Europe & Central Asia

International Press Freedom Awards

Four international journalists are to be honored with the Committee to Protect Journalists' 2014 International Press Freedom Awards. The awardees are, clockwise from top left, Aung Zaw, founder and editor-in-chief of Burma's The Irrawaddy, which was branded an "enemy of the state"; Siamak Ghaderi, an Iranian freelance journalist released in July from a four-year prison term; Mikhail Zygar, editor-in-chief for the Russian independent TV channel Dozhd; and Ferial Haffajee, editor-in-chief of City Press in South Africa, who has been threatened with violence over critical stories. CPJ will present Jorge Ramos with the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in the cause of press freedom.

Blog   |   Russia

Russian actor condemned for wearing press insignia and firing weapons

Russian actor Mikhail Porechenkov has joined basketball star Dennis Rodman, who declared North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un his best friend, and Jennifer Lopez who sang "Happy Birthday Mr. President" to the authoritarian leader of Turkmenistan, on the list of celebrities who have made human rights faux pas.

October 31, 2014 4:09 PM ET

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Blog   |   Hungary

In Hungary, an independent website defies censorship and pressure

Tamás Bodoky, editor-in-chief of Atlatszo, which advocates for information access. (AFP/Peter Kohalmi)

A delegation from the Committee to Protect Journalists, led by board member Kati Marton, traveled to Hungary in October on CPJ's first fact-finding and advocacy mission to an EU member state. We went there in response to concerning reports of deteriorating conditions for the press, and met dozens of journalists, media lawyers, managers, rights defenders, and policy analysts. Those we spoke to described an atmosphere of fear and self-censorship, and how critical reporting and alternative views are suppressed through a variety of means, including legal and economic measures that stifle and discourage independent coverage.

But there were signs of hope. Enterprising journalists are defying authorities' attempts to interfere with editorial policies and silence sensitive stories. The editorial team of one such news website, Atlatszo--the name means "transparent"--specializes in investigative journalism and advocating for information access. In Budapest, CPJ visited Atlatszo's offices, housed in an old department store.

October 31, 2014 10:52 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan jails yet another critical reporter

New York, October 30, 2014--A court in Azerbaijan today sentenced Khalid Garayev, a reporter for the embattled opposition newspaper Azadliq and the technical director of "Azerbaijani Hour," Azadliq's online TV program, to almost a month in prison on charges of hooliganism and disobeying the police, according to news reports.

Blog   |   Hungary

Mission Journal: Creeping authoritarianism in Hungary

People protesting in Budapest about a new Internet tax on data use hold up their smartphones. (Reuters/Laszlo Balogh)

On the Buda side of the River Danube stands the glass and steel headquarters of the thriving German-owned entertainment channel RTL. On the Pest side of the Hungarian capital, tucked in a corner of a converted department store, lies the cramped office of struggling online news outlet Atlatszo.

October 30, 2014 12:14 PM ET

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Press Releases

Governments fall short in efforts to combat impunity in journalists' murders

Ninety percent of murderers walk free, threatening press freedom, CPJ report finds

New York, October 28, 2014--Despite increased international attention to the murder of journalists, governments have failed to take meaningful action to reduce the high rates of targeted violence and impunity, the Committee to Protect Journalists found in a new report released today.

October 28, 2014 12:01 AM ET

Statements   |   France, Indonesia

Two French journalists convicted, sentenced in Indonesia

New York, October 24, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns today's conviction and sentencing to prison of French documentary filmmakers Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat on charges of breaking immigration laws in Indonesia. The two were sentenced to two months and 15 days in prison and are expected to be released next week because of time served, according to news reports citing their lawyer.

Press Releases   |   Hungary

Hungarian journalists work in climate of self-censorship, fear

Budapest, October 17, 2014--On a rare mission to a European Union country, a CPJ delegation led by board member Kati Marton was in Hungary this week to meet with journalists, media lawyers, managers, rights defenders, policy analysts, and government officials to discuss Hungary's press freedom record.

October 17, 2014 5:38 PM ET

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Blog   |   Azerbaijan

CPJ joins call for Azerbaijan to end persecution of investigative reporter

A coalition of international press freedom groups, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, today called on Azerbaijani authorities to lift the travel ban and end the politicized prosecution of Khadija Ismayilova, an award-winning investigative reporter. In the past week authorities in Baku detained Ismayilova upon her arrival from Strasbourg where she had traveled to brief European politicians on Azerbaijan's human rights record; put her on trial over accusations of libel against a resident; and barred her from attending a pro-democracy forum in the Czech Republic, alleging that she was a witness in an unspecified criminal inquiry.

October 16, 2014 5:40 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Azerbaijan

Reporter on trial in Azerbaijan on criminal libel charges

New York, October 10, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the criminal libel charges filed against Khadija Ismayilova, an award-winning investigative journalist in Azerbaijan, and calls on authorities to drop the charges immediately.

Blog   |   Hungary

Amid government crackdown, Hungary's journalists look for new ways to work

"They raided our offices as if we were mobsters. The irony of the situation is that the Hungarian police rarely raid mobsters with such force," said an employee at one of two NGOs whose Budapest offices were stormed by about 20 officers of the Central Investigations Office--Hungary's version of the FBI--on September 8.

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