A sharp increase in the number of Ethiopian journalists fleeing into exile has been recorded by the Committee to Protect Journalists in the past 12 months. More than 30--twice the number of exiles CPJ documented in 2012 and 2013 combined--were forced to leave after the government began a campaign of arrests. In October, Nicole Schilit of CPJ's Journalist Assistance program and Martial Tourneur of partner group Reporters Without Borders traveled to Nairobi in Kenya to meet some of those forced to flee.
On December 15 last year, fighting that broke out between supporters of South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar--who had been vice president until Kiir fired the entire Cabinet--escalated into a civil war that has increased pressure on an already fragile independent press.
The Rwandan government has taken great strides in bringing stability to the country since the 1994 genocide that claimed 800,000 lives, but moves to allow greater press freedom have been slow. While government control of the media has loosened, many journalists remain fearful that the regulations are not enough to stop the harassment and threats, and that a lack of investment is damaging their professional reputation. A special report of the Committee to Protect Journalists by Anton Harber
In the third of CPJ's four-part "Undercover in Vietnam" series on press freedom in Vietnam, CPJ Southeast Asia Representative Shawn Crispin interviews a reporter living in exile after challenging the censorship imposed in newsrooms. The final part, to be published Tuesday, reveals how prominent bloggers remain behind bars despite the margin for critical debate opening. The series concludes with recommendations for the Vietnamese government and international bodies.
On December 9, 2012, mainstream journalist and sometimes blogger Pham Doan Trang was arrested while reporting on an anti-China protest in Ho Chi Minh City. She was taken to a rehabilitation camp for commercial sex workers, where she was interrogated by a group of seven officials.
Amid the violence and instability caused by organized crime and corruption in Central America, Honduras and Guatemala have experienced an alarming rise in the number of murders of, and attacks against, journalists. Near complete impunity for these crimes means the cases go mostly unsolved and the motives unexplained. As fear grips newsrooms in both countries, critical media outlets and journalists find they are reined in by governments increasingly intolerant of dissent. A CPJ special report by Sara Rafsky.
Cape Town, September 12, 2014--The image of Botswana as a bastion of press freedom and good governance has been dented following the arrest of an editor of a privately owned newspaper, and the seizure of his computer.
Five independent magazines and a weekly newspaper have been charged by Ethiopia's Justice Ministry, a move that may add to the long lists of shuttered publications and Ethiopian journalists in exile. In a press release issued August 4, the ministry accused the journals of publishing false information, inciting violence, and undermining public confidence in the government, news reports said.
The ministry said it pressed charges after running out of patience with the publications for "encouraging radicalism and terrorism." The state broadcaster aired the ministry's announcement, but none of the publications received the charge sheet, local journalists told me. The six independent publications are Afro Times, a weekly newspaper, and magazines Addis Guday, Enku, Fact, Jano, and Lomi. All are popular alternatives to the state-run press, which espouses an increasingly positive narrative. Local journalists and news reports said the charges could be a way for the ruling party to silence critics ahead of elections expected in May 2015.
By Carlos Lauría
Since June 2013, Brazil has been the scene of sporadic but huge anti-government demonstrations that have brought millions to the streets to protest an array of grievances, from fare increases for public transport to corruption and the use of public funds to host the coming soccer World Cup. The protests sometimes turned violent; a cameraman was killed in February 2014. Throughout the demonstrations, dozens of journalists have been detained, harassed, and attacked by law enforcement and by protesters irked by some media treatment of the demonstrations.
"Do not forget the genocide," said the voice of a state broadcast announcer in Kigali crackling through a cheap car radio, referring to the organized slaughter 20 years ago of more than 10 percent of the population. "We are all one now," he said, speaking in Rwanda's common language of Kinyarwanda, and meaning that Rwandans no longer identify themselves as being either Hutu or Tutsi.
Do you believe the free flow of information must be protected? Sign the #RightToReport petition and demand that President Obama immediately:
1. Issue a presidential policy directive prohibiting the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organizations.
2. Limit aggressive prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers.
3. Prevent the harassment of journalists at the U.S. border.
Or click here to see the full petition, and join leading journalists like Christiane Amanpour, The Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the AP Kathleen Carroll, and Arianna Huffington in signing on.