Asia

2011


Blog   |   Pakistan

More revelations of threats to Pakistani journalists

Pakistani journalists and CPJ award winners Najam Sethi and Jugnu Mohsin in 1999. (Saeed Khan/AFP)

We released a statement Thursday--CPJ supports Pakistani journalists facing threats--about the decision of two Pakistani journalists to publicly announce the threats they had been receiving. Najam Sethi, editor of The Friday Times and host of a popular Urdu-language political program on Geo TV, and Jugnu Mohsin, also a Friday Times editor, said they had lived under threat for years but the level of danger had become so menacing in early 2011 that they were forced to leave Pakistan. A few months later, the two went public with the threats. Then, on Thursday, Sethi told us that he and Mohsin had decided to return to Lahore on Friday.

Statements   |   Pakistan

CPJ supports Pakistani journalists facing threats

Sethi at CPJ offices earlier this year. (CPJ/Sheryl A. Mendez)

New York, December 29, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists admires and supports the decision of Pakistani journalists Najam Sethi and Jugnu Mohsin to make public the threats that have driven them at times to live outside their country in recent months. Sethi and Mohsin are returning to their home in Lahore and are determined to continue their independent work in the media. They, like other journalists in Pakistan in recent weeks, have opted to openly confront those making the threats, which have come from both state and non-state actors.

December 29, 2011 12:27 PM ET

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Blog   |   India

India struggles to cope with growing Internet penetration

Sites like this Facebook discussion group have been the subject of complaints to the Indian police by activists. (CPJ)

As Internet penetration deepens, largely religiously and socially conservative India is struggling to cope with concerns about controversial web content and its easy accessibility to a vast population, all with little oversight. Local courts have become the launching point for some of the anti-Web offensives.

December 28, 2011 2:47 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

'Where is the state?' asks Pakistani journalist under threat

Students are taken away from a Karachi seminary where they were found in chains. Producers from Samaa TV who broke the story have been threatened. (AFP/Asif Hassan)

Since making me aware of threats to Hamid Mir on December 20, Umar Cheema and I have been encouraging Pakistani journalists we know who are under threat to step forward with their own experiences. Ghulamaddin, producer for Samaa TV in Karachi who broke the story of students held in chains at a seminary, is coming forward today. (Like many Pakistanis, he uses only one name).

December 27, 2011 1:45 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

More on threats and journalist safety in Pakistan

Tuesday's blog about threats to Hamid Mir generated a lot of discussion on our site.

Mir messaged overnight, saying his case was widely reported in newspapers and discussed in Parliament, and there will be a committee of Parliament established to probe the issue. The Associated Press of Pakistan noted that "Minster for Interior Rehman Malik condemned the threatening message to Mir" and the government will "ensure full protection and security to Hamid Mir and journalist community." And The News noted that "President Asif Ali Zardari has taken serious notice on threats to senior journalist/anchorperson Hamid Mir and ordered investigations into it."

December 22, 2011 4:55 PM ET

Blog   |   India

Policing the Internet in India

Amid a raging debate on Internet freedom and censorship in India, members of the government met last week with a clutch of website operators, including representatives of Yahoo, Google, Facebook and Microsoft. In a meeting scheduled to address a wider plan to leverage social media to empower the government, it's unclear whether the touchy subject of filtering content was addressed, and the government said the meeting's tone was conciliatory. In any case, there has as yet been no resolution of the question of who should be responsible for filtering content deemed offensive, or how such a determination should be made

Blog   |   China

In China, real people vs. Internet minders

In the next three months, users of China's microblog weibo.com --- "weibo" is the generic Chinese term for Twitter-like platforms --- run by the huge sina.com (the English site is here) news portal, entertainment and blogging site, will have to start providing their real-world identities to the site, instead of simply being able to register. It seems likely the users of competitor tencent.com (English here) will have to do the same, though the government hasn't made that clear in recent announcements, dating back to December 16.

December 21, 2011 12:14 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

Pakistan's Hamid Mir publicizes a death threat

Geo TV's most prominent television anchor, and one of the most prominent journalists in Pakistan, has just circulated a detailed email message of threats he has been receiving. Hamid Mir's open, public response to the threats is a textbook case of how to handle the steady stream of intimidation that journalists face, not just in Pakistan but in other parts of the world as well. His entire message is reproduced at the end of this post.

Blog   |   Mexico, Pakistan, Russia

Journalists killed: Inside the numbers

CPJ today released its annual tally of the journalists killed around the world. This is always a somber occasion for us as we chronicle the grim toll, remember friends who have been lost, and recommit ourselves to justice. It's also a time when we are asked questions about our research and why our numbers are different - invariably lower - than other organizations.

December 20, 2011 12:00 AM ET

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Blog   |   India

Q&A: Press Council of India's Katju on media safety

Doctors treat Associated Press cameraman Umar Meraj after he was assaulted by police and paramilitary forces using rifle butts, batons, fists and kicks during a protest in Srinagar on November 25 (AP).

Retired Supreme Court Justice Markandey Katju is shaking things up at the Press Council of India, where he was appointed chairman in October. The statutory body, mandated to look at media freedom and address complaints against the print media since 1966, has often been criticized for ineffectiveness, its role limited to admonishing news outlets.

December 13, 2011 10:44 AM ET

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Blog   |   China

China's jailed Uighurs: Out of sight, not out of mind

Uighur journalists who covered protests such as this one in 2009 were sentenced to harsh prison terms. (AP)

For the first time in more than a decade, China is not the world's worst jailer of the press in CPJ's annual census of imprisoned journalists. Among the 27 jailed in China, one group has seen a massive jump in imprisonments. In another first since CPJ began taking its census, more than half of those behind bars for reporting in China are ethnic Uighur or Tibetan. What's more, two Uighur journalists have been unaccounted for since their scheduled 2011 release. The lack of information available about these cases is added proof that they were arrested to deprive their communities of a voice. 

Blog   |   Pakistan

Six years later: Hayatullah Khan's family calls for justice

Six years after the murder of journalist Hayatullah Khan, his brother Ahsan Ahmad Khan has asked CPJ to put pressure on the government and the Supreme Court of Pakistan to ensure that a special investigation carried out in September 2006 into the journalist's death be released. (A copy of Ahsan Ahmad's message can be found here, and CPJ's translation from Urdu is below.)

Unfortunately, we have been down this road before. CPJ has met with officials in the governments of Presidents Pervez Musharraf and Asif Ali Zardari, but none have followed through on their promises to make the results of the investigation known. CPJ joins with Hayatullah Khan's family in their renewed call for the release of Justice Mohammed Reza Khan's September 2006 investigation into his death. After a phone call with Ahsan Ahmad, we sent a letter to President Asif Ali Zardari and Interior Minister Rehman Malik today.

December 6, 2011 5:04 PM ET

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Letters   |   Pakistan

Pakistan should release investigation into 2006 death

Dear President Zardari: This week marks the six-year anniversary of the abduction of journalist Hayatullah Khan. We join his family in asking your government to release the report on the investigation into his death that was prepared by High Court Justice Mohammed Reza Khan in September 2006 under the orders of former President Pervez Musharraf.

December 6, 2011 4:46 PM ET

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Statements   |   Pakistan

CPJ calls on Pakistan to unblock BBC World News

New York, November 30, 2011--The All Pakistan Cable Operators Association must immediately unblock the BBC World News television channel in Pakistan, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Operators began censoring the channel Tuesday in response to a documentary they considered "anti-Pakistan," and threatened to pull other foreign news channels, the BBC said.

November 30, 2011 2:38 PM ET

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Blog   |   Burma, USA

Clinton must tread carefully in Burma

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinto is greeted by Myanmar Deputy Foreign Minister Myo Myint, right, upon her arrival in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, Wednesday. (AP)

When U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets this week with Burmese President Thein Sein, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and senior ranking members of the military establishment, she conspicuously will not have the opportunity to meet with journalist Sithu Zeya.

Sithu was detained by police after recording the impact of a bomb that exploded in a crowded Burmese marketplace in April 2010. The journalist was sentenced to 17 years in prison on charges related specifically to his reporting activities, with an additional 10 years tacked on this year -- soon after Thein Sein announced his intention to increase media freedom in Burma.

November 30, 2011 1:24 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Afghanistan

Planners conference must strengthen Afghan media

New York, November 29, 2011--When delegates from more than 100 countries and international aid organizations meet in Bonn on December 5 at an international conference on Afghanistan's future, they must alter their tactics and aim more to support the professionalization and safety training of the country's emerging press corps, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday. Though Afghan media outlets have expanded rapidly in the post-Taliban-rule era, journalists need to be better trained and must know how to survive the threats and dangers that are part of their daily lives in order to ensure that the country's fragile democracy has robust media.

November 29, 2011 5:55 PM ET

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Blog   |   Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, CPJ, Mexico, Pakistan

Awardees to their colleagues: Buck the system

CPJ's annual International Press Freedom Awards dinner took place at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. (Michael Nagle/Getty Images for CPJ)

The Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria might seem like an odd venue to stage a call for resistance. Nine hundred people in tuxedos and gowns. Champagne and cocktails. Bill Cunningham snapping photos. This combination is generally more likely to coax a boozy nostalgia than foment a revolution. But the journalists honored last night at CPJ's annual International Press Freedom Awards had a clear message to their colleagues: Fight the power.

Blog   |   Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines

A call to continue the struggle against impunity

Umar Cheema, left, of Pakistan and Javier Valdez Cárdenas of Mexico, both 2011 International Press Freedom Award winners, are all too familiar with the culture of impunity. (CPJ)

Last night, hundreds of journalists and members of New York's press freedom community met at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan for the Committee to Protect Journalists' XXI annual International Press Freedom Awards. At the event--celebrating the extraordinary courage of five journalists from across the globe--guests and award recipients unanimously expressed their commitment to fighting impunity in the murders of journalists.

Blog   |   Pakistan

Why I fled Pakistan

Pakistani police and supporters of the Baluchistan National Party clash in Quetta, Pakistan on July 14, 2010. (AP)

In May 2006, at the age of 23, I joined the Daily Times, Pakistan's most liberal English-language newspaper, as a bureau chief. I was perhaps the youngest bureau chief to cover the country's largest province, Baluchistan, and its longstanding, deadly insurgency. I covered fierce military operations, daily bomb blasts, rocket attacks, enforced disappearances, torture of political activists, and high-profile political assassinations.

In 2008, I got an exclusive interview with Bramdagh Bugti, Pakistan's most wanted separatist leader. I also spoke to top civil and military officers. In November 2009, I founded the Baloch Hal, (Hal means "news" in English) the first online newspaper in Baluchistan, the country's most impoverished region.

November 17, 2011 11:22 AM ET

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Blog   |   Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's savage smokescreen

Sri Lanka's former attorney general Mohan Peiris, who is now the senior legal adviser to the cabinet and who many Sri Lankans say is aiming to become the next Supreme Court Chief Justice, has made conflicting statements about missing journalist Prageeth Eknelygoda. The discrepancies do more than point up the government's indifference to Eknelygoda's fate and the mental anguish of his wife and two sons. Peiris's statements highlight the disregard with which the government views international opinion.

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. 

Blog   |   China

Keeping a website alive behind the Great Firewall

Wednesday's post, "Advice for colleagues on the digital front lines," offered practical advice for keeping a website up and running in a hostile political environment. But such measures are not universally applicable. Sky Canaves, CPJ's new East Asia and Internet consultant in Hong Kong, sent this reality check for Internet writers in China, where tighter government scrutiny has driven online users to turn to other tactics.

November 11, 2011 1:20 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Bangladesh

Bangladeshi editor rearrested on same day he's released

New York, November 10, 2011--A Bangladeshi editor was rearrested on the same day he was released on bail, as he was leaving the gate of the prison, news reports said. 

Police detained Ekramul Haque, editor of Sheershanews website and Sheersha Kagoj weekly, on extortion charges on July 31. On October 25, the High Court in the country's capital, Dhaka, granted the journalist bail, and he was released on November 1. But he was arrested again at the gate of the jail as he was leaving, news website bdnews24 reported. 

November 10, 2011 4:14 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan government to impose guidelines on media

President Rajapaksa's government is imposing new guidelines on the Sri Lankan media. (Reuters)

New York, November 10, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the Sri Lankan government's announcement of an upcoming set of guidelines and code of conduct for journalists and media organizations, and believes these regulations will only increase the government's control of the media.

The announcement, which appeared Thursday in the government-owned Daily News, said the government would "soon introduce a set of guidelines and a code of conduct for media to be adhered to by all media institutions and media persons in the country." The announcement also stated that the government would set up the guidelines, which would be enforced under the relevant laws.

November 10, 2011 1:37 PM ET

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Blog   |   Sri Lanka

Advice for colleagues on the digital front lines

If you're running a website that's come under attack, or is likely to, here is some advice on how to protect yourself.

First, a little background:

On Monday we filed an alert about the Sri Lankan government's blocking of at least five websites there. The move silenced just about all of the country's independent online voices. Two websites, Groundviews and its sister Sinhala site Vikalpa, have survived a few temporary takedowns, but for now they seem to be about the last two journalism sites posting independent analyses about Sri Lankan politics that are still up and running.

Blog   |   China

Planning the next steps in Chinese media control

It's not clear whether Beijing will require licensing of social media sites or users to register under their real names. (Reuters)

In the latest sign of increasing pressure on Chinese companies to tighten control of the Internet, Chinese authorities convened an unusual seminar in Beijing for senior executives of 39 major enterprises involved in Internet services, technology and telecommunications.

November 8, 2011 1:25 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Pakistan

In Pakistan, missing journalist found dead

New York, November 7, 2011--The body of missing Pakistani journalist Javed Naseer Rind was found on Saturday morning in Khuzdar, 186 miles (300 kilometers) south of the city of Quetta, local and international news reports said. The journalist had been shot multiple times in the head and chest, and his body showed multiple signs of torture, the local media reported. 

November 7, 2011 3:45 PM ET

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Blog   |   China

China confronts Internet rumors and trashy TV

The China Internet Information
Center counted 420 million Internet users in China in the middle of 2010. (AP)

Along with cracking down on what it considers trashy TV --- China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) said Tuesday that it will limit entertainment and add more news and other programs that "build morality and promote the core values of socialism" -- the government is going after what it calls rumor mongers on the Internet. The BBC and others reported on the Internet crackdown after the official Chinese news agency Xinhua released a short item on Tuesday, announcing that three people had been detained or arrested for publishing incorrect information, or "spreading rumors online," as Xinhua put it.

October 27, 2011 1:26 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

From Karachi to New York: A tale of fear, loss, and hope

Murders of journalists such as Wali Khan Babar give Pakistani journalists plenty of reason to fear. (AP/Mohammad Sajjad)

On Monday, a well-known Pakistani journalist came to our office in New York. We had been messaging and texting for a few weeks, so I knew what to expect. Despite the harsh reality check that CPJ's Sheryl Mendez and I offered during our 90-minute meeting, he is going ahead with the process of applying for asylum in the United States. "I would rather live as a poor man in a mud hut than as a king in a castle who feared for his life," he told us. It sounded like a line he had prepared to convince us, and perhaps himself, that he was doing the right thing.

October 25, 2011 3:27 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Thailand

Thailand tries to censor site devoted to flood news

Floodwaters have reached Bangkok. (AP/Sakchai Lalit)

Bangkok, October 25, 2011 - The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by reports that Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's government has tried to censor the citizen-journalist website Thaiflood, which has provided crucial news and information about massive flooding that has inundated one-third of the country's provinces. At least 350 people have been killed and millions dislocated by the natural disaster.  

October 25, 2011 2:22 PM ET

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Blog   |   Internet, Thailand

Holding intermediaries liable for users' content

Earlier this month, I spoke as an expert witness in the ongoing trial of Chiranuch Premchaiporn, the editor of Thailand's Prachatai.com website, who is being criminally prosecuted under that country's Computer Crime Act and Lesé Majesté laws. The crime involves online posts allegedly disrespectful to Thailand's monarchy, but Chiranuch herself is not accused of originating or posting the commentary.

Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, anti-government website blocked

New York, October 19, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by reports that access to anti-government news website Lanka eNews has been blocked inside Sri Lanka, according to the site's exiled editor and users inside the country. All three language versions of the site, English, Sinhala, and Tamil, have not been available since Tuesday. 

October 19, 2011 2:21 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

Baluchistan's press under siege

Reporters in Baluchistan have organized a string of protests over lack of safety. (ONLINE News Network)

Reporters in Pakistan's conflict-stricken province of Baluchistan have been organizing to display their anger against the continued death threats they have been receiving from government secret services, religious militant groups, and armed nationalist organizations. Their most recent demonstration on October 1 was only one in a string of protests to confront the problem.

October 17, 2011 3:14 PM ET

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Blog   |   Burma

Watching Burma's prisoner release

Police assist a newly released prisoner at Insein Prison in Yangon Wednesday. (Reuters)

CPJ and other Burma watchers are monitoring the announcements of the unfolding prisoner release closely. As a press freedom organization, we've focused most closely on the fate of the 14 journalists we counted in jail in Shawn Crispin's report, "In Burma, transition neglects press freedom" that we posted on September 20. In our alert today we welcomed the release of Burmese blogger and comedian Maung Thura, bringing that number down to 13, and there's a chance the number might even be lower.

Alerts   |   Philippines

Philippine journalist's daughter kidnapped

Bangkok, September 23, 2011--Philippine authorities should launch an investigation into the abduction of radio commentator Louie Larroza's daughter, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Larroza told reporters the kidnapping was a "warning" for his radio broadcasts, news reports said. The journalist's daughter, unharmed, was freed eight hours later.

September 23, 2011 2:28 PM ET

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Reports   |   Burma, Multimedia

Video report: Burma's undercover heroes

In "Burma's undercover heroes," CPJ's Shawn Crispin describes the vital work being done by reporters for the Democratic Voice of Burma. Working undercover in a highly restricted nation, these journalists are the eyes and ears for the rest of world. They work at great risk of imprisonment and harassment. (2:30)

Read our accompanying special report, "In Burma, transition neglects press freedom."

September 20, 2011 12:02 AM ET

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Reports   |   Burma

Imprisoned journalists in Burma

At a protest in Bangkok, images of the jailed journalist Hla Hla Win. (AP/Sakchai Lalit)

Published September 20, 2011

Burma has a long record of jailing independent journalists, ranking among the world’s five worst jailers of the press for four consecutive years, CPJ research shows. Journalists are typically charged with violating the country’s censorship laws, among the strictest in the world, or engaging in “antistate” activities such as disseminating information to the outside world. 

Alerts   |   Malaysia

CPJ welcomes Malaysian reform vow

Prime Minister Najib Razak promises legal reforms. (Reuters)

Bangkok, September 16, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's vow to abolish the Printing Presses and Publishing Act, and urges his administration to follow through with additional press freedom-related reforms.

On Thursday, during an Independence Day national address, Najib vowed to dismantle two harsh security-related laws--the Internal Security Act and the Emergency Ordinance--and ease legal restrictions on civil liberties, including the right to assembly, international press reports said. He has also vowed to abolish the Printing Presses and Publications Act so that newspapers do not have to reapply annually for permission to publish. The Home Ministry previously had sole discretion over whether to renew newspapers' operating licenses, and its often arbitrary decisions could not be legally appealed.

September 16, 2011 12:37 PM ET

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Letters   |   Nepal

In Nepal, killers of journalists could go free

Dear Prime Minister Bhattarai: We are alarmed by recent reports regarding the planned amnesty of criminal cases pending from past political violence in Nepal and are writing to express our concern that people convicted of killing journalists could go free based on political decisions made by your government.

Alerts   |   Burma

Burmese journalist given additional 10-year sentence

Bangkok, September 15, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the 10-year jail sentence handed down to Burmese journalist Sithu Zeya, a photographer with the Norway-based, exile-run Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), and calls on the government to reverse the ruling and stop its retaliation against exile-affiliated journalists.

September 15, 2011 1:11 PM ET

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Blog   |   Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand

Press freedom heroes in Southeast Asia

Zunar displays a copy of his previously banned cartoons. (AP)

Three Southeast Asian journalists--Cambodia's Hang Chakra, Malaysia's Zulkiflee Anwar Ul Haque, or Zunar, and Thailand's Chiranuch Premchaiporn--were among the 48 awardees of the Hellman/Hammett grant, given to writers targeted with political persecution, who were recognized today by Human Rights Watch for their commitment to press freedom.

Blog   |   Burma

Free Burma VJ campaign urges release of journalists

From Paris to Bangkok, London to Geneva, the Free Burma VJ campaign will stage protests in front of Burmese embassies on Friday to call for the immediate release of 17 jailed video journalists working for the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), a leading Burmese exile media organization. The campaign began less than two months after Burma's new government was sworn in, supposedly hailing the beginning of Burma's transition to civilian rule. But DVB is not alone in thinking that the ongoing incarceration of journalists, who are among the nearly 2,000 political prisoners in Burma, is a sign that little has changed since the ostensible end to military rule.

Alerts   |   Afghanistan

ISAF takes responsibility for Afghan journalist's death

(AFP)
New York, September 8, 2011--The International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan said today that one of its soldiers was responsible for the July 28 death of a local journalist working for the BBC Afghanistan service and the Pajhwok Afghan News agency. The ISAF soldier, an American, told authorities that he thought Ahmed Omaid Khpalwak was an insurgent reaching for a bomb under his vest, and shot him dead, an ISAF statement said.

Khpalwak, 25, died in violence between insurgents and security forces when gunmen and suicide bombers targeted the governor's office and police headquarters in Tarin Kot, capital of Uruzgan province in central Afghanistan.

Blog   |   Sri Lanka

On 9/11 and post-conflict Sri Lanka

For a few years now, I have used Sugi Ganeshananthan's articles as a frame of reference for CPJ advocacy in Sri Lanka. Ganeshananthan, a novelist and essayist who teaches at the University of Michigan, writes stories often grounded in current events. Her 2008 novel, Love Marriage, addresses the cultural and familial conflicts that Sri Lankans face all over the world.

September 6, 2011 12:30 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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Blog   |   Pakistan

A killing field: The targeting of journalists in Pakistan

A journalist hangs a lock across his lips during a protest in response to the death of journalist Saleem Shahzad. (AFP)
For the past several weeks, CPJ's Asia and Journalist Assistance programs have been in regular contact with local and international organizations who are concerned about the rising number of journalists and media workers at risk in Pakistan. CPJ and several other groups are working together on viable, in-country solutions: Journalists in Pakistan are in need of trauma counseling, urgent relocation, or support so that they may remain in hiding and avoid threats or physical attacks.

Blog   |   China, USA

In lawsuit, Chinese writers allege Cisco aids government

In Hong Kong, a protester holds a portrait of the jailed writer Liu Xianbin. (Reuters)

Three Chinese writers who have spent time in prison for articles published online are suing California-based Cisco Systems Inc., according to international news reports. The suit accuses the company of providing information and technology to Chinese authorities that facilitated the writers' detentions--allegations that Cisco flatly denies. Chinese security officials have already interrogated one of the plaintiffs, according to his lawyer. Will the case against Cisco protect him and others in China from further repercussions? 

August 24, 2011 5:20 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

Threats against Pakistani journalists: A reality check

In a blog entry on August 5, "Quantifying the threat to journalists in Pakistan," CPJ's Sheryl Mendez and I tried to measure what seems to be a rising number of threats aimed at journalists in Pakistan. We wrote about how the problem is rapidly growing as Pakistan's security situation worsens and the civilian government appears unwilling or unable to act. It is, however, tough to quantify the problem when so many journalists fear disclosing the threats they receive. 

August 18, 2011 3:45 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Nepal

Nepali journalist assaulted, in critical condition

New York, August 12, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists expressed concern today about a brutal attack on journalist Kishor Budhathoki in eastern Nepal on Thursday night. Budhathoki is vice president of the local chapter of press freedom watchdog the Federation of Nepali Journalists and also reports for sister papers The Himalayan Times and Annapurna Post.

Blog   |   Pakistan

Quantifying the threat to journalists in Pakistan

Pakistani journalists offer funeral prayers for their slain colleague Saleem Shahzad in June. (AP/B.K.Bangash)

For many journalists working in Pakistan, death threats and menacing messages are simply seen as part of their job. But since December 2010, CPJ's Journalist Assistance Program (JA) has processed requests for help from 16 journalists in Pakistan who are dealing with threats. Others have told us of threats they have received in the event that they are attacked. 

August 5, 2011 3:32 PM ET

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Blog   |   Afghanistan

Afghan journalist's death is a loss for press freedom

Khpalwak covered more than just war and instability--he captured everyday life in Afghanistan. (Khpalwak)

Ahmad Omaid Khpalwak covered violent news. His last two stories for Pajhwok Afghan News, before he died on July 28 in a major attack in Tarin Kot, capital of Uruzgan province, were about an attack on police checkpoints in which both Taliban and police were killed, and an interview with a would-be suicide bomber. Few of his 24 years of life saw any kind of peace in Afghanistan. 

Alerts   |   China

Chinese TV producer suspended for crash reportage

Wreckage from the July 23 train crash. (Reuters)

New York, August 2, 2011--The suspension of a state television producer for his coverage of last week's fatal train crash sends a disturbing message to Chinese media outlets, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. 

Information authorities intensified media restrictions at the end of last week in an effort to restrain the unusually probing media treatment of the July 23 disaster. But their initial propaganda directives were widely ignored and the railway ministry's response to the crash launched a flood of online criticism.

August 2, 2011 4:11 PM ET

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Alerts   |   China

New attempts to rein in train crash coverage in China

New York, August 1, 2011--Chinese propaganda authorities renewed their orders to media groups late Friday not to report on last week's train crash or its aftermath after their initial bans on coverage were widely disregarded, according to international news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists said today that popular outcry in China at the crash is a sign that propaganda orders cannot suppress public opinion.

August 1, 2011 4:46 PM ET

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Blog   |   China, UK

Schlesinger: 'Media, Murdoch, and social responsibility'

Schlesinger (Reuters)

CPJ board member David Schlesinger, who is the chairman of Thomson Reuters in China, delivered a speech today at a conference sponsored by Caixin magazine. He touched on several current issues, and found lessons in the News of the World case that are relevant to journalists everywhere. And I particularly like his description of China's media which, for all CPJ's criticism, remains dynamic and growing.

Here's 
Schlesinger's address
.

July 22, 2011 2:37 PM ET

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Blog   |   China

The highs and lows of investigative reporting in China

Veteran investigative journalist Wang Keqin has always been positive about his chosen career, characterizing media restrictions in China as a cycle with ups and downs. In an interview for CPJ's October 2010 special report "In China, a debate on press rights," he told CPJ that "there was a big fall-off in reporting freedom in 2008 and 2009" because of the Olympics and the 60th anniversary of Communist Party rule. But he and many of his colleagues in China anticipated a corresponding loosening of restrictions to follow, pushing the industry toward greater freedom and professionalism over time.  

July 22, 2011 2:10 PM ET

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Blog   |   China

China censors reaction to star-studded propaganda film

In Shanghai, a promotional poster for "Revival." (AP/Eugene Hoshiko)

The creators of "Beginning of the Great Revival," a new film about the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, have spared no expense to make it a popular success. Done in a popular Chinese soap opera style, the movie features more than 100 stars, along with leading directors and producers. Then, the government enlisted information authorities to wipe out negative news coverage, according to international media reports.  

July 20, 2011 6:02 PM ET

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Blog   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Mexico, Russia, Sri Lanka, UK, USA

Journalists take stage: Q&A with 'Record' playwright

A promotional image for "On the Record," which opens this week at London's Arcola Theatre.

The true stories of journalists from Mexico, Sri Lanka, Russia, the United States, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories will hit the stage July 20 at London's Arcola Theatre. "On the Record," which runs through August 13, examines the careers of six journalists, the risks they face, and their determination to make an impact through their work. This is the latest production by the UK-based Ice and Fire theater company, founded in 2003 to explore human rights stories through performance. Christine Bacon, Ice and Fire's artistic director and co-author of "On the Record," discusses the production's inspiration, messages, and challenges in this CPJ interview. 

Blog   |   China

Hong Kong's accelerating media freedom decline

Police in Hong Kong crack down on a pro-democracy protest--and journalists who tried to cover the event. (Reuters/Tyrone Siu)

As a former resident of the Special Administrative Region, the classification given Hong Kong when it reverted to China's control in 1997, I've always watched the media there with the appreciative eye of a news consumer. The concept of "One Country, Two Systems," put forward to explain how the former British colony's capitalist economy and post-colonial administration were going to mesh with China's authoritarian government, was always suspect. A major concern was that China would eventually have to crack down on Hong Kong's free-wheeling media.  

July 14, 2011 12:46 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

For safety's sake: New journalist safety rules in Pakistan

From a poster by the International Federation of Journalists and the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists.

I got an early version of the Khyber Union of Journalists' (KhUJ) list of safety rules and tips for field reports around June 16, after the June 11 double bomb in a crowded market that killed two journalists in Peshawar. Yousaf Ali, KhUJ's general secretary had forwarded the list. It was quickly drawn up after that very ugly incident in which five other journalists were injured--in all 36 people were killed. 

Alerts   |   Vietnam

Journalists detained, released in Vietnam clampdown

Bangkok, July 11, 2011--Authorities must stop harassing journalists reporting on public demonstrations in Vietnam, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On Sunday, police detained and interrogated three reporters who were covering anti-China protests in Hanoi where around a dozen demonstrators were arrested.    

Blog   |   Pakistan

Karachi might be more dangerous for media than FATA

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik briefs Karachi's vibrant--and threatened--media in Karachi in May. (AP/Shakil Adil)

Karachi, Pakistan's economic hub, is one of the country's main media centers, with more than 2,000 journalists and the head offices of leading media organizations. Journalists in the city have come under attack before, with seven journalists killed there since 1994. But the situation was never as dangerous as it has been this past year.

Blog   |   China

Chinese censorship fans rumors on Jiang Zemin

At a Beijing exhibition, a portrait of Jiang and a security guard. (Reuters)

Sina's Twitter-like microblog platform Weibo blocked searches for "death," "river" and "301 Hospital" on Wednesday, according to The Wall Street Journal website. The company was responding to what Reuters reported was the service's most-discussed topic yesterday--the rumored demise of former President Jiang Zemin, whose surname, Jiang, means "river," and who may or may not have suffered a heart attack that was being treated at top leaders' hospital of choice in Beijing. 

July 7, 2011 5:29 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Thailand

Media targeted in Thai political transition

PAD protesters take to the streets in Bangkok on Friday on the final day of campaigning for Sunday's election. (AP/David Longstreath)

Bangkok, July 7, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the raid and seizure of broadcasting equipment by police at six community radio stations in Thailand's northeastern Nakhon Ratchasima province. The raids were staged two days after caretaker Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's government lost to the opposition Peua Thai party in general elections held on July 3. 

July 7, 2011 1:38 PM ET

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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. 

Blog   |   Afghanistan, France

French ex-hostages: Press must continue in Afghanistan

Stéphane Taponier, left, and Hervé Ghesquière say they will return to work as soon as possible. (Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes)

Stéphane Taponier and Hervé Ghesquière, the two France 3 journalists held captive by the Taliban for 547 days, had a big surprise when they entered the France Télévisions building Thursday afternoon, a few hours after landing at the military base of Villacoublay, close to Paris, where they were welcomed by President Nicolas Sarkozy. 

Statements   |   Afghanistan, France

French journalists released in Afghanistan

New York, June 29, 2001--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes reports from the French government that journalists Hervé Ghesquière and Stéphane Taponier and their interpreter Reza Din have been released after more than 18 months in captivity. CPJ is seeking further news about the group's fixer and driver, known as Ghulam and Sattar, who were also abducted.

Blog   |   China

On food safety, China misapplies a 'blacklist'

Sarcasm reflects how aware the Chinese public has become of the dangers of adulterated food. After Japan's Fukushima nuclear crisis, a rumor circulated in China that table salt could prevent radiation. In spite of the government's efforts to curb the rumors, tons of overpriced table salt were sold overnight. Chinese netizens reassured the public in their own ironic way. Chinese people have been consuming fruit soaked in pesticides, waste cooking oil, and pork tainted with chemicals for years, online commenters notes. In 2008, milk powder spiked with the chemical melamine caused sickness and death among young children. Nuclear radiation, in this light, seems less worrisome.  

June 27, 2011 9:05 AM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

A legal attack accompanies assault on Pakistani journalists

Concerned that so many Pakistani journalists have been threatened, abducted, killed, or beaten recently? So are they. When I was in Karachi and Islamabad in late April and early May, I found that they are starting to take steps to protect themselves with increased safety training and protective gear at the larger media houses that can afford it. Freelancers and journalists who work for smaller media organizations or are stringing in rural areas or conflict zones will need more help in getting access to that sort or training and equipment, though.  

June 24, 2011 4:26 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Indonesia

Playboy Indonesia editor acquitted of indecency

Playboy Indonesia faced harassment and was able publish only 10 issues. (Reuters/Supri)

New York,  June 23, 2011--Jailed Indonesian publisher Erwin Arnada was acquitted by the Supreme Court Wednesday of the public indecency charges against him, according to local and international media reports. Arnada was also the editor of the now-dormant Playboy Indonesia, which had appeared for six issues on Indonesia's newsstands in 2006.  

June 23, 2011 5:35 PM ET

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Alerts   |   China

Amid jail releases, Chinese journalist's sentence extended

New York, June 23, 2011--Authorities in Shandong should overturn a second prison sentence handed down to freelance journalist Qi Chonghuai just days before the end of his term, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Two of three Chinese journalists scheduled for release this month are out of jail. Artist Ai Weiwei was unexpectedly freed from extrajudicial detention on Wednesday

June 23, 2011 5:31 PM ET

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Alerts   |   China

China releases artist Ai Weiwei, questions remain

New York, June 22, 2011--Artist and filmmaker Ai Weiwei's release from prison leaves questions unanswered about his illegal detention and other missing activists and journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The whereabouts of Ai's associate, freelance journalist Wen Tao, missing since April 3 and presumed detained, is still unknown.

June 22, 2011 5:02 PM ET

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Blog   |   India

Recalling J Dey, Mumbai's heralded crime reporter

Mumbai journalists pay tribute to J Dey. (AP/Rajanish Kakade)

In the comfort of my London home, far from the dangers of crime reporting in Mumbai, the news flash on television seemed unreal. Senior journalist Jyotirmoy Dey had been killed, pumped full of five bullets in broad daylight. I thought things like this only happened in Bollywood flicks, and that crime reporters in Mumbai never had any reason to jump at shadows. Alas, I was wrong.

June 21, 2011 4:01 PM ET

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Blog   |   Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's Groundviews back online after takedown

A note for the Sri Lanka watchers who visit CPJ.org regularly. Sanjana Hattotuwa, the founder of the citizen journalism website Groundviews messaged me this morning to say that the site is up and running again after suddenly going down within Sri Lanka over the weekend. Hattotuwa is the driving force behind the site, which is headquartered at the Center for Policy Alternatives, an independent Sri Lankan think tank.  

June 20, 2011 5:39 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Pakistan

Pakistan reporter beaten for reporting on earlier attack

New York, June 20, 2011--Waqar Kiani, a Pakistani journalist who was assaulted Saturday night by men in police uniforms, told the Committee to Protect Journalists that he fears for his safety and the safety of his wife and two young children. The attack came five days after Kiani, 32, had written a story the U.K. Guardian newspaper about being abducted and tortured in 2008.

June 20, 2011 5:22 PM ET

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Blog   |   China, Kazakhstan

Uighur refugee extradited by Kazakhstan, held in China

Chinese police patrol Urumqi following ethic violence in July 2009. (Reuters)

Kazakhstan authorities have extradited Uighur schoolteacher Arshidin Israil to China, where officials have described him without elaboration as a "major terror suspect," according to Reuters and other news accounts. Israil and his supporters believe the detention comes in reprisal for reporting he contributed to Radio Free Asia concerning the July 2009 riots in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Israil, a native of Xinjiang, fled China after the unrest but was detained in Kazakhstan in June 2010, according to news reports. He was extradited on May 30 of this year, days after Chinese authorities censored reporting and restricted online discussion about ethnic unrest in Inner Mongolia--an autonomous ethnic region like Xinjiang.

Blog   |   China

Public health still risky topic for Chinese journalists

Public health reporting is improving in China, but not fast enough. A new Human Rights Watch report on child lead poisoning in Chinese cities documents harassment of local journalists trying to cover the problem. "Journalists who reported on the lead poisoning in three of the four locations told Human Rights Watch that police had followed them or forced them to leave the area when attempting to interview people," the report says. 

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)

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. 

Alerts   |   Pakistan

Wounded Pakistani journalist succumbs to burn injuries

New York, June 17, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists joins with our colleagues in Pakistan in mourning the death of of reporter Shafiullah Khan, who died Friday of injuries he had sustained in a June 11 suicide bombing in Peshawar, the administrative center for Pakistan's strife-torn Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) along the border with Afghanistan. 

June 17, 2011 4:23 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

Having captured killing on tape, cameraman fears for his life

Abdul Salam Somroo is in danger. He is the Awaz TV cameraman who took the June 9 video footage of the pointblank murder of a young man, Sarfaraz Shah, in southern Karachi. That's the same part of the city where militants beheaded American Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002. Only when Somroo got back to the offices of the Sindhi-language TV station and played back his full tape did he realize he had the most explosive footage he had ever recorded. Explosive, and dangerous.

June 16, 2011 11:22 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Nepal

Two sentenced in Nepal journalist's murder

A man holds a photo of Singh. (Reuters)
New York, June 14, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomed today the conviction of two suspects in the 2009 murder of journalist Uma Singh, but called for a continued investigation into the remaining suspects in the attack. 

A court in Dhanusa district sentenced Lalita Singh and Nemlal Paswan to life imprisonment for their involvement in the brutal killing, according to local news reports. A group stabbed the Janakpur Today and Radio Janakpur correspondent to death in her home in Dhanusa, in the southeast near the border with India, in reprisal for her reporting on land grabs, according to CPJ research. News reports at the time said as many as 15 people carried out the fatal assault.

Alerts   |   Philippines

Second Philippine journalist killed from same radio station

New York, June 13, 2011 -- Romeo Olea, a provincial radio commentator in the Philippines, was shot dead on his way to work Monday morning. Local and international media reports, quoting police sources, say Olea was shot twice in the back while riding his motorcycle to work in Iriga City in Camarines Sur province, about 480 miles (300 kilometers) from Manila.

June 13, 2011 6:13 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Pakistan

Two journalists dead and five injured in Pakistan

EDITOR'S NOTE: Shafiullah Khan is in critical condition after suffering extensive burns in this Peshawar bombing. CPJ erroneously reported in this alert that Khan had died in the attack.

New York, June 13, 2011--CPJ calls on Pakistan media organizations to review their security and journalist safety training procedures to address the mounting number of deaths of journalists in the field. Two journalists died and five more were injured in a double bombing in Peshawar on Saturday night. The explosions took the lives of 36 people in all.

Alerts   |   Pakistan

Pakistani journalists threatened after covering killings

New York, June 10, 2011--Two Pakistani journalists who captured images of apparent military violence against unarmed foreigners and a local man are being threatened, their colleagues told CPJ. The threats have come amid calls from high-ranking Pakistani military leaders to quell public criticism of their policies, made at a Thursday meeting of top level commanders. 

June 10, 2011 3:59 PM ET

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Blog   |   Lebanon, Pakistan, Russia

November 23 becomes International Day to End Impunity

The IFEX conference in Beirut put a focus on impunity in journalist murders. (Lidija Sabados/IFEX)

Members from around the world of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange met in Beirut last week. On the second day of our conference, amid discussions of the daily problems journalists face, we received word of the abduction and murder of Pakistani investigative journalist Saleem Shahzad. A day later, the conference buzzed with news of an arrest more than five years after the murder of iconic Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. As news unfolded in both cases, impunity--a recurring theme in official meetings and hallway conversations--loudly made its way to the forefront. And on June 2, IFEX members announced that they would join forces to globally put an end to journalists' murders and impunity for their killers, making November 23 the International Day to End Impunity.

Blog   |   Sri Lanka

BBC coverage of Prageeth Eknelygoda's disappearance

Sandhya Eknelygoda, here with her sons, is still seeking information her missing husband Prageeth. (CPJ)

A short follow-up to yesterday's alert about Sandhya Eknelygoda--"Sri Lankan journalist missing for 500 days"--and her attempts to get assistance from anyone in the Sri Lankan government or at the United Nations to help her learn more about the disappearance of her husband, Prageeth. The BBC's Colombo correspondent Charles Haviland produced a story about Eknelygoda and her two teenage sons, Harith and Sanjay, and puts their story in the context of the other disappearances in Sri Lanka. It's a powerful piece. Follow this link to the BBC story.  

June 9, 2011 4:59 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

Slain journalists' families in Pakistan mourn for lifetime

It's a coincidence, but May 29, the date of Saleem Shahzad's kidnapping in Pakistan, coincides with the killing of journalist Munir Sangi six years ago. Against all odds, Sangi's widow, Yasmeen Sangi, is still fighting for justice in the case of her late husband, while Shahzad's widow, Anita Saleem--who is now responsible for the couple's three children--has decided not to appear publicly yet. Either way, fighting outright or suffering in silence, slain journalists' families pay a price that lasts a lifetime

June 9, 2011 4:57 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan journalist missing for 500 days

A missing poster for Eknelygoda.

New York, June 8, 2011--It has been exactly 500 days since Sri Lankan journalist Prageeth Eknelygoda disappeared. He has not been seen by his wife Sandhya Eknelygoda or by the couple's two teenage sons, Sanjay and Harith, since he left for work around 7:30 a.m., on the morning of January 24, 2010. Sandhya filed a complaint with the local police office at 11:30 a.m. the next day but so far no government official has given her information about her husband's whereabouts. His family and colleagues at the Lanka eNews website where he worked have no idea what has become of Eknelygoda.

Blog   |   Pakistan

How can Pakistani journalists protect themselves?

Syed Saleem Shahzad, right, with Pakistani journalist Qamar Yousafzai at the Afghan border in 2006 after being released by the Taliban. (AP)

The memorial service in Washington for journalist Saleem Shahzad--who was killed around May 29--was held at the National Press Club this past Monday. Anwar Iqbal, dean of the Pakistani press corps in Washington, led the ceremony. Ambassador to the U.S. Hussain Haqqani spoke eloquently about the degree of loss brought by Shahzad's brutal killing. While many of the speakers called for an investigation into Shahzad's death, I had a different train of thought. I focused on an idea that had come up while I was in Karachi this April and May. After all, I thought, too many special investigations have been commissioned and have never seen the light of day, and the same thing seems likely to happen in Shahzad's case. But what if we could have prevented his death in the first place?

Alerts   |   Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, religious threat to media intensifies

New York, June 7, 2011--The Committee to Protect journalists is disturbed by the June 1 declaration by Afghanistan's Ulema Shurab, or the Council of Religious Scholars, criticizing two media outlets, Hasht-e-Subh Daily newspaper and Tolo Television, for what it reportedly called "immorality" and "animosity against Islam," according to Afghan media owners. The council is a powerful force in Afghan politics and meets frequently with President Hamid Karzai to advise him on religious and cultural affairs.

June 7, 2011 5:05 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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Blog   |   China

Chinese media freedom in a 'sensitive' period

Madeline Earp speaks in London on Friday on press freedom in China. (BBC)

I was in London on Friday, speaking at a seminar joint-hosted by the BBC Chinese service and the British think tank Chatham House called "Media Freedom in China and the Role of International Broadcasters." There was a lot of impassioned discussion about the range of challenges facing international broadcasters, from slashed budgets to the recent press freedom crackdown. (Chinese speakers can watch my presentation on the BBC website.)

June 6, 2011 5:50 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

Justice for Saleem Shahzad? We've seen this before...

AFP

An important distinction is emerging in the murder of Saleem Shahzad, at left, as details of a second post-mortem were released Thursday. Shahzad was not tortured as has been widely reported. He was more likely beaten to death fairly quickly, apparently with iron rods, according to media reports. Here's the highly respected Amir Mir, writing in Asia Times Online, the site that published Shahzad's article that appears to have led to his death:

June 3, 2011 5:32 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

Rising anger amid accusations about who killed Shahzad

Just a few pointers to the angry discussion that is going on among Pakistan's journalists about the killing of Saleem Shahzad. The Inter Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) seems to have emerged as the prime target of accusation, but it has rejected claims of any involvement.

In an Associated Press of Pakistan article Tuesday slugged "Salim Shahzad death source of concern for entire nation: ISI official," an unnamed ISI official denied allegations that the agency was involved in Shahzad's death. APP is the official news agency for the Pakistan government. The pro-military and security establishment PakNationalists website followed suit with a reprint headlined "Stop Using Saleem Shahzad's Death To Target ISI." And here's the BBC's take on the ISI response.

June 2, 2011 10:47 AM ET

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Reports   |   Multimedia, Sri Lanka

Video Report: Murdered With Impunity

In “Murdered With Impunity," Sri Lankan journalist Sonali Samarasinghe describes the unsolved murder of her husband, the editor Lasantha Wickramatunga. Although Wickramatunga was beaten to death on a busy street in broad daylight, the government has failed to apprehend his attackers. (3:32)

Read our accompanying special report, “Getting Way With Murder.” Please visit our Global Campaign Against Impunity and see how you can help. CPJ's Global Campaign Against Impunity is underwritten by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

June 1, 2011 12:01 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Pakistan

Prominent journalist dies in targeted killing in Pakistan

Syed Saleem Shahzad, right, with Pakistani journalist Qamar Yousafzai at the Afghan border in 2006. The two had been detained for several days by the Taliban. (AP/ Shah Khalid)

New York, May 31, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed and angered by the targeted killing of senior Pakistani journalist Saleem Shahzad, the Pakistan bureau chief of the Asia Times online website. Shahzad, considered an expert on Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants, disappeared on Sunday night as he was on his way to participate in a talk show on Dunya Television, media reports said. His body, showing signs of torture, was later found outside Islamabad, according to local and international media reports.

Blog   |   Pakistan

A friend remembers Saleem Shahzad

When I received an unexpected call early Monday morning from Saleem Shahzad's wife, I knew I was in for some bad news.

"Saleem has not come home since Sunday evening, when he was on his way to a television studio," she said. She told me that she then remained as composed as possible until she received a call informing her of his death 48 hours later.

May 31, 2011 3:27 PM ET

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Blog   |   China

No spring in China, but are the media heading for a fall?

Here's a quick toss to a video posted on YouTube by Australian Broadcasting's reporter Stephen McDonell. He and his crew decided to confront some Chinese security types (not surprisingly they didn't identify themselves) who had been following them in Wenzhou while reporting in China. The team was covering religion, including underground or "house" churches--those not sanctioned by the government. The confrontation with McDonell's watchers in a posh hotel lobby is telling. McDonell's full story aired on May 17; you can find it at abc.net.au/foreign. And add a round of applause for the crew's cameraman Rob Hill for getting so much of the confrontation on tape. 

May 26, 2011 1:25 PM ET

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Blog   |   Afghanistan

Threats, security in Afghanistan: Some responses

Last Friday's post, "After bin Laden, a warning to foreign journalists," generated several responses from Western journalists in Kabul. I also did two lengthy interviews on Monday with the U.S. government-funded broadcaster Voice of America, and fielded questions from several other news outlets. 

May 24, 2011 12:50 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

Sethi: Pakistani media challenging military

Sethi at CPJ offices. (CPJ/Sheryl A. Mendez)

Pakistani journalist Najam Sethi was in the United States last week to talk about the challenges facing his country at a critical moment. Ever the contrarian, he also sees opportunities. "For the first time the media is challenging the military," he told an audience of friends and colleagues at CPJ offices in New York. "That's the biggest positive development out of the whole Pakistan debacle."

Alerts   |   India

Indian reporter arrested for story on weapons storage

New York, May 20, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists joins with our colleagues in India in condemning the arrest of Tarakant Dwivedi, who writes under the pen name Akela, under India's Official Secrets Act. According to local media reports, Dwivedi was arrested Tuesday by the Government Railway Police and charged with criminal trespass. He will be held in police custody until Saturday. 

May 20, 2011 5:02 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.

Blog   |   Japan

Following disaster, Free Press Association of Japan launches

MP Ihiro Ozawa addresses a FPAJ press conference. (Michiyoshi Hatakeyama)

After the huge catastrophe that hit Japan this March, the country is in need of a freer media culture. A less restricted media would allow more people access to information at press conferences. In the name of this aim, in April 25, a group of Japanese freelance journalists launched a new organization called the Free Press Association of Japan (FPAJ).

May 17, 2011 12:13 PM ET

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Alerts   |   China

Media memorializing Sichuan earthquake censored

New York, May 13, 2011--Amid a harsh media crackdown, Chinese authorities censored discussion of the May 12, 2008, Sichuan earthquake anniversary that referenced independent investigations into the damage, according to international news reports. CPJ interviewed filmmaker Alison Klayman about activists imprisoned for documenting official negligence which contributed to the destruction, including detained artist Ai Weiwei, to mark the anniversary. 

May 13, 2011 4:13 PM ET

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Blog   |   China

Q&A: Filmmaker talks Ai Weiwei and jailed activists

A still from the film of Ai Weiwei, taken in Jingdezhen, China, in 2010. (Courtesy Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry)

Three years after a devastating earthquake hit Sichuan province in May 2008, CPJ spoke to documentary filmmaker Alison Klayman. The director is working on the upcoming "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry," about the recently detained Chinese artist who documented the aftermath of the earthquake and published the names of children killed in the collapse of frail school buildings. 

May 13, 2011 3:30 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Pakistan

A week after Pakistan justice pledge, journalist murdered

New York, May 10, 2011--The death of a journalist apparently targeted by militants in Pakistan today highlights the country's entrenched climate of impunity for anti-press attacks, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari told a CPJ delegation on World Press Freedom Day that he would pursue justice for journalists killed on the job.

May 10, 2011 5:41 PM ET

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Blog   |   China

U.S.-China dialogue must keep focus on human rights

Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo, left center, and others at the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue today. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
China's powerful State Councilor Dai Bingguo told U.S. officials today that his country was "making progress" on human rights issues, according to Agence France-Presse. The remarks, made at the start of the two-day Strategic and Economic Dialogue, do not bode well for U.S. efforts to keep human rights on the table after last month's exchange on human rights in Beijing. 
May 9, 2011 5:38 PM ET

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Statements   |   Pakistan

Pakistan must allow live foreign broadcasts

Karachi, May 8, 2011--Pakistan's decision tonight to not allow foreign broadcasters to continue to do live transmissions from Abbottabad must be rescinded immediately, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today from Karachi.

"It is reckless for Pakistan to interfere with the flow of information from the site of what is one of the world's most important news stories. Falling back on regulatory controls to stifle the flow of news is short sighted and does a disservice to the entire world. The government must back away from this decision immediately," said Bob Dietz, CPJ's Asia program coordinator. Dietz had been part of a CPJ team in Pakistan for meetings earlier this week with President Asif Ali Zardari and Interior Minister Rehman Malik.

May 9, 2011 4:51 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

Mission Journal: CPJ tackles impunity in Pakistan

After months of planning and preparation, our CPJ team had assembled in Islamabad with an ambitious plan. On May 3, we had a meeting scheduled with President Asif Ali Zardari to discuss the country's failure to investigate the killings of journalists. We also had positive indications that our delegation would be able to meet with military officials and possibly even representatives from the Inter Services Intelligence, or ISI, the country's all-powerful spy agency.

May 6, 2011 1:46 PM ET

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Blog   |   Burma

Press freedom requires action, not talk, in Burma

Burmese taxi drivers read a newspaper featuring a picture of newly sworn-in president Thein Sein. (AFP/Soe Than Win)

Burma's newly installed democratic government has sent tentative signals that it intends to allow for more media openness as the country transitions from military to civilian rule. The continued detention of more than 2,100 political prisoners, including as many as 25 journalists, however, belies President Thein Sein's recent press-promoting pronouncements.

Blog   |   China

Only some Chinese writers allowed to attend PEN Festival

Zha Jianying discusses Ai Weiwei, pictured at left after a police attack, at the Pen World Voices Festival. (CPJ)

The stage was full of empty chairs on Thursday at "China in Two Acts," part of the five-day PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature in New York, which ended on Sunday.  A two-part program featured writer Zha Jianying speaking for the first part followed by a panel discussion in the second. The chairs, a nod to Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo's recent imprisonment, also signified the absence of Liao Yiwu, author and fellow IndePENdent Chinese PEN Center board member. Liao was barred from leaving the country, festival chair Salman Rushdie wrote in a New York Times op-ed

Alerts   |   Pakistan

Pakistan vows to pursue justice in journalist murders

The murder of journalist Hayatullah Khan, seen here in 2005, is just one of many Pakistani killings surrounded in mystery. (CPJ)

Islamabad, Pakistan, May 3, 2011--Pakistan's president committed to pursue justice for journalists killed in the line of duty, pledging to take steps to reverse the country's rising record of impunity. A delegation from the Committee to Protect Journalists met with President Asif Ali Zardari today to discuss the growing number of targeted attacks on journalists in Pakistan and urged him to ensure that journalists are free to report on sensitive issues. The president's commitment, made on World Press Freedom Day, will be monitored by CPJ and national press freedom groups.

May 3, 2011 12:17 PM ET

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Blog   |   Burma

Burmese exile news site endures hacking, DDoS attacks

Like other Burmese exile-run media, the Irrawaddy has been plagued by numerous denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks in recent years that have forced its website to be shut down. Now, Aung Zaw, the publication's founder and editor, believes Burma's military-backed regime has adopted a new cyber-attack strategy that aims to undermine the exile media's credibility among readers.
May 2, 2011 11:57 AM 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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Blog   |   China

How the U.S. should raise human rights in China dialogue

One day ahead of two-day bilateral talks with the U.S., China's Foreign Ministry rejected what it labeled "interference" in the country's internal affairs under the rubric of human rights, according to international news reports. Despite this obstructionist tone, CPJ hopes that Washington officials, led by Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Michael Posner, will stick to their announced agenda--and cast it as a matter of China's own national interest.

April 26, 2011 1:21 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Another Lanka eNews journalist arrested

New York, April 25, 2011--Police arrested a journalist with the independent Sri Lankan news website Lanka eNews today, according to local news reports. CPJ has called on the United Nations and the international diplomatic community this year to respond to a series of uninvestigated attacks targeting the outspoken site. 

Blog   |   China, Internet, Malaysia, Russia

Cyber-attacks on press up in number, down in cost

Novaya Gazeta, a leading Russian independent news outlet, has been under cyber-attack.

The last two weeks have seen a spate of denial-of-service (DOS) attacks against news sites, coordinated attempts to overwhelm outlets with fake incoming data so the sites cannot respond to legitimate users.

Alerts   |   Pakistan

Another journalist targeted in Karachi as violence surges

Pakistani journalists demonstrated in January after the killing of TV reporter Wali Khan Babar in Karachi. (AP/Shakil Adil)

New York, April 21, 2011--An outburst of violence took the lives of at least 20 people in a bomb blast and targeted attacks in Karachi on Wednesday and Thursday. The huge port city of more than 13 million people is caught in a gangland-style turf war made worse by sectarian and political conflict, according to media reports.

Blog   |   Pakistan

Umar Cheema: 'Their efforts to intimidate me backfired'

Cheema (Pauline Eiferman)

On September 4, 2010, Pakistani journalist Umar Cheema was abducted as he was going home after a dinner with friends near Islamabad. He was held captive for more than six hours, during which he was tortured by masked individuals. He was told to stop criticizing the government in the articles he wrote for the English-language daily The News and was dumped the next day by his car. (CPJ has covered his case extensively.)

Seven months after his ordeal, Cheema traveled to the United States and stopped by Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism to talk to students about the dangers of reporting in his country.


April 20, 2011 6:05 PM ET

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Blog   |   Philippines

Jose Pavia, press freedom champion, dies at 72

Jose Pavia, a veteran journalist and tireless press freedom advocate, died on April 18 in the Philippines. Pavia, known simply as "JLP" among his friends and journalist colleagues, was a key partner in CPJ's Global Campaign Against Impunity. He was 72 and had been battling cancer.

Alerts   |   Malaysia

Ahead of election, cyber-attacks cripple online media

Bangkok, April 19, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by cyber-attacks against three news and commentary sites that preceded Saturday's important election in Malaysia's Sarawak state, on the island of Borneo. The country's main news portal Malaysiakini,  Sarawak Report, and the Malay and English versions of the opposition Harakahdaily website all reported similar attacks. Nobody has taken responsibility for them.

April 19, 2011 4:23 PM ET

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Blog   |   China

China seizes critics as domestic media avert eyes

Why hasn't the government disclosed Ai Weiwei's status? And why aren't domestic media questioning the government? (AP/Andy Wong)

The Chinese security apparatus is kidnapping government critics, unchallenged by the domestic press. Writer Yang Hengjun, who went missing in March and has since reappeared, criticized the Chinese press this week for failing to report on his enforced disappearance. While state media are accusing the missing artist and social critic Ai Weiwei of plagiarism and being "erratic," according to UK-based The Economist, they are not questioning his apparent, unlawful detention.

April 15, 2011 2:28 PM ET

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Blog   |   Japan

In Japan, scenes of devastation

Here is a selection of photos by Japanese freelancer Hiro Ugaya showing the devastation in northeastern Japan caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Photos are copyright Hiro Ugaya and used with permission. View his full Picasa gallery here.

In an interview on the CPJ Blog, Ugaya tells CPJ's Madeline Earp how he covered the catastrophe.

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April 15, 2011 8:58 AM ET

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Blog   |   Japan

Freelance, online reporting discouraged on nuclear threat

The Japanese government upped the danger rating for the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station to its highest level, 7, on Tuesday, a month after an earthquake and tsunami devastated the country. It was not yet clear whether the administration or the Tokyo Electric Power Company, which runs the plant, withheld the extent of the risk. But the local media's habitual allegiance to officials who arrange press conferences and companies that buy advertising makes it hard to tell, and freelancers who are eager to probe deeper say their questions have been suppressed.

April 14, 2011 6:42 PM ET

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Blog   |   Japan

Freelancer Hiro Ugaya on covering Japan's crisis

Ugaya in tsunami-destroyed Noda Mura village. (Hiro Ugaya)

Following up on our post about the difficulties of covering the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake from outside the mainstream media, CPJ spoke with intrepid freelancer Hiro Ugaya, whom we first interviewed in 2010. "From April 2 to 8, I was traveling in tsunami-destroyed area in Tohoku, northeastern Japan," he told CPJ by email from Tokyo.

April 14, 2011 6:39 PM ET

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Blog   |   Sri Lanka

U.N. vows transparency on Sri Lanka abuses

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. (Reuters)

The three-person panel of experts on Sri Lanka appointed in 2010 to look into possible war crimes during the decades-long conflict with Tamil secessionists submitted its findings to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday. That report should include the attacks on the news media that have become a reality for journalists working there.

April 13, 2011 1:49 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Pakistan

Arrests made in Pakistani journalist's January murder

New York, April 8, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes movement in the case of the murder of Geo TV reporter Wali Khan Babar in Karachi, and calls for a full prosecution to break a longstanding pattern of impunity in journalist murders in Pakistan. Police arrested five men they say carried out the killing in January. 

April 8, 2011 3:16 PM ET

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Blog   |   China

In Ai Weiwei coverage, a couple of unexpected notes

We reported Thursday that Chinese media reports on Ai Weiwei have reflected his ambiguous status in Chinese law. After several days in which Ai was considered missing, the Foreign Ministry acknowledged police were investigating him for "economic crimes" although it stopped short of saying he was detained. Coverage within China remains very limited, although there have been a couple of surprising, ambivalent notes about his fate. 

April 8, 2011 11:15 AM ET

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Alerts   |   China

U.S. should press China on rights crackdown, Ai detention

New York, April 7, 2011--With China in the midst of a sweeping crackdown on public dissent, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should follow the example of Britain and Germany and call for the immediate release of detained artist and social critic Ai Weiwei and other detained journalists and dissidents, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The two countries' foreign ministries have each urged China to release Ai, according to Reuters.

Alerts   |   China

European Parliament must speak out on China abuses

New York, April 6, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on members of the European Parliament to strongly criticize the Chinese government's apparent detention of artist and social activist Ai Weiwei. The European Parliament is convening an emergency debate Thursday on Ai's disappearance, which may be the latest unlawful detention in the government's onslaught against its critics. 

April 6, 2011 5:02 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Diplomatic corps must act to free ailing Sri Lankan journalist

New York, March 31, 2001--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the international diplomatic community in Colombo to help secure the release of Lanka eNews website News Editor Bennet Rupasinghe. According to colleagues in Colombo and international news reports, Rupasinghe was arrested by police after responding to a summons. He was called to give a statement about allegedly threatening a brother of a suspect who is in custody over the arson attack on the site's office on January 31.

March 31, 2011 4:56 PM ET

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Alerts   |   China

Mainstream journalists also targeted in China crackdown

Peng Xiaoyun reported her dismissal on Twitter.

New York, March 30, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the dismissal of two Guangzhou-based journalists who advocate for political reform amid tightening restrictions on free expression. While several bloggers and activists have disappeared or been detained in the last month after anonymous calls for demonstrations in support of political reform were published online, journalists in traditional media are now also being targeted, CPJ said.  

Blog   |   China

In China, a state of denial on detentions, abuse

China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Jiang Yu, today denied having heard of Sydney-based Chinese author and blogger Yang Hengjun, according to The Associated Press. We reported yesterday that Yang was missing, presumed to be the latest high-profile writer to fall victim to the government's aggressive roundup of critics who might respond to online calls for a Chinese "Jasmine revolution." Concern for Yang deepened today, after reports emerged that he had called his sister in Guangzhou to say he had been detained. "Having a long chat with old friends" was the pre-arranged phrase they used, AP reported. 

March 29, 2011 3:44 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Australia, Burma

Australian editor released on bail, faces trial in Burma

New York, March 29, 2011--Ross Dunkley, founder and editor of the Myanmar Times weekly newspaper, was released on bail from a Burmese prison today, according to international news reports. Dunkley, an Australian citizen arrested February 10 amid tense negotiations over the future of the weekly, had been denied several earlier requests for release on bail. 

March 29, 2011 12:31 PM ET

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Alerts   |   China

Online writer indicted, another missing in China

New York, March 28, 2011--Police indicted one online writer on anti-state charges in Sichuan today and another disappeared in Guangzhou on Sunday, according to international news reports. Both cases appear part of the Chinese Communist Party's strenuous efforts to suppress their critics and pre-empt a "Jasmine Revolution" in China, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.  

March 28, 2011 5:00 PM ET

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Blog   |   South Korea

In well-wired South Korea, all is not well for press freedom

Under President Lee, more restrictive news media policies. (AP/Jo Yong-Hak)

CPJ ranks North Korea, with no independent media, as the world's most censored state. South Korea, with a wide-open press, seldom comes in for criticism. The high-tech, economic powerhouse is ranked as one of the most intensely wired nations in the world, and South Koreans enjoy near universal Internet access. But all is not well with the media on the southern half of the Korean peninsula. 

March 25, 2011 4:03 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Thailand

Thailand dismisses role in Reuters photographer's death

Reuters

New York, March 24, 2011--A Thai police investigation concluded today that government security forces did not kill Reuters photographer Hiro Muramoto, left, during political violence in Bangok on April 10, 2010. But the Committee to Protect Journalists, expressing concerns that the investigation was not transparent, has called for a full, independent investigation into the Japanese journalist's death.

March 24, 2011 3:55 PM ET

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Blog   |   China, Internet

Is China censoring phone conversations?

Are Chinese mainland citizens, as has been reported, finding their telephone conversations cut off whenever they mention the word "protest?" While large-scale, real-time voice recognition is a technological possibility, it is at the edge of what is believed likely. It would certainly be revealing about the capabilities of the Chinese government if these anecdotes proved to be widespread. 

March 24, 2011 11:02 AM ET

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Alerts   |   China

Beijing censors AIDS site after claim of cover-up

New York, March 17, 2011--Beijing information officials should allow Aizhi, the official website of the AIDS rights group Aizhixing Research Foundation, to resume operations, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Authorities ordered the site shut down on Tuesday after it had published an open letter from a retired senior official concerning news restrictions placed on a 20th-century public health scandal.

March 17, 2011 4:12 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Indonesia

CPJ disturbed by acquittal in Indonesian journalist's death

New York, March 10, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is dismayed by a provincial court's decision in Indonesia to acquit three accused killers of TV journalist Ridwan Salamun. On Wednesday, a panel of judges in the Tual District Court in Maluku declared the three men not guilty of the reduced charge of "persecution" in the mob violence in which Salamun was killed while covering a community clash in Fiditin village.

March 10, 2011 5:05 PM ET

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Alerts   |   China

Uighur website editor sentenced in secret in China

New York, March 10, 2011--The secret sentencing of a Uighur website editor emerged this week, eight months after he was tried along with other journalists and dissidents charged in the 2009 unrest in northwestern Xinjiang, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. 

Blog   |   Sri Lanka

U.N. to investigate Prageeth Eknelygoda's disappearance

One of Prageeth Eknelygoda's last cartoons.

Tuesday's letter from CPJ and four other groups to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon apparently had some impact. The Canadian Press reported today that Ban has asked the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and UNESCO, which oversees press freedom, to look into the case of Prageeth Eknelygoda, a Sri Lankan columnist and cartoonist missing for more than a year.

March 9, 2011 5:30 PM ET

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Blog   |   China, Internet

Michael Anti's exile from Facebook over 'real-name policy'

Michael Anti's anger with Facebook grew when he heard that the company hosts a page for the dog of founder Mark Zuckerberg, seen here. (Reuters)

The Chinese journalist Michael Anti had his Facebook account deleted in January. The reason Facebook gave was that Michael Anti isn't his real, government-recorded, name--which is true. Instead, Anti is the name that he has written under for almost a decade, on his own personal blogs, and in his writing for the New York Times and other publications. It's the name on his Harvard fellowship documents. It's what his public knows him as. It's what you would search for if you were looking for his writing, or aiming to get in touch.

March 9, 2011 5:12 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Philippines

Accused Maguindanao mastermind may go free

Zaldy Ampatuan (AP)
New York, March 8, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is worried that a special five-judge panel named by the Philippines Court of Appeal in Manila will free the suspected mastermind behind the Maguindanao massacre, or release him on a technicality. Lawyers for Zaldy Ampatuan, the former governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, have entered a plea for the charges against their client to be dropped.
March 8, 2011 4:26 PM ET

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Blog   |   China

Mideast protests a red flag to Chinese censors

A Chinese policeman checks the identity of a foreign journalist, right, near the Xidan shopping district, a designated a demonstration site in an Internet call for protests in Beijing on Sunday. (AP)
Working to defend press freedom, I take it that I've hit the mark when I get censored. So I smiled today when I got an e-mail from a friend in China who said he was in the gym watching breakfast television when my face came up on CNN. I opened my mouth and the screen went blank. Chinese censors are nothing if not quick.

March 8, 2011 3:39 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Media rights groups to U.N.: Intervene in Sri Lanka case

A missing poster for Eknelygoda.

New York, March 8, 2011--Five prominent media rights organizations sent a letter on Monday to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, calling on the U.N. to intervene in the case of Prageeth Eknelygoda, the Sri Lankan columnist and cartoonist for the Lanka eNews website, who disappeared on January 24, 2010. Since then, the letter notes, his wife, Sandhya Eknelygoda, has been asking the Sri Lankan government for any information about his fate. She has been given no word from any person in the government. Eknelygoda's disappearance and his wife's efforts on his behalf have been widely reported in Sri Lankan and international media.

Alerts   |   China

CPJ calls on China to stop inhibiting international press

New York, March 7, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists rejects statements by a Chinese government official that international reporters are not being detained, attacked, and harassed in China. CPJ calls on the police to end their anti-media attempts to stop foreign journalists from reporting on possible anti-government demonstrations in what has become known as the "Jasmine Revolution." Instead, they should act in accordance with Chinese government regulations which protect their right to work freely in China, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. 

Blog   |   China

Abusive Twitter messages target foreign media in China

Chinese police stand guard near a planned protest site for the "Jasmine Revolution" on February 20 in Beijing. (AP/Andy Wong)

California-based China Digital Times (CDT) reports new Chinese-language Twitter commentators have appeared in the last week. Twitter is generally blocked in China, but heavily used by activists who access it by means of proxy networks overseas. The recent arrivals are vocal supporters of the government's efforts to tamp down nascent "Jasmine Revolution" rallies anonymously organized in Chinese cities the past two Sundays. 

March 2, 2011 2:22 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

Updates on Wali Khan Babar and Umar Cheema in Pakistan

Here are two quick updates on prominent Pakistani cases we've been following:

Despite police claims made soon after the assassination-style killing of Geo TV reporter Wali Khan Babar on January 13, there have been no arrests made in his case, and there is little reason to expect that there will be any. Babar was one of 20 people killed in gang violence in Karachi that day. He was returning home after his report on the violence had been aired. Mark another case in Pakistan's poor record for impunity for the killers of journalists--the country ranked 10th last year in CPJ's Impunity Index.

March 1, 2011 12:28 PM ET

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Alerts   |   China

Foreign journalists detained in China's 'Jasmine' protests

New York, February 28, 2011--Chinese security officials' concerted attack on the foreign press in a busy commercial street near Tiananmen Square in Beijing Sunday is a return to the restrictions international reporters faced before they were eased in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.   

Alerts   |   Thailand

Concerns of Thai whitewash in killing of Reuters' Muramoto

Reuters
Bangkok, February 28, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by inconsistencies in Thailand's official investigation into the killing of Reuters cameraman Hiro Muramoto, who was killed by gunfire while covering clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces last April 10 in Bangkok.

Thailand's Department of Special Investigation told reporters today that its investigations showed that Muramoto was apparently not shot by security forces. The findings contradict the state agency's preliminary conclusions about the journalist's death released and reported by news agencies late last year. Those findings indicated the shots that hit Muramoto came from a direction where troops were positioned at the time and were fired from an M-16 assault rifle. The agency denied it had been pressured to clear the army of responsibility.
February 28, 2011 4:23 PM ET

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Alerts   |   China

China detains, censors bloggers on 'Jasmine Revolution'

New York, February 25, 2011--China's censors tightened Internet controls and security officials harassed and detained writers and activists in the wake of an online appeal for a "Jasmine Revolution" in China, according to international human rights groups and news reports. The apparent crackdown came in advance of two top legislative meetings, the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, scheduled for March.

Blog   |   Sri Lanka

Why hasn't the U.N. reached out to Sandhya Eknelygoda?

On February 18, we noted that the United Nations in New York finally said it received a letter from Sandhya Eknelygoda, the wife of missing journalist Prageeth Eknelygoda. Sandhya had given the letter to the U.N. representative in Colombo, Neil Buhne, on January 24, the first anniversary of her husband's disappearance. It was also channeled to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said. 

February 24, 2011 12:21 PM ET

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Blog   |   China

Lawyer's footage of house arrest published in China

Men in plainclothes recently harassed at least six foreign journalists in Shandong province. Vivid news footage shoes a group pelting CNN reporter Stan Grant and his photographer with rocks when they tried to visit the home of an activist under house arrest. Brice Pedroletti from France's Le Monde, Stephane Lagarde with Radio France Internationale, and an unnamed New York Times journalist and photographer underwent similar confrontations in February, according to Agence France-Presse. 

Alerts   |   Pakistan

Journalist gunned down in Pakistan's violent Baluchistan

New York, February 22, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists joins with the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) in calling for an investigation into the  drive-by shooting death of Abdost Rind, a 27-year-old part-time journalist in the Turbat area of Baluchistan province in Pakistan's southwest on February 18.

February 22, 2011 2:57 PM ET

Blog   |   Sri Lanka

Request for help for Prageeth: Lost in the mail?

Finally, there has been some movement in the case of Prageeth Eknelygoda, at left, the Sri Lankan journalist who disappeared on January 24, 2010. The United Nations says it has received a letter from Eknelygoda's wife, Sandhya, that she had handed over to the U.N. representative in Colombo, Neil Buhne, on January 24, the anniversary of his disappearance.  

February 18, 2011 1:50 PM ET

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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   |   CPJ, Pakistan, Sri Lanka

At Attacks launch: What if governments are perpetrators?

Umar Cheema

When we launched the new edition of Attacks on the Press at the United Nations today, I was hit with questions about Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Both dealt with what amounts to the same problem: What do you do when you're asking a government to investigate a crime in which it might have been the perpetrator? 

The Sri Lanka question came first. What is happening in the case of Prageeth Eknelygoda, a critical cartoonist and columnist who disappeared more than a year ago? The question starts around 17:07 on the U.N.'s archived webcast of the event. The Pakistan question, which starts at around 33:55, addresses the case of Umar Cheema, another critical columnist. Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka get ample coverage in this year's Attacks on the Press.

February 15, 2011 4:50 PM ET

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Blog   |   North Korea

More rare news from North Korea

The latest batch of reporting--writing, photography, and video--from North Korea is available online at Asia Press Network (APN). The stories deal with apparent hyperinflation, the emergence of street markets in Pyongyang, and the reported reduction of rations for military personnel. They're the sort of stories you seldom see out of North Korea that give depth to the well-covered military and diplomatic maneuvers across the Korean Peninsula's Demilitarized Zone. 

February 15, 2011 11:09 AM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Afghanistan, Burma, China, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam

Attacks on the Press 2010: Asia Analysis

Partisan Journalism and the Cycle of Repression

With journalists in their midst, police and protesters clash in Bangkok. (Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom)

by Bob Dietz and Shawn W. Crispin

Lal Wickramatunga's family and publishing house, Leader Publications, have paid dearly in Sri Lanka's highly charged political climate. While Leader's newspapers, including the weekly Sunday Leader, are widely known for tough, independent reporting, they have been caught up in a partisan media environment, one filled with violence and censorship. Wickramatunga's brother has been murdered, his company has been sued, and his journalists face intimidation.

Attacks on the Press   |   Afghanistan

Attacks on the Press 2010: Afghanistan

Top Developments
• Two killed, but press fatalities don't rise in proportion to overall dangers.
• Kidnappings an ongoing hazard; two French journalists held captive.

Key Statistic
13: Foreign journalists killed in Afghanistan since the 2001 U.S. invasion.


Journalists faced numerous challenges from a multifaceted war, instances of government censorship, a culture of official corruption, and factionalism within the domestic media. Two journalists were killed and two others were held by kidnappers throughout the year. The Afghanistan NGO Safety Office, an agency funded by the European Union and European governmental aid agencies, said in September that Afghanistan was at its most dangerous level since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001. Insecurity reigned even as the NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), raised troop levels, largely through the addition of about 30,000 U.S. forces. By the end of November, the United States had about 90,000 troops in Afghanistan, and ISAF troop levels stood at more than 130,000.

February 15, 2011 12:50 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Burma

Attacks on the Press 2010: Burma

Top Developments
• Junta bars foreign reporters, censors speech prior to national election.
• Aung San Suu Kyi freed, but government still jails journalists, critics.

Key Statistic
13: Journalists imprisoned as of December 1, the fourth‐highest figure in the world.


After nearly five decades of uninterrupted military rule, Burma moved toward an uncertain new era in November when it staged national elections and freed the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The new parliament, although dominated by the military junta's chosen candidates, was the first civilian government in the country since 1962. Military leaders, notorious for their international isolation, sought international legitimacy through the election. "But the vote was so rigged, it had the opposite effect," The Washington Post noted in an editorial. "Rules were written so that, no matter how people voted, the military would retain control; but even so, the regime could not resist Election Day intimidation and ballot-box stuffing."

February 15, 2011 12:43 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   China

Attacks on the Press 2010: China

Top Developments
• Cracking down on ethnic press, authorities jail Uighur, Tibetan journalists.
• Talk of media reform and press rights generates no official changes.

Key Statistic
34: Journalists imprisoned on December 1, tied with Iran for the highest figure in the world.


Operating under the strictures of the central propaganda department, official Chinese media either ignored or denounced the October 8 award of the Nobel Peace Prize to human rights defender and writer Liu Xiaobo. Authorities, who considered the award an insult, also blacked out coverage of Liu's prize on international news broadcasts from the BBC and CNN. The case highlighted significant, ongoing official censorship, and formed a backdrop for a national discussion on the potential for press reforms. Five days after the award was announced, 23 senior Communist Party members called for a sweeping overhaul of China's media censorship policies. "Our core demand is that the system of censorship be dismantled in favor of a system of legal responsibility," said the authors, largely retired party elders, many of whom held ranking positions in the media. Widely distributed by e-mail and posted on the Sina news portal, the letter criticized the propaganda department's unchecked control on news and information, calling it "an invisible black hand." Though the letter was very likely drafted before the Nobel prize was announced, its message was delivered at a moment of heightened attention.

February 15, 2011 12:41 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Indonesia

Attacks on the Press 2010: Indonesia

Top Developments
• Nation slides backward on press freedom; censorship threats emerge.
• Three reporters murdered and magazine attacked, all with impunity.

Key Statistic
2: Years' imprisonment given to Playboy Indonesia editor in a politicized prosecution.


Indonesia slipped backward on press freedom as President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's government sought to balance progressive desires for an industrialized society with the expectations of the country's conservative Islamic population. Three reporters were killed with impunity in rural areas, a magazine was attacked after questioning the financial holdings of top national police officers, and the editor of the defunct Playboy Indonesia was jailed in a politically motivated case. Threats of censorship emerged as some officials called for restrictions on Internet activity. And while the Constitutional Court struck down elements of a Suharto-era book-banning law, it left the government empowered to ban books with court approval.

February 15, 2011 12:32 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Nepal

Attacks on the Press 2010: Nepal

Top Developments
• Three media owners slain. Kantipur group faces threats, obstruction.
• Maoist cadres burn copies of two Kathmandu newspapers.

Key Statistic
7th: Ranking on CPJ's Impunity Index, reflecting one of the world's worst records in solving press murders.


The repeated failure to elect a leader cast doubt on the success of Nepal's transition from a monarchy enmeshed in civil war to a democratic republic. While a coalition government was elected in 2008, two prime ministers have since resigned, leaving a power vacuum that India and China have been accused of exploiting. Law and order suffered as multiple political parties jockeyed for influence. Three prominent media owners were killed for unknown motives. Attacks on working journalists continued throughout the year, and there were reports of political groups torching newspapers to prevent distribution of news they did not like.

February 15, 2011 12:23 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Pakistan

Attacks on the Press 2010: Pakistan

Top Developments
• Suicide bombings take devastating toll on media, killing, injuring dozens.
• Journalists face threats from all sides, notably Taliban and the ISI.

Key Statistic
8: Journalists killed in relation to their work in 2010, the highest figure in the world.


Pakistan was the deadliest nation for the press in 2010 as violence spread well beyond the Afghan border region. Eight journalists and one media support worker were killed in relation to their work and numerous others were injured, many in suicide bomb attacks.

February 15, 2011 12:21 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Philippines

Attacks on the Press 2010: Philippines

Top Developments
• Flawed procedures, witness intimidation, bribes mar Maguindanao prosecution.
• Aquino pledges reform, but two more journalists are murdered for their work.

Key Statistic
3rd: Ranking on CPJ's Impunity Index, reflecting one of the world's worst records in solving press murders.


Trial proceedings began in September for the first 19 defendants in the 2009 massacre in Maguindanao province, raising hopes that impunity's grip on the Philippines would finally be loosened. But in a special report issued in November, CPJ uncovered efforts to subvert the judicial process, including bribe offers to victims' families, and the use of intimidation and deadly violence against witnesses. CPJ's investigation also revealed deeply flawed forensic work and widespread lack of cooperation among law enforcement officials, both of which could hinder the prosecution.

February 15, 2011 12:20 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Sri Lanka

Attacks on the Press 2010: Sri Lanka

Top Developments
• Anti-government cartoonist missing; police make no evident effort to find him.
• Government readies plan for a strict media regulatory agency.

Key Statistic
19: Journalists in exile, having fled violence, imprisonment, and intimidation.


In his Independence Day speech on February 4, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared that the country "cannot be developed with harassment, gross punishments, or by the gun." But the sentence that followed--"Discipline is not revenge"--hinted at the repressive measures his administration would continue to pursue against critical news media.

February 15, 2011 12:14 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Thailand

Attacks on the Press 2010: Thailand

Top Developments
• Using emergency decree, government blocks access to thousands of websites.
• CPJ faults government, protesters for lethal violence against media.

Key Statistic
2: Journalists killed during violent clashes between security forces and protesters in Bangkok.


Armed clashes between anti-government protesters and state security forces resulted in 91 deaths and more than 1,800 injuries, a toll that deepened Thailand's debilitating five-year-old political crisis. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva invoked an emergency decree to contain the protests and employed its discretionary powers to sharply curb press freedom, which included far-ranging Internet censorship.

February 15, 2011 12:14 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Vietnam

Attacks on the Press 2010: Vietnam

Top Developments
• In run-up to Communist Party Congress, authorities clamp down on Internet.
• Critical blogs targeted in hacking attacks; government complicity seen.

Key Statistic
5: Online journalists imprisoned on December 1, reflecting crackdown on Internet commentary.


Vietnam targeted online journalists in a clampdown on dissent ahead of a 2011 Communist Party Congress at which top government appointments and policies were to be determined. At least five journalistic bloggers were among dozens of activists arrested on national security-related charges, including "spreading propaganda against the state" and "abusing democratic freedoms." The government maintained some of the world's strictest Internet controls, which included blocks on Facebook and numerous Vietnamese-language websites, including those maintained by the exile-run, pro-democracy Viet Tan and human rights organizations critical of the government. Independent analysts found evidence of official involvement in hacking attacks on critical blogs and websites.

February 15, 2011 12:04 AM ET

Alerts   |   Burma

Burmese video journalist given 13 years in jail

New York, February 11, 2011--Burma's new government under Prime Minister Thein Sein must put an end to the former military junta's despicable policy of imprisoning independent journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The most recent case to come to light is the 13-year sentencing of Maung Maung Zeya in a trial held within Insein Prison on February 4. Staff at the Oslo-based Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), for which the journalist worked, confirmed the decision to CPJ. Maung Maung Zeya was convicted for contacting Burmese exiled media and violating the Electronics Act. The court's sentence came on the same day Thein Sein was sworn into office. 

February 11, 2011 4:27 PM ET

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Blog   |   Nepal

Nepal's leadership vacuum threatens press freedom

Prime Minister Jhalnath Khanal has already lost some support. (Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar)

Nepal's new Prime Minister Jhalnath Khanal should be setting a new tone. Law and order--and with it, journalists' security--have suffered in the seven months since Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned and has been filling in as interim leader. Khanal could be making public commitments to reversing the atmosphere of impunity that is promoting media attacks. Instead, he is struggling to form a new government amid challenges to his tenuous hold on power.  

February 10, 2011 1:21 PM ET

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Blog   |   Bangladesh

Press freedom has its limitations in Bangladesh

Opposition supporters read a newspaper outside an office of Bangladesh's opposition Awami League party in Dhaka. (Reuters)

In the last decade, the growth of print and electronic media and a new generation of journalists have changed the face of the media in Bangladesh. But there is a long way to go until there is true press freedom. Politicians, criminals, and businessman exert undue influence, and the industry itself lacks the professionalism to withstand it. 

February 8, 2011 10:21 AM ET

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Alerts   |   India

Police in India must drop charges against Tehelka reporter

New York, February 7, 2011--Authorities in Karnataka state should drop charges against Tehelka magazine correspondent K.K. Shahina that appear intended to discredit her reporting, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Police visited her residence in Kerala state twice in January and left notices for her to appear for questioning, leading her to fear she will be taken into custody, she told CPJ by e-mail

Blog   |   Thailand

Internet freedom on trial in Thailand

A Thai editor's trial is being held amid a vigorous government clampdown on the Internet. Seen here, an Internet cafe in Bangkok. (Reuters/Sukree Sukplang)

Hearings commenced today in the trial of Chiranuch Premchaiporn, executive director of the Thailand-based independent news website Prachatai. She stands accused of 10 different violations of the country's draconian 2007 Computer Crime Act (CCA), each of which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.  

Blog   |   India

In Kashmir, Tehelka takes on press freedom abuses

The latest issue of India's Tehelka weekly magazine carries some great reporting on press freedom issues, an effort supported by CPJ and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The article, by Pragya Tiwari, includes many examples of journalists being harassed and assaulted while reporting on clashes between security and separatist groups in Jammu and Kashmir. It begins with a veteran journalist who was beaten to unconsciousness while going through a security checkpoint--despite having all the right paperwork. But the author also outlines systemic problems that are eroding media freedom even on issues beyond the conflict.  

February 2, 2011 4:06 PM ET

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Blog   |   China, Taiwan

Is Taiwan's media independence under threat?

As business relations develop between China and Taiwan, concerns are growing that Taiwan's media freedom may be compromised. The culprits include some journalists themselves, promoting China to preserve their own business interests, and Taiwan's Kuomintang (KMT) government, apparently attempting to exert control over the media through legislation.  

February 1, 2011 5:27 PM ET

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Blog   |   China, Egypt

China limits reporting on Egypt unrest in favor of 'harmony'

Chinese information authorities are filtering results of Chinese-language Internet searches for "Egypt" and "Cairo," according to Global Voices Online and The Wall Street Journal. The unrest raging there could prompt comparison with the student-led protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989 or incite anti-government demonstrations.

January 31, 2011 6:01 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

United Nations must intervene to protect Sri Lanka's media

The offices of Sri Lankan website Lanka eNews were completely destroyed in an arson attack today. (Lanka eNews)

New York, January 31, 2011--Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon must press the United Nations to address the string of uninvestigated and unprosecuted attacks on journalists and media houses under the government of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. CPJ responded after an early Monday morning arson attack on the offices of the independent Sri Lankan website Lanka eNews in the Malabe suburb of the capital, Colombo. Staff members told CPJ that everything in the offices had been destroyed, although no one was injured in the 2 a.m. raid. The outspoken website posted pictures of the destruction

Alerts   |   Vietnam

Vietnamese journalist succumbs to burn injuries

Bangkok, January 31, 2011--The death of a Vietnamese journalist who was brutally attacked last week underscores the urgency for authorities to investigate the case, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Le Hoang Hung, a reporter with the Nguoi Lao Dong (Laborer) newspaper, succumbed to severe injuries in a Ho Chi Minh City hospital over the weekend, according to international news reports.
January 31, 2011 12:42 PM ET

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Alerts   |   China

Veteran Chinese columnist dismissed for critical articles

New York, January 28, 2011--The Chinese government is stepping up pressure on media outlets in order to silence outspoken journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The Guangzhou-based Southern Media Group forced veteran columnist and editor Zhang Ping to resign Thursday following pressure from information authorities due to his candid commentaries, according to international news reports. 

Alerts   |   India

Indian journalist shot and killed in Chhattisgarh state

New York, January 28, 2011--Police in India's central Chhattisgarh state must investigate Sunday's shooting murder of Umesh Rajput, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Two masked gunmen shot Rajput, a reporter with the Hindi-language daily Nai Dunia, late Sunday night outside his residence near Raipur district, according to local news reports.

January 28, 2011 3:42 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Singapore

Singapore forces popular site to register as political group

New York, January 26, 2011--In a concerning move against political commentary in advance of upcoming general elections, the government of Singapore has ordered a journalistic website to register as a political association, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The Online Citizen says it has complied with the order, and has announced a January 29 "celebration" of its new status and invited the prime minister to attend. 

January 26, 2011 5:35 PM ET

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Blog   |   Philippines

Suspect says he was hired to silence broadcaster

Police in the southern Philippine province of Palawan have an unusual head start in their investigation of Monday's murder of radio broadcaster Gerardo Ortega. They apprehended the assassin at the scene, with the help of local firefighters and bystanders, and an unusual amount of information about the killing is already in the public domain. 

January 25, 2011 4:52 PM ET

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Blog   |   China

In China, Kristof's blogs are shut down

Nicholas Kristof's Sunday column in The New York Times documents the latest in a series of tests the journalist has performed in Chinese cyberspace. The conflicting results he achieved while setting up a Chinese-language blog and micro-blog demonstrate how difficult it is to judge what censors will permit in an online space.

January 24, 2011 4:19 PM ET

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Blog   |   China

In Chinese media, 'a lot to be done' is left unsaid

It is fair to report, as Agence France-Presse and others did today, that Chinese media largely avoided President Hu Jintao's comments on human rights during a Washington press conference on Wednesday. But the nature of the omission is significant. Chinese reports acknowledged that a discussion of human rights took place between Hu and U.S. President Barack Obama, but omitted the very phrase that dominated international coverage: "A lot still needs to be done," Hu finally acknowledged to reporters. And the context--Hu being challenged during a public press conference--is absent.

January 20, 2011 1:57 PM ET

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Blog   |   China

Washington reporters press China's Hu on human rights

Reporters push Hu to respond to press freedom concerns. (AP/Charles Dharapak)

Thanks to Ben Feller and Hans Nichols for raising questions about China's human rights and press freedom record. A lot of Chinese journalists are grateful, too. When we urged U.S. President Barack Obama last week to raise press freedom concerns in his meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao, we received no response. But when Feller of The Associated Press and Nichols of Bloomberg asked tough questions at the two leaders' joint press conference on Wednesday, we knew someone was listening. 

January 20, 2011 1:02 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

Flawed, but important: The Danny Pearl case revisited

Pearl (Reuters)

It's good to see that not everyone has forgotten about the Danny Pearl case. The Pearl Project, a three-year investigation carried out by a team of American journalists and students at Georgetown University says that the Pakistani government's conviction of the four men it claimed beheaded Pearl sometime in February 2002, were convicted on conflicting and perjured testimony.

In May 2006, Abi Wright, CPJ's then-Asia program coordinator, wrote in "Daniel Pearl: An Open Case":

January 20, 2011 10:56 AM ET

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Blog   |   Sri Lanka

Lasantha--journalist, activist, citizen--deserves justice

A drawing of slain editor Lasantha Wickramatunga stands in the lobby of The Sunday Leader. (CPJ)

On January 13, President Mahinda Rajapaksa told Sri Lankan media his government had no evidence to continue an investigation into the murder of Sri Lankan editor Lasantha Wickramatunga. Rajapaksa made this comment in response to a question raised by Lasantha's brother Lal in the presence of about 60 media personnel, including editors, publishers and government ministers, at a customary monthly presidential breakfast. 

Rajapaksa's nonchalance over an investigation he himself publicly promised to initiate in the wake of the murder and amid allegations his government was involved, came just five days after Wickramatunga's family and colleagues commemorated the prominent journalist's second anniversary of his death.

January 19, 2011 3:56 PM ET

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Blog   |   Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, press marks a bitter anniversary

The son of missing cartoonist Prageeth Eknelygoda seeks justice at a Colombo rally. (Paba Deshapriya)

In recent years, January has emerged as Sri Lanka's cruelest month for journalists. To commemorate that ugly fact, 100 journalists and press freedom activists gathered Tuesday outside the Fort Railway Station in the capital, Colombo, demanding that the government expedite investigations into a series of attacks and January killings that occurred in both 2009 and 2010. 

January 19, 2011 2:52 PM ET

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Blog   |   Sri Lanka

An appeal to help the family of a disappeared journalist

Sri Lankan cartoonist and political reporter Prageeth Eknelygoda disappeared almost one year ago today. He was last seen leaving the Colombo offices of the political Website Lanka eNews, where he worked, late on the evening of Sunday, January 24, 2010. No one has heard from Eknelygoda since.

Blog   |   China

Obama should raise Chinese press attacks with Hu

Press freedom should be on the agenda for Hu's visit. (AP/Charles Dharapak)

In an open letter on January 11, CPJ asked U.S. President Barack Obama to raise the issue of jailed journalists with Hu Jintao while the Chinese leader is in Washington this week. They have plenty to talk about, but journalist freedom and security should be near the top of the agenda. 

Blog   |   China

Chinese reporter's death came days before Hu's U.S. tour

On the heels of a brutal killing of a Chinese reporter, CPJ has asked President Obama to discuss press issues with President Hu Jintao, seen here. (Reuters)

CPJ has written to President Obama asking him to raise press freedom issues when Hu Jintao comes to the U.S. next week. China's practice of restricting and imprisoning reporters domestically has serious implications for the U.S.-China relationship, and a concerning case last month suggests it may be getting worse. 

Alerts   |   Pakistan

Geo TV reporter Wali Khan Babar gunned down in Karachi

New York, January 13, 2011--Geo TV reporter Wali Khan Babar was shot and killed in Karachi this evening, shortly after covering gang violence in the city, according to several Pakistani journalists. At least two assailants intercepted Babar's car at 9:20 p.m., shooting him multiple times in the head and neck, Geo TV Managing Director Azhar Abbas told CPJ. One assailant spoke to Babar briefly before opening fire, Abbas said.

January 13, 2011 5:05 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Vietnam

Concern as Vietnam plays 'national security' censorship card

Bangkok, January 13, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about a new executive decree issued on January 6 in Vietnam that will give authorities greater powers to penalize journalists, editors, and bloggers who report on issues deemed as sensitive to national security. The new media regulations were issued amid a mounting clampdown on dissent shortly before Wednesday's opening of the 2011 Communist Party Congress.  
January 13, 2011 3:58 PM ET

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Alerts   |   China

Jailed Chinese journalist, freed on medical parole, dies

New York, January 13, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists mourns the death on December 31 of Zhang Jianhong, the founder of Aiqinghai (Aegean Sea), a popular website closed by the Chinese government in 2006, according to several human rights groups. Zhang had been sentenced to six years in prison by a court in Ningbo in the eastern province of Zhejiang in March 2007, charged with "incitement to subvert the state's authority" for calling for political reform in articles he posted online. 

January 13, 2011 10:58 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Pakistan

CPJ concerned for safety of Pakistan's Sherry Rehman

New York, January 12, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is greatly concerned about public threats made against journalist and National Assembly member Sherry Rehman. The government has stepped up protection for Rehman after she supported a bill in the National Assembly that would amend Pakistan's blasphemy law. The changes include the repeal of the law's mandatory death penalty.

January 12, 2011 10:11 AM ET

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Letters   |   China, USA

CPJ asks Obama to raise jailed Chinese journalists with Hu

Dear President Obama: The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to you in advance of Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the United States in January to urge you to raise press freedom issues during your talks. We ask that you make clear the depth of U.S. concern that China is the world's leading jailer of journalists.

January 11, 2011 4:46 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Pakistan

Death of local reporter in Pakistan must be fully investigated

New York, January 11, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists joins with our colleagues in Pakistan in calling for a full investigation into the killing of Ilyas Nizzar, who was found dead in Pidarak, in the volatile Baluchistan province, in Pakistan's southwest, on January 5. Nizzar, a general assignment reporter with the Baluch-language magazine Darwanth, had been missing and assumed abducted since December 28. According to the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, Nizzar's body was found on a dirt road near the small town of Pidrak, about 90 miles (140 kilometers) west of Karachi on Wednesday.
January 11, 2011 4:41 PM ET

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