January 2014

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News from the Committee to Protect Journalists, January 2014

January 31, 2014 12:58 PM ET

Chilling conditions for the press ahead of Sochi Games CPJ's special report, "Media suffer winter chill in coverage of Sochi Olympics," which was released on January 28, garnered significant coverage in the local and international media, including CBS Sports, the Huffington Post, Al-Jazeera America, and other outlets. CPJ also issued...

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Terror charges for Al-Jazeera in Egypt prompt outcry

January 31, 2014 10:15 AM ET

Today, the Committee to Protect Journalists joined other leading international media freedom and human rights organizations, including Article 19, Index on Censorship, and Reporters Without Borders, in calling on the European Union and United States to demand Egyptian authorities drop charges against Al-Jazeera journalists and release those under arrest....

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Niger authorities crack down on critical journalists

January 29, 2014 5:35 PM ET

New York, January 29, 2014---The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by recent detentions in Niger of journalists critical of the government. In the past week, four journalists have been held for days without charge, two of whom remain in custody, and the justice minister has warned of a crackdown. ...

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Egypt to try Al-Jazeera journalists on terror charges

January 29, 2014 3:50 PM ET

New York, January 29, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists today condemned the Egyptian prosecutor general's decision to put 20 Al-Jazeera journalists on trial on criminal charges of incitement, distorting the country's image abroad, and fabricating news to aid the Muslim Brotherhood, which the government has declared a terrorist organization, according...

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More light shed on 'China's tougher tactics'

January 29, 2014 1:57 PM ET

Since CPJ blogged on Monday that tougher tactics are emerging in China toward local and foreign media--and the situation looks to get worse--a few more developments have arisen....

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South African journalist arrested, threatened

January 29, 2014 1:16 PM ET

Cape Town, South Africa, January 29, 2014--South African authorities should drop charges against a journalist who was roughed up and detained after photographing police officers allegedly involved in bribery, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Ricky Dire, a journalist with the Daily Sun, also received death threats....

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Obama must chart clearer course on surveillance policy

January 28, 2014 5:19 PM ET

Tonight President Obama has another opportunity to redirect the country's out-of-control surveillance programs during his annual State of the Union address. He should seize it. The president's much-anticipated January 17 speech about U.S. surveillance policy, which came in response to outrage over National Security Agency spying, left much unsaid--and...

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Anti-press abuses on third anniversary of Egypt uprising

January 28, 2014 3:51 PM ET

New York, January 28, 2014--Several local and international journalists have been attacked and detained in Egypt while covering deadly clashes between police and supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, according to news reports. The clashes erupted on Saturday, the third anniversary of the uprising in Egypt....

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Media suffer winter chill in coverage of Sochi Olympics

January 28, 2014 12:00 AM ET

In the run-up to the Sochi Winter Games, official repression and self-censorship have restricted news coverage of sensitive issues related to the Olympics, such as the exploitation of migrant workers, environmental destruction, and forced evictions. The information vacuum comes amid a generally poor climate for press freedom across Russia....

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Journalists to be under digital surveillance at Sochi

January 28, 2014 12:00 AM ET

Journalists will be central targets of the extensive surveillance program introduced by Russian authorities in Sochi in connection with the 2014 Winter Olympic Games that begin February 7....

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Tougher tactics emerge in China's media crackdown

January 27, 2014 6:27 PM ET

Late in 2013, Time's Hannah Beech posted a great blog on the magazine's website around the time that about 24 foreign journalists were worried that the visas allowing them to work in China might not be approved: "Foreign Correspondents in China Do Not Censor Themselves to Get Visas," she...

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South Sudanese towns suffer information vacuum

January 27, 2014 2:33 PM ET

"This is the worst situation I ever reported since I started reporting in 2007," BBC Media Action producer Manyang David Mayar told me after he left the restive town of Bor, Jonglei State in South Sudan. Forced to walk long distances carrying his suitcase on his head to escape...

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Journalists' equipment seized in Equatorial Guinea

January 24, 2014 3:32 PM ET

Lagos, Nigeria, January 24, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by reports of grave anti-press violations in Equatorial Guinea ahead of an investment symposium planned for early February....

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Costa Rica must investigate tracking of daily's phone calls

January 22, 2014 5:31 PM ET

New York, January 22, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls for a full investigation into reports that Costa Rican officials secretly monitored the phone records of the San José-based daily Diario Extra as part of a leak investigation....

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Journalists assaulted amid protests in Ukraine

January 22, 2014 5:03 PM ET

New York, January 22, 2014--Dozens of journalists were attacked, and their equipment damaged, while reporting on anti-government protests that began over the weekend in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, according to local and international news reports. The protests come as the government has approved new legislation imposing restrictions on the...

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Put Syrian press freedom on Geneva agenda

January 22, 2014 12:31 PM ET

Today the Committee to Protect Journalists joins 15 other press freedom and media development organizations calling on the participants of the Syrian peace conference in Geneva to include freedom of the press and expression as "fundamental cornerstones in any viable political settlement."...

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Mauritania journalist held in connection with critical article

January 21, 2014 3:26 PM ET

New York, January 21, 2014--Authorities in Mauritania should drop charges against a journalist who has been detained since January 2, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed has been held in connection with an article he wrote that was deemed blasphemous to the Prophet Muhammad....

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Iraqi journalist killed by bomb in Anbar province

January 21, 2014 2:26 PM ET

New York, January 21, 2014--An Iraqi journalist was killed by a roadside bomb in Anbar province on Monday, according to news reports. Firas Mohammed Attiyah, a correspondent, had been reporting on ongoing clashes in the province for the local Fallujah TV station, the reports said....

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CPJ calls on Haitian authorities to act in Dominique murder

January 21, 2014 2:23 PM ET

New York, January 21, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes new progress in the case of Jean Lépold Dominique, a prominent Haitian radio journalist who was murdered in 2000, and renews its calls to the Haitian authorities to bring all those responsible to justice....

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Thai journalists, news outlets in the line of fire

January 21, 2014 2:08 PM ET

Bangkok, January 21, 2014--The state of emergency imposed today by Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinwatra threatens to curb media coverage of recent anti-government protests in the national capital, the Committee to Protect Journalists said. The decree was passed in the wake of a double grenade attack on the site of...

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Three media workers killed in attack on Express TV van

January 17, 2014 4:12 PM ET

New York, January 17, 2014--Pakistani authorities must conduct an efficient and thorough investigation into today's attack on an Express TV van in which three media workers were killed and a cameraman injured, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. This is the third attack in six months on the Express...

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Venezuelan economic controls lead to newsprint shortage

January 17, 2014 3:30 PM ET

Although nearly all Venezuelan newspapers have websites, many of their readers like to get their news the old-fashioned way: on paper. But that's getting tougher every day amid a critical shortage of newsprint....

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Bangladesh arrests three journalists, raids news outlet

January 17, 2014 1:57 PM ET

New York, January 17, 2014--Police in Bangladesh arrested three journalists on Thursday during a raid on the Dhaka offices of the newspaper Daily Inqilab, according to news reports....

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Correa steps up fight; hacking alleged on both sides

January 17, 2014 12:10 PM ET

Seven months after Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa flirted with the idea of offering asylum to former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, intercepted communications and leaked emails are again making headlines in the Andean country. This time, the story is not about international surveillance but a window onto the...

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Nigerian photographer shot by unidentified assailants

January 17, 2014 9:57 AM ET

Unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle shot Callistus Ewelike at close range in front of his house in Nyanya, Abuja, at night on January 13, 2014, news reports said. The journalist's neighbours rushed him to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery for injuries to his neck, the reports said. The...

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Tunisia constitution needs stronger free press guarantees

January 16, 2014 4:55 PM ET

Human rights groups and legislators are praising the third and final draft of Tunisia's new constitution as one of the most liberal charters in the Arab world--and for being arrived at by a remarkably consensual process among political parties, especially if compared with neighboring Egypt and Libya....

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Obama's legacy on the line with surveillance policy

January 15, 2014 2:55 PM ET

When President Obama takes the lectern to discuss U.S. surveillance policy, as he is expected to do Friday, those hoping for sweeping reform are likely to be disappointed. As reported in The New York Times, the president appears poised to reject many of the recommendations of his Review Group...

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Gambian journalists charged with giving false information

January 14, 2014 5:52 PM ET

Lagos, Nigeria, January 14, 2014--Gambian authorities should drop the charges against two journalists who have been held since Monday on accusations of giving false information, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....

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CPJ condemns ban of U.S. journalist from Russia

January 14, 2014 2:09 PM ET

New York, January 14, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by reports that veteran U.S. journalist David Satter has been banned from Russia for five years. Satter, adviser to the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and former Moscow correspondent for the Financial Times, told CPJ that the Russian foreign...

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Three radio journalists threatened in Colombia

January 14, 2014 2:03 PM ET

Bogotá, January 14, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Colombian authorities to ensure the safety of three radio journalists in the southern state of Guaviare who have received death threats in response to their coverage of an upcoming recall vote that could remove the local governor from office....

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No justice 3 years after Wali Khan Babar murder

January 14, 2014 1:04 PM ET

Three years have passed since the murder of Geo TV journalist Wali Khan Babar in Karachi. While no justice has been found in Babar's case, his death has not been forgotten. Journalists Beena Sarwar, Umar Cheema, and Malik Siraj Akbar along with CPJ's Bob Dietz commemorated the anniversary of...

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Egypt should release all imprisoned journalists

January 13, 2014 4:23 PM ET

Dear President Mansour: As an international press freedom organization, we are writing to express our concern about the climate of press freedom in Egypt. We believe that all Egyptian citizens should be guaranteed the right to freedom of speech and freedom of information. Yet at least seven journalists are being held behind bars in the country today, unable to do their work in this critical time in Egypt's history. We condemn the ongoing imprisonment of the journalists and urge the Egyptian government to immediately release them.

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On Internet freedom, India's perilous trajectory

January 13, 2014 2:18 PM ET

By the time the first story based on former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's disclosures splashed across the front pages of the world's newspapers, India had reportedly begun deployment of its own major surveillance architecture, the Central Management System (CMS). The system is a $132 million project that allows central access...

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Thai laws on body armor put journalists at risk

January 13, 2014 12:17 PM ET

For the past several weeks journalists and media organizations in Thailand have been preparing for a fresh round of confrontation between anti-government protesters and government security forces. An attempt to paralyze the nation's capital through a protester-led, month-long shutdown began today....

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Bangladeshi editor jailed for seven years for critical writing

January 10, 2014 4:36 PM ET

New York, January 10, 2014--A Dhaka court on Thursday sentenced an editor to seven years in prison in connection with his articles about the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Bangladesh that allegedly showed the country in a critical light....

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Journalists attacked, bombed in Montenegro

January 10, 2014 12:14 PM ET

An explosive device detonated outside the office of Mihailo Jovović, chief editor of Vijesti (News), in the capital, Podgorica, regional and international press reported. No one was injured in the attack, but the explosion shattered the newsroom windows and damaged the building....

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Shan Dahar's death underscores impunity in Pakistan

January 9, 2014 5:08 PM ET

After more than a week since journalist Shan Dahar's death, it remains unclear whether he was killed in an accident or targeted for murder--and if targeted, why. The confusion serves as yet another example of how weak investigations and a lack of accountability have become the hallmarks of journalist killings...

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Ethiopian journalist on prison odyssey needs medical care

January 9, 2014 12:47 PM ET

"When I grow up will I go to jail like my dad?" This was the shattering question that the five-year-old son of imprisoned Ethiopian journalist Woubshet Taye asked his mother after a recent prison visit. Woubshet's son, named Fiteh (meaning "justice"), has accompanied his mother on a wayward tour...

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Guatemalan government targets elPeriódico editor

January 8, 2014 4:51 PM ET

New York, January 8, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns legal efforts in the past weeks by the president and vice president of Guatemala that are designed to stifle critical reporting by elPeriódico and its editor, José Rubén Zamora Marroquín. Over the course of the past year, the Guatemala City-based...

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Staff of Hong Kong's Ming Pao fights leadership change

January 8, 2014 2:30 PM ET

Hong Kong's besieged media were dealt another blow this week, with news that the editor-in-chief of the city's once most trusted Chinese-language newspaper will be replaced with a potentially pro-establishment editor. ...

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Three abducted journalists released in Syria

January 8, 2014 1:26 PM ET

New York, January 8, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the news that three abducted journalists in Syria have been freed this week. The Swedish Foreign Ministry confirmed today that freelance Swedish journalists Magnus Falkehed and Niclas Hammarstrom, both of whom were abducted in November, were released. On Sunday, Turkish Foreign...

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India's independent journalism in doubt in election year

January 6, 2014 3:31 PM ET

With the dawn of the new year, India is looking ahead to a national election in May. Recent developments raise questions about the quality and quantity of independent news coverage of the polls as local media come under greater political influence....

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In Somalia, three journalists detained in Kismayo

January 2, 2014 11:55 AM ET

The Interim Jubba Administration in southern Somalia detained three journalists without charge in the span of a week in late December 2013. All were released after a few days....

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