Attacks on the Press in 2010

Attacks on the Press   |   Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Attacks on the Press 2010: Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Top Developments
• In West Bank, Gaza, journalists face obstruction from all sides.
• Israeli fire kills Lebanese reporter during border clash.

Key Statistic
18: Journalists detained when Israeli forces raided a Gaza-bound aid convoy.


The press operated in a highly polarized environment as Israeli, Hamas, and Fatah officials, all intent on controlling international news coverage, subjected journalists to harassment, detentions, censorship, and severe restrictions on their movements. Tensions peaked in June, when Israeli troops stormed a convoy of ships carrying aid to the Gaza Strip, which was under an Israeli blockade, killing nine passengers and injuring dozens, detaining numerous accompanying reporters, and seizing journalistic material. Israeli authorities accused the organizers of the convoy of subterfuge, while pro-Palestinian activists attempted to use the episode to highlight what they viewed as repressive Israeli policies toward Gaza residents.

February 15, 2011 12:29 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Kazakhstan

Attacks on the Press 2010: Kazakhstan

Top Developments
• New laws restrict online news media, shield government officials from scrutiny.
• OSCE chairman Kazakhstan undermines organization with repression at home.

Key Statistic
44 Defamation complaints filed in first six months of 2010, many of them by government officials.


President Nursultan Nazarbayev's government failed to deliver the press freedom reforms it had promised in exchange for gaining 2010 chairmanship of the Vienna-based Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, or OSCE. Not only did the government renege on explicit pledges to decriminalize libel and bring press laws in line with international standards, it enacted a restrictive new measure governing Internet content and a sweeping privacy law that shielded government officials from public scrutiny.

February 15, 2011 12:28 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Kyrgyzstan

Attacks on the Press 2010: Kyrgyzstan

Top Developments
• Bakiyev censors news media in a failed attempt to hold power.
• Amid ethnic clashes, Uzbek journalists and outlets targeted for reprisals.

Key Statistic
2: Ethnic Uzbek journalists imprisoned as of December 1.


In a year of political revolt and deadly ethnic turmoil, successive presidential administrations cracked down on the press, using censorship, intimidation, and imprisonment. The ouster of the authoritarian Kurmanbek Bakiyev in April, followed in June by wrenching conflict between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbek residents in the south, cut a deep divide in the nation and put its democratic future at risk. At least two journalists were confined when CPJ conducted its annual census of imprisoned journalists on December 1, illustrating unchanging repression despite changes in leadership.

February 15, 2011 12:27 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Lebanon

Attacks on the Press 2010: Lebanon

Top Developments
• Tensions rise, media polarized as U.N. special tribunal closes in on indictments.
• Technology bill includes several provisions that could restrict press freedom.

Key Statistic
0: Arrests made in the murders of two journalists and a bomb attack against a third journalist in 2005.


Political tensions grew sharply in late year as the U.N.-sponsored Special Tribunal for Lebanon drew closer to issuing indictments in the 2005 assassination of Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri. In November, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) aired a documentary--based on what it described as tribunal sources and documents--that said investigators had uncovered evidence against members of Hezbollah, the Shiite paramilitary and political group with ties to Iran and Syria. The potential for indictments against Hezbollah members raised fears of sectarian violence and the collapse of a coalition government in which Hezbollah held a strong minority bloc. In November, the tribunal revised its rules on staging trials in absentia, apparently reflecting concerns that it may be unable to secure the arrests of the named suspects.

February 15, 2011 12:26 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Mexico

Attacks on the Press 2010: Mexico

Top Developments
• Amid rampant violence, Calderón backs federalization of anti-press crimes.
• More than 30 journalists killed or disappeared since Calderón's term began.

Key Statistic
4: Journalists abducted in Durango by gangsters who demand that TV stations air their propaganda.


Organized crime groups exerted fierce pressure on the Mexican press as their control spread across vast regions and nearly every aspect of society. Pervasive self-censorship by news media in areas under drug traffickers' influence was a devastating consequence of violence and intimidation. Ten journalists were killed, at least three in direct relation to their work, and three other reporters disappeared. In addition, journalists were assaulted, kidnapped, or forced into exile, while media outlets were targeted by bomb attacks, making Mexico one of the world's deadliest places for the press. After meeting with a CPJ delegation, President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa pledged to push for legislation making attacks on free expression a federal crime, and announced the launch of a security program for at-risk reporters.

February 15, 2011 12:25 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Morocco

Attacks on the Press 2010: Morocco

Top Developments
• Government pressures advertisers, uses courts to punish critical media.
• Authorities obstruct Spanish and other foreign reporters in Western Sahara.

Key Statistic
2: Leading independent weeklies that closed under government pressure. A daily facing harassment moved online.


The government continued using the judiciary to settle scores with critical journalists and pressuring private advertisers to avoid probing publications, two hallmarks of its antagonistic approach to independent and opposition media. The tactics forced two leading independent weeklies to close and a critical daily newspaper to move online.

February 15, 2011 12:24 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   |   Nigeria

Attacks on the Press 2010: Nigeria

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

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


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

February 15, 2011 12:22 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   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

2010

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