Letters

2011


Letters   |   Turkey

CPJ condemns journalist arrests in Turkey

Prime Minister Erdoğan: The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to condemn the arrests of as many as 29 journalists in raids on Tuesday as well as the ongoing media repression that has earned Turkey a reputation as one of the world's worst press freedom violators and done grave damage to the consolidation of Turkish democracy.

December 22, 2011 9:41 AM ET

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Letters   |   Honduras

Honduras must investigate attacks on press

Dear President Lobo: The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to express its deep concern about the unrelenting violence against the Honduran press. Our letter to you is prompted by events earlier this month that once again highlight the extraordinary risks that Honduran journalists must take simply to do their jobs.

December 19, 2011 3:24 PM ET

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Letters   |   Syria

Syria must release imprisoned journalists

Dear President Assad: The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to bring to your attention disturbing reports of journalists being arrested and subjected to abuse in Syrian prisons. In the past 10 months, CPJ has documented 29 cases of journalists who were arrested for their work and nine cases of foreign journalists who have been expelled from Syria since March. We have also documented nine cases of journalists who are currently in prison.

Letters   |   Egypt

Egypt must investigate attacks on the press

Your Excellency Prime Minister El Ganzory: The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to bring to your attention the mounting press freedom violations in Egypt. Between November 19 and 24, we documented at least 35 cases of journalists who were attacked in Cairo and Alexandria when protesters clashed with the military and police. We are attaching the list here and ask specifically for you to note the deteriorating state of press freedom in your country.

December 12, 2011 9:28 AM ET

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Letters   |   Pakistan

Pakistan should release investigation into 2006 death

Dear President Zardari: This week marks the six-year anniversary of the abduction of journalist Hayatullah Khan. We join his family in asking your government to release the report on the investigation into his death that was prepared by High Court Justice Mohammed Reza Khan in September 2006 under the orders of former President Pervez Musharraf.

December 6, 2011 4:46 PM ET

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Letters   |   Oman

CPJ concerned by politicized trial in Oman

Your Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Sa'id: The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to bring to your attention reports of an unfair trial of two Omani journalists and a civil servant sentenced to imprisonment on defamation charges. We ask you, in your capacity as head of the Supreme Judicial Council, to instruct the judicial authorities to respect the letter of the law and allow the defendants an opportunity to prove their innocence. This case will be appealed on October 15, and we hope the verdict against the newspaper and the three men will be reversed. We are also alarmed by the October 9 royal decree that amends an article in the Press and Publications Law, further tightening government control over the media, and urge you to consider the negative effect the amendment will have on independent media in Oman.

Letters   |   Nepal

In Nepal, killers of journalists could go free

Dear Prime Minister Bhattarai: We are alarmed by recent reports regarding the planned amnesty of criminal cases pending from past political violence in Nepal and are writing to express our concern that people convicted of killing journalists could go free based on political decisions made by your government.

Letters   |   UK

UK must not undermine news media

Dear Prime Minister Cameron: The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned about the steps to curb recent riots in the United Kingdom that are under consideration by your government. These measures would set alarming precedents that hinder press freedom and the free flow of information.

August 17, 2011 4:38 PM ET

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Letters   |   Iran

Iran must work toward improving press freedom

Dear Dr. Shaheed: Ahead of your report on human rights in Iran to the U.N. General Assembly in September, I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with an assessment of the country's state of press freedom as documented by the Committee to Protect Journalists. Authorities were detaining 34 journalists when CPJ conducted its annual worldwide census of imprisoned journalists on December 1, 2010, making Iran, along with China, the world's worst jailer of the press. In reviewing these cases and their developments, we have identified three distinct and worrying developments to which we would like to draw your attention.

Letters   |   Peru

Peru must take steps to decriminalize defamation

Dear President Humala: We congratulate you on your first week in office as president of Peru and would like to take this opportunity to urge you to sign into law a recent bill passed by Congress that eliminates prison terms for defamation, an important first step toward the decriminalization of libel in your country. At a time when archaic criminal defamation laws are being used by officials to punish critical reporters, we call on you to uphold your pledge to protect freedom of expression by signing this bill and promoting the necessary changes toward a complete decriminalization of libel, leaving redress for this offense to civil courts.

Letters   |   Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast's Ouattara must end persecution of journalists

Dear Secretary-General Ban: Ahead of your Wednesday meeting with new Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, and given your express commitment to make press freedom a priority during your second term as United Nations Secretary-General, we call on you to urge President Ouattara to reinforce the rule of law, the impartiality of justice, and the promotion of national reconciliation by ending the persecution of journalists and media outlets that were favorable to former leader Laurent Gbagbo.

Letters   |   Turkey

Journalists held without due process in Turkey

Dear Minister Ergin: The Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent, nonpartisan organization dedicated to defending the rights of journalists worldwide, is alarmed by the ongoing detention of journalists in Turkey. We are also concerned by the large number of criminal cases opened against reporters under the sweeping provisions of the Turkish Criminal Code and Anti-Terrorism Act.

July 25, 2011 3:44 PM ET

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Letters   |   Kyrgyzstan

Otunbayeva must halt persecution in Kyrgyzstan

President Otunbayeva: The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply disturbed by the ongoing prosecution of two media owners and the imprisonment of a reporter on charges of inciting and participating in violent ethnic conflict last year. The persecution of Khalil Khudaiberdiyev, Dzhavlon Mirzakhodzhayev, and Azimjon Askarov--all ethnic Uzbeks--tarnishes your stated commitments to press freedom and rule of law, and derails your government's efforts to rebuild interethnic trust in a nation deeply divided by the June 2010 conflict.

June 14, 2011 12:32 PM ET

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Letters   |   Ivory Coast

New Ivory Coast president must improve press freedom

Dear President Ouattara: We are writing to ask that you uphold press freedom now that you have taken office. We ask that you ensure that journalists and media outlets close to former president Laurent Gbagbo are allowed to report freely, and take all necessary steps to solve the disappearance since 2004 of French-Canadian journalist Guy-André Kieffer.

Letters   |   Cameroon

Year after Ngota death, CPJ calls for justice, reform

Dear President Biya: A year ago this week, journalist Germain Cyrille Ngota Ngota died in his cell in Nkondengui prison in the capital Yaoundé while in pre-trial custody on criminal charges based on his activities as the editor of the monthly Cameroon Express. We hold the government responsible for Ngota's death, and we call on you to initiate reforms so that no other Cameroonian journalist is thrown in prison in retaliation for reporting on issues of public interest. We urge you to implement reforms referring press offenses to civil courts, not criminal courts, in line with democracy, transparency and accountability.

Letters   |   Italy

In Italy, journalists threatened for reporting on murders

President Napolitano: The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned about local authorities' harassment of journalists and media outlets who criticize the official investigation into the November 2007 brutal murder of British exchange student Meredith Kercher in the central Italian city of Perugia. CPJ is particularly troubled by the manifest intolerance to criticism displayed by Perugia Public Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, who has filed or threatened to file criminal lawsuits against individual reporters, writers, and press outlets, both in Italy and the United States, in connection with the Kercher murder investigation as well as the investigation into the Monster of Florence serial killings.

Letters   |   Ecuador

Referendum threatens press freedom in Ecuador

President Correa: With a referendum approaching that may restrict news content and weaken news media companies, we are deeply concerned about Ecuador's commitment to freedom of expression. The vote, scheduled for May 7, will ask Ecuadorans several questions on a range of issues. The 10-point ballot includes, among other things, creation of a council to regulate media content and a prohibition against media companies having holdings in other industries.

April 18, 2011 11:35 AM ET

Letters   |   Burundi

Burundi must free Kavumbagu, halt flawed prosecution

Dear Justice Minister Ancilla Ntakaburimvo: We urge you to intervene in the case of Jean-Claude Kavumbagu, editor of the news website NetPress who has been improperly imprisoned since July 17, 2010, on a charge of treason. We call on you to urge the state prosecutor to drop the pending charge against Kavumbagu and secure his release.

April 11, 2011 11:58 AM ET

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Letters   |   Gambia

In Gambia, Jammeh asked to clarify Manneh's 'death'

Dear President Jammeh: We request clarification of your March 16 comments suggesting "Chief" Ebrima Manneh, a reporter for the Daily Observer, may have died. Manneh disappeared after witnesses saw him being arrested by state security agents in the offices of the Daily Observer on July 7, 2007. The government has previously denied any knowledge of Manneh's fate.

March 21, 2011 3:50 PM ET

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Letters   |   Ukraine

CPJ concerned by irregularities in Ukraine's Gongadze case

Dear President Yanukovych: The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned by reports of irregularities in the decade-long investigation into the 2000 kidnapping and murder of Internet journalist Georgy Gongadze. Particularly, CPJ is disturbed by efforts to derail progress in the investigation and peg the ultimate responsibility for the murder on a dead suspect, while other leads in the case languish. Since assuming office in March, you have publicly stated your commitment to press freedom in Ukraine. The case of Georgy Gongadze is a litmus test for you and your administration, and we urge you to ensure that none of the perpetrators of his kidnapping and killing are allowed to walk free.

March 1, 2011 4:29 PM ET

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Letters   |   Cuba, Spain

Press Cuba to keep promise to free journalists

Dear President Rodríguez Zapatero: The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed that the Cuban government has yet to fulfill its promise to free all journalists imprisoned during the 2003 crackdown on dissent. We urge your government, which was a key party to the agreement to release the prisoners by November 2010, to hold President Raúl Castro to his word.

Letters   |   Uzbekistan

EU should press Uzbekistan on news media crisis

Dear President Barroso: We're writing in advance of your January 24 meeting in Brussels with Uzbek President Islam Karimov to urge you to raise Uzbekistan's grave press freedom conditions and to make clear to Karimov that any improvement of the country's relationship with Europe is dependent on him taking steps to fix the press freedom crisis. The European Union made clear it is committed to human rights in Central Asia in its 2009 plan, "The European Union and Central Asia: The New Partnership in Action."

January 19, 2011 4:52 PM ET

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Letters   |   Saudi Arabia

Saudi online media regulations alarmingly restrictive

Dear Minister al-Khuja: The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned about new regulations for online media you issued on January 1. The rules contain several provisions that can be used to restrict coverage. The provisions are vaguely worded, contain numerous loopholes, and grant the Ministry of Culture and Information blanket powers without providing online media protection against abuse. Most alarmingly, the new regulations would also subject online media to the kingdom's already existing highly repressive press law.

January 14, 2011 10:41 AM ET

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Letters   |   China, USA

CPJ asks Obama to raise jailed Chinese journalists with Hu

Dear President Obama: The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to you in advance of Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the United States in January to urge you to raise press freedom issues during your talks. We ask that you make clear the depth of U.S. concern that China is the world's leading jailer of journalists.

January 11, 2011 4:46 PM ET

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Letters   |   Hungary

Hungary must repeal repressive new media law

Dear Prime Minister Orban: The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on you to work toward the immediate repeal of Hungary's new, severely restrictive media law. "On Media Services and Mass Media," better known as the Media Act, was approved by the Hungarian parliament on December 21 and signed by President Pal Schmitt on December 30, despite domestic and international alarm at the potentially devastating effect on press freedom. The measure came into force on January 1, the same day Hungary assumed the rotating European Union presidency, sending the very damaging message that Hungary is seeking to nullify citizens' internationally recognized rights to free expression and access to information.

Letters   |   Tunisia

Tunisia must end censorship on coverage of unrest

Dear President Ben Ali: The Committee to Protect Journalists is disturbed by your government's attempt to censor coverage of recent protests against unemployment and corruption in Tunisia. We are specifically alarmed by the confiscation of two opposition weeklies, the government's denunciation of Al-Jazeera, the systematic obstruction of reporting and broadcasting, as well as the blocking of news websites that are covering the protests. We call on your government to bring to an immediate end to its efforts to curtail independent reporting and to reverse course on the restrictions in place since mid-December.

January 5, 2011 12:27 PM ET

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