Africa

2014

Alerts   |   Benin

Benin's parliament should expunge criminal defamation from the media bill

Abuja, Nigeria, December 23, 2014--Benin Republic's parliament is set to vote on a media bill that threatens to jail journalists for insulting the president or other government officials, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on parliament to scrap any measures in the bill that could send journalists to prison for doing their jobs.

Reports   |   Afghanistan, Burma, Central African Republic, Guinea, Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine

International journalists killed at high rate in 2014; Middle East deadliest region

Syria is the world’s deadliest country for journalists for the third year in a row. International journalists were killed at a higher rate in 2014 than in recent years. A CPJ special report by Shazdeh Omari

During a demonstration in Pakistan, journalists hold photos of Anja Niedringhaus, an AP photographer who was killed in Afghanistan in April. (Reuters/Faisal Mahmood)

Blog   |   Afghanistan, Burma, Central African Republic, Egypt, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Mexico, Philippines, Somalia, Syria, Ukraine

Slideshow: Journalists killed in 2014

In 2014, at least 60 journalists and 11 media workers were killed in relation to their work, according to CPJ research. Local and international journalists died covering conflicts, including in Syria, Iraq, and Ukraine, while many others were murdered reporting on corruption and organized crime in their own countries.

Here, CPJ remembers some of the journalists who gave their lives to bring us this year's headlines.

Blog   |   Kenya

In Kenya, press curbed as government seeks to fight terrorism

Police arrest one of the protesters who gathered in Nairobi on December 18 to oppose the security bill. (AFP/Simon Maina)

The Kenyan press is being caught in the crossfire as authorities seek to strengthen defenses against terrorists. On December 19, Kenya's president signed into law a security bill that has the power to stop the press covering terror attacks. The government has also recently criticized the media over allegations that special units are carrying out extra-judicial killings, and a local journalist who reports on security issues has gone into hiding after receiving threats.

Reports   |   Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Burma, Cameroon, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

China is world's worst jailer of the press; global tally second worst on record

More than 200 journalists are imprisoned for their work for the third consecutive year, reflecting a global surge in authoritarianism. China is the world’s worst jailer of journalists in 2014. A CPJ special report by Shazdeh Omari

An Egyptian protester calls for the release of freelance photographer Mahmoud Abou Zeid, also known as Shawkan, who has been imprisoned since August 2013. (AP/Amr Nabil)

Blog   |   South Sudan

Mission Journal: As South Sudan conflict continues press still suffers

Members of the public visit the office of The Patriot. The paper's former chief editor says critical journalists risk being labeled rebel supporters. (CPJ)

On December 15 last year, fighting that broke out between supporters of South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar--who had been vice president until Kiir fired the entire Cabinet--escalated into a civil war that has increased pressure on an already fragile independent press.

Alerts   |   Somalia

Two Somali journalists killed and three injured in twin bombings

Kalsan TV reporter Abdulkadir Hassan Jokar is one of three journalists injured during a fatal bombing in Somalia on December 5. (NUSOJ)

Nairobi, December 8, 2014--Two journalists were killed and three were wounded in a twin bombing in the south-central Somali town of Baidoa on December 5, which targeted a restaurant where journalists and officials frequently congregate.

Reports   |   Rwanda

Legacy of Rwanda genocide includes media restrictions, self-censorship

Twenty years after massacres, Rwanda stable but its media restricted

The Rwandan government has taken great strides in bringing stability to the country since the 1994 genocide that claimed 800,000 lives, but moves to allow greater press freedom have been slow. While government control of the media has loosened, many journalists remain fearful that the regulations are not enough to stop the harassment and threats, and that a lack of investment is damaging their professional reputation. A special report of the Committee to Protect Journalists by Anton Harber

Members of the press with President Kagame. Media regulations have been loosened in Rwanda but journalists say self-censorship is still prevalent. (Reuters/Munyarubuga Fred/Presidential Press Unit/Handout)

Statements   |   Burkina Faso

African Court upholds appeal against criminal defamation

Cape Town, South Africa, December 5, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes today's ruling by the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights in Addis Ababa that criminal defamation should be used only in restricted circumstances and that imprisonment for defamation violates freedom of expression. The court also upheld the appeal of Issa Lohé Konaté, editor of the Burkina Faso-based weekly L'Ouragan, who in October 2012 was sentenced to 12 months in prison and a fine for criminal defamation in connection with two articles he wrote questioning abuse of power by the state prosecutor's office.

Statements   |   South Africa

South African court rules that criminal defamation is in line with constitution

Cape Town, South Africa, December 5, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the decision by the Pretoria High Court in South Africa to uphold journalist Cecil Motsepe's appeal against a conviction of criminal defamation, but disapproves of the court's ruling that the crime of defamation for journalists falls in line with South Africa's constitution. Motsepe, a reporter for the daily newspaper Sowetan, was convicted in June 2013 and sentenced to a fine or a suspended 10-month prison term in connection with a 2009 story.

2014

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