CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Sumit Galhotra

Sumit Galhotra is the research associate for CPJ's Asia program. He served as CPJ's inaugural Steiger Fellow and has worked for CNN International, Amnesty International USA, and Human Rights Watch. He has reported from London, India, and Israel and the Occupied Territories, and specializes in human rights and South Asia.

Blog   |   Bangladesh

Restrictive broadcast policy in Bangladesh raises concerns

Journalists surround Bangladeshi Attorney General Mahbubey Alam following a verdict at the International Crimes Tribunal court premises in Dhaka on January 21, 2013. (AFP/Munir uz Zaman)

This week, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's cabinet approved a restrictive policy governing Bangladesh's broadcast media. While the policy calls for the creation of an independent commission to oversee electronic media--a positive step, in principle--it's unclear how and how quickly the commission will be formed. Meanwhile, the policy restricts what can be broadcast, raising red flags.

Blog   |   Pakistan

Blasphemy charges, threats loom for outspoken journalist in Pakistan

Forty-nine year-old magazine editor and publisher Shoaib Adil fled his home in the eastern city of Lahore last month and went into hiding with his wife and children. Adil faces threats and possible charges of blasphemy--a crime punishable by life imprisonment or death--in connection with a book he published in 2007, written by a judge belonging to a religious minority group in Pakistan, as well as with his magazine, which covers sensitive issues. For years, Adil has been able to navigate the challenges that come with his critical journalistic work. But now he faces the possibility of being unable to live or work safely in Pakistan.

Blog   |   India

Slideshow: Raising awareness on India's troubling Internet laws

Today, the Global Network Initiative launched a campaign to raise awareness on India's Internet laws. The GNI, of which CPJ is a founding member, is a coalition of technology companies--including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo--and human rights groups and Internet freedom advocates.  The coalition, in collaboration with the Internet and Mobile Association of India, has created an interactive slideshow that explains the impact of current laws and regulations on the country’s Internet users.

Blog   |   Singapore

In Singapore, blogger under pressure, CPF under scrutiny

Blogger Roy Ngerng, shown at a June 2013 protest against licensing regulations on news websites, has been fired from his job in health-care since being accused of defamation by the prime minister. (Reuters/Edgar Su)

A critical Singaporean blogger continues to suffer financial and legal pressure because of a blog post that allegedly accused the city-state's prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, of corruption. The episode is part of a disturbing pattern of government legal and financial pressure on critics, but it is also a lesson in how censorship can backfire.

Blog   |   India, Internet

Worrisome curbs on free speech emerge since Modi's election

Earlier this month, Indian authorities arrested seven people for publishing a photo of India's new prime minister, Narendra Modi, alongside figures such as George W. Bush, Osama bin Laden, and Adolf Hitler, under the headline, "Negative Faces." The seven, who could face lengthy prison terms if convicted, are but the latest Indians facing criminal proceedings for their critical views of Modi, a trend that is raising concerns about freedom of expression and press freedom under India's new leadership.

Blog   |   Pakistan

When Pakistan's largest news channel becomes the news

Today, Pakistan's most watched news channel, Geo News, was ordered off the air and fined by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA). Earlier this week, CPJ documented an attack on Zafar Aheer, an editor of the Urdu-language Daily Jang, by six masked men--the latest in a series of attacks, threats, and acts of intimidation reported by staff working for the Jang/Geo group. 

Blog   |   India

Q&A: Indian journalist Sudhir Dhawale discusses his release from prison

After languishing in jail for 40 months, Mumbai-based journalist and activist Sudhir Dhawale has walked free. Dhawale was the only journalist in jail in India in late 2013, according to CPJ's annual prison census. With his release, there are currently no other journalists behind bars in the country for work-related reasons. 

June 3, 2014 4:00 PM ET

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Blog   |   China

Ilham Tohti's daughter fights for his freedom

At first glance, 19-year-old Jewher Ilham may seem like a typical college student. As she clutched her smart phone, the face of a cat imprinted on the cover peered through her fingers. She spoke in short sentences with little pause. Her thoughts pulled her in various directions as she spoke about her love for dance, juggling parental expectations, and what she has learned to cook during her past year in a small college town in the U.S.

May 8, 2014 3:23 PM ET

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Blog   |   Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, journalist summoned for criticism of court

It's not the first time, and it likely won't be the last: Bangladesh's International Crimes Tribunal has demonstrated little tolerance for criticism of its activities. Last week, the tribunal launched contempt of court proceedings against Dhaka-based British journalist David Bergman for his blog posts on the court. 

Blog   |   India

Censorship in India on the rise amid elections

Election staff carry electronic voting machines through tea shrubs on their way to polling stations on the outskirts of the northeastern Indian city of Siliguri April 16, 2014. (Reuters)

This month, Indians are voting in the largest election in history. It's an exciting exercise in democracy, but it comes against a grim backdrop: censorship in the country is on the rise, according to a quarterly report by the South Asian media watchdog, The Hoot.

April 16, 2014 12:50 PM ET

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