile of their editors.

December 9, 2011 5:27 PM ET

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Blog   |   Ethiopia

Intimidation or imprisonment by 'democratic instruments'

The government of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, foreground, is holding seven journalists, most on anti-state charges. (Reuters)

Three years ago, I met Minister Bereket Simon at his office at the center of Addis Ababa. I was with my colleague Abiye Teklemariam -- who was recently charged with terrorism, treason and espionage along with five other journalists, including myself.

Blog   |   Rwanda, Uganda

The silent funeral of an exiled Rwandan journalist

Charles Ingabire was shot dead at 32. (Ally Mugenzi/BBC)

The crime reporter for Uganda's vibrant Daily Monitor, Andrew Bagala, went to an odd funeral over the weekend. Last week, he covered the murder of online journalist Charles Ingabire, 32, who was shot dead in the early hours of Thursday morning by unknown gunmen at a bar in a Kampala suburb. "I decided to follow up the case and attend the funeral," he told me. "It was first funeral I have ever been to in Africa where there was silence."

December 5, 2011 5:15 PM ET

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Blog   |   Eritrea

Solomon Abera, who voiced end of Eritrean free press, dies

Solomon Abera was once a presenter for state television ERI-TV. (Solomon Abera)

The name Solomon Abera will forever be etched in the collective memory of Eritrea's press corps. On September 18, 2001, as the world focused its attention on the terrorist attacks on the United States, the government of Eritrea borrowed Abera's voice to sound the death knell, on state-controlled airwaves, of the Red Sea nation's independent press. Shortly after Abera read the announcement, the government rounded up leading independent newspaper editors and a dozen ruling-party dissidents calling for democratic reform -- all of whom have disappeared in custody.

Ten years to the day after being handed one of the most chilling news items he ever read on Dimtsi Hafash radio during his 14 years as a reporter, presenter, producer, and commentator, Abera reflected on the experience on our blog.

Today, we learned that Solomon Abera, who lived in exile in Germany after fleeing government censorship and intimidation in 2005, is no more.

December 2, 2011 5:12 PM ET

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Blog   |   Ivory Coast

Justice pins Gbagbo, but not yet Ouattara's forces

Pro-Ouattara FRCI soldiers patrol along a road in Yopougon. (Reuters).

This week, former Ivory Coast ruler Laurent Gbagbo was extradited to the Hague to account for alleged human rights violations before the International Criminal Court. Justice appears to be slower in coming to rival fighters loyal to current President Alassane Ouattara. According to CPJ research, Ouattara's forces have been involved in the deaths of two journalists, most recently Gilles Tutsi Murris Dabé.

Dabé, 39, a presenter with private Radio Nostalgie, was killed by a stray bullet around midnight on November 20, after fighters from the pro-Ouattara Republican Forces of the Ivory Coast (known by the French acronym FRCI) opened fire at a car at a checkpoint near the president's private residence, according to news reports and local journalists. The fighters opened fire after the driver refused to stop, witnesses told CPJ.

Alerts   |   Ivory Coast

Three opposition journalists detained in Ivory Coast

New York, November 28, 2011--The administration of Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara has detained without charge three journalists from an opposition newspaper since Thursday, in violation of the country's own press law and constitution, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

November 28, 2011 2:05 PM ET

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Blog   |   South Sudan

South Sudan journalist speaks out after illegal detention

South Sudan President Salva Kiir said the Destiny article was defamatory. (CPJ)

Detained without charge for 18 days, tortured, and released without explanation, South Sudanese journalist Peter Ngor plans to fight back. "I am going to sue them [in] court. What they did to me was completely, utterly wrong," said Ngor, the editor of a new, private, English-language daily called Destiny.

Still, Ngor believes that his illegal detention was the work of a few individuals, and that ultimately, the world's newest country will support freedom of the press. "There are powerful individuals who want to stop the press for their own interests," he said.


November 22, 2011 4:32 PM ET

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Alerts   |   South Africa

South Africa lower house passes information bill

South Africans protest the information bill outside parliament. (Anna Majavu/Sunday Times)

New York, November 22, 2011--The South African National Assembly today passed an information bill which would sanction unauthorized possession and publication of classified state information with a prison term of up to 25 years, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the upper house of parliament to reject the bill, which has been criticized by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former President Nelson Mandela, among others.

Alerts   |   South Africa

Zuma spokesman targets South African weekly

Mail & Guardian

New York, November 21, 2011--The spokesman for South African President Jacob Zuma filed a criminal complaint on Saturday against two journalists investigating his alleged role in a $US5 billion international arms deal that became embroiled in scandal, according to news reports.

Weekly investigative paper Mail & Guardian sought comment last week from presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj, also a member of the ruling African National Congress, regarding information leaked from a confidential 2004 police deposition about his role in an arms deal, editor Nic Dawes told the local press. Maharaj asked the journalists how they obtained the information and referred the inquiry to his lawyers, BDK Attorneys, according to news reports. The lawyers threatened the newspaper with criminal prosecution under a 1998 law punishing unauthorized disclosure of a suspect's testimony in an investigation with a prison term of up to 15 years, news reports said.

Alerts   |   Ethiopia

Dawit Kebede joins Ethiopia's exiled journalists

Kebede, left, is presented with a 2010 CPJ award by Wall Street Journal editor Robert Thomson. (Afrikanspot)

New York, November 21, 2011--Dawit Kebede, managing editor of Awramba Times, one of Ethiopia's two remaining independent Amharic-language newspapers offering critical analysis of local politics, announced today that he was forced to leave the country after he received a tip last week about alleged government plans to re-imprison him. Kebede also said that the paper was unlikely to continue publishing.

Kebede, whom CPJ honored a year ago for perseverance in pursuing independent journalism in Ethiopia despite ongoing government intimidation, told CPJ from Washington, D.C., that official sources warned him on Thursday of preparations by the Ministry of Justice and Government Communication Affairs to revoke the conditional pardon that authorities offered in 2007 to him and other imprisoned journalists rounded up in a brutal November 2005 crackdown.

November 21, 2011 2:16 PM ET

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Blog   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopian satirist silently joins ranks of the exiled

An Abé Tokichaw column from March 2011 (CPJ)

Newspaper satirist Abebe Tolla, better known as Abé Tokichaw, fled Ethiopia fearing imprisonment in retaliation for critical news commentaries, media reported this week. His exit was overshadowed by the trial of opposition figures and journalists on charges of terrorism.

In an interview he gave to U.S.-based Addis Neger Online from an undisclosed location, Abebe said he fled the country because security agents threatened to throw him in prison. He did not even bid farewell to family members. Abebe alleged that state security agents pressured him for months to become an informant at his newspaper, the critical Amharic weekly Feteh.

November 16, 2011 5:40 PM ET

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Blog   |   Angola, China, Internet, Iran, Nigeria, Russia

Defending the middle ground of online journalism

It's easy to use polarizing descriptions of online news-gathering. It's the domain of citizen journalists, blogging without pay and institutional support, or it's a sector filled with the digital works of "mainstream media" facing financial worries and struggling to offer employees the protection they once provided. But there is a growing middle ground: trained reporters and editors who work exclusively online on projects born independent of traditional media. They share many of the practices of an older generation of reporters, but their work draws from the decentralized and agile practices of the digital world. 

Alerts   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopia charges six journalists with terrorism

From left: Nega, Gellaw, Negash, Teklemariam, Yenealem, and Belew. (CPJ)

New York, November 11, 2011--A judge in Ethiopia's federal high court charged six journalists with terrorism on Thursday under the country's antiterrorism law, bringing the number of journalists charged under the statute since June to 10, CPJ research found. 

Alerts   |   Liberia

Liberian government silences three broadcasters

Liberian police face opposition CDC supporters in the run-up to presidential elections. Three broadcasters have been shut down by the government for covering the CDC party's campaign. (AFP)

New York, November 8, 2011--The administration of incumbent Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf silenced on Monday three Liberian broadcasters that have covered the campaigning of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) party in the run-up to today's runoff presidential vote, according to news reports.

Alerts   |   South Sudan

South Sudan security detains two journalists

Two journalists were arrested over a story criticizing President Salva Kiir, for allowing his daughter to marry an Ethiopian national. (The New Sudan Vision)
New York, November 7, 2011--Two South Sudanese independent journalists have been imprisoned since last week over a column critical of President Salva Kiir, according to local journalists and news reports.

On November 1, South Sudan National Security Services (NSS) agents in the temporary capital of Juba arrested Peter Ngor, editor of the private daily Destiny, and ordered the indefinite suspension of his newspaper for running an October 26 opinion article by columnist Dengdit Ayok, news reports said. The article, titled "Let Me Say So," criticized the president for allowing his daughter to marry an Ethiopian national and accused him of "staining his patriotism," news reports said. 

November 7, 2011 1:01 PM ET

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Blog   |   Kenya

Glimmer of hope for justice in Kenyan death

From left, Francis Nyaruri's father, Peter Nyaruri; Peter's wife; the journalist's widow, Josephine Kwamboka; and his sister (CPJ)

Slain journalist Francis Nyaruri received threatening calls from a senior policeman shortly before he disappeared and his decapitated body was found in Kodera forest, western Kenya, a court sitting in Kisumu heard today in the presence of two murder suspects and four witnesses.

November 3, 2011 4:28 PM ET

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Blog   |   Gambia

U.S. senator again presses Gambia on missing journalist

Amnesty International campaigns in front of U.S. Congress. (Ilona Kelly)

On Thursday, U.S. Senator Richard Durbin sent a letter to Gambia's justice minister, Edward Gomez, renewing his appeal for the release of local journalist Ebrima "Chief" Manneh. Manneh disappeared more than five years ago after security agents seized him at the offices of his newspaper, the Daily Observer.

November 3, 2011 3:55 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Somalia

Invoking security, Puntland bans two TV stations

Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Faroole
lambasted the media for undermining national security. (AFP)

New York, November 2, 2011--Authorities in northern Somalia banned two private broadcasters from operating in Puntland Tuesday, blaming independent media coverage for undermining national security as they grapple with potentially destabilizing violence in the region, according to local journalists and news reports.

The Information Ministry in semi-autonomous Puntland banned the local operations of Universal TV and Somali Channel TV, accusing the stations of "working with the peace haters who are always against the Puntland security," according to CPJ's translation of the directive.

Alerts   |   Angola

Armed men threaten journalist in Angola's Cabinda

New York, October 31, 2011-- Authorities in the Angolan enclave of Cabinda should take all steps necessary to ensure the safety of independent journalist José Manuel Gimbi, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today following reports that unidentified armed men raided Gimbi's residence Thursday and threatened to harm him.

October 31, 2011 4:51 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopia steps up terrorism allegations against journalists

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles
Zenawi speaks to Parliament Thursday. (CPJ)

New York, October 24, 2011--Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi last week accused journalists in the country of being "messengers" with "terrorist" groups, while a state newspaper accused the chief editor of an independent publication of having terrorist ties and called on security forces to "take action" against him. The Committee to Protect Journalists today said it condemns this campaign of intimidation against the private press.

Alerts   |   Mauritius

Mauritius jails journalist for contempt of court

Dharmanand Dooharika (Lexpress)

New York, October 20, 2011--Authorities in Mauritius today imprisoned a journalist for contempt of the Supreme Court and levied two fines over coverage of a case, according to local journalists and news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the sentences.

Editor-in-Chief Dharmanand Dooharika of the private weekly Samedi Plus was incarcerated in the main prison in the town of Beau-Bassin, even though his appeal is pending against the three- month jail sentence handed down Monday by Justice Keshoe Parsad Matadeen of the Mauritius Supreme Court, defense lawyer Ravi Rutnah told CPJ.

Alerts   |   Somalia

Puntland radio station hit by grenade attack

Radio Galkayo was damaged in a grenade attack. (Raxanreeb)

New York, October 19, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Tuesday's grenade attack on a Puntland radio station and calls for authorities to take immediate steps to identify and prosecute the perpetrators. This was the third local radio station hit with a blast in three months, CPJ research showed.

On Tuesday evening, a grenade was hurled into the studios of Radio Galkayo, a community radio station covering local news and current affairs based in the city of Galkayo in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland. The blast destroyed the back wall and a window to the office of Managing Director Abdullahi Hersi, local reports said. No one was hurt in the attack, but the station's staff was working in fear, the reports said. In January 2010, Radio Galkayo was damaged by a grenade that destroyed one studio and a roof, local journalists said.

October 19, 2011 2:30 PM ET

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Blog   |   Eritrea, Ethiopia

Swedish support for jailed colleagues in Ethiopia, Eritrea

Swedish journalist Elsa Persson (Journalisternas Solidariska Fängelseaktion)

If you pass by Kronoberg Prison in Sweden's capital, Stockholm, you will see journalists chained to its gates. They have committed no crime. For over a week, journalists have taken turns locking themselves up in front of the prison to raise awareness of the imprisonment of three colleagues held in the Horn of Africa.

October 17, 2011 4:47 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Nigeria

Nigeria police arrest six journalists

The Nation's office in Lagos. (AP)

New York, October 12, 2011--Police in Nigeria arrested six journalists and one staff member from independent daily The Nation on Tuesday concerning the publication of a purported private letter from former head of state Olusegun Obasanjo to President Goodluck Jonathan about administrators of government agencies, local journalists reported.

On the front page of its October 4 edition, The Nation published a letter, allegedly written by Obasanjo, that recommended Jonathan replace five CEOs of several government agencies, news reports said. Obasanjo filed a complaint last week, accusing the newspaper of publishing the letter with a forgery of his signature, Olusola Amore, the national police spokesman, told CPJ. The Nation, widely perceived as an opposition paper, said in a statement that they stand by their story and the letter's authenticity.

October 12, 2011 4:55 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Angola

Angolan editor given one-year suspended prison term

William Tonet (Alexandre Neto)

New York, October 12, 2011--An Angolan judge handed a suspended prison term and a fine to the editor of an independent newspaper on Monday in connection with stories that alleged corruption and abuse of power by five senior officials close to President José Eduardo Dos Santos, according to news reports and local journalists. 

Judge Manuel Pereira da Silva convicted William Tonet, editor of the private weekly Folha 8, of criminal libel and sentenced him to a year in prison, suspended for two years, and a fine of 10 million kwanza (US$105,000), news reports said. In a highly unusual move, the public prosecutor withdrew the charges in court and demanded the acquittal of the journalist, local journalists told CPJ. The judge ignored the request.

October 12, 2011 1:09 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Ethiopia

Zenawi calls jailed Swedish journalists terror accomplices

Ethiopia Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (Reuters)

New York, October 11, 2011--Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's public accusations on Monday against two imprisoned Swedish journalists compromise the presumption of their innocence and predetermine the outcome of their case, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The journalists were arrested in Ethiopia in July and charged with terrorism for associating with armed separatists.

In July, Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye, contributors to the Sweden-based photo agency Kontinent, were arrested after they crossed with rebels of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) into Ogaden, an oil-rich province where the media is barred independent access. Earlier this year, the Ethiopian government formally designated the ONLF a terrorist group under an anti-terrorism law. Under this 2009 law, journalists risk up to 20 years in prison if the government deems their reporting favorable to groups designated as terrorists. Both journalists were charged without their lawyers present, CPJ research shows.

October 11, 2011 5:24 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Gambia

Gambian minister should disclose Manneh's fate

Gambian Press Union
New York, October 11, 2011 - An official of the Gambian government publicly indicated knowledge of the whereabouts of missing journalist Ebrima "Chief" Manneh, according to news reports. The government, which has repeatedly denied any involvement in Manneh's 2006 disappearance, must immediately disclose the details of his status, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
October 11, 2011 4:41 PM ET

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Blog   |   Equatorial Guinea

Obiang prize goes down to the wire

Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is a stubborn man.  In 2008, the president of Equatorial Guinea made a $3 million donation to UNESCO to underwrite a prize in the life sciences. But a groundswell of opposition from human rights groups, press freedom organizations, and governments appalled by Obiang's record of kleptocracy and human rights abuses helped raise a global ruckus. Public pressure eventually forced UNESCO's executive board to reach a face saving agreement to suspend the prize while promising "to continue the consultations among all parties."

October 3, 2011 10:03 AM ET

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Blog   |   Burundi

Burundi media defy censorship order

A woman mourns at the burial of a man killed in the Gatumba shooting. (Reuters)

Tensions between the Burundi government and the local press are bound to increase as several media this week defied an order not to investigate or discuss a recent massacre. While officials say the measure is "temporary" and necessary to safeguard national unity and the course of justice, independent journalists are asserting their right to publish information in the interest of public accountability.

September 30, 2011 5:40 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Somalia

AU forces say four soldiers responsible for journalist's death

Noramfaizul Mohd, hours before he was killed. (Bernama)

New York, September 26, 2011--Four African Union soldiers deployed in Somalia have been suspended and returned to their home country of Burundi for potential trial after an internal investigation found them responsible for the shooting death of a Malaysian journalist this month. In a statement issued today, the African Union Mission in Somalia, or AMISOM, apologized for the shooting, which injured a second Malaysian journalist.

The troops fired on a Malaysian humanitarian aid convoy traveling to its base at the Mogadishu airport, according to witnesses cited in international news reports. Killed in the September 2 gunfire was Noramfaizul Mohd, 39, a cameraman for Malaysia's national Bernama TV who was accompanying the humanitarian mission. Aji Saregar, 27, a camera operator for Malaysia's TV3, was struck in the right hand by gunfire.

September 26, 2011 6:24 PM ET

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Blog   |   Equatorial Guinea

UNESCO must reject Obiang prize bid

The Committee to Protect Journalists joined with eight other human rights organizations today in opposing the bid for a UNESCO life sciences prize named after Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. CPJ and other groups have consistently voiced their opposition to this prize, saying that Equatorial Guinea's human rights record undercuts the UNESCO mission.

Last year, after human rights organizations, press freedom groups, scientists, journalists, and intellectuals spoke out against the bid, the Obiang prize was suspended indefinitely.

The press release can be seen here

September 26, 2011 5:29 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Eritrea

Journalists face threats in covering Isaac imprisonment

Meron Estefanos was threatened over her coverage of journalist Dawit Isaac. (Sven Lindvall/Expressen)

New York, September 26, 2011--A Sweden-based journalist was publicly threatened Friday in connection with her reporting on the case of Dawit Isaac, a Swedish-Eritrean journalist who has been imprisoned in Eritrea for a decade without charge, according to news reports and CPJ interviews. A day earlier in New York, bodyguards for the Eritrean leader Isaias Afewerki pushed and threatened two Swedish journalists seeking to speak to the president about the Isaac case, the journalists said. 

Blog   |   Eritrea

Eritrea: Let's lift the shroud of 10 years of misery

On September 18, 2001, President Isaias Afewerki banned all independent press in Eritrea. (AP)

Since Zaid Tewelde's husband, an Eritrean freedom fighter turned playwright and journalist, was arrested in September 2001, she has spent each passing day coping with the burning questions of her two young sons, age 9 and 10, "Where is my dad? When are we going to see him?" And she is not alone. Like Zaid, the wives of journalists Seyoum Tsehaye, Dawit Isaac, Yusuf Mohamed Ali, and Temesghen Ghebreyesus, among others, have endured the same haunting questions 365 days a year for a decade.

Blog   |   Gambia

Gambia VP touts tourism, downplays human rights issues

Gambian Vice-President Isatou Njie-Saidy (AFP)

The Gambia has an image problem: Dubbed the "Smiling Coast of Africa," it is a tourist destination, but its government has one of the region's worst records of human rights abuses. On Tuesday, at an African tourism promotion event in New York City, Gambian Vice-President Isatou Njie-Saidy headed a delegation working toward improving the negative perceptions of the country.

In a discussion with Njie-Saidy after the event, I mentioned to her that an Internet search of the Gambia yields many results about its human right abuses. In response, she shifted the topic to the United States: "Do they tell you about Guantánamo Bay? Seems like a human rights issue," she said. "And, you know, in the Internet, you have a lot of garbage. ... Don't believe everything you read: You have to look in between." She later accused social media of peddling untruths: "Social media is the problem," she said.

September 21, 2011 3:26 PM ET

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Alerts   |   South Africa

South Africa's ruling ANC pulls secrecy bill

Children march with signs protesting the Protection of Information Bill. (Right2Know)

New York, September 20, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is relieved by Monday's decision by the parliamentary majority of South Africa's ruling party to withdraw a controversial bill from consideration pending further consultation with public interest groups over its contentious clauses.

Blog   |   Ethiopia

In Ethiopia case, a response to WikiLeaks

Last week, we learned that Ethiopian journalist Argaw Ashine was facing possible arrest and needed to flee the country. During a 10-day period in September, he had been summoned three times by Ethiopian authorities and questioned about a reference to him in a cable sent by the U.S. Embassy in October 2009 and made public by WikiLeaks last month.
September 19, 2011 1:05 PM ET

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Blog   |   Eritrea

When Eritrea shut down the independent press

Ten years after the author reported the government's shutdown of the private press, Eritrea continues to imprison journalists swept up in the crackdown. Among them is Dawit Isaac, a Swedish-Eritrean national whose case has drawn wide attention. (Petra Jankov Picha)

It was September 18, 2001. As usual, I had to do my shift as a news reader on Eritrea's national government-controlled radio station Dimtsi Hafash. It was just minutes before 6:30 a.m. I was almost ready with all of the Tigrinya news material given to me for broadcasting and was waiting for the on-air sign to flash and the countdown to begin. Then the phone rang.

September 18, 2011 1:16 PM ET

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Blog   |   Eritrea

EU resolution urges Eritrea to free long-jailed journalists

From left, European Parliament members Judith Sargentini, Charles Tannock, Ana Gomes, and Olle Schmidt call for the release of Eritrean political prisoners. (European Parliament)

Eritrea was on the hot seat Thursday in Strasbourg and Brussels. Ten years after a massive crackdown on dissent in Asmara that included the arrests of 11 independent journalists, European institutions have signalled that they are weary of President Isaias Afeworki's repression. 

September 16, 2011 5:51 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Ethiopia

Two Ethiopian journalists detained on terrorism charges

New York, September 16, 2011--Authorities in Ethiopia arrested two independent journalists this week on accusations of involvement in a terrorism plot, bringing the total number of journalists imprisoned since June under the country's far-reaching antiterrorism legislation to six, CPJ research shows.

September 16, 2011 5:04 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Somalia

Attackers shoot journalist in Somalia

Horriyo Abdulkadir Sheik Ali (NUSOJ)

New York, September 15, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the Wednesday evening shooting of a Somali radio journalist in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, and calls on the government to immediately take steps to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Unknown gunmen shot 20-year-old radio journalist Horriyo Abdulkadir Sheik Ali four times on Wednesday evening as she left her office at Radio Galkayo, the state broadcaster in the Garsoor neighborhood of Galkayo, local journalists told CPJ. She was hospitalized in stable condition with wounds to the stomach, chest, and right hand, news reports said.

September 15, 2011 5:22 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopian journalist ID'd in WikiLeaks cable flees country

Addis Neger's newsroom in 2009, before the editors fled and the paper folded. (Addis Neger)

New York, September 14, 2011--U.S. diplomatic cables disclosed last month by WikiLeaks cited an Ethiopian journalist by name and referred to his unnamed government source, forcing the journalist to flee the country after police interrogated him over the source's identity, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. It is the first instance CPJ has confirmed in which a citation in one of the cables has caused direct repercussions for a journalist.

September 14, 2011 5:01 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Somalia

Journalists continue to be targeted in Somaliland

Waheen reporter Saleban Abdi Ali was harassed by Special Protection Unit officers. (NUSOJ)

New York, September 12, 2011--Authorities in the semi-autonomous republic of Somaliland are obstructing independent journalists from covering government politics, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Four reporters have been harassed and arrested while on assignment since early September.

Blog   |   Namibia

A quiet victory for The Namibian

Namibians wanted independent journalism, Lister says. (The Namibian)

Namibia's information minister recently announced that a decade-long state advertising boycott of The Namibian, the country's largest daily newspaper, would finally end. An action intended to punish the paper for its independence had failed.

It was back in December 2000 that former President Sam Nujoma told his cabinet to block all government advertising and purchases of the leading daily because he perceived the newspaper to be anti-governmental. Nujoma's decree caused the paper to lose 6 percent of its advertising revenue and 650 single-copy sales to government officials, The Namibian's founding editor and former CPJ award winner Gwen Lister said.  

Alerts   |   Ivory Coast

Ouattara fighters withdraw from Ivorian media outlets

The ransacked offices of Notre Voie. (Notre Voie)

New York, September 9, 2011--CPJ is relieved that fighters loyal to Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara relinquished control last week of offices belonging to newspaper publishers who supported ousted President Laurent Gbagbo, local journalists and news reports said.

September 9, 2011 9:10 AM ET

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Blog   |   South Sudan

Mission Journal: South Sudan's struggle for a free press

In the first months of an independent South Sudan, the press is feeling its way. (AP)

The former guerrillas of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) fought a 22-year civil war for greater autonomy and civil rights for the southern Sudanese people, culminating in South Sudan's independence this July. But local journalists fear the former rebels turned government officials still harbor a war mentality that is unaccustomed to criticism, and that they are not prepared to extend the freedoms they fought hard to attain. "We are still recovering from a war culture," Oliver Modi, chairman of the Union of Journalists of Southern Sudan, told me. "There is just too much ignorance toward the press. We are not used to systems, structures--even the media," he said, pointing to a list of eight documented cases of attacks against the press this year.

September 8, 2011 1:44 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, terrorism charges against five journalists

From left, Reeyot, Woubshet, Persson, and Schibbye. (Feteh, Awramba Times, Kontinent)

New York, September 7, 2011--Ethiopia filed terrorism charges on Tuesday against four independent journalists detained in the country since June and July, along with the editor of a U.S.-based news forum critical of the Addis Ababa government, according to local sources and news reports.

Alerts   |   Democratic Republic of the Congo

In pre-election violence, arsonists target DRC TV station

A workstation inside RLTV. (John Bompengo)

New York, September 6, 2011--Unidentified armed men today torched the studios of a private television station that aired programs favorable to Democratic Republic of Congo opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, local journalists and news reports said.

At around 2 a.m., a dozen men threw tear gas into the studios of Radio Lisanga Télévision (RLTV), based in the capital, Kinshasa, and poured gasoline on the premises. They then used Molotov cocktails and incendiary grenades to set the station on fire, news reports said. Two RLTV employees escaped the flames by climbing onto the station's rooftop through an air conditioning shaft, Mamie Mareza, the station's news director, told CPJ. 

September 6, 2011 6:21 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Angola

Journalists attacked while covering protest in Angola

Police and protesters in Luanda's Independence Square. (Alex Neto)
New York, September 6, 2011--Angolan security forces attacked journalists covering an anti-government protest on Saturday in the capital, Luanda, news reports said. At least two dozen people were arrested and several others injured as police blamed the violence on protesters.

September 6, 2011 3:18 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Malaysia, Somalia

AU must act after journalist is killed in Somalia

Malaysian cameraman Noramfaizul Mohd is the 35th journalist killed in direct relation to his work in Somalia. (Bernama)

New York, September 5, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the African Union to ensure the safety of civilians operating in Somalia after witnesses reported that AU forces fired on a Malaysian humanitarian convoy in Mogadishu on Friday, killing one journalist and injuring another. Calling the shootings "deeply regrettable," the African Union Mission in Somalia said in a statement that it has undertaken an investigation and would publicize its findings.

September 5, 2011 10:13 AM ET

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Alerts   |   South Africa

In South Africa, journalists attacked during ANC protest

Journalists take cover while Malema supporters protest the ANC leader's disciplinary hearing. (Daniel Born/The Times)

New York, August 31, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by anti-press violence by supporters of Julius Malema, youth leader of South Africa's ruling African National Congress, and is relieved that the party leader has urged restraint.

Alerts   |   Somalia

Grenade attack damages Puntland radio station

The front of private radio station Radio Daljir was damaged in a grenade attack on Friday. (Radio Daljir)
New York, August 29, 2011--Authorities in Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Puntland should conduct a thorough investigation into a grenade attack against a private radio station that left a security guard injured and the station damaged, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

"This is the second attack on Radio Daljir," said CPJ East Africa Coordinator Tom Rhodes. "We call on the authorities to do their utmost to see that the perpetrators of this attack are brought to justice so that Puntland sends a message that intimidation and violence against the media will not go unpunished."
August 29, 2011 4:35 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Democratic Republic of the Congo

DRC politician taped threatening journalist

New York, August 25, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo to investigate allegations of threats made earlier this month by a member of parliament against a journalist. The politician's threats were caught on an audio recording of the phone call, which was widely posted on the Internet.

August 25, 2011 3:49 PM ET

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Blog   |   Internet, USA, Zimbabwe

Legal protection falls short for Zimbabwe's Insider

The Insider is a political newsletter about Zimbabwe, edited by veteran journalist Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was printed as a 12-page leaflet until 2003, when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to publish with annual subscriptions. Rukuni made the move to the Web, where he continued to archive and publish stories at insiderzim.com. Rukuni's site has been one of the only outlets for investigative journalism in the country. Rukuni chose to host The Insider outside Zimbabwe, he says, for access speed and to protect it from local interference.  

August 24, 2011 2:52 PM ET

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Blog   |   Somalia

Evacuating Somali reporters who face unrelenting violence

Mukhtar Mohamed Hirabe was killed in 2009. (NUSOJ)

Somalia was among the world's deadliest countries for journalists in 2009, the year I began working with CPJ's Journalist Assistance program. On June 7, two gunmen shot Mukhtar Mohamed Hirabe and Ahmed Omar Hashi, the director and news editor of the country's leading independent station, Radio Shabelle. Hirabe died at the scene. Hashi barely survived and was hospitalized with wounds to the abdomen and right hand.

Alerts   |   Gambia

Gambian security agency threatens to close radio station

Taranga FM, under threat of closure by the National Intelligence Agency. (Taranga FM)
New York, August 12, 2011--Gambian state security agency forced radio station Taranga FM to drop its popular news and current affairs programs for the second time this year, local journalists said. The National Intelligence Agency (NIA) threatened to close the community station southwest of the capital, Banjul, if the broadcaster did not drop its daily news programs in Wolof and Mandinka.

Blog   |   Burundi

Burundi's journalists and lawyers face intense harassment

Rugurika (CPJ)

It's possible that no journalist in the world has received more court summonses in recent weeks than Editor Bob Rugurika of Burundi's Radio Publique Africaine (RPA), a station founded by CPJ award-winner Alexis Sinduhije.

On Tuesday, for the fifth time since July 18, Rugurika was interrogated by a magistrate in the capital, Bujumbura, about programs aired by his station, according to news reports and CPJ research. The magistrate allegedly asked Rugurika to "correct" a broadcast that pointed out that a 1996 U.N. report had implicated an official involved in the setting up of Burundi's Truth and Reconciliation Commission in a massacre, RPA Editor-in-Chief Eric Manirakiza told CPJ.

Blog   |   Togo

Togo journalists protest purported security threats

Togolese journalists at Saturday's protest. (Sylvio Combey)

Dozens of Togolese journalists marched in the capital, Lomé, on Saturday to call attention to reported allegations that government security agents planned to retaliate against critical reporters. The allegations themselves are in dispute--the government called them "fabricated"--but they are set against a recent U.N. report expressing concern over the official use of arbitrary detention and the alleged use of torture.

Alerts   |   Somalia

Radio Simba staffer shot outside his studio in Somalia

New York, August 5, 2011--The logistics manager and driver for Radio Simba, Farah Hassan Sahal, died from bullet wounds early Thursday evening just outside the station's compound in the restive Bakara Market in the capital, Mogadishu, Radio Simba Director Abdullahi Ali Farah told CPJ. Hassan was helping the station move damaged radio equipment when a sniper shot him three times, Farah said. Hassan, 45, is survived by his wife and eight children, he said.

August 5, 2011 2:55 PM ET

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Blog   |   Rwanda

Rwandan paper calls president a 'sociopath', apologizes

(Izuba)

Sometimes when a paper produces a defamatory piece, an apology will be published on page two in the next edition along with the day's news. In Rwanda, it would appear, a paper will use an entire edition to apologize--if the insults were directed at the president. The latest issue of Ishema, at left, is perhaps a sign of the times for Rwanda's press.

The vernacular bimonthly had recently published an opinion piece written under the byline "Kamikaze" that claimed President Kagame was a sociopath. Many within the media community protested, as did Adrien Servumba, who, branding himself "a concerned citizen," called on the state-run media ombudsman to reprimand the managing director, Fidele Gakire, the state news agency reported. On July 25, the agency reported that men in plainclothes seized copies of the paper from vendors. The same day, members of the Forum of Private Newspapers, an organization of newspaper owners, suspended Gakire from the group for six months. 

Alerts   |   Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast censors paper for column on Obama meeting

New York, August 4, 2011--The government of Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, who pledged to uphold democracy in a Friday meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, has suspended a newspaper over a reprinted opinion column criticizing the White House meeting, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

August 4, 2011 5:20 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Burundi

Burundi government harassing independent broadcasters

Burundi journalists march on World Press Freedom Day. (Jean Pierre Aimé HARERIMANA)

New York, August 3, 2011--The government of Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza is attempting to silence critical press coverage of his administration with incessant judicial harassment of two of the country's leading independent broadcasters, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. 

Blog   |   Eritrea

Habeas corpus writ seeks Dawit Isaac, jailed for 3,600 days

Journalist Dawit Isaac, co-founder of Eritrea's now-defunct leading newspaper Setit, has spent nearly 10 years in one of the reclusive Red Sea nation's secret prisons with no charges ever placed against him. Isaac's location and health status are currently unknown, as are those of at least 16 other journalists who CPJ believes are also being held incommunicado in the country.

August 3, 2011 12:06 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Somalia

Puntland frees jailed Somali journalist

New York, August 1, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the decision by authorities in Puntland, Somalia's northeastern semiautonomous region, to set free reporter Faysal Mohamed Hassan on Sunday. Mohamed, who wrote for the private news site Hiiraan Online, was serving a prison sentence over a story claiming that two murdered men belonged to Puntland's security personnel.

August 1, 2011 4:51 PM ET

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Blog   |   Guinea

Guinea's censorship order puts RFI in difficult spot

AFP

On Monday, Guinea's state-controlled media regulatory agency imposed a "temporary" ban on media coverage of the July 19 attack on the private residence of President Alpha Condé, silencing private radio and television talk programs in which critical questions were being raised about the episode. In such circumstances, Guinean listeners turn to foreign media outlets such as France's state-funded international broadcaster, Radio France Internationale (RFI), the most popular station in Francophone Africa. With programs such as "Appels Sur L'actualité," a daily news call-in show, RFI is considered by millions of African listeners to be an essential source of news and information. 

July 28, 2011 6:01 PM ET

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Letters   |   Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast's Ouattara must end persecution of journalists

Dear Secretary-General Ban: Ahead of your Wednesday meeting with new Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, and given your express commitment to make press freedom a priority during your second term as United Nations Secretary-General, we call on you to urge President Ouattara to reinforce the rule of law, the impartiality of justice, and the promotion of national reconciliation by ending the persecution of journalists and media outlets that were favorable to former leader Laurent Gbagbo.

Alerts   |   Malawi

Malawi cracks down on media covering protests

Malawi police arresting protesters. (Malawi Voice)

New York, July 21, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns sweeping arrests and attacks on journalists, as well as censorship by the administration of Malawi President Bingu Wa Muthiraka against media outlets reporting on nationwide antigovernment protests that erupted on Wednesday.

Alerts   |   Zambia

Zambian ruling party members charged in TV crew attack

Muvi Television journalists are interviewed after an attack in Nakachenje. (Muvi)

New York, July 20, 2011--Zambian law enforcement and judiciary officials must ensure that justice is fully served in Monday's attack against three television journalists and their driver, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Two officials of the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) have been arrested in connection with the attack.

Blog   |   Ethiopia

Terrorists? A look at two jailed Ethiopian journalists

At the end of June, Ethiopia's Anti-Terror Task Force arrested nine people on charges of attempting to "destroy electrical and telecommunication infrastructures" with support from Ethiopia's arch-enemy, Eritrea. Held under Ethiopia's far-reaching antiterrorism law, only four of the suspects' names have so far been revealed and two of them happen to be journalists

July 20, 2011 3:23 PM ET

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Blog   |   Ethiopia

UNHCHR grills Ethiopia on anti-terror law

Ethiopian officials were defiant in the face of U.N. questioning (UN)

This week, the Human Rights Committee of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights reviewed Ethiopia's compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, including its press freedom record. Peppered with questions about an indefensible record of abuse--jailing the second largest number of journalists in Africa and leading the continent in Internet censorship--representatives of the Ethiopian government responded with cursory talking points and bold denials in contradiction of the facts.

Blog   |   Kenya

Kenya's quiet information revolution

Kenya's new government database.

An information revolution is quietly unfolding in Kenya, potentially allowing the public greater access to government data and independent local news. This month, the nation became a regional leader in open government with the launch of a website providing easy access to volumes of public information. Journalists can tap into public budget data with relative ease through the government portal. 

July 15, 2011 2:18 PM ET

Alerts   |   Democratic Republic of the Congo

DRC's Kabila government bans broadcaster favorable to rival

New York, July 13, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the Democratic Republic of Congo's ban of a private broadcaster favorable to opposition presidential candidate Etienne Tshisekedi. The blocking and ban of the broadcaster since Saturday is in violation of the country's press laws. 

July 13, 2011 5:36 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Central African Republic

Central African Republic journalists released, fined

Sandy and Bambou are free after spending weeks in jail for covering public protests.(Centrafrique-Presse)

New York, July 12, 2011-- Two Central African Republic journalists were fined and released from custody Monday after being jailed for weeks in connection with their coverage of public protests by retired military officers who say the government failed to direct European Union funds to them as intended, according to news reports and local journalists.

Blog   |   Nigeria

Nigeria's new FOI law brings celebration, challenges

President Goodluck Jonathan signed a public information bill long in the making. (AP/Bebeto Matthews)

There is a deserved celebration in the Nigerian media over the recently passed Freedom of Information Act, which provides citizens with broad access to public records and information held by a public official or institution.  It is the climax of an 11-year struggle to pass such a law in the Nigerian parliament. Indeed, the call for such a law was first made under military rule, in 1993, when the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Civil Liberties Organisation, and the Media Rights Agenda began to clamor for it.

July 7, 2011 2:05 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Gambia

Jammeh must disclose knowledge of Manneh's fate

Gambian Press Union

New York, July 6, 2011--Gambian President Yahya Jammeh must clarify his March 16 comments suggesting that detained journalist "Chief" Ebrima Manneh has died, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. CPJ's call comes ahead of the fifth anniversary of the July 7, 2006, arrest of Manneh, left, who disappeared after being taken into government custody.

July 6, 2011 4:53 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Ethiopia, Sweden

Ethiopia detains two Swedish journalists

Persson (Kontinent)

New York, July 5, 2011--Two Swedish journalists reporting on the activities of armed separatists operating in an oil-rich province of eastern Ethiopia have been detained without charge since Thursday in the Horn of Africa nation, according to news reports and government officials.

Ethiopian security forces arrested photojournalist Johan Persson and reporter Martin Schibbye, contributors to the Sweden-based agency Kontinent, along the border with neighboring Somalia, government spokesman Bereket Simon told CPJ.

Alerts   |   Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe journalists face criminal defamation charges

Nyangove and Madanhire (The Standard)
New York, July 1, 2011--Detectives today charged private weekly Standard Editor Nevanji Madanhire, reporter Patience Nyangove, and Human Resource Manager Loud Ramakgapola with criminal defamation. The three were arrested at the newspaper's offices in Harare Wednesday morning and later released, local journalists told CPJ.

Authorities arrested the three over a story Nyangove wrote on Sunday about the weekend detention of the minister of state in the prime minister's office, Jameson Timba, local journalists said.

Blog   |   Internet, USA

Google+ for journalists at risk

A Google developers conference in May. (Reuters/Beck Diefenbach)

When they're creating new features, software designers talk in terms of "use cases." A use case describes steps that future customers might perform with a website. "Starting a group with friends," would be a use case for Facebook. "Buying a book" would be case for Amazon's designers. 

Alerts   |   Somalia

Puntland authorities arrest online journalist

(MAP)

New York, June 30, 2011--Police arrested Faysal Mohamed, at left, a reporter for the Hiiraan Online website Wednesday morning in the port town of Bossasso in the semi-autonomous republic of Puntland, local journalists told CPJ. No official charges have been brought against him, although the deputy commander of the Bossasso District Police told journalists that Mohamed was arrested for publishing a "false news report" on Hiiraan Online. He is currently being held in the Bossasso Central Police Station. 

June 30, 2011 5:03 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopia accuses two jailed journalists of terrorism plot

Reeyot Alemu and Woubshet Taye (CPJ/Awramba Times)

New York, June 29, 2011--The Ethiopian government today publicly today accused an editor and a columnist of involvement in a terrorism plot, according to news reports and local journalists. Woubshet Taye, deputy editor of the leading Awramba Times newspaper and Reeyot Alemu, columnist for the weekly Feteh, have been held incommunicado under Ethiopia's far-reaching anti-terrorism law since last week. 

June 29, 2011 4:28 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopian journalist likely held under anti-terrorism law

New York, June 23, 2011--Ethiopian authorities have been holding a newspaper columnist incommunicado since Tuesday, local journalists told the Committee to Protect Journalists. Reeyot Alemu, a regular contributor to the independent weekly Feteh, was expected to spend the next four weeks in preventive detention under what appears to be Ethiopia's sweeping anti-terrorism law.  

Alemu, at left, is the second journalist picked up and held without charge in less than a week and taken into custody at the federal investigation center at Maekelawi Prison in the capital, Addis Ababa. Deputy Editor Woubshet Taye of the weekly Awramba Times has been held since Sunday, according to CPJ research.
June 24, 2011 4:58 PM ET

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Blog   |   Senegal

Mission Journal: Politics influence justice in Senegal

President Wade protected a protege accused of orchestrating anti-press attacks. (AFP/Filippo Montegorte)
Senegalese journalists say justice is not on their side when they are victims of abuse by powerful officials or security forces. I met recently in Dakar with journalists targeted with criminal acts in apparent reprisal for their work. In these two high-profile cases, CPJ has found evidence of political influence on the judiciary.

Blog   |   Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, anti-terrorism law chills reporting on security

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's ruling party has designated five groups as terrorist entities. (AFP)

How can an Ethiopian reporter cover the activities of Ethiopia's leading opposition figure, Berhanu Nega, or an attack by the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) rebels without risking prosecution and a 20-year prison sentence? Such questions have haunted Ethiopian journalists since a far-reaching anti-terrorism law came into effect in 2009. The law criminalizes any reporting authorities deem to "encourage" or "provide moral support" to groups and causes the government labels as "terrorists."

Alerts   |   Democratic Republic of the Congo

Journalist murdered in Democratic Republic of Congo

New York, June 22, 2011--Authorities in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo town of Kirumba must thoroughly investigate the murder of radio journalist Witness-Patchelly Kambale Musonia, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The reporter's bullet-ridden body was discovered early this morning in Congo's North Kivu province.

June 22, 2011 5:58 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopian journalist illegally detained since Sunday

(Awramba Times)

New York, June 21, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Ethiopian authorities today to immediately release journalist Woubshet Taye, at left, who has been held since Sunday.

Police picked up Taye, deputy editor of the leading independent weekly Awramba Times, at his home in the capital, Addis Ababa, at 3 p.m. and confiscated several documents, cameras, CDs, and selected copies of Awramba Times, local journalists told CPJ. The newspaper covers politics in-depth.

June 21, 2011 5:44 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Kenya

In Kenya, hospital staff said to attack journalist

New York, June 20, 2011--Four employees of the Wajir District Hospital attacked journalist Abdi Hassan Hussein at the hospital on Saturday, the reporter told the Committee to Protect Journalists. Hassan, a reporter for the Wajir Community Radio Station in the far northeastern corner of the country, said he visited the hospital with three colleagues to investigate complaints from patients.

June 20, 2011 12:19 PM ET

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Reports   |   Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Journalist Assistance, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria

Journalists in exile 2011: Iran, Cuba drive out critics

Two of the world’s most repressive nations each forced at least 18 journalists to flee their homes in the past year. In exile, these journalists face enormous challenges. A CPJ special report by Elisabeth Witchel.

Newly freed Cuban detainees and their families in a bus after their arrival in Madrid. Exile was the price the detainees paid for their freedom. (AP/Victor R. Caivano)

Reports   |   Cameroon, Multimedia

Video report: A journalist in exile

In "A Journalist in Exile," Cameroonian reporter Agnès Tailè talks about the challenges she faces after leaving her home for the United States. Tailè tells CPJ's Sheryl A. Mendez how she was abducted, beaten, and threatened in connection with her critical reporting about social issues and armed conflict. (3:41)

Read our accompanying special report, "Journalists in Exile 2011," and visit our Journalist Assistance program to see how you can help.

June 20, 2011 12:03 AM ET

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Blog   |   Cameroon, UK

In exile: From a Cameroonian jail to immigration limbo

Atangana (David Dore)

I was arbitrary and unlawfully arrested and detained in a heavily secured military police detention facility in Cameroon for 40 days. I had to bribe my way out of the country to seek sanctuary and protection. 

Cameroon is a dictatorship dressed up as a fake democracy, with a leader in power for more than 29 years. As an investigative economics and current affairs journalist, I worked with the leading independent newspaper, Le Messager, and also with other newspapers before that. I wrote critical articles about the government and exposed its wrongdoing and corruption.

June 20, 2011 12:01 AM ET

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Blog   |   Cuba, Eritrea, Haiti, Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe

CPJ's exiled journalists survey: Behind the numbers

Berhane (Colin McConnell/Toronto Star)

In 2007, my colleague Karen Phillips suggested we do something to mark World Refugee Day. Initially planning to publish a brief statement, I set about reviewing our data for background, checking in with older journalist cases about their current situation and looking broadly for trends to highlight. As the number of cases began counting into the hundreds, it became clear that what we had was a new indicator of press freedom conditions. Today, we're marking our fifth year of publishing the CPJ survey of journalists in exile, which is based on 10 years of data on 649 cases. 

Blog   |   Ethiopia, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda

The Internet in East Africa: An aid or a weapon?

In Johannesburg. (CPJ)

Frank Nyakairu has seen it all. A veteran war reporter, he has covered the horrors of northern Uganda and Somalia, among others places. And throughout this time of rich but often appalling experiences, he has also seen the auspicious--and sometimes terrifying--impact the Internet has had on East African reporters. 

Nyakairu spoke at a recent workshop held in Johannesburg, South Africa, co-organized by Global Voices, Google Africa, and CPJ. Attendees at the conference comprised some of the most active African bloggers and online reporters on the continent who came to learn how to sharpen their online reporting skills while avoiding the censors. 

Alerts   |   Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone journalist murdered; suspects in custody

Foday (The Exclusive)

New York, June 15, 2011--Police in Sierra Leone have arrested three suspects, including a police officer, for the killing of a reporter this Sunday during violent clashes over a land dispute on the outskirts of the capital, Freetown, according to local journalists. 

Ibrahim Foday, 38, a reporter at the private daily newspaper The Exclusive, was beaten and stabbed by assailants during an outbreak of violence between neighboring villages Kossoh and Grafton, 16 miles (25 kilometers) southeast of the capital, Freetown, according to Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ). Foday, a resident of Grafton, was attacked for taking photographs of Kossoh rioters. 

Blog   |   Kenya

Acquitted: A Kenyan journalist struggles to report freely

(CPJ)

A court in Kisumu, western Kenya, recently acquitted journalist Bernard Okebe, at left, of graft charges after a two and a half year case against him. While the case is finally over, Okebe is still dealing with the fallout of being accused of blackmail.

In December 2008, the police chief of Nyamira, a town in western Kenya, accused Okebe of bribing him. Police Chief Lawrence Njoroge alleged that Okebe had demanded 15,000 Kenyan shillings (US$175) to stop him from publishing a damaging article against him.

June 14, 2011 11:02 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Central African Republic

Central African Republic editor charged with incitement

New York, June 7, 2011--Central African Republic authorities have charged the director of the independent weekly The Hills of Bangui, Faustin Bambou, with inciting hatred and disorder among the military forces and insulting the government, Bambou told CPJ. The director was sent directly to Ngaragba Prison in the capital, Bangui. Four military policemen arrested Bambou at his office on May 27 and detained him at their Research and Investigations Department for 10 days before they presented him with any official charges, according to local journalists.   

June 7, 2011 5:10 PM ET

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Reports   |   Colombia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Libya, Pakistan

The silencing crime: Sexual violence and journalists

Few cases of sexual assault against journalists have ever been documented, a product of powerful cultural and professional stigmas. But now dozens of journalists are coming forward to say they have been sexually abused in the course of their work. A CPJ special report by Lauren Wolfe

Chaotic public events are often the setting for sexual abuse of journalists. CBS correspondent Lara Logan was assaulted at this political demonstration in Cairo. (AP/Khalil Hamra)

Reports   |   CPJ

CPJ security guide: Addendum on sexual aggression

In conjunction with the release of its special report, “The Silencing Crime: Sexual Violence and Journalists,” CPJ is issuing an addendum to its existing journalist security guide. The addendum, written by CPJ Journalist Security Coordinator Frank Smyth, addresses the issue of sexual aggression against journalists and focuses on ways to minimize the risk.The addendum, published below, is also available in the full text of CPJ’s online security guide. 

June 7, 2011 8:59 AM ET

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Reports   |   Colombia, Multimedia, Pakistan

Audio Report: The Silencing Crime



Journalists around the world are talking more candidly about sexual abuse they've experienced on the job. CPJ Senior Editor Lauren Wolfe, author of the special report, "The Silencing Crime,"  describes her findings in this podcast. Listen on the player above, or right click here to download an MP3. (2:05)

Read CPJ's special report, "The Silencing Crime: Sexual Violence and Journalists."

June 7, 2011 8:58 AM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Security

In journalist security field, maturing and understanding

Journalists are facing increasing risk at public demonstrations. Here, a March rally in Islamabad to denounce the CIA. (Reuters/Mian Khursheed)

Journalist security is still a maturing field, but news organizations are devoting more attention to preparing their reporters and photographers for the dangers particular to the profession. That means understanding risks that are constantly evolving. The brutal attack on CBS correspondent Lara Logan at a Cairo demonstration has drawn worldwide attention to the issue of sexual assault against journalists--CPJ issued new guidelines on the threat today--but the case also points to an emerging, if lesser-known threat. In the past 18 months, more journalists have been killed covering violent demonstrations and other non-military events than at any time since CPJ began keeping detailed records two decades ago.

June 7, 2011 8:57 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Rwanda

Rwanda: Exiled editor sentenced for 'insulting' president

Gasasira in exile. (Gasasira)

New York, June 6, 2011--The Supreme Court sentenced the exiled online editor of Umuvugizi, Jean Bosco Gasasira, on Friday to a two year and six month term in prison. Gasasira received this sentence for allegedly insulting Rwanda's president and inciting civil disobedience, local journalists told CPJ. Gasasira believes the new sentence may stem from an online article he wrote that compared Rwanda's President Paul Kagame to Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, he said. The opinion piece concluded that the Rwandan president was more tyrannical than the Zimbabwean leader.

June 6, 2011 6:08 PM ET

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Blog   |   Burundi

Journalist freed in Burundi vows to keep reporting, carefully

Kavumbagu (AFP)
As recently as April, the state prosecutor in Burundi demanded journalist Jean-Claude Kavumbagu be put away for life. But just a month later, Africa's only jailed online journalist was a free man. A relentless international campaign by press freedom groups, human rights activists and Western governments had paid off.
May 31, 2011 6:02 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Uganda

Uganda police raid private newspaper, arrest four

Editor Alex Lubwaga was arrested with other staffers for criminal libel. (New Vision)

New York, May 25, 2011--Police raided the offices of the independent, Luganda-language weekly, Gwanga, Tuesday, arresting two senior editors and two other staff members on criminal libel charges, local journalists told CPJ. Twelve officers came to their offices in a suburb of the capital, Kampala, arresting Managing Editor Kizito Sserumaga, Coordinating Editor Alex Lubwaga, reporter Patricia Serebe and security guard, James Lukyamuzi. Police released the journalists and their guard from the Old Kampala Police Station at 8:30 p.m. on police bond. They reported back today, local journalists told CPJ.

May 25, 2011 12:37 PM ET

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Blog   |   Somalia

Exiled Somali journalists rally around wounded colleague

Colleagues gather to support Hassan. (CPJ)

Hassan Mohamed, nicknamed "Jaeyl" by his colleagues, used to be a jack-of-all-trades for Somalia's first independent broadcaster, HornAfrik. He was a journalist, a producer, and a librarian. He was even a dramatist. His most powerful professional role was keeping HornAfrik running when most senior staff members fled the country, fearing for their lives.

May 24, 2011 4:40 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Ivory Coast

In Ivory Coast, pro-Ouattara forces harass journalists

U.N. investigators check a reported mass grave in Yopougon, where one journalist was said to be buried. (UN/AP)

New York, May 24, 2011--The new government of freshly sworn-in Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara must launch a serious investigation into alleged harassment of journalists, including the killing of a reporter, by the republican forces of the Ivory Coast (the French acronym is FRCI), the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The FRCI backed Ouattara against his political rival Laurent Gbagbo.

May 24, 2011 11:10 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Libya, South Africa

Libya: Release body of South African photojournalist

(AP)

New York, May 20, 2011--The Libyan government should immediately release the body of South African photographer Anton Hammerl, at left, and investigate the role of the armed forces in his death, Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. 

Hammerl, 41, was shot and killed by government forces near Brega in eastern Libya on April 5. Three journalists traveling with him were detained by Libyan authorities until May 18 and announced Hammerl's death after their release.

May 20, 2011 5:45 PM ET

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Blog   |   Iraq, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka

Video: 'Living in silence: Journalists in exile'

We write a lot at CPJ about the terrible things that happen to journalists because of their reporting, but we don't often get a chance to show you what happens to them after they are forced to flee their homes and land abroad. This video, about three such journalists, is worth watching.

Alerts   |   Uganda

Uganda president publicly criticizes the press

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni at his swearing-in ceremony on May 12. (AP)

New York, May 18, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns President Yoweri Museveni for publically criticizing local and foreign media outlets. Museveni expressed anger over the outlets' coverage of protests by the opposition over rising fuel prices. In a letter published Tuesday in the state-owned daily New Vision, Museveni accused Al-Jazeera, the BBC, the Kenyan broadcaster NTV, and the local independent Daily Monitor of being supporters of recent opposition protests and "enemies of Uganda's recovery."

May 18, 2011 4:40 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Burundi

Online journalist finally released in Burundi

New York, May 17, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release of online editor Jean-Claude Kavumbagu of Net Press on Monday but still questions the original charges placed against him. The High Court dropped charges of treason on May 13 but sentenced Kavumbagu to eight months in prison and a fine of 100,000 Burundian francs (US$80) for publishing "information that discredits the state and economy," according to defense lawyer Gabriel Sinarinzi. Authorities released Kavumbagu on Monday since he had already spent 10 months at Mpimba Prison in the capital, Bujumbura. 

May 17, 2011 6:43 PM ET

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Blog   |   Rwanda

Rwanda's Kagame and journalist get into Twitter spat

President Paul Kagame is a leader who draws sharply divided opinions--praise from some for rebuilding Rwanda after the 1994 genocide and criticism from others over a record of repression of dissent and the press. On Saturday, a tweet critical of Kagame by British columnist Ian Birrell sparked a heated exchange about press freedom between the two men on the social networking site. 

May 16, 2011 2:29 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Uganda

Arsonists burn Ugandan journalist's home

Goodluck Musinguzi

New York, May 13, 2011--Investigators in Kabale must thoroughly investigate an arson attack on the home of Goodluck Musinguzi, contributor to the state-owned daily, New Vision, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Someone poured gasoline on the house and set it on fire while Musinguzi, his wife, and his newborn child were inside, he told CPJ. Musinguzi, a correspondent for the daily in the southwest border town Kabale, escaped the 2 a.m. blaze with his family but part of his house was destroyed.

May 13, 2011 5:47 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Uganda

Ugandan journalists targeted during Entebbe march

Kizza Besigye and his wife, Winnie Byanyima, wave to supporters during the procession. (AP)

New York, May 13, 2011--Security and military personnel attacked local and foreign journalists and confiscated their equipment on Thursday as they covered the return of opposition leader Kizza Besigye to Uganda.  Besigye returned to Uganda Thursday from Nairobi, where he was treated for injuries received when security forces assaulted him and his colleagues during demonstrations on April 28 in Kampala. 

Letters   |   Ivory Coast

New Ivory Coast president must improve press freedom

Dear President Ouattara: We are writing to ask that you uphold press freedom now that you have taken office. We ask that you ensure that journalists and media outlets close to former president Laurent Gbagbo are allowed to report freely, and take all necessary steps to solve the disappearance since 2004 of French-Canadian journalist Guy-André Kieffer.

Alerts   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopia censors UNESCO World Press Freedom Day event

Pro-government journalists and officials who replaced independent journalists sit on a WPFD panel in Addis Ababa on Tuesday. (Awramba Times)

New York, May 5, 2011--Officials in Ethiopia hijacked a local UNESCO-sponsored World Press Freedom Day event, installing government-backed journalists as speakers and nixing independent journalists slated to speak. There was no discussion, as originally planned, of this year's global theme on new media and the Internet at the Tuesday forum, according to local sources and news reports.

May 5, 2011 4:36 PM ET

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Reports   |   Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Russia, Syria, Tunisia

The 10 Tools of Online Oppressors

The world’s worst online oppressors are using an array of tactics, some reflecting astonishing levels of sophistication, others reminiscent of old-school techniques. From China’s high-level malware attacks to Syria’s brute-force imprisonments, this may be only the dawn of online oppression. A CPJ special report by Danny O’Brien

A security line outside Google's Beijing office. (AP/Andy Wong)

Reports   |   Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Multimedia, Russia, Syria, Tunisia

Audio Report: The 10 Tools of Online Oppressors




In our special report, "The 10 Tools of Online Oppressors," CPJ examines the 10 prevailing strategies of online oppression worldwide and the countries that have taken the lead in their use. In this accompanying podcast, CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney notes that these strategies range from sophisticated cyber-attacks to traditional brute-force techniques. Listen to the podcast on the player above, or right click here to download an MP3. (2:47)

Read CPJ's special report, "The 10 Tools of Online Oppressors."

May 2, 2011 8:44 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Zimbabwe

Suspicious break-in at Zimbabwe newspaper

New York, April 29, 2011--The Zimbabwe Republic Police should consider all possible leads, including a political motive, in investigating a break-in at the offices of leading independent daily NewsDay on Monday in which computer hard drives of senior editorial staff were stolen, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. 

April 29, 2011 4:35 PM ET

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Blog   |   Liberia, Libya

Tribute to Chris Hondros, who ventured far with his torch

Chris Hondros, Carolyn Cole, a rebel fighter, and the author in Liberia. (Courtesy Nic Bothma)

My dear friend Chris.

In the silence, I hear the symphony of memories that was your life as I knew it. I see your waving hand gestures and wry smile as you recount stories whilst we sit together in the tropical Liberian heat discussing everything from classical music to aperture priority. My heart and mind keep seeing you, hearing you, and struggling to believe you have moved on.

April 22, 2011 4:49 PM ET

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Blog   |   Libya

Tim Hetherington: A star inexorably, humbly rising

Hetherington at the opening night of the World Press Photo Award exhibition in Zurich, Switzerland, on May 7, 2008. (AP/Keystone/Eddy Risch)

I first met Tim Hetherington in Monrovia in 2005, in the run-up to Liberia's then historic elections, which officially drew the line under the country's 14-year civil war. Tim had already reported from Liberia in the chaotic final stages of that war in 2003, marching for days on end through dense and unforgiving tropical bush filming rebels making a last desperate assault on the regime of the falling president, Charles Taylor.

April 22, 2011 12:35 PM ET

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Letters   |   Cameroon

Year after Ngota death, CPJ calls for justice, reform

Dear President Biya: A year ago this week, journalist Germain Cyrille Ngota Ngota died in his cell in Nkondengui prison in the capital Yaoundé while in pre-trial custody on criminal charges based on his activities as the editor of the monthly Cameroon Express. We hold the government responsible for Ngota's death, and we call on you to initiate reforms so that no other Cameroonian journalist is thrown in prison in retaliation for reporting on issues of public interest. We urge you to implement reforms referring press offenses to civil courts, not criminal courts, in line with democracy, transparency and accountability.

Blog   |   Uganda

Ugandan media censored over Walk to Work protests

A police officer manhandles a journalist during a Walk to Work protest. (Joseph Kiggundu/The Monitor)
Freedom of the press in Uganda hit a new low late last week when the government, in response to a decision by opposition figures to demonstrate against the escalating price of food and fuel by walking to work, banned live coverage of the protests and issued a directive to Internet providers to block two popular social websites for 24 hours.
April 19, 2011 4:33 PM ET

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Blog   |   Liberia

Veteran Liberian press freedom fighter dies

The Liberian press is flourishing, but press freedom is a concern, Stanton B. Peabody told CPJ before his recent death.

Stanton B. Peabody, a pillar of the press in Liberia and mentor to generations of visiting foreign correspondents, died this week in Monrovia. He was 80. Stanton, affectionately called "Bob Stan" by friends and family, reported through five administrations, a coup that brought an army sergeant to power in 1980 and a civil war that toppled him in a bloodbath 10 years later. 

April 15, 2011 5:14 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Senegal

Senegalese editor Coulibaly convicted in defamation case

New York, April 14, 2011--A magistrate in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, found investigative journalist Abdou Latif Coulibaly guilty of criminal defamation today in connection with 2010 stories alleging fraudulent transactions between an agricultural business and the government, according to local journalists. Coulibaly is already appealing a suspended prison term in connection with a separate defamation case. 

April 14, 2011 4:53 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Swaziland

Swaziland security forces target journalists

New York, April 12, 2011--Authorities in the kingdom of Swaziland should allow the news media to report freely on anti-government protests, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today after security forces harassed at least 10 local and international journalists covering a mass demonstration demanding political and economic reform after more than two decades of rule by  King Mswati III.

April 12, 2011 4:37 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopia should allow German broadcasts

New York, April 11, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is calling on authorities in Ethiopia to ensure that broadcasts of the German state-funded station Deutsche Welle, which had been jammed, be allowed to air freely. Local journalists confirmed a report by the Bonn-based international broadcaster that its programs were inaudible in Ethiopia last week until Friday.

April 11, 2011 5:24 PM ET

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Letters   |   Burundi

Burundi must free Kavumbagu, halt flawed prosecution

Dear Justice Minister Ancilla Ntakaburimvo: We urge you to intervene in the case of Jean-Claude Kavumbagu, editor of the news website NetPress who has been improperly imprisoned since July 17, 2010, on a charge of treason. We call on you to urge the state prosecutor to drop the pending charge against Kavumbagu and secure his release.

April 11, 2011 11:58 AM ET

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Blog   |   South Africa

At NYU, South Africa's Motlanthe defends press policies

Motlanthe at NYU. (CPJ/Mohamed Keita)

On Monday, in a public lecture at New York University, South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe described as irreversible the democratic gains made since the end of apartheid, including the advancement of press freedom. "We have a constitution which guarantees basic human rights such as freedom of association, freedom of the press, and the independent judiciary," he declared. Many in South Africa, however, are not so sure that press freedom's future is secure. 

Alerts   |   Somalia

Somalia arrests 2 Shabelle staffers over insecurity report

New York, March 28, 2011--Security agents with Somalia's Interim Transitional Government arrested the director and news editor of Radio Shabelle on Sunday after the independent station aired a report saying the president was unable to visit areas recently captured by government and AU forces due to security concerns, according to news reports and CPJ interviews. The Ministry of Information deemed the March 22 report "factually incorrect and aiding the terrorists." 

March 28, 2011 3:07 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Ivory Coast

In Ivory Coast, Gbabgo and Ouattara camps attack press

New York, March 28, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns ongoing attacks, threats, and intimidation against journalists and news outlets covering the bloody political standoff in Ivory Coast. The government and supporters of incumbent ruler Laurent Gbagbo have been targeting newspapers critical of Gbagbo while rebel fighters backing his U.N.-backed rival Alassane Ouattara have also harassed journalists. 

Blog   |   Kenya, Somalia

A Somali journalist still gets taunting threats in exile

Abdi has been targeted from Somalia to Kenya. (CPJ)

It was February 2008 when Bahjo Mohamud Abdi received her first anonymous phone call. It was a man's voice asking her to confirm who she was. Abdi was a presenter and correspondent for the state radio in Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Puntland. Abdi confirmed her identity and thought no more about it. But then she received another anonymous phone call two hours later--informing her that she was talking to the "Somali Mujahadeen" and that they could see her in the local shopping center in downtown Baidoa. 

March 25, 2011 4:59 PM ET

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Blog   |   Gambia

Jammeh to news media: I set limits on press freedom

No sacrifices to the "altar of freedom of the press," says Jammeh. (AFP)

Last week, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh participated in a rare meeting with select members of the West African nation's press corps. Jammeh spoke in favor of access to public information. He announced that he would allow The Standard newspaper to resume publication, five months after the National Intelligence Agency forced its editor, Sheriff Bojang, to halt production. But the president largely lashed out at the Gambian private press and critics of his repressive media policies in the meeting, a tense session that was broadcast on state television. Jammeh, a former army captain who seized power in a 1994 coup, spoke in a harsh and contemptuous tone as he addressed media owners invited to the State House in the capital, Banjul.

March 23, 2011 12:55 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Cameroon

Cameroonian editor charged with criminal libel

New York, March 22, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the prosecution of a journalist in Cameroon over coverage of a labor dispute at a transportation company. A public prosecutor in the commercial city of Douala charged Editor Jean-Marie Tchatchouang of the weekly Paroles with criminal defamation on February 4, the journalist told CPJ.
March 22, 2011 3:23 PM ET

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Blog   |   Ivory Coast

In Ivory Coast, journalists pick sides or flee

Gbagbo youth leader Charles Blé Goudé urges supporters to take up arms. (AFP/Sia Kambou)

Reporting on the power struggle in Ivory Coast is increasingly perilous, with journalists facing a climate of threats, intimidation, and attacks that has forced many to choose between adopting partisan coverage or fleeing to safety. "Here, we are in a situation where if you are not with one camp, then you are against them. You must show you are partisan," reporter Stéphane Goué told CPJ today.

March 21, 2011 5:46 PM ET

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Letters   |   Gambia

In Gambia, Jammeh asked to clarify Manneh's 'death'

Dear President Jammeh: We request clarification of your March 16 comments suggesting "Chief" Ebrima Manneh, a reporter for the Daily Observer, may have died. Manneh disappeared after witnesses saw him being arrested by state security agents in the offices of the Daily Observer on July 7, 2007. The government has previously denied any knowledge of Manneh's fate.

March 21, 2011 3:50 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Uganda

CPJ condemns Ugandan police attack at protest

New York, March 18, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns an attack against the press covering an event organized by opposition party candidates in Uganda. The forces attacked about a dozen journalists covering a protest rally in Jinja, eastern Uganda, organized by three opposition parties on March 11, according to local journalists. 

March 18, 2011 12:08 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Angola

Angola's ruling MPLA obstructing independent reporting

The MPLA government of Angolan President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos is facing opposition protests. (EPA)
New York, March 16, 2011--Angola's ruling MPLA government must allow the press to freely cover public events, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today after a number of recent incidents in which authorities barred journalists from covering public events related to the country's opposition party.

Blog   |   Democratic Republic of the Congo

Killer of DRC technician said to wear police uniform

Hardy Kazadi Ilunga was just 21. A technician with the private station Radio-Télévision Mosaïque in the southern Democratic Republic of Congo town of Likasi, he was murdered late Saturday by a gunman apparently wearing a police uniform, according to the Congolese press freedom group OLPA and local journalists. 

March 16, 2011 2:18 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Comoros

Two Comoros journalists charged over presidential coverage

Ali Moindjié in his newsroom. (Abidina Mschinda)

New York, March 14, 2011--Two Comorian journalists charged today with "publishing false news" in their coverage of the formal handover of power between President Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi and President-elect Ikililou Dhoinine could face up to six months in prison if convicted, according to local journalists and news reports.

Alerts   |   Ivory Coast

Gbagbo forces block pro-Ouattara papers in Ivory Coast

New York, March 14, 2011--Security forces loyal to Ivorian ruler Laurent Gbagbo blocked distribution on Friday of pro-opposition newspapers reporting on the African Union's decision to confirm its recognition of rival Alassane Ouattara as president. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the obstruction and calls on authorities to halt further censorship.

March 14, 2011 4:19 PM ET

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Blog   |   Cameroon

Fearing Egypt-style revolt, Cameroon bars Twitter service

"For security reasons, the government of Cameroon requests the suspension of the Twitter sms integration on the network," announced a March 8 tweet by Bouba Kaélé, marketing manager of the Cameroon unit of South Africa-based telecommunications provider MTN. The announcement has since disappeared from Kaélé's Twitter feed, but was memorialized by a handful of Twitter users who retweeted the comment and the Cameroonian daily Le Jour, which printed a story.

March 14, 2011 12:56 PM ET

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Blog   |   Zimbabwe

For Zimbabwean journalist Saize, the absurd is routine

For 37-year-old Zimbabwean freelance journalist Sydney Saize, left, enduring arrest and assault has become absurdly routine--and the circumstances routinely absurd. Take his most recent detention, in February. Saize was reporting on a mundane criminal case in Mutare, capital of the diamond-rich Manicaland province, when the story suddenly turned dramatic.

March 14, 2011 10:34 AM ET

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Blog   |   Liberia

Bob Stan, Liberia press pioneer, captivates at 80

The Liberian press is flourishing, but press freedom is a concern, says Stanton B. Peabody.

Veteran journalist Stanton B. Peabody, a pioneer of press freedom in Liberia, turned 80 last month. Peabody, known to family and friends as "Bob Stan," is a captivating figure full of wisdom and humor. We talked recently about his journalism career, one that has tracked the blossoming of the press in Liberia. 

March 10, 2011 11:04 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Angola

Angolan journalist gets year in prison for defamation

Chicoca, right. (Armando Chicoca)

New York, March 3, 2011--A court in Angola's southwestern province of Namibe sent a journalist to prison today without due process over his coverage of a sexual harassment scandal that implicated the province's top judicial official, according to local journalists and news reports.

Judge Manuel Araujo sentenced Armando José Chicoca, a freelancer who reports for U.S. government-funded broadcaster Voice of America (VOA) and private Angolan newspapers such as Folha 8Agora, and O Apostolado, to one year in prison and a fine of 200,000 kwanza (US$2,100), according to news reports.

March 3, 2011 3:52 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea suspends journalist over Libya mention

Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang seen here with Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi. (AFP)
New York, March 2, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Equatorial Guinea's censorship of coverage of events in North Africa, the Middle East, and Ivory Coast. A state radio presenter's reference to Libya during a live radio program on Friday led censors to abruptly force the journalist off the air and order an indefinite suspension from the country's tightly monitored national airwaves, according to local journalists and news reports.

Alerts   |   Cameroon

Cameroon security forces obstructing journalists

New York, February 25, 2011--Cameroon's government is obstructing journalists from reporting on issues of public interest, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Security forces detained a journalist without charge for six days after he interviewed a jailed former official. They also seized footage from reporters covering the brutal repression of a banned opposition march on Wednesday.

Alerts   |   Uganda

Six journalists attacked in Uganda election violence

Opposition leader Kizza Besigye displays pre-marked ballot papers during a news conference Kampala. Election-rigging has been alleged in national and local polls. (AP/Stephen Wandera)

New York, February 24, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Ugandan police to conduct a thorough investigation and arrest all the perpetrators involved in the brutal attacks against six journalists on Wednesday during local elections in the capital, Kampala. Men believed to be supporters of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party mayoral candidate for Kampala, attacked journalists covering the mayoral elections at the Kakeeka polling station in the capital, local journalists told CPJ. 

Alerts   |   Ivory Coast

In Ivory Coast, police harass pro-Ouattara editors

Headlines of pro-opposition Ivorian papers. (AFP)

New York, February 18, 2011--Ivorian police in the economic capital, Abidjan, interrogated and issued summonses for questioning this week for editors of newspapers favorable to former presidential candidate Alassane Ouattara, according to local journalists. The U.N. has recognized Ouattara as the president-elect since disputed November 2010 runoff elections against President Laurent Gbagbo.

Blog   |   Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Zimbabwe

Sub-Saharan Africa censors Mideast protests

A man sets up a satellite dish in Zimbabwe, where state news is severely restricted on the ongoing protests in the Middle East, but where CNN is still accessible. (AP)As news of Middle Eastern and North African protests swirl around the globe, satellite television and the Internet prove vital sources of information for Africans as governments fearful of an informed citizenry and a free press such as in Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, and Zimbabwe impose total news blackouts on the developments.

Blog   |   Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Mexico, Pakistan

Documenting sexual violence against journalists

Jineth Bedoya takes notes in December 2000 under the watch of a bodyguard in Bogotá in an armored car after she was kidnapped, beaten, and raped in April that year. (AP/Ariana Cubillos)

The news of the sexual assault against CPJ board member and CBS correspondent Lara Logan hit us hard on Tuesday. At CPJ, we work daily to advocate on behalf of journalists under attack in all kinds of horrific situations around the world. Because of Lara's untiring work with our Journalist Assistance program, she's well known to everyone on our staff.

Blog   |   Uganda

CPJ calls on Uganda's Museveni to respect press freedom

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni (AFP)

In partnership with the Ugandan Human Rights Network for Journalists, CPJ has written a letter to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni asking him to respect press freedom and end a wave of attacks against journalists in the run-up to the February 18 general elections. At least 10 journalists have been attacked in election-related incidents since the electoral process began in November 2010, the letter states. Media outlets that provide a platform for opposition parties are facing intimidation, detentions, and censorship while opposition parties are denied air time despite broadcast licensing obligations to provide equal coverage for all presidential candidates. You can see the letter--and the signatures of 32 other press freedom groups--here.  

February 16, 2011 3:26 PM ET

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Blog   |   Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda

Nairobi Attacks launch probes investigative reporting

Journalists at CPJ's Nairobi launch of Attacks on the Press today. (CPJ)At CPJ's book launch of our annual survey of press freedom conditions across the world, Attacks on the Press, today in Nairobi, we focused on the growing theme of challenges to investigative journalism in Africa, with a particular look at East Africa. The subject certainly resonated with the local and foreign journalists here. 
February 15, 2011 3:01 PM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Angola, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe

Attacks on the Press 2010: Africa Analysis

Across Continent, Governments Criminalize
Investigative Reporting

Ivory Coast's President and 2010 presidential candidate Laurent Gbagbo talks to the press. (AFP Photo/Issouf Sanogo)

By Mohamed Keita

Across the continent, the emergence of in-depth reporting and the absence of effective access-to-information laws have set a collision course in which public officials, intent on shielding their activities, are moving aggressively to unmask confidential sources, criminalize the possession of government documents, and retaliate against probing journalists. From Cameroon to Kenya, South Africa to Senegal, government reprisals have resulted in imprisonments, violence, threats, and legal harassment. At least two suspicious deaths--one involving an editor, the other a confidential source--have been reported in the midst of government reprisals against probing news coverage.

Attacks on the Press   |   Angola

Attacks on the Press 2010: Angola

Top Developments
• Legislation criminalizes coverage that insults president, state institutions.
• Three top papers purchased by mysterious corporation. Coverage grows timid.

Key Statistic
2: Journalists killed in 2010, one a Togolese sports reporter, killed in soccer team ambush.


President José Eduardo dos Santos led one of the world's fastest-growing economies, but he faced criticism over social inequalities, corruption, and press freedom violations. Capitalizing on booming oil production and diamond mining, his government invested a reported US$1 billion to host the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in January. But the soccer tournament, which the government saw as an opportunity to enhance its international image, was marred when separatist guerrillas ambushed the Togolese national team, killing two people, including a journalist, and exposing the precarious security situation in the restive enclave of Cabinda. Dos Santos, in power since 1979, and his ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) sought to tamp down on independent reporting of the ambush. By mid-year, a corporate entity whose principals were not disclosed had purchased three of the country's leading independent newspapers and toned down their coverage.

February 15, 2011 12:49 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Cameroon

Attacks on the Press 2010: Cameroon

Top Developments
• Authorities unleash reprisals when journalists question oil company deal.
• Nation mourns the death of pioneering journalist Pius Njawé.

Key Statistic
4: Journalists jailed for leaked document. One dies in custody, a second alleges he was tortured.


When four newspaper journalists jointly sent questions to a top presidential adviser in late 2009, they hoped to learn more about alleged misuse of state oil company funds. Instead, they set off virulent government reprisals beginning in February that left one editor dead, another alleging he was tortured in state custody, and two others imprisoned for nine months. The case, the worst press freedom abuse in Cameroon in at least a decade, highlighted the brutal intimidation meted out by powerful public figures against journalists scrutinizing their activities.

February 15, 2011 12:42 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Democratic Republic of the Congo

Attacks on the Press 2010: Democratic Republic of Congo

Top Developments
• Government arrests several journalists on defamation charges.
• Journalists fear repression as 2011 presidential election approaches.

Key Statistic
2: Weeks that reporter Tumba Lumembu was held incommunicado by intelligence agents.


On the defensive over criticism of its human rights record and its handling of the conflict with rebels in eastern Congo, President Joseph Kabila's government censored news coverage and detained several journalists during the year.

February 15, 2011 12:38 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Ethiopia

Attacks on the Press 2010: Ethiopia

Top Developments
• Editor Dawit Kebede honored with International Press Freedom Award.
• Authorities jail critical journalists, jam VOA Amharic broadcasts.

Key Statistic
7: Hours that two newspaper editors were interrogated as Zenawi gave speech on freedom of choice.


The ruling Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front, or EPRDF, imprisoned journalists, jammed foreign broadcasters, and blocked websites as it swept general elections in May. The government-controlled National Electoral Board declared the EPRDF-led coalition of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, in power since 1991, the winner in all but two of 547 contested parliamentary seats, prompting opposition allegations of voter intimidation and ballot-rigging, as well as U.S. and European Union criticism. Zenawi won another five-year term as his government dismissed criticism of the vote as a smear campaign. Opposition leader Birtukan Mideksa was kept in prison until October.

February 15, 2011 12:35 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Nigeria

Attacks on the Press 2010: Nigeria

Top Developments
• Two journalists murdered, another assaulted in ethnic violence.
Secrecy surrounds death of President Yar'Adua.

Key Statistic
7: Journalists kidnapped in restive southern region. All are freed.


Official secrecy surrounded the heart ailment that eventually claimed the life of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, sparking a debate over what constituted public information. Nigeria celebrated 50 years of nationhood, but its celebration was marred by a deadly bombing for which a Niger Delta militant group claimed responsibility. Amid a climate of ethnic and political violence, exacerbated by widespread impunity, at least two journalists were killed in direct relation to their work, while a third was slain under unclear circumstances. Another seven journalists and a media support worker were briefly kidnapped in two separate cases in the volatile oil-rich southern region.

February 15, 2011 12:22 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Rwanda

Attacks on the Press 2010: Rwanda

Top Developments
• Government drives Kinyarwanda- language papers out of print before presidential vote.
• Critical newspaper editor assassinated. Skepticism greets police investigation.

Key Statistic
93: Percentage of vote taken by incumbent Paul Kagame in presidential election. He faced no credible opposition.


Before a crowd of thousands in Kigali, just days before he was re-elected in August in a virtually uncontested race, President Paul Kagame declared that "those who give our country a bad image can take a rope and hang themselves," the BBC reported. Kagame's antagonism toward critics guided his administration's approach to the press throughout the election year. The government shut the nation's two leading independent weeklies in April, silenced several other news outlets in the weeks before the vote, and harassed critical editors in court. In the most startling development, the acting editor of the independent weekly Umuvugizi, Jean-Léonard Rugambage, was gunned down outside his Kigali home in what appeared to be a planned assassination. Police immediately labeled the killing a reprisal for the editor's supposed involvement in the 1994 genocide, a conclusion that was greeted with deep skepticism from journalists.

February 15, 2011 12:18 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Somalia

Attacks on the Press 2010: Somalia

Top Developments
• Africa's most dangerous country for the press. Two journalists killed in 2010.
• Al-Shabaab shuts downs, seizes control of major radio stations.

Key Statistic
59: Somali journalists in exile, the second largest press diaspora in the world. Ethiopians constitute the largest.

Somalia remained Africa's most dangerous country for the press. Two journalists were killed during the year in direct relation to their work, bringing the death toll to 23 since 2005. The conflict between Islamic insurgent groups and a weak Transitional Federal Government backed by African Union troops continued to fuel a steady exodus of journalists seeking to escape deadly violence, severe censorship, and harassment. CPJ's 2010 analysis of exiled journalists, published in June, found that at least 16 journalists had fled the country in the prior 12 months, with 59 having gone into exile over the past decade. Remaining journalists practiced extreme self-censorship to survive.

February 15, 2011 12:16 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   South Africa

Attacks on the Press 2010: South Africa

Top Developments
• ANC pushes proposal to create state media tribunal to monitor, sanction press.
• Anti-media rhetoric heats up, tarnishing nation's image as press freedom leader.

Key Statistic
25: Years of imprisonment for disclosing classified information, as proposed in the Protection of Information Bill.


On the defensive about high crime rates and reports of public corruption, the ruling African National Congress pushed back aggressively against a probing news media. As ANC leaders ratcheted up anti-press rhetoric, the government moved ahead with legislative proposals that would monitor and sanction the press, criminalize investigative journalism, and shield public officials from scrutiny. The ANC campaign tarnished the image of Africa's press freedom leader and raised fears that the country could backslide into apartheid-era censorship.

February 15, 2011 12:15 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Uganda

Attacks on the Press 2010: Uganda

Top Developments
• Electronic surveillance measure enacted; may chill news reporting.
• Court strikes down sedition law used against critical journalists.

Key Statistic
5: Journalists assaulted during clashes between security forces and members of the Buganda kingdom.


Authorities harassed and obstructed journalists covering two stories that shook the nation: a fire that destroyed a historic Buganda kingdom site and twin terror bombings in the capital. The press won an important legal victory as the Constitutional Court struck down a criminal sedition statute that had been used to silence critical journalists. But journalists faced new threats as the president signed a sweeping surveillance measure that could chill news reporting, while the administration drafted legislation that could expand regulatory powers over newspapers. Ruling party officials and supporters assaulted journalists covering opposition candidates in local balloting, an ill omen as the country prepared for the 2011 presidential and parliamentary elections.

February 15, 2011 12:09 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Zimbabwe

Attacks on the Press 2010: Zimbabwe

Top Developments
• Press makes incremental gains as five private publication licenses are granted.
• Police, ZANU-PF loyalists harass, assault independent journalists.

Key Statistic
0: Broadcast licenses issued to private outlets since 2001.


Regulators granted five private publishing licenses, the first in seven years, opening a window for press freedom in this long-oppressed nation. But police harassment, regulatory intransigence concerning private broadcast licenses, and the government's unwillingness to pursue legal reforms ensured that the opening remained but a crack.
February 15, 2011 12:02 AM ET

Blog   |   Uganda

As Uganda election nears, fear among reporters

Captors held radio journalist Arafat Nzito for 10 days. (Courtesy Nzito)

As Ugandan journalists prepare to cover presidential elections on February 18 amid political tensions and security concerns, uncertainty and fear are on the minds of reporters. That's particularly so after a year in which 52 press freedom abuses--ranging from physical and verbal intimidation to state censorship and murder--were recorded, according reports by Ugandan press freedom group Human Rights Network of Journalists (HRNJ-Uganda). Journalists Arafat Nzito and Eddie Frank are suffering lasting effects of 2010 harassment.

February 11, 2011 4:29 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast using media regulation to censor critics

Laurent Gbagbo speaks at a news conference at his party headquarters in Abidjan in November. (Reuters/Luc Gnago)New York, February 10, 2011--Incumbent Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo has moved to silence critical media under the guise of media regulation, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today, following a week in which Gbagbo's administration tightened control over the official print media regulatory agency and ordered United Nations-sponsored radio network ONUCI FM off the air.
February 10, 2011 5:54 PM ET

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Blog   |   Mauritius

Mauritius no heaven for news media

CPJAmerican author Mark Twain once quoted a Mauritian as saying that heaven was copied after this Indian Ocean island paradise. Mauritius is cited today as one of the few havens of press freedom in Africa, but for Raj Meetarbhan, left, editor-in-chief of the island's largest newspaper L'Express, the country is fast losing its glow.

Meetarbhan was literally shaking with anger one recent day as I walked into his newspaper's office in Riche Terre, just outside of Port Louis, the island's largest city.

February 4, 2011 1:01 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Malawi

Malawi amendment bans news 'not in public interest'

Mutharika (AFP)

New York, February 1, 2011--An amendment to Malawi's penal code, which became law last week, allows the government to ban any publication deemed contrary to public interest for an unspecified period of time, institutionalizing political censorship of the press, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.  

On January 26, President Bingu wa Mutharika signed into law an amendment to Section 46 of the penal code that gives the information minister unchecked discretion to block a publication he or she deems against the "public interest," according to news reports and the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA). Previously, Section 46 only prohibited importation of publications considered seditious.

February 1, 2011 4:38 PM ET

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Blog   |   Gabon

In Gabon, faux news draws real censorship

Obame after being "sworn in." The government took it seriously. (AFP)

Last week, Gabon's government-controlled National Communications Council ordered the TV station of opposition leader André Mba Obame off the air for a period of three months. The ruling is without appeal and, typically, this is how authorities in this oil-rich equatorial African state silence critical news outlets. Except that, this time, the "reporting" for which the TV station was forced off the air was not about a real event but rather the staging of a faux presidential swearing-in ceremony.

February 1, 2011 11:18 AM ET

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Blog   |   Equatorial Guinea

With abysmal press freedom record, Obiang takes AU chair

Reuters

The African Union announced on Sunday that the president of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang, will become the new chairman in the union's yearly rotating leadership. The first debate Obiang (at left) presided over at the two-day AU conference that ends today in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, concerned "shared values"--highlighting issues of democracy and good governance. Representing one of Africa's most oppressive dictatorships, with a completely stifled press, the new AU chair could hardly refer to personal experience in such a debate.

Blog   |   South Africa

In South Africa, judge orders probe into censorship at SABC

In South Africa, a judge this week ordered an official investigation into allegations that a former news executive for national public broadcaster SABC had muted critical voices and skewed coverage of major events--like the aftermath of Zimbabwe's 2005 election in favor of the ruling party. The ruling comes amid a contentious press freedom debate stirred by legislative proposals from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) that critics say would criminalize investigative journalism.

January 28, 2011 4:37 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Zambia

Authorities illegally shutter radio station in Zambia

New York, January 27, 2011--Authorities in Zambia's Western Province must immediately allow community station Radio Lyambayi to return to air, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The government raided the private broadcaster based in Mongu, about 360 miles (580 kilometers) west of the capital, Lusaka, carting away computers and other broadcasting equipment on January 16, according to the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA).

January 27, 2011 4:55 PM ET

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Blog   |   Liberia

Liberian saga: angry court, jailed editor, president's speech

As protests mounted, Sirleaf's government secured the release of jailed editor Rodney Sieh. (Aaron Leaf)

On Monday, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who will contest for a second term in elections next November, used her annual speech to the legislature to strengthen her image as the candidate of stability and growth. Among other things, she boasted about winning the "Friend of the Media" award from the African Editors Forum, the first for a sitting president. But there was something else: "We are glad," she said, "that the saga over the weekend has been resolved, allowing us to continue the distinction of having no journalists or politicians in jail."

January 27, 2011 12:31 PM ET

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Blog   |   South Africa

South Africa resumes debate on secrecy bill

Protesters in Capetown decry secrecy bill. (Independent Newspapers Cape)

Parliamentary hearings on South Africa's Protection of Information Bill resumed last week with heated debate over provisions threatening to restrict press freedom and access to information. For journalists, much uncertainty remains over the final product and when it will be completed.

Alerts   |   Uganda

Ugandan magazine questioned over Museveni cartoon

New York, January 13, 2011--Police in Kampala arrested the director and editor of the monthly newsmagazine Summit Business Review on Tuesday in connection with a caricature of President Yoweri Museveni that appeared on the cover of the October issue.

Director Samuel Sejjaaka and Editor Mustapha Mugisha were released on bond but face continued interrogations, Sejjaaka told CPJ.

January 13, 2011 5:37 PM ET

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Blog   |   Ivory Coast

The struggle continues for power, and media, in Ivory Coast

Soldiers guard state television station RTI. (AFP)

In Ivory Coast, the tense post-election dispute between incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo and rival and self-proclaimed president-elect Alassane Ouattara is a power struggle for control of national institutions--including the sole state media outlet, Radiodiffusion Télévision Ivoirienne (RTI).

January 10, 2011 6:01 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Rwanda

CPJ opposes prison terms for 2 Rwandan journalists

Umuvugizi

New York, January 7, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists opposes prosecution demands for lengthy prison sentences for the editor and deputy editor of the independent weekly Umurabyo. State Prosecutor Agustin Nkusi requested a 33-year prison sentence for Editor Agnès Uwimana, at left, and 12 years for her deputy, Saidati Mukakibibi, at a High Court hearing on Thursday in the capital, Kigali.

The two, arrested in July 2010, face charges of incitement to violence, genocide denial, and insulting the head of state in connection with several opinion pieces published in mid-2010, according to news reports.

Blog   |   Nigeria

Another Nigerian journalist dies in strife-torn Jos

Since December 24, about 80 people have died from three bombings in Jos; seen here is a government building smoldering after a blast. (Reuters)

Augustine Sindyi, a veteran photographer for the state-owned weekly Standard newspaper in Plateau State, was walking home from work on Christmas Eve when a nearby bomb explosion killed him instantly. Sindyi resided in a busy Nigerian neighborhood near the local government offices in the center of Jos. The assailants targeted an area that would receive immeasurable damage where Sindyi happened to live, state radio reporter Murtala Sani, told me. 

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