CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Bob Dietz

Bob Dietz, coordinator of CPJ’s Asia Program, has reported across the continent for news outlets such as CNN and Asiaweek. He has led numerous CPJ missions, including ones to Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. Follow him on Twitter @cpjasia and Facebook @ CPJ Asia Desk.

Blog   |   Afghanistan, Pakistan

Seeking release of Pakistani journalist Faizullah Khan, jailed in Afghanistan

People buy garments ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Thursday. (AP/Mohammad Sajjad)

It's not often that CPJ agrees with the Pakistan government, but here is one of the rare occasions when we do. While Pakistan journalists have been pushing for quite a while for the release of one of their colleagues, Faizullah Khan, being held in Nangahar in Afghanistan, the Islamabad government has apparently been working diplomatic back channels. But Thursday, Pervez Rashid, Pakistan's minister for information, went public. He urged Afghanistan's leader to issue a presidential pardon. "I appeal to Afghan President Hamid Karzai to use his powers," to pardon Khan, Rashid said in a press conference in capital Islamabad. He also said the government will pursue his release through legal channels.

Blog   |   Afghanistan, Security

An Afghan conviction, but little sense of victory

Associated Press Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Kathleen Carrol, left, speaks during the funeral of Anja Niedringhaus in Hoexter, Germany, on April 12, 2014. (AP/Frank Augstein)

Naqibullah, the Afghan police commander who killed The Associated Press' Anja Niedringhaus, has been given a death sentence after being convicted of murder and treason. He was also given a four- year sentence for shooting the AP's Kathy Gannon. Naqibullah (who goes by one name, as many Afghans do) opened fire at near-point-blank range on the AP photographer/reporter team in the southeastern city of Khost on April 4, 2014, as they were covering preparations for the first round of voting in Afghanistan's still-contested presidential elections. Wednesday's conviction and sentencing were the first steps along the legal path to a final conviction and sentence, which might not come for years.

Blog   |   Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's Free Media Movement speaks out against government

In a high-risk move, the Free Media Movement in Sri Lanka released a statement condemning the government's ban on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) holding press conferences and issuing press releases. CPJ blogged about the government's move last week.

July 14, 2014 1:10 PM ET

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Blog   |   China

Ever broader restrictions handed down for China's reporters

Yet another set of rules restricting the work of journalists in China takes the concept of "overbroad" to new heights. According to guidelines made public Tuesday by the official state news agency Xinhua, the new rules cover various "information, materials, and news products that journalists may deal with during their work, including state secrets, commercial secrets, and unpublicized information."

Blog   |   Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka moves to silence NGOs, press groups

The Sri Lankan government has taken yet another step to silence critical media coverage, banning non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from holding press conferences and issuing press releases, as well as running workshops or training sessions. The action, announced Sunday by Sri Lanka's Ministry of Defense, left the country's many press groups wondering whether they are even allowed to issue a statement criticizing the decision.

Blog   |   China

Conditions for international reporters deteriorating in China

The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China released at the end of May its annual report on conditions for international journalists working in the country. As we have done in the past, we're posting this year's report as a PDF. The takeaway is that conditions have certainly not gotten better and many feel they have gotten worse, according to the 123 respondents to the survey, slightly more than half of its membership of 236.

Blog   |   Vietnam

A message from son of Vietnam blogger Nguyen Van Hai

In preparation for today's Congressional Briefing on Media Freedom in Vietnam, organized by members of the U.S. House of Representatives and featuring a panel of Vietnamese bloggers and others, CPJ has been in close contact with the family of Nguyen Van Hai, a blogger who has been in jail since 2008. We have also met with several other bloggers from Vietnam, some of whom are in Washington, D.C. today.

April 29, 2014 10:52 AM ET

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Blog   |   China

Chinese journalist Gao Yu is missing

Gao Yu (VOA)

On April 15, 1989, Hu Yaobang died. Hu had been general secretary of the Communist Party from 1982 to 1987, and recognized for his leanings toward economic reform in China. His death led to demonstrations around China, some of them in Tiananmen Square. On June 4, 1989, Tiananmen became the focus of the government's wrath, and in the intersections of the broad streets around the plaza, the government cracked down brutally. Since then, it has been a government tradition to start cracking down on protesters, critics, and dissidents before April 15, and this year is no different. China watchers say the strictures have already begun with warnings to some and detentions for others. I checked with foreign journalists over the weekend, and they say they're aware of the crackdowns, but are not feeling any heat themselves. Yet.

April 28, 2014 5:25 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

A verbatim threat from Pakistan, and more

Here is a cut and paste email message sent to staffers at The News, in Islamabad. We have their explicit permission to use it. Actually, they requested that we use it, in the hope that publicizing it will somehow protect them.

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