August 17 , 2004
News from the Committee to Protect Journalists
CPJ in Iraq
With 30 journalists and 11 media workers killed in Iraq since the beginning of hostilities, the country remains a major focus of advocacy for the Committee to Protect Journalists. Eleven journalists have been abducted by armed groups in Iraq in 2004 alone, most recently the documentary journalist Micah Garen.
CPJ has dispatched P. Mitchell Prothero, who has worked as a reporter and photographer for United Press International, to Baghdad to monitor and report on journalist safety, harassment of the press, and media regulations. Prothero began his two-month assignment August 7.
Senior Program Coordinator Joel Campagna has written extensively about new threats to press freedom under Iraq’s transitional government, including the creation of a media regulatory commission. Campagna’s August 4 op-ed in the International Herald Tribune sounded the alarm about press threats and presaged the Iraqi government’s closing of Al Jazeera’s Baghdad bureau just three days later.
To read CPJ’s letter to Prime Minister Iyad Allawi about the media commission, visit: http://www.cpj.org/protests/04ltrs/Iraq27july04pl.html
To read our alert on Micah Garen’s abduction, visit: http://www.cpj.org/news/2004/Iraq16aug04na_2.html
In February, CPJ and other news organizations submitted an amicus curiae brief to the court in support of Ulloa. The brief argued that “laws that permit journalists to be prosecuted criminally for the content of their reporting are a hazard to freedom of the press and the right of citizens to be informed.”
To read more about the ruling, visit: http://www.cpj.org/news/2004/Costa04aug04na.html
In a letter to Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper said, “This disturbing trend is having a chilling effect on local journalists and poses a direct threat to press freedom in Indonesia.”
To read the full text of our letter, visit: http://www.cpj.org/protests/04ltrs/Indonesia10aug04pl.html
CPJ to Putin: Bring Togliatti editors’ killers to justice
In an August 9 letter to the Russian leader, Cooper described a “years-long pattern of deadly, unchecked violence” against journalists that includes 11 contract-style murders since Putin took office in 2000. Cooper and Alex Lupis, senior program coordinator for Europe and Central Asia, traveled to Togliatti as part of a detailed inquiry into the slayings. Two successive editors-in-chief of Tolyattinskoye Obozreniye were slain after the newspaper exposed controversial business deals linked to organized crime and government corruption. No one has been brought to justice in the killings.
To read our letter to Putin, visit: http://www.cpj.org/news/2004/Russia09aug04na.html
Drawing attention to Haiti
The report was written by Carlos Lauría, CPJ’s program coordinator for the Americas, and Jean Roland Chery. Chery understands the dangers firsthand, having worked as a reporter with Radio Haiti-Inter before securing asylum in the United States with CPJ’s help. The report drew coverage from Reuters, The Associated Press, Editor & Publisher, UPI and several regional newspapers.
To read the full report, visit: