"There are no [independent] Ukrainian journalists left in Donetsk," said Aleksei Matsuka, chief editor of the regional news website Novosti Donbassa (News of Donbass). "They have fled the region since pro-Russia separatists started targeting and kidnapping reporters," Matsuka told CPJ during our brief meeting in Kiev.
On Wednesday, we reported that in Ukraine this week, at least two journalists had gone missing, while pro-Russia separatists abducted a fixer and briefly detained a reporter. Also, the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic said it was banning journalists from the conflict area. We noted that press freedom violations "are happening at dizzying speed in eastern Ukraine."
the U.N. Human Rights Committee begins its two-day review of Kyrgyzstan's
compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. By ratifying
the treaty in October 1994, Kyrgyz authorities pledged to enforce internationally
recognized provisions regarding the protection of human rights, and freedom of
expression, in their country.
Last week, I was preparing to write a column about the
anniversary of Paul
Klebnikov's murder. The American editor of Forbes-Russia was murdered contract-style nine years ago in Moscow
at the age of 41. He had investigated connections between Russian business and
organized crime, as well as ethnic and political tensions in Chechnya. Despite
numerous official promises to solve the July 9, 2004, killing, Klebnikov's
murderers--as well whoever ordered him killed-- are still nowhere near the dock.
In the year since Vladimir Putin returned to the Russian
presidency, independent media, civil society groups, and opposition activists
have been under
attack. But as he has done in the past, Putin recently
asserted that his government is not engaged in political repression.
has endured a turbulent past and continues to face significant challenges, but
its leaders are committed to a democratic future, Djoomart Otorbayev, the
nation's deputy prime minister, told human rights and press freedom advocates in
New York this week. The country still grapples with the repercussions of the brutal
June 2010 ethnic conflict that left hundreds dead and thousands displaced.
Journalist Azimjon Askarov remains
in prison on charges that CPJ and numerous human rights groups have determined
to be in retaliation for his work in uncovering official abuses during the
Thursday's court ruling in the western Grodno region of
Belarus is not befitting a modern European country, where servants of justice--prosecutors
and judges--are expected to ensure protection for press freedom and human rights.
Instead, it is reminiscent of medieval Europe, where dissent was declared
heresy and ordered destroyed.
The Oshmyansky District Court ruled that the 2011 edition of the Belarus Press Photo album contained extremist materials that "deliberately contort" social, economic, and political life in the country. Belarus Press Photo is an independent press photography contest that aims to support, promote, and develop local photojournalism, according to its mission statement.
On Wednesday, more than a year after being blocked
in Kyrgyzstan by government order, Ferghana
News was again accessible
to the public without the aid of proxy servers. Most local Internet
providers, including the state-owned Kyrgyz Telecom, restored access to the
website, Daniil Kislov, Ferghana's
editor, told CPJ.
Mikhail Beketov's recovery, in photos by CPJ and news agencies.
Beketov, the former crusading editor of the independent newspaper Khimkinskaya Pravda in the Moscow suburb,
Khimki, died this afternoon at a Moscow hospital. A choking
episode during lunch led to heart failure, Elena Kostyuchenko, Beketov's friend
and a reporter for the newspaper Novaya
Gazeta, told CPJ by phone from Moscow. Really, though, Beketov's life was
taken by the thugs who
smashed his skull, broke his legs, pulverized his hands, and left him to die in
the freezing cold nearly five years ago. He defied them, surviving that November 2008 night and valiantly rallying in the ensuing years, but the once robust and fearless editor was
never the same.
In the most tightly controlled countries, the media is told
what they are allowed to report on and what topics are taboo. Anything related to
the leader's health or his family is generally in the latter category. The
resulting information vacuum can lead to rumors and uncertainty.
Receive news about press freedom directly in your inbox.
Sign up for emailed alerts and newsletters to track global developments in press freedom. Be notified whenever journalists are attacked, imprisoned, killed, kidnapped, threatened, censored, or harassed. Or get a monthly newsletter to keep up with CPJ’s efforts to defend journalists around the globe.