Europe & Central Asia

Blog   |   Azerbaijan

International coalition calls on European Court to prioritize Azerbaijani press cases

Azerbaijan, one of the 10 Most Censored Countries in the world, according to new research by the Committee to Protect Journalists, is to host the first-ever European Games this June. As Baku prepares to bask in the spotlight by hosting an international mega-event yet again, eight of the country's independent journalists, including award-winning investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova, languish in jail in retaliation for their work. Azerbaijan's most prominent media freedom defender, Emin Huseynov, has taken refuge at the Swiss embassy to avoid politically motivated prosecution and imprisonment; dozens of human rights defenders and civil activists have been jailed or forced into exile; and the work of multiple independent nongovernmental organizations and media outlets has been paralyzed or shuttered by authorities that have zero tolerance for criticism or dissent.

Case   |   Ukraine

TV journalist wounded in eastern Ukraine

On April 14, 2015, in Shyrokyne, a village in eastern Ukraine, local journalist Andrei Lunyov was wounded after accidentally triggering a trip wire that led to an explosion, regional and international press reported.

Blog   |   Belgium, France, Internet

Cyberattacks rattle French, Belgian media outlets

A picture taken on April 9, 2015, shows a note on the window of a newsroom at French television network TV5Monde headquarters in Paris, after TV5Monde was hacked by individuals claiming to belong to the Islamic State group. (AFP/Thomas Samson)

The headquarters of Le Soir in the center of Brussels, two blocks away from the Parliament, look serene in the spring sunshine. No sign of violence scars the glass and stone facade. But the leading Belgian francophone daily, the flagship of the Rossel media group, has suffered a concussion. On Sunday a wave of hacking attacks rocked the paper. At 07:00 p.m., the hottest moment of the day when articles were pouring in and had to be published on deadline, the Newsgate data center started to slow down, the Wifi was disabled, the journalists’ professional and personal emails were neutralized. The paper-- where I am a columnist--immediately took emergency measures, separating the Internet from the intranet, to counter the attack and prevent the hackers from taking over the websites.

Statements   |   Ukraine

Pro-Russia journalist shot dead in Ukraine

New York, April 16, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Ukrainian authorities to identify the motive in the murder of Oles Buzina, former editor of the independent news website Segodnya, in Kiev early today. Buzina was gunned down outside of his home by two masked men who fled the scene, according to news reports. Ukraine's interior ministry has launched an investigation into the murder, the agency said on its website.

April 16, 2015 12:46 PM ET

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Statements   |   France

French-language global TV network TV5Monde hacked

New York, April 9, 2015--The French-language global TV network TV5Monde was disrupted for three hours on Wednesday night by hackers claiming to belong to the militant group Islamic State, according to news reports. The hackers seized control of 11 channels as well as the network's website and social media accounts, the reports said. TV5Monde restored its signal by Thursday morning, but said TV broadcasts would take longer to return to normal.

April 9, 2015 10:55 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Turkey

In Turkey, photographer denied entry and freelance journalist goes on trial

Fréderike Geerdink outside a Turkish court on April 8. At the opening of her trial, a prosecutor who recently took over the case, called for the Dutch freelance journalist to be acquitted of spreading terrorist propaganda. (AFP/Ilyas Akengin)

Istanbul, April 8, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Turkish authorities to improve conditions for international reporters after news reports said German freelance photographer Andy Spyra, who flew to Istanbul to cover the anniversary of the Armenian massacre, was denied entry to the country. Separately, the trial of Dutch freelance journalist Fréderike Geerdink, who is facing terrorism charges over her reporting on the Kurdish minority, began today, according to news reports.

Alerts   |   Russia

Russian blogger beaten and warned to leave Dagestan

New York, April 8, 2015--A Russian blogger is under police guard in hospital after being abducted and attacked by at least three masked men in Derbent, in the southern republic of Dagestan, on Sunday, according to news reports citing his account. Vyacheslav Starodubets was forced into a car and taken to the outskirts of the city where he said he was questioned, beaten, and warned to leave the region within three days, regional and international press reported.

April 8, 2015 5:26 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Kyrgyzstan

In Kyrgyzstan, U.S. journalist deported, his sources harassed

New York, March 30, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists denounces the deportation from Kyrgyzstan on Saturday of American freelancer Umar Farooq, who was detained and interrogated by Kyrgyz security services last week, according to news reports.

March 30, 2015 6:15 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Moldova

Journalist jailed on extremism charges in Moldova's Transdniester region

New York, March 26, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the detention of a journalist in the separatist Transdniester region of Moldova and calls on authorities to release him immediately. Sergei Ilchenko, a freelance contributor to local and regional media, has been held for more than a week and equipment seized from his and his son's homes, according to news reports.

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