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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.

Blog   |   India

Mission Journal: Challenges for India's press increase as Modi marks first year in office

Indian papers announce the election victory of Narendra Modi in May 2014. Journalists say reporting on government issues has become challenging in the past year. (AFP/Prakash Singh)

"Modi has tightened the screws on information." This statement from Bangalore-based journalist Subir Ghosh underscores a common challenge repeated to me by several of India's journalists, who say the space for criticism is shrinking under Narendra Modi's rule. Since a landslide victory made him leader of the world's largest democracy nearly one year ago, the prime minister has worked to distance his government from independent reporters, they said.

Blog   |   Venezuela

In Venezuela, Tal Cual under pressure but not defeated

Copies of Tal Cual are read in Caracas in 2007. The critical Venezuelan newspaper has been forced to downsize in an effort to survive. (AP/Leslie Mazoch)

Tal Cual, one of the few remaining Venezuelan newspapers critical of the government, is so shorthanded there's often no receptionist on hand to let people in. Visitors must bang on the front door until someone in the newsroom notices. That can take a while because there are hardly any editors or journalists left.

Alerts   |   Bangladesh

CPJ concerned by arrest of Bangladeshi journalist and his treatment in custody

New York, April 1, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists today calls on Bangladeshi authorities to release a detained journalist and probe allegations that he was mistreated in custody. Mizanur Rahman has been in jail since March 17, according to news reports and Rahman's coworker.

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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Blog   |   Bangladesh

Mission Journal: Bangladeshi press reined in as Hasina exerts authority

A 2007 election poster for Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Independent journalists in the country say the press is coming under pressure from her government. (AFP/Jewel Samad)

Matiur Rahman Chowdhury has been the host of "Frontline," a popular Bangla-language news show, for five years. Aired live three times a week, the show gained notoriety for bringing politicians, members of civil society, and journalists together to discuss current affairs. Chowdhury distinguished himself from many of his counterparts with his soft-spoken but firm demeanor as he led his guests in substantive discussion, rather than presiding over talking heads trying to drown one another out. At a time when much of the broadcast media in Bangladesh has become muted, talk shows like Chowdhury's were one of the last spaces for critical news coverage.

Blog   |   Nicaragua

Long silence from Nicaragua's president as first lady keeps press at arm's length

Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega with his wife, Rosario Murillo, at a memorial for Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez in 2014. Independent journalists say Murillo controls press access to Ortega. (Reuters/Oswaldo Rivas)

It's been nearly 3,000 days since Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega last held a news conference, according to the opposition newspaper La Prensa. But when journalists complain about the lack of access to Ortega they often direct their ire not at the president but at the first lady, Rosario Murillo.

Blog   |   Singapore

Lee Kuan Yew's legacy

What to make of Singapore's first and former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who died Monday morning in the city-state? Under the banner of the People's Action Party, Lee held government power for three decades. After stepping away from the prime minister's office in 1990, he held positions of senior minister and later "minister mentor" until 2004, when his son, Lee Hsien Loong, became prime minister. Under their rule (and the interregnum of Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong--not a Lee family member, but hand-picked for the role, with the elder Lee looming over his shoulder for 14 years), Singapore emerged from Southeast Asia's post-Second World War tumult as its most successful economy, a combination of authoritarian government, democratic trappings, and free markets that some predict will be the next century's model for growth and stability. And Singapore's media policies are being replicated across much of Southeast Asia.

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