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November 2013 Archives


On Tuesday night, CPJ honored four courageous journalists with the 2013 International Press Freedom Awards. The gala dinner, at New York's Waldorf-Astoria hotel, raised more than $1.65 million for CPJ's worldwide press freedom advocacy.

The awardees--Janet Hinostroza (Teleamazonas, Ecuador), Bassem Youssef (Egypt), Nedim Şener (Posta, Turkey) and Nguyen Van Hai (Dieu Cay, Vietnam)--face severe reprisals for their work, including legal harassment, physical threats, and imprisonment. CPJ also presented Paul Steiger, founding editor-in-chief of ProPublica, with the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in the cause of press freedom.

CPJ and attendees and followers live-tweeted the event, which we have curated below using the social networking tool Storify.

In December 2012, the Committee to Protect Journalists and 27 partner organizations launched Speak Justice: Voices against Impunity as part of an international effort to seek justice for the hundreds of journalists who have been murdered around the world. Today, on International Day to End Impunity, we are taking a look back at what has happened over the last 12 months.

Next week, the Committee to Protect Journalists will be honoring four journalists from around the world at the International Press Freedom Awards, an annual recognition of courageous reporting. As the awardees from Ecuador, Egypt, and Turkey make the journey to attend the awards and benefit dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City on November 26, one of the awardees will be absent.

For more than a decade, courts and legislatures throughout Latin America have found that civil remedies provide adequate redress in cases of libel and slander. Over this period, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights -- an autonomous judicial institution, which is part of the human rights protection system of the Organization of American States (OAS) -- has issued key decisions supporting press freedom, including a 2004 landmark ruling that struck down a criminal defamation conviction of a Costa Rican journalist.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has joined two dozen human rights organizations in signing a letter calling on all member states of the U.N. General Assembly Third Committee to vote in favor Tuesday of resolution A/C.3/68/L.57 on the promotion and protection of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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Before his staffers, under government duress, took power drills and angle grinders to destroy company Macbooks in the newspaper's basement, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger made sure to send Edward Snowden's leaked documents to New York newsrooms for safekeeping.

I've known Paul Mooney since we worked together at Time Warner's Hong Kong-based magazine Asiaweek, which closed in December 2001. After that we'd overlapped in Beijing for several stints. A lot has been written about China's refusal to give him a visa to let him go back to Beijing to work as a features writer for Reuters --- a dream job for a reporter with as many clips as he has built up over the years. He's been quoted widely about what happened, but I haven't seen his full account anywhere else. So here is an email exchange with him from today (I've dropped a reference to some foreign journalists Mooney named who are also having visa problems and most likely wouldn't want to be mentioned):

Kenyan journalists' protests in 2007 warded off a new media law. (AP)

Few in Kenya's media could comprehend how a media bill, considered the most repressive in Kenya's 50-year history, could sail so easily through Parliament last week. Fittingly, Parliament passed the Kenya Information and Communications Amendment Bill on Halloween. It is awaiting President Uhuru Kenyatta's signature following a 14- day deliberation period.

With two weeks to go until the start of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka, the government's anti-media policies remain a pressing topic. There are two links below to statements by media support groups today relating to the government's wrongful and heavy handed response to a media workshop held in Colombo this week.

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