May 2010

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Decree limited Colombian presidential vote coverage

May 31, 2010 3:23 PM ET

Among the regulations for Colombia’s presidential election on Sunday, the government barred the press from publishing Election Day news about alleged voter harassment or other irregularities unless it was confirmed by an official source. Local press groups said the rule limited important information on the very sort of illegal...

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U.S. voices concerns in Ngota death

May 28, 2010 1:59 PM ET

We received a letter this week from Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Don Yamamoto in support of our plea to Cameroonian President Paul Biya for an investigation into the death of Germain Ngota Ngota, editor of the Cameroon Express. Ngota did not receive adequate medical assistance while in government custody and died of illness...

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CPJ condemns police harassment of Tunisian journalist

May 28, 2010 1:15 PM ET

New York, May 28, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists is outraged that Tunisian police verbally abused and threatened journalist Taoufik Ben Brik, a well-known contributor to French newspapers and one of the country’s top critics of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. CPJ calls on the Tunisian authorities to end...

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Eritrean journalist attacked at public seminar in Houston

May 27, 2010 6:23 PM ET

New York, May 27, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists calls for a thorough investigation into a May 9 attack on an Eritrean expatriate journalist by supporters of Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki at a public event in eastern Texas. The event was advertised locally in printed fliers, and on the pro-government Dehai.org Web...

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Zimbabwe allows independent dailies for 1st time in 7 years

May 27, 2010 5:55 PM ET

New York, May 27, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists hails the Zimbabwe Media Commission’s decision to grant publishing licenses to The Daily News, the long-banned independent newspaper, and a handful of other publications. Commission Chairman Godfrey Majonga announced on Wednesday that the licenses would be issued immediately, marking the first...

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In Zimbabwe, Daily News is on the way back

May 27, 2010 5:34 PM ET

Zimbabwe’s beleaguered independent media won a major victory when an official commission granted publishing licenses to four daily newspapers, including The Daily News, the nation’s leading paper before it was outlawed seven years ago. The news was greeted with cheers from independent journalists, who have endured years of repression, arrest,...

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Violent protests outside media outlets in Karachi

May 26, 2010 4:25 PM ET

Members of the Sindh National Party (SNP) violently demonstrated outside the offices of the Jang Group of Newspapers and Geo TV in Karachi, the financial capital of Pakistan on May 23, 2010, according to local news reports....

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Sudanese editor charged with terrorism and espionage

May 26, 2010 4:06 PM ET

New York, May 25, 2010—Sudanese authorities have charged an opposition journalist with terrorism and espionage and allegedly tortured him while in custody, according to local news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists called today for the immediate release of Abu Zar al-Amin, deputy editor of the opposition daily Rai al-Shaab....

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Apple-Gizmodo case takes a bite out of global journalism

May 26, 2010 9:04 AM ET

Modern technology blurs our definitions of journalism, so it's no surprise that the first important tests of the new world should take place in the heart of Silicon Valley. But we should take care that arguments in widely publicized cases, such as the Apple-Gizmodo controversy in the United States,...

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Yemeni court gives five journalists suspended jail terms

May 25, 2010 5:08 PM ET

New York, May 25, 2010—The Sana'a appeal court in Yemen should overturn suspended jail sentences given to an editor and four reporters, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The sentences come just a few days after local media reported that President Ali Abdullah Saleh pardoned all journalists being tried or convicted of press offenses to...

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Reluctant activist: A brother’s struggle to free Dawit Isaac

May 25, 2010 2:12 PM ET

In 2001, Eritrean security forces imprisoned Eritrean-Swedish journalist Dawit Isaac along with nine other journalists without trial in September 2001. The arrests effectively shut down the nation’s fledgling independent press and any potential political dissent prior to scheduled December 2001 elections, which were subsequently cancelled. To this day, Dawit...

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Investigation stalls in Colombian journalist’s murder

May 24, 2010 3:07 PM ET

New York, May 24, 2010—Two months after the murder of Colombian journalist Clodomiro Castilla Ospino, the investigation is stalled and the victim’s daughter has been forced to flee her hometown of Montería after being followed and harassed. The Committee to Protect Journalists called on authorities today to conduct an exhaustive...

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Press conditions deteriorate in Iraqi Kurdistan

May 24, 2010 2:59 PM ET

President Barzani: The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned about deteriorating press freedom conditions in Iraqi Kurdistan, including deadly violence and official harassment.

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Gambia's 'Smiling Coast' hides local media's grimace

May 24, 2010 12:36 PM ET

Who would not like to enjoy luxurious beach resorts and quaint fishing villages on the “Smiling Coast of Africa”? This is the pitch that the Gambian government made to participants of an international tourism conference last week. In fact, behind the idyllic facade of a tropical paradise wedged on...

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CPJ hails conviction in Venezuelan journalist’s murder

May 21, 2010 4:49 PM ET

New York, May 21, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the conviction of a former police officer in connection with the 2009 murder of Venezuelan journalist Orel Sambrano in the northern city of Valencia....

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In Niger, a watchful press and a tolerant junta, for now

May 20, 2010 6:11 PM ET

When a coup occurs somewhere in the world, journalists are usually the first to be sidelined. Beyond the classic scene of a new leader addressing the nation and promising democracy, stability, and wealth, reporters are usually simply undesirable within the new leadership's entourage....

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CPJ seeks investigation into Thai violence against media

May 20, 2010 5:59 PM ET

New York, May 20, 2010—As details of violence emerge, the Committee to Protect Journalists called on the Thai government today to investigate the deaths of two journalists who were killed while covering the violence that has wracked Bangkok and other parts of Thailand for three months. It is the government’s duty to instruct military...

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Egyptian journalist Hamdi Kandil faces defamation charge

May 20, 2010 4:13 PM ET

New York, May 20, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns a criminal defamation lawsuit filed by Egyptian Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit against independent journalist Hamdi Kandil. He faces up to six months in jail and a discretionary fine if convicted....

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Eyewitness accounts: Journalists in Bangkok under fire

May 20, 2010 3:26 PM ET

Firsthand accounts from journalists covering street protests in Bangkok illustrate the severity of the crisis and the danger to the front-line press. At least eight journalists have been shot, two of them fatally, while covering the unrest in the Thai capital, CPJ research shows. On Wednesday, police entered the...

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Press freedom groups ask UNESCO to reject Obiang money

May 20, 2010 12:10 PM ET

Dear Director-General Bokova: We, the undersigned freedom of expression organizations, join with the Committee to Protect Journalists to express our grave concern regarding the $3 million donation by Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang for the administration of an international prize in life sciences. As a leading institution that advocates “empowering people through the free flow of ideas and by access to information and knowledge,” UNESCO should not accept funds from one of Africa’s worst violators of press freedom.

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Iran isn't laughing at The Daily Show

May 19, 2010 5:28 PM ET

The Daily Show’s Jason Jones mocks journalistic conventions to hilarious effect. But Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are not known for their sense of humor, and let’s just say they didn’t get the joke....

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Bahrain suspends Al-Jazeera operations indefinitely

May 19, 2010 5:09 PM ET

New York, May 19, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the decision by the Bahraini government to indefinitely suspend Al-Jazeera from reporting from the Gulf kingdom...

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CPJ Impact

May 19, 2010 4:45 PM ET

News from the Committee to Protect Journalists, May 2010 Two Victories for Press Freedom Online Danny O’Brien, CPJ’s new Internet Advocacy Coordinator, joined us with a brief to defend online journalists and the Internet itself as a medium for global press freedom. In his first month, he helped reform a...

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Italian journalist killed as conditions deteriorate in Thailand

May 19, 2010 3:42 PM ET

New York, May 19, 2010—Freelance Italian photojournalist Fabio Polenghi was killed and three international journalists were among dozens of people injured today during clashes in Bangkok, according to international news reports. The fighting followed a military operation to clear an area occupied for six weeks by anti-government protesters. Demonstrators attacked and threatened...

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In Sri Lanka, no peace dividend for press

May 19, 2010 3:31 PM ET

The end of Sri Lanka’s war with Tamil rebels has not eased repression of independent media. Journalists still face violence, harassment, and detention. Will President Rajapaksa use his victories on the battlefield and in the polling booth to reunite the nation and restore free expression? A CPJ Special Report by...

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Critical Kuwaiti journalist ordered detained for 21 days

May 19, 2010 3:27 PM ET

New York, May 19, 2010—Kuwaiti authorities should immediately release freelance opposition journalist Mohammed Abdulqader al-Jassem, who has been detained since Sunday on charges of “instigating to overthrow the regime,” “slight to the personage of the emir” and “instigating to dismantle the foundations of Kuwaiti society,” the Committee to Protect Journalists...

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Italian journalist killed in Bangkok unrest

May 19, 2010 12:41 PM ET

Following news that Italian freelance photojournalist Fabio Polenghi was fatally shot, and at least two other international journalists wounded today as security forces stormed a makeshift camp of “Red Shirt” protesters in Bangkok, we issued this statement:...

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CPJ welcomes Armenian vote to decriminalize defamation

May 19, 2010 12:16 PM ET

We issued the following statement today after the National Assembly of Armenia approved on a second reading the decriminalization of defamation, including libel and insult. If signed into law, the amendments to Armenia’s penal and administrative code will remove imprisonment from the list of penalties for defamation; individuals found guilty...

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Sri Lanka: Jaffna editors navigate minefield

May 19, 2010 12:00 AM ET

By Robert Mahoney   JAFFNA, Sri Lanka M.V. Kaanamylnathan hasn’t left his office for four years. Sri Lanka’s civil war is over but the editor-in-chief of the Tamil daily Uthayan still thinks it’s unsafe to venture out. He’s become famous among the island’s media community for his self-imposed house arrest....

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Sri Lanka: A year later, still failing to fight media attacks

May 19, 2010 12:00 AM ET

By Bob Dietz CPJ’s March 2009 special report, “Failure to Investigate,” addressed three severe attacks on the media in January of that year. CPJ also found a broad pattern in which “top journalists had been killed, attacked, threatened, and harassed since the government began to pursue an all-out military victory...

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Soldiers raid Madagascar radio station, assault staff

May 18, 2010 5:41 PM ET

New York, May 18, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the government of Madagascar to investigate a Saturday raid on the opposition radio station Fréquence Plus that resulted in the arrest of an opposition leader while he was on a live radio program, local journalists told CPJ. The soldiers...

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Obama and Calderón need to address press crisis in Mexico

May 18, 2010 2:34 PM ET

New York, May 18, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists urges U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderón to put Mexico’s press freedom crisis on the agenda for Wednesday’s meeting in Washington. CPJ also calls on Calderón to continue to advocate for reforms that will strengthen federal accountability in crimes against...

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Sudan shutters opposition paper, arrests three journalists

May 17, 2010 5:22 PM ET

New York, May 17, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the Sudanese government’s decision to shut down opposition daily Rai al-Shaab and to arrest three of its journalists....

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Exiled Eritrean editor reunites with family

May 17, 2010 3:15 PM ET

Eight years ago, Aaron Berhane left his wife and three children behind as he fled his native Eritrea, a fugitive wanted by authorities because his newspaper had dared criticize the government of revered independence leader Isaias Afewerki. In May 2009, Berhane's family managed to escape to Sudan. This month,...

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Veteran journalists seek justice in Iraqi Kurdistan

May 17, 2010 12:04 PM ET

Last week, a number of prominent journalists who cover Iraqi Kurdistan wrote an open letter to the president of the Kurdish Regional Government, Massoud Barzani, and the president of Iraq, Talal Talabani, calling on them to bring to an end a sharp rise in violations of press freedom. A journalist...

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Three journalists shot and wounded in Thai demonstrations

May 14, 2010 3:50 PM ET

New York, May 14, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned about the deteriorating security situation for reporters in Thailand as government forces and anti-government protesters exchange fire in the national capital. Three journalists were shot and injured on Friday when security forces and protesters exchanged fire that resulted in at...

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CPJ condemns farcical Azerbaijan trial

May 14, 2010 2:09 PM ET

We issued the following statement today after the Azerbaijani independent agency Turan reported on the testimony of two inmates who allegedly saw imprisoned editor Eynulla Fatullayev take drugs. Fatullayev was charged with drug usage shortly before the European Court of Human Rights acquitted him of all earlier trumped-up charges and...

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Local Pakistani reporter’s murder reflects global issue

May 13, 2010 5:01 PM ET

The murder of a journalist such as Ghulam Rasool Birhamani might tend to be quickly forgotten. After all, he was a local reporter for a small newspaper, the Daily Sindhu Hyderabad, in a country where violence is routine. But hundreds of his fellow journalists turned out on Wednesday for a...

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Dangers to reporters in Thailand creep closer

May 13, 2010 4:46 PM ET

New York Times reporter Thomas Fuller was literally in the line of fire on Thursday when a dissident Thai soldier he was interviewing was shot in the head and severely wounded mid-conversation....

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Suppressed media erase memory of Andijan massacre

May 13, 2010 9:20 AM ET

Five years ago today, Dilorom Abdukadirova, 44, managed to escape the heavy spray of bullets in her native Uzbek city of Andijan. On that day, government troops shot and killed hundreds of civilian protesters on the orders of President Islam Karimov. Leaving behind her husband and four children, Abdukadirova...

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Yemen jails editor in ongoing media onslaught

May 12, 2010 5:05 PM ET

 New York, May 12, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on the Yemeni government to end its campaign of intimidation, violence, and politicized prosecutions against journalists in the wake of yet another prison sentence for a journalist....

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In Pakistan, Sindh journalist’s body found

May 12, 2010 4:04 PM ET

New York, May 12, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists joins the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) in calling for a thorough investigation into the killing of Sindh-based journalist Ghulam Rasool Birhamani. His body was found Monday morning, outside the village of Wahi Pandhi in Sindh province. Both organizations...

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In Moldova, CPJ calls for Ernest Vardanian’s release

May 12, 2010 2:01 PM ET

We issued the following statement today after authorities in the unrecognized Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic released an alleged confession by independent journalist Ernest Vardanian, who has been imprisoned since April 7 on trumped-up treason charges ......

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Jon Lee Anderson on courage and journalism

May 12, 2010 10:00 AM ET

Last week, I attended an unusual event called the Courage Forum at which half a dozen speakers, from tightrope artist Philippe Petit and Sudanese rapper Emmanuel Jal to Virgin founder and chairman Richard Branson, talked about about overcoming fear....

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London neighborhoods increasingly ‘off-limits’ to journalists

May 11, 2010 5:45 PM ET

Life can be bumpy on Britain’s campaign roads. On May 3, Jerome Taylor, a “home news” reporter with the London daily The Independent went into the Bow borough of East London in order to look into allegations of widespread postal voting fraud. His bloodied nose and face appeared in the next day’s Independent....

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Video of abducted journalist in Pakistan seeks swap

May 11, 2010 4:48 PM ET

New York, May 11, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by new demands made by a militant group calling itself the Asian Tigers, the captors of freelance journalist Asad Qureshi, left, who has been held in Pakistan since March 26. In a video sent to the Rome-based news...

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Iran sentences Bahari to 13 years in prison, 74 lashes

May 10, 2010 4:52 PM ET

New York, May 10, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns a 13-year prison sentence handed down to Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari in absentia on Sunday.Newsweek correspondent Bahari, who was held in detention for four months on manufactured anti-state charges in 2009, was sentenced by a Tehran Revolutionary Court on Sunday to 13 years in...

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Letter from CPJ, OPC to Iran

May 10, 2010 4:41 PM ET

Your Excellency: The Overseas Press Club of America, an international association of journalists working in the United States and abroad, and the Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to defending press freedom worldwide, want to express our deep concerns about your government’s treatment of journalists and its unabated harassment of Newsweek correspondent Maziar Bahari.

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Groups demand Iran end threats against journalists

May 10, 2010 4:36 PM ET

New York, May 10, 2010—The Overseas Press Club of America and the Committee to Protect Journalists are calling on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to bring an end to a nearly year-long campaign of harassment and intimidation of critical Iranian journalists working domestically and abroad....

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Azerbaijan confiscates Norwegian footage on Fatullayev

May 7, 2010 5:23 PM ET

New York, May 7, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Azerbaijani authorities to immediately investigate the illegal confiscation of footage and reporting from Norwegian television reporter Erling Borgen and cameraman Dag Inge Dahl on Thursday....

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Pentagon bars 4 reporters from Guantanamo hearings

May 7, 2010 4:50 PM ET

New York, May 7, 2010—The U.S. military should allow four banned reporters from different Canadian and U.S.-based media outlets to cover military commission proceedings in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The reporters were banned after each named a U.S. Army interrogator after being told to keep him and other participants in...

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‘Crude’ filmmaker’s raw footage subject to subpoena

May 7, 2010 3:01 PM ET

A filmmaker’s raw footage is much like a photographer’s unedited images or a reporter’s notebooks—a private record of their reporting that is rarely disclosed to others. On Thursday, a federal judge in New York ruled that a private firm could subpoena the unedited footage used to make a news...

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Free speech in India: Between the bullet, baton, and gavel

May 7, 2010 11:12 AM ET

Freedom of speech and expression in India is balanced precariously between the ever-present threat of direct, physical attacks from both security forces and social vigilante groups on the one hand, and the reassurance of protection from higher judicial authorities on the other. But the scales seem tipped in favor...

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In Cameroon, CPJ seeks untainted inquiry in Ngota death

May 6, 2010 5:00 PM ET

Dear President Biya: We are alarmed by investigations that appear to be flawed and marred with political interference into the April 22 death in prison of journalist Germain Cyrille Ngota Ngota. We hold Cameroon's government responsible for Ngota's death and the well-being of three other journalists in the custody of the administration. We call on you to address these concerns, along with allegations of torture of journalists by a security agency accountable to your office.

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Reporter abducted, slain in northern Iraq

May 6, 2010 4:51 PM ET

New York, May 6, 2010—A reporter for independent news outlets was found shot to death this morning in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul after being abducted Wednesday in Arbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, according to news reports. Authorities in both cities must conduct a thorough investigation into the murder...

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At Lantos commission, CPJ details Russian press climate

May 6, 2010 1:01 PM ET

A bill pending in the Russian parliament would give state security alarming new censorship powers, CPJ’s Nina Ognianova told the Congressional Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in testimony in Washington today. During a hearing on human rights issues in Russia, Ognianova also voiced concern about continued impunity in journalist murders. ...

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Iran remains world’s worst jailer of journalists

May 6, 2010 10:15 AM ET

New York, May 6, 2010—At least 35 journalists were behind bars in Iran as of May 1 with another 18 detainees free on short-term furloughs, according to CPJ’s monthly census of imprisoned Iranian journalists. The figures, unchanged from CPJ’s April census, reflect a government still intent on silencing free...

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China's state secrets law leaves journalists exposed

May 5, 2010 5:50 PM ET

The Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress adopted a revised state secrets law on April 29. The changes, which take effect October 1, put greater onus on media and telecommunications companies to defend state secrets and cooperate with authorities investigating alleged violations of the legislation. Chinese commentators point out...

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Justice takes twisting turns in Philippines massacre

May 5, 2010 5:06 PM ET

An apparent injustice has been reversed—Philippines Justice Secretary Alberto Agra refiled murder charges against two key figures in the November 2009 mass killing of journalists and others in Maguindanao. On April 19, we filed an alert expressing our dismay that Agra had dropped murder charges against Zaldy Ampatuan, former governor of the Autonomous Region in...

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Somali gunmen kill veteran broadcast reporter

May 5, 2010 4:33 PM ET

New York, May 5, 2010—Three gunmen shot dead veteran broadcast journalist Sheik Nur Mohamed Abkey on Tuesday evening as he was returning home from work at the state-run Radio Mogadishu, local journalists told CPJ. Gunmen abducted Abkey, left, near his residence in Wardhigley, southern Mogadishu, and shot him repeatedly in...

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Two Honduran TV reporters receive death threats

May 4, 2010 4:35 PM ET

New York, May 4, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists urged Honduran authorities today to thoroughly investigate death threats against two television reporters who covered the March murder of colleague Nahúm Palacios Arteaga in the region of Aguán. ...

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Moby Media executive urges global support for Afghan press

May 4, 2010 1:22 PM ET

Mujahid Kakar, head of news and current affairs for Afghanistan’s Moby Media Group, was at the United Nations on Monday to give a speech on World Press Freedom Day. He stopped by CPJ’s office afterward, and we talked for more than an hour about journalism in Afghanistan. Kakar, left,...

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Press freedom has a good day: WPFD, the Daniel Pearl Act

May 4, 2010 12:47 PM ET

Yesterday was a good one for press freedom. “The United States joins the international community in celebrating World Press Freedom Day,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a statement. “Wherever independent media are under threat, accountable governance and human freedom are undermined.” She went on to defend harassed or jailed bloggers in...

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In Egypt, a deplorable press freedom climate

May 3, 2010 4:19 PM ET

Judging by what’s transpired in recent weeks, press freedom in Egypt is in a deplorable state. To hear that Egyptian police abused and illegally detained peaceful protestors who took to the streets on April 6 is par for the course. To read that police and plainclothes thugs also beat...

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In Pakistan, abducted journalist’s fellow hostage executed

May 3, 2010 2:41 PM ET

New York, May 3, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists expressed concern today after a militant group executed a former Pakistani intelligence official who was abducted along with documentary filmmaker Asad Qureshi.   ...

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Pardon of Sri Lankan journalist welcome, details needed

May 3, 2010 2:14 PM ET

New York, May 3, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists is heartened by news reports today that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has issued a pardon to Sri Lankan journalist J.S. Tissainayagam, left. CPJ is waiting for official clarification, however, concerning several important details. ...

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Honoring local journalists on World Press Freedom Day

May 3, 2010 12:41 PM ET

Today, May 3, is World Press Freedom Day. But on this day, this year, I am not thinking about the dangers for the many journalists whose bylines I’ve come to associate with places like Mogadishu or Manila, Kabul or Islamabad. It’s not because I don’t have immense respect for...

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IDF bars Al-Jazeera from covering West Bank rally

May 3, 2010 12:25 PM ET

New York, May 3, 2010—The Israeli military obstructed an Al-Jazeera crew trying to cover a rally in the village of Bil’in west of Ramallah on Friday, according to news reports and interviews. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns these actions and calls on Israeli authorities to end the harassment of...

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CPJ welcomes Tissainayagam pardon

May 3, 2010 10:52 AM ET

In response to news reports today that Sri Lanka will offer a full pardon to journalist J.S. Tissainayagam, we issued this statement....

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