December 2013

News from the Committee to Protect Journalists, December 2013

December 31, 2013 12:17 PM ET

End-of-year Impact As 2013 draws to a close, CPJ looks back on the highlights of the year, when we stepped in and advocated for journalists and news outlets at risk around the world. Thank you for all you have done to support us, and please continue to join us in our important work....

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Remembering Mike O'Connor

December 30, 2013 4:02 PM ET

It is a sad end to 2013 for the global press freedom community. With the sudden death of CPJ Mexico Representative Mike O'Connor, 67, on Sunday, Mexican journalists have lost one of their most formidable advocates. Mike will be remembered as someone who was on the forefront of the...

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Egypt arrests Al-Jazeera journalists, seizes equipment

December 30, 2013 2:45 PM ET

New York, December 30, 2013--Egyptian authorities arrested four journalists affiliated with Al-Jazeera English on Saturday, accusing them of broadcasting without permission, according to Al-Jazeera and news reports....

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Ethiopian journalist sentenced to more than two years in jail

December 30, 2013 1:50 PM ET

Nairobi, December 30, 2013--An Ethiopian court convicted a journalist on December 25 on the charge of spreading false rumors and sentenced him to two years and nine months in prison, according to local journalists....

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Syria, Iraq, Egypt most deadly nations for journalists

December 30, 2013 12:01 AM ET

The conflict in Syria, a spike in Iraqi bloodshed, and political violence in Egypt accounted for the high number of journalists killed on the job in 2013. A CPJ special report by Elana Beiser...

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Behind the numbers: Researching Syria's killed journalists

December 30, 2013 12:00 AM ET

This year, CPJ researchers confirmed that at least 29 journalists died while covering the Syrian conflict. How did we arrive at that number?...

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Arab journalists need training for civil unrest and wars

December 30, 2013 12:00 AM ET

In recent years, Arab journalists have been taking great risks to report important stories in a region where war and civil unrest remain an ever-present threat. Many are operating without proper equipment or safety training in how to recognize and mitigate the various risks they face. try{for(var lastpass_iter=0; lastpass_iter...

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Ukraine must hold independent probe in journalist beating

December 27, 2013 2:52 PM ET

New York, December 27, 2013--The Ukrainian government must ensure that a thorough, independent, and transparent investigation is conducted in the brutal attack early Wednesday on prominent journalist Tetyana Chornovol, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Chornovol remains hospitalized in the capital, Kiev, with a concussion and multiple head...

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Indian journalist arrested in Sri Lanka

December 27, 2013 1:40 PM ET

New York, December 27, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called for the immediate release of an Indian journalist and filmmaker who was arrested in Sri Lanka on Wednesday while allegedly filming and photographing a military base....

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Bahrain arrests photographer Ahmed Al-Fardan

December 27, 2013 1:17 PM ET

New York, December 27, 2013--Ahmed Al-Fardan, photographer for the NurPhoto agency, was arrested Thursday at his home in Bahrain, according to his agency, news reports, and human rights groups. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the arrest....

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Reporting on South Sudan crisis difficult, dangerous

December 23, 2013 2:52 PM ET

"They even started shooting through my house--I had to lie on the floor with my wife and kids," Angelo Wello, a freelance journalist for faith-based news sites and a pastor, told me. Like many residents of the capital of Juba, South Sudan, Angelo has found it incredibly hard to...

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CPJ condemns attack on Iraqi TV station

December 23, 2013 12:58 PM ET

New York, December 23, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns today's attack on Salah al-Din TV station headquarters in Tikrit, Iraq, which left several journalists dead. The attack comes amid a wave of targeted killings of journalists in the past few months that has made the country among the deadliest...

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CPJ welcomes conviction in Igor Domnikov's murder

December 20, 2013 2:25 PM ET

New York, December 20, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes today's conviction by Moscow's Lyublinsky court of Russian businessman Pavel Sopot for inciting the 2000 murder of Novaya Gazeta journalist Igor Domnikov. The court sentenced Sopot to a seven-year term in a high-security prison, and ordered him to pay the...

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Burmese journalist jailed for three months

December 20, 2013 1:38 PM ET

Bangkok, December 20, 2013--A Burmese journalist was sentenced to three months in prison on Tuesday on charges of defamation, trespassing, and "using abusive language," according to local news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists strongly condemns the conviction and calls on the court to reverse the verdict on appeal....

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Journalists charged with criminal defamation in Thailand

December 20, 2013 11:16 AM ET

Bangkok, December 20, 2013--The Royal Thai Navy should immediately drop the criminal defamation charges lodged on Wednesday against two journalists in connection with a report on alleged military abuses of ethnic Rohingya people, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....

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Djibouti journalist detained for covering demonstration

December 20, 2013 10:36 AM ET

Police arrested Mohamed Ibrahim, a journalist for the pro-opposition news website and radio station, La Voix de Djibouti (The Voice of Djibouti), on December 12, 2013, while he was covering a protest in the Balbala suburb of the capital, Djibouti City, according to local journalists. The demonstration was staged by women...

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Turkish journalist abducted in Syria

December 19, 2013 4:37 PM ET

Istanbul, December 19, 2013--A Turkish journalist is the latest reporter to be abducted in Syria, where approximately 30 journalists are missing, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Bünyamin Aygün, a photojournalist for the daily Milliyet, was abducted in November, but the case was not made public before this week....

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Web-based TV opens space for critical voices in Venezuela

December 19, 2013 2:12 PM ET

With its low budget décor and grainy images, EUTV has the look and feel of small-town community television. But the Web-based TV station that went live on November 18 has much larger ambitions: It intends to be the primary source for Venezuelans who covet independent television news....

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Argentina should release editor accused of sedition

December 18, 2013 4:51 PM ET

New York, December 18, 2013--Argentine authorities should immediately release a journalist who has been detained for more than a week and accused of sedition, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....

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Zambian editors charged with publishing false information

December 18, 2013 10:18 AM ET

Police detained two journalists of the Daily Nation on December 12, 2013, and released them on bail the next day. Richard Sakala, owner and editor of the paper, and Simon Mwanza, the production editor, were charged with "publication of false information with intent to cause public alarm" under Section 67...

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Second worst year on record for jailed journalists

December 18, 2013 12:01 AM ET

For the second consecutive year, Turkey was the world’s leading jailer of journalists, followed closely by Iran and China. The number of journalists in prison globally decreased from a year earlier but remains close to historical highs. A CPJ special report by Elana Beiser...

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2013 prison census: 211 journalists jailed worldwide

December 18, 2013 12:01 AM ET

As of December 1, 2013 Analysis: Second worst year on record | CPJ Blog: Turkey worst jailer once more...

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Turkey--world's top press jailer once more

December 18, 2013 12:00 AM ET

For the second year in a row, our prison census shows, Turkey jailed more journalists than any other country. The number of journalists behind bars is 40; down from the 61 reporters in October 2012, and less than the 49 we recorded on December 1, 2012. Still, Turkey holds...

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Police raid and shut down paper in Somaliland

December 16, 2013 2:49 PM ET

Nairobi, December 16, 2013--Police in the semi-autonomous republic of Somaliland on December 13 raided the Hargeisa offices of the critical independent daily Hubaal, arrested two staff members, and ordered the publication to be shut down, according to news reports. This is the third time the paper has been targeted this...

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Defining success in the fight against impunity

December 13, 2013 5:24 PM ET

For the second time this year, the U.N. Security Council took up the issue of protection of journalists. In a discussion today sponsored by the French and Guatemalan delegations, and open to NGOs, speaker after speaker and country after country hammered home the same essential facts: The vast majority of...

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While tech companies call for spying reform, telcos silent

December 12, 2013 5:20 PM ET

On Monday, eight of the world's leading technology companies set aside their rivalries to issue a direct challenge to U.S. lawmakers: lead the world by example and fix America's broken surveillance state. Although the tech companies' statement sends a powerful message, notably absent from the letter's signatories is the appearance...

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Venezuela forces ISPs to police Internet

December 12, 2013 4:57 PM ET

The concept of network neutrality holds that all Internet traffic should be treated equal and that Internet Service Providers, or ISPs, should serve as free-flowing gateways for information rather than as filters. But in politically polarized Venezuela, neutrality is an increasingly rare commodity and now ISPs are feeling the...

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Covering China goes far beyond the current visa woes

December 12, 2013 2:40 PM ET

Everyone agreed at the panel discussion I took part in yesterday in Washington that the fate of about two dozen journalists working for The New York Times and Bloomberg News in China is unresolved. No one knows what will happen by the ostensible deadline of midnight, December 31, 2013,...

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Journalists jailed for covering protest in Somaliland

December 12, 2013 1:39 PM ET

Police arrested four journalists on December 3, 2013, and detained them for nearly a week for covering a peaceful protest in the capital of the semi-autonomous republic of Somaliland, according to local journalists and human rights organizations....

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Lebanon should overturn conviction of journalist

December 12, 2013 11:27 AM ET

New York, December 12, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Lebanese Court of Cassation to overturn the conviction of Rami Aysha, a Lebanese-Palestinian freelance journalist charged with purchasing firearms while he was investigating arms trafficking from Lebanon to Syria....

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In Philippines, third journalist killed in two weeks

December 12, 2013 11:18 AM ET

Bangkok, December 12, 2013--A radio reporter was shot dead in the Philippines on Wednesday, marking the third journalist to be killed in the past two weeks in the country. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities to uphold the rule of law and bring an end to the killing...

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Explosive device thrown at journalist's home in Peru

December 12, 2013 11:12 AM ET

Unidentified assailants threw an explosive device at the house of a Peruvian journalist at 2 a.m. on December 10, 2013, according to news reports....

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Uganda: Block the opposition and block the press

December 11, 2013 4:51 PM ET

Getting rid of an influential opposition figure is a simple two-step process for Uganda's ruling party, the National Resistance Movement: Dismiss the opponent and ensure the press cannot cover it....

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Dutch couple released in Yemen

December 11, 2013 9:57 AM ET

Judith Spiegel, who reports for multiple Dutch outlets in Yemen, and her husband, Boudewijn Berendsen, were released six months after being taken hostage by an unknown group, the Dutch and Yemeni governments said in a joint statement on December 10, 2013....

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Unprecedented response to kidnappings in Syria

December 11, 2013 9:01 AM ET

In an unprecedented step, more than a dozen international news organizations have signed a joint letter to the Syrian armed opposition about the "disturbing rise in the kidnapping of journalists" in Syria, which has led many outlets to reduce their coverage of the conflict out of safety concerns. The organizations...

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Malian government accused of censoring news site

December 10, 2013 6:15 PM ET

New York, December 10, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by reports a Malian website based in Paris has been threatened by Mali's government after posting an Associated Press (AP) story today implicating Malian soldiers in extrajudicial killings. ...

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Indian journalist murdered in Chhattisgarh state

December 10, 2013 3:32 PM ET

New York, December 10, 2013--Indian authorities must conduct a swift and efficient investigation into the murder of a veteran journalist on Friday, and ensure the perpetrators are held responsible, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....

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In Philippines, second journalist killed in a week

December 10, 2013 2:00 PM ET

Bangkok, December 10, 2013--Radio broadcaster Michael Diaz Milo was shot dead on Saturday, marking the second journalist to be killed in a week in the Philippines, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Philippine authorities to identify the perpetrators and swiftly bring them to justice....

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Egypt should investigate, solve journalist murders

December 10, 2013 12:31 PM ET

Dear Counselor Barakat: On November 26, the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity, a demonstration of the deep level of global concern. The only way to break the cycle of impunity is to bring to justice the killers of journalists, something Egypt has failed to do. Egypt is ranked second on CPJ's list of the deadliest countries for journalists in 2013.

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Two Spanish journalists abducted in Syria

December 10, 2013 9:06 AM ET

New York, December 10, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls for the immediate release of two Spanish journalists who were abducted in Syria almost three months ago. Javier Espinosa and Ricardo Garcia Vilanova have been held captive by the Al-Qaeda affiliate Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) since...

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In Pakistan, another journalist breaks his silence

December 9, 2013 4:31 PM ET

CPJ's report, Roots of Impunity, published earlier this year, provides a glimpse of the grim realities that journalists in Pakistan face when they cross red lines. Many journalists are threatened, harassed, and intimidated by a host of actors, including members of Pakistan's security and intelligence apparatus. Some of these cases...

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TV journalist murdered in Honduras

December 9, 2013 4:27 PM ET

New York, December 9, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities to launch a full investigation into the murder on Saturday of a Honduran journalist, identify a motive, and bring those responsible to justice....

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Editor sentenced to 10 years in jail in Baku

December 9, 2013 3:14 PM ET

New York, December 9, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the 10-year jail sentence given today to Azerbaijani journalist Nijat Aliyev, and calls on authorities to release the journalist on appeal....

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Press stuck in crosshairs of Thai protests

December 9, 2013 11:54 AM ET

Bangkok, December 9, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on both Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's government and opposition groups to respect the role of the press in the lead-up to elections scheduled for February 2. Both sides have failed to uphold basic press freedoms as anti-government protests have intensified...

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Too many triggermen, too little justice in Iraq

December 6, 2013 3:59 PM ET

The Iraqi city of Mosul is once again one of the world's deadliest places for journalists. In the past two months, the capital of Nineveh province has witnessed a series of targeted assassinations that, according to local press freedom groups, have led to an exodus of journalists from the city...

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Kenya parliament passes draconian media laws

December 5, 2013 4:09 PM ET

Nairobi, December 5, 2013--Kenya's National Assembly today passed contentious anti-press legislation, the Kenya Information and Communication (Amendment) Act and the Media Council Act, which will effectively silence critical reporting through a new government-controlled regulator and the threat of hefty fines....

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A chill over British press

December 5, 2013 3:22 PM ET

A prime minister says a newspaper has damaged national security and calls for its editor to be brought before Parliament; his government tells the same paper there has been "enough" debate on an issue and sends its security officials into the paper's offices to smash discs containing journalistic material;...

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News from the Committee to Protect Journalists, November 2013

December 5, 2013 12:40 PM ET

Photo credit, Barbara Nitke (CPJ)Journalists honored at CPJ's annual award ceremony Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef was among four journalists who received CPJ's 2013 International Press Freedom Award on November 26. Youssef has used humor to report on and criticize government failures to improve the economy and public services, and...

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Japan: State security does not justify restricting information

December 5, 2013 12:07 PM ET

To the group of developed democracies, such as Britain and the United States, each with increasingly restrictive attitudes toward press freedom, add Japan, which appears to be on the brink of passing a new state secrets protection law. If passed by the upper house of the Diet today, it would...

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Take this survey on digital safety, then take these steps

December 4, 2013 4:31 PM ET

It is an extraordinarily difficult time to be a journalist. Nearly every month, the digital security landscape shifts--new surveillance concerns are unearthed and freshly drafted laws are introduced that seek to curb freedom of expression under the guise of national security....

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Al-Arabiya reporter released from captivity in Philippines

December 4, 2013 4:07 PM ET

New York, December 4, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release today of a reporter working for Al-Arabiya news channel who, along with two crewmembers, was abducted by Islamist militants 18 months ago....

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Republic of Congo regulators suspend three newspapers

December 3, 2013 4:08 PM ET

On November 13, 2013, the state-run media regulatory board High Council on Freedom of Communication (CSLC), suspended three private weeklies from circulation for nine months in connection with articles they published that were critical of the authorities, according to news reports. The 11 members of the council are hand-picked by...

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Kenya's press takes to the streets against bill

December 3, 2013 3:49 PM ET

"Mr. President, you gagged us!" said a banner tied to the gates of Parliament today. Kenya's Editors Guild and the Kenya Correspondents' Association organized peaceful demonstrations across the country to protest a media bill currently under parliamentary review. Protests were held in every county in the country, according to...

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Bill to stifle flow of information poised to pass in Japan

December 3, 2013 2:57 PM ET

New York, December 3, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned by a new state secrets bill before the Japanese parliament, which, if passed, would broaden the government's power to determine which information can be kept secret....

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Photojournalist briefly detained in Ethiopia

December 3, 2013 12:44 PM ET

Police in Ethiopia's western region of Gambella on November 1, 2013, detained Robin Hammond, a freelance photojournalist with dual U.K. and New Zealand citizenship, while he was on assignment for U.S. magazine National Geographic, according to news reports and local journalists....

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CPJ joins Pakistani groups in condemning Express attack

December 3, 2013 12:40 PM ET

The Committee to Protect Journalists has joined the Alliance for Access, a coalition of Pakistani media groups, academic and student organizations, and telecommunications companies working to promote open access, in condemning Monday's attack on the offices of Express Media Group in Karachi....

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Venezuela tries to suppress reports of economic upheaval

December 3, 2013 11:48 AM ET

Amid skyrocketing inflation and shortages of basic goods, Venezuelan authorities claim that an "economic war" is being waged against the socialist government of President Nicolás Maduro. The government is striking back by forcing stores to discount prices, by arresting business owners accused of hoarding--and by targeting journalists trying to...

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After UN resolution on impunity, more work to be done

December 3, 2013 11:23 AM ET

For all the people who have been working on the problem of impunity for so long, the announcement on November 26 that the Third Committee of the United Nation's General Assembly had passed a resolution on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity, setting November 2 as the...

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Journalists attacked while covering protests in Kiev

December 2, 2013 4:50 PM ET

A video report by a Euronews cameraman shows him being attacked by police during clashes in Kiev. (YouTube/Euronews) New York, December 2, 2013--At least 51 journalists were attacked while covering protests in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev and other cities over the weekend, according to news reports and local...

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Journalists covering protests targeted by Israeli forces

December 2, 2013 3:14 PM ET

New York, December 2, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the reported targeting of journalists covering protests in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory....

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Radio journalist shot dead in the Philippines

December 2, 2013 3:02 PM ET

New York, December 2, 2013--Philippine authorities must identify the perpetrators behind the fatal shooting of radio journalist Joas Dignos on Friday, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Dignos was a local radio commentator, according to news reports....

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British journalists concerned by regulation, hostile climate

December 2, 2013 11:07 AM ET

As Alan Rusbridger appears Tuesday before the Home Affairs committee of the U.K. Parliament to give evidence regarding the Guardian's coverage of surveillance activities by the U.S. and U.K. governments, British journalists and analysts say that newspaper's legal troubles are worrying in large part because they come against the backdrop...

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