CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Andrew Levinson

Andrew Levinson served as CPJ's media officer from 2007 to 2010, promoting the organization's work on multiple platforms.

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Press freedom in the news 9/24/08

CPJ's letter to Spanish President Zapatero urging him to pressure Cuba on jailed journalists received significant coverage in the Spanish language press. Radio Marti ran a piece on the letter and the Spanish Web site PR Noticas has a story online. Cubaencuentro also has news coverage of the letter.

Also today, the Web site of MarketWatch has additional coverage of Jawed Ahmad's release from U.S. detention in Afghanistan on September 22.

Filmmaker Andrew Berends, now safely back in the U.S. after being released from authorities in Nigeria, has a post on The Film Panel Notetaker blog about his ordeal and calls for support to help his translator Samuel George, who is still being questioned by Nigerian Security Services.

September 24, 2008 11:00 AM ET

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Press freedom in the news 9/23/08

Reuters is reporting that Iraqi Kurdistan's Parliament has passed a revised media law that protects the rights of journalists in the region and abolishes criminal defamation. CPJ travelled to the region in May to protest a much harsher version of the media law, and presented recommendations to Kurdish President Masoud Barzani.

Also making news this morning is the release of Afghani freelance journalist Jawed Ahmad from U.S. detention at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. The Canadian Press reports that Ahmad, who has worked for CTV, was freed yesterday after 10 months in detention as an "enemy combatant."  The legal Web site Jurist and the Canada-based Edmonton Sun have coverage of his release. CPJ called for the U.S. military to reveal the evidence against Ahmad or release him when he was initially detained in February.

Finally today, the Web site of the World Association of Newspapers reports that 79-year-old Burmese journalist U Win Tin has been released from prison after 19 years. According to reports gathered by the Southeast Asian Press Alliance, the journalist was released by Burma's military junta along with 9,000 other prisoners earlier today.

September 23, 2008 11:25 AM ET

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Press freedom in the news 9/22/08

The failed assassination attempt against Iraqi Journalist Syndicate head Muaid al-Lami is the topic of various news stories today. Reuters reported that a bomb exploded as al-Lami left the front entrance of the syndicate's headquarters in Baghdad on Saturday. The San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Voice of America, and the India based-Web site The Hindu all have coverage of the explosion that failed to kill al-Lami, but did injure him along with five of his colleagues.

Over the weekend, The Associated Press had coverage of the arrest of Hanoi Bureau Chief Ben Stocking in Vietnam. The CBS Iowa-based affiliate KGAN had coverage of Stocking's arrest, which occurred while he was taking pictures at a religious ceremony in Hanoi. We released an alert on the arrest last Friday.

The Spanish-language newspaper El Universal based in Mexico City ran an op-ed piece co-authored by CPJ's Americas Program Coordinator Carlos Lauria and Executive Director Joel Simon on Saturday. The piece, headlined "De la voluntad a los hechos," examines the need for Mexico to federalize crimes against journalists. 

September 22, 2008 3:22 PM ET

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Press freedom in the news 9/19/08

Our announcement of the 2008 International Press Freedom Award winners has gotten coverage today, with stories running in the Arab, African, and Asian press. The Philippine-based Pinoy Press has an article about the awardees, and The Zimbabwe Independent reports on the winners but leads with the news of Beatrice Mtetwa winning CPJ's Burton Benjamin Award

In the Arab press, the Lebanon-based Dar al Hayat Web site has Arabic-language coverage of the announcement. From Bahrain, Al Wasat News also has a story about the awardees in Arabic, as do Web sites WNA News, Anhri.net, PDP Info, CDFJ.org, and Gulf In The Media.
September 19, 2008 11:20 AM ET

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Press freedom in the news 9/18/08

In the news today the Canada-based Web site Asian Pacific Post has a news brief about the imprisonment of Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Van Hai, also known as Dieu Cay. The brief cites CPJ's condemnation of the 30-month sentence given to him on September 11.

Also today, New York's Lower Hudson Valley Journal News has more coverage of press issues in Nigeria, and uses documentary filmmaker Andrew Berends' recent ordeal to outline a larger pattern of intimidation against members of the press working in the African country. Berends' translator, Samuel George, continues to be made to report for questioning by Nigerian State Security Services.

September 18, 2008 10:44 AM ET

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Blog   |   Afghanistan, Cuba, Iraq, Uganda, Zimbabwe

Press Freedom Awardees draw attention

We announced the 2008 International Press Freedom Award recipients on Tuesday, and the news has been well-received worldwide. Bilal Hussein of Iraq, Danish Karokhel and Farida Nekzad of Afghanistan, Andrew Mwenda of Uganda, and Héctor Maseda Gutiérrez of Cuba will all be honored by CPJ on November 25 for their courageous work. Beatrice Mtetewa, of Zimbabwe will also be honored with CPJ's Burton Benjamin Award for her long service to the field of journalism.

Blog

Press freedom in the news 9/15/08

The kidnapping and subsequent death of four Iraqi journalists in Mosul on assignment for Al-Sharqia TV is the subject of numerous stories from the weekend and this morning. Both AP and Reuters released stories updating the situation. Voice of America also had coverage. The Los Angeles Times has an entry on its "Babylon and Beyond" blog about the deaths as well as the general dangers and difficulties facing journalists trying to cover the conflict in Iraq. CNN covered the story and highlighted Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's call for the Iraqi military to fully investigate the case.

The New York Times has a story about filmmaker Andrew Berends' return to the United States after a 10-day detention in Nigeria. The article quotes CPJ's Tom Rhodes: "We work on cases like this in Africa every week. And I've never seen a response or reaction as impressive as Andrew's colleague Aaron Soffin."

A planned protest against the media crackdown occurring in Mayalsia is a major topic on the Hong Kong-based Asia Sentinel Web site this morning. The article quotes CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon's condemnation of the crackdown and the arrests of Malaysian journalists: "The Malaysian government has taken its repression of dissenting voices to a new level today. We call on the Malaysian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Raja Petra Kamaruddin and Tan Hoon Cheng. Malaysian newspapers should also be free to publish without threat of suspension," Simon said.

September 15, 2008 11:02 AM ET

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Press freedom in the news 9/11/08

The Web site OneWorld has continued coverage of the release of filmmaker Andrew Berends, who is back in the United States after being detained in Nigeria since August 31. Berends is safely at home after a week of questioning by the Nigerian military; however his translator Samuel George is still under scrutiny from the authorities.

Also on the Web today, the Hit &Run blog at Reason has a posting about Russia's censorship of and continued violence against journalists and how it relates to the press situation in the United States.

September 11, 2008 10:51 AM ET

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Press freedom in the news 9/10/08

The Web site Lower Hudson Journal has coverage of the release of filmmaker Andrew Berends, who had been detained in Nigeria since August 31. Berends flew from Nigeria to Germany last night after spending 10 days beign questioned by the Nigerian military on suspicion of espionage. His Nigerian translator, Samuel George, continues to face interrogation by authorities.

Also today, the Web site Electronic Iraq is re-running our alert from September 8 about the release of Iraqi cameraman Omar Husham, who was detained by U.S. forces last week.

September 10, 2008 10:28 AM ET

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Press freedom in the news 9/9/08

The San Francisco-based Web site Indy Media has posted another article about the arrests of journalists at the GOP Convention last week, with specific attention paid to the case of Democracy Now! reporter Amy Goodman. CPJ reported on the arrest of Goodman and other journalists covering the RNC last week, and posted videos of the arrests here.

Reuters has coverage of the release of Iraqi cameraman Omar Hisham, who was detained by the U.S. military on Thursday. The story quotes our reporting on the release: "We welcome the release of Omar Hisham, but worry about the apparent uptick in journalist detentions," said CPJ's executive director Joel Simon. A second Iraqi journalist, Ibrahim Jassam, a freelance photographer for Reuters, was arrested last week during a raid at his home and is still in U.S. custody.

Also this morning, The Associated Press is running a story about the attempted bombing of an Arab TV correspondent's vehicle in Baghdad yesterday. The bomb was detected on the car as it waited to pick up Arab TV's chief correspondent Juwad al-Hattab, the apparent target of the foiled attack.

September 9, 2008 11:09 AM ET

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