March 2014

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Somali police should release Sky FM journalist

March 31, 2014 4:21 PM ET

Nairobi, March 31, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Somali authorities in the capital, Mogadishu, to release a radio journalist who has been held without charge since Sunday. Nuradin Hassan is an editor of Sky FM, as well as a news presenter, according to news reports and Sky...

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News from the Committee to Protect Journalists, March 2014

March 31, 2014 4:16 PM ET

Pakistani PM pledges justice, journalist security to CPJ A CPJ delegation traveled to Pakistan this month and met with high-level Pakistani officials including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who pledged to continue to expand Pakistan's media freedoms and address the insecurity plaguing the country's journalists....

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Two Spanish journalists freed from captivity in Syria

March 31, 2014 2:14 PM ET

Two Spanish journalists were freed after being held captive in Syria for more than six months, according to news reports. The journalists--Javier Espinosa and Ricardo Garcia Vilanova--are back in Spain, according to news sources. ...

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What should happen following the Raza Rumi attack

March 31, 2014 1:42 PM ET

On March 28, gunmen sprayed the car of TV anchor and widely-respected analyst Raza Rumi, a member of the Express Group of media organizations. He escaped serious injury, but his driver, Mustafa, died. It was the fourth attack on the Express Group in eight months, with four people dead....

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Ghana should review information access bill

March 28, 2014 5:50 PM ET

An access to information bill currently under consideration in Ghana will do more harm than good, according to the Coalition on the Right to Information in Ghana, which has called for a review of the proposed legislation. ...

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Journalist flees Kazakhstan after court orders her arrest

March 28, 2014 5:43 PM ET

New York, March 28, 2014--Authorities should drop all charges against a Kazakh journalist who has been accused of libel in connection with a story she has denied writing, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. If convicted, Natalya Sadykova faces up to three years in jail under Kazakhstan's criminal libel...

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Blacklisted in Baluchistan

March 28, 2014 5:22 PM ET

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made a series of commitments to safeguard press freedom during a meeting with a CPJ delegation last week. Among them was a pledge to speak out in support of media freedom and against attacks on journalists, particularly in high-conflict areas like Baluchistan. ...

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Journalist shot dead covering clashes in Egypt

March 28, 2014 2:39 PM ET

New York, March 28, 2014--An Egyptian journalist was shot dead in Cairo today while covering deadly clashes, according to news reports. Mayada Ashraf was a reporter for the daily Al-Dustour. She had covered previous protests for the paper, the reports said....

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CPJ condemns attack on Pakistani journalist Raza Rumi

March 28, 2014 2:01 PM ET

New York, March 28, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalist condemns today's attack on the senior Pakistani journalist Raza Rumi in Lahore, which killed his driver. Unidentified gunmen fired on Rumi's car near the Raja Market neighborhood after he left the studio following his TV show. Rumi and his guard were...

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Turkish courts release eight journalists in two days

March 27, 2014 4:32 PM ET

New York, March 27, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release this week of at least eight imprisoned journalists in Turkey, but calls on Turkish authorities to scrap the charges against them and release all of the journalists jailed in the country. ...

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Freelance Bahraini photographer given 10-year prison term

March 26, 2014 4:50 PM ET

New York, March 26, 2014--Today's conviction of freelance photographer Ahmed Humaidan is an attempt by Bahraini authorities to censor independent and dissident voices in the lead-up to the Formula One race in April, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Humaidan, who has been imprisoned since December 2012, was...

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Venezuelan journalists detained covering protests

March 26, 2014 1:27 PM ET

Two Venezuelan journalists were briefly arrested and interrogated by National Guard troops in late March 2014, according to news reports. ...

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When the rule of law isn't: Turkey at the crossroads

March 25, 2014 4:29 PM ET

In less than a week, Turkish voters will cast their ballots in local elections widely seen as a test of support for embattled Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has faced growing questions about official corruption since a high-level probe first became public in December. Although many observers believe...

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Twitter war shines light on how Rwanda intimidates press

March 24, 2014 5:00 PM ET

"@RFI speak straight up English, frenchie!! U crying? U started not to make sense," was one taunting tweet from a certain prolific Twitter account belonging to "Richard Goldston." The account, since deleted, belonging to a self-proclaimed "anti-imperialist," repeatedly antagonized Radio France Internationale journalist Sonia Rolley for her critical coverage...

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Journalists under fire in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

March 24, 2014 3:40 PM ET

Multiple journalists have been assaulted, threatened, and censored in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory in recent months. ...

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Mission Journal: Hope in Pakistan

March 21, 2014 5:09 PM ET

For the last decade, Pakistan has been one of the world's most dangerous countries for the media. At least 46 journalists have been killed, 24 of them murdered for the "crime" of covering the intelligence services, the Taliban, separatists in Baluchistan, or the criminal underworld. The result is a legacy...

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Afghan journalist among those dead in Kabul attack

March 21, 2014 5:07 PM ET

New York, March 21, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply saddened by an attack on Thursday night in Afghanistan in which Sardar Ahmad, a senior reporter for Agence France-Presse's Kabul bureau, was killed. Four gunmen stormed the Serena Hotel in Kabul during Nowruz celebrations, which marks the start of...

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CPJ condemns Twitter ban in Turkey

March 21, 2014 4:12 PM ET

New York, March 21, 2014--Turkey banned access to the social media platform Twitter on Friday, hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened in a public speech to shut it down, according to news reports. The move comes just ahead of March 30 elections and follows Erdoğan's threats to...

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Turkish prime minister threatens to shut down Twitter

March 20, 2014 5:38 PM ET

New York, March 20, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned about Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's threats today to close down Twitter. The threats come only days after he vowed to shut down Facebook and YouTube in Turkey. ...

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Hello, I'm Robert Capa, may I take a picture?

March 20, 2014 3:15 PM ET

How would Robert Capa and Joe Pulitzer have reacted to the law that came into force on March 15 in their country of birth, Hungary? Let us guess that they would have been stunned. A provision in the new Hungarian civil code forbids taking pictures without the permission of everyone...

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Putin should reverse steps to restrict independent press

March 20, 2014 2:31 PM ET

Dear President Putin: The Committee to Protect Journalists, an international press freedom advocacy group, is gravely concerned about recent steps to restrict Russia's independent media. The measures taken over the past three months threaten to eradicate Russian news outlets' freedom to freely report and analyze news events.

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In Swaziland, two held on contempt of court charges

March 19, 2014 6:22 PM ET

Cape Town, March 19, 2014--Authorities in Swaziland should immediately release Bheki Makhubu, editor of the independent newsmagazine The Nation, and Thulani Maseko, a human rights lawyer, who were imprisoned earlier this week in connection with articles published in The Nation, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....

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CPJ condemns attack on media executives in Hong Kong

March 19, 2014 1:51 PM ET

New York, March 19, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns today's attack on two senior media executives in Hong Kong by four masked men armed with metal bars. The executives work for Hong Kong Media News, which is preparing to launch a Chinese-language newspaper, and have been identified in reports...

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Amid clampdown, another blogger sentenced in Vietnam

March 19, 2014 10:41 AM ET

Bangkok, March 19, 2014--In a mounting clampdown on Internet freedom in Vietnam, blogger Pham Viet Dao was sentenced to prison today for online posts critical of the Communist Party-led government, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the ruling and calls for his immediate release. ...

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In Crimea, more journalists report attacks, obstruction

March 18, 2014 5:40 PM ET

New York, March 18, 2014--At least six journalists have been assaulted, detained, or obstructed from reporting in the southern Ukrainian autonomous republic of Crimea in the past two days, according to news reports. ...

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Three journalists detained after reporting on Tiananmen

March 18, 2014 1:59 PM ET

Hong Kong, March 18, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Chinese authorities to immediately release three journalists who were arrested almost two weeks ago and remain in jail for their coverage of events in Tiananmen Square....

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Egypt hands jail term to journalist, holds others in custody

March 17, 2014 4:32 PM ET

New York, March 17, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the one-year prison sentence given today to Samah Ibrahim, a reporter for the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice newspaper. Ibrahim is one of at least 10 journalists imprisoned in the country, according to news reports and CPJ research....

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Passage of Burma media bill would reverse free press gains

March 17, 2014 4:15 PM ET

Dear President Thein Sein: We are writing to express our concern about shrinking press freedom in Burma and urge you to veto media legislation that was passed this month by your country's parliament. The bill, which awaits your signature, maintains a censorship role for state authorities and threatens to reverse several of the gains achieved to date under your democratic reform program.

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CPJ condemns journalist's conviction in Azerbaijan

March 17, 2014 3:58 PM ET

New York, March 17, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns a five-year jail term given today to Tofiq Yaqublu, an Azerbaijani journalist with the opposition daily Yeni Musavat, and calls on authorities to overturn the verdict on appeal. Yaqublu, who was convicted of "organizing mass disorder," was arrested in January...

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For journalists in Lebanon, Syrian dangers loom larger

March 17, 2014 2:25 PM ET

The recent kidnapping of two journalists in Lebanon is the latest and most troubling evidence that the press is in increasing danger as the Syrian civil war spills over into Lebanese politics....

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FCCC survey finds China abuses press card, visa process

March 17, 2014 1:20 PM ET

The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China (Beijing) published the findings of its annual visa survey last week. The findings are grim but come as no surprise following the Chinese government's showdown late last year with members of the foreign press. ...

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Burma clampdown gathers pace as legislation passed

March 14, 2014 1:53 PM ET

In a clear step backwards for press freedom in Burma, new legislation will give the government censorship powers and the sole authority to issue and revoke news publication licenses. While the legislation enshrines into law broad press freedom guarantees, specific provisions will give the Ministry of Information ultimate power over...

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South Sudan government warning: Don't interview rebels

March 14, 2014 10:27 AM ET

Last week, South Sudanese Information Minister Michael Makuei warned reporters in the capital, Juba, not to interview the opposition or face possible arrest or expulsion from the country. According to the minister, a lawyer by profession, broadcast interviews with rebels by local media are considered "hostile propaganda" and "in...

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CPJ condemns blocking of news websites in Russia

March 13, 2014 6:57 PM ET

New York, March 13, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the blocking today of independent and pro-opposition news websites in Russia, including Ezhednevny Zhurnal, Grani, Kasparov, and the website of the liberal radio station Ekho Moskvy. The popular blog of anti-corruption activist Aleksei Navalny and the personal blogging...

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More journalists obstructed on the job in Crimea

March 13, 2014 5:33 PM ET

New York, March 13, 2014--Journalists covering the ongoing crisis in the southern Ukrainian autonomous republic of Crimea continue to be detained, harassed, and obstructed, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on all sides of the crisis to allow journalists to report freely on the events in...

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CPJ alarmed by threats against RSF Mexico correspondent

March 13, 2014 4:50 PM ET

New York, March 13, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by threats made against Balbina Flores Martínez, Mexico correspondent for the international press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders. On Wednesday, Flores received a series of telephone calls in which she was told that someone had been hired to "harm...

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Rouhani has yet to deliver on press reforms in Iran

March 13, 2014 1:47 PM ET

CPJ joined 26 other human rights and civil society groups on Wednesday in an open letter calling on the member states of the U.N. Human Rights Council to renew the mandate of Ahmed Shaheed, the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran. The public letter also urged...

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CPJ condemns Ukraine's order to take Russian TV off air

March 12, 2014 3:15 PM ET

New York, March 12, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns a decree by Ukraine's National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting to cable and satellite providers on Tuesday to cut off the transmission of Russian state-controlled TV stations in the country. The order, which was immediately enforced, appears to be...

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Attacks on critical Nigerian website highlight vulnerability

March 11, 2014 6:10 PM ET

Turkey's prime minister made headlines last week by threatening to block Facebook in the country, but as recent events in Nigeria show, a more discreet intervention can be effective in disrupting the free flow of information. ...

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CPJ welcomes release of journalists in Turkey

March 11, 2014 5:34 PM ET

New York, March 11, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release this week of five Turkish journalists who were imprisoned after being sentenced to jail in connection with the controversial Ergenekon case. Three of the journalists--Yalçın Küçük, Deniz Yıldırım, and Merdan Yanardağ--were convicted because of their work, according to...

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Two Iraqi journalists killed in suicide bomb

March 11, 2014 4:27 PM ET

New York, March 11, 2014--A suicide bombing targeting a police checkpoint in Iraq's Babil province on Sunday killed dozens of Iraqis, including two journalists, according to news reports. Muthanna Abdel Hussein and Khaled Abdel Thamer were cameramen for the state-run Al-Iraqiya TV station....

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British-Swedish journalist shot dead in Afghan capital

March 11, 2014 3:41 PM ET

New York, March 11, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns today's fatal shooting of an international journalist in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, and calls on authorities to ensure the perpetrators are held responsible. The shooting comes amid mounting risks for foreigners in Kabul.  Two unidentified men approached Nils Horner, 51,...

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Journalists detained, attacked while reporting in Crimea

March 11, 2014 3:19 PM ET

New York, March 11, 2014--Two reporters were detained by armed men in the autonomous republic of Crimea, in southern Ukraine, while other journalists have reported being assaulted covering the crisis and their equipment damaged or seized, according to news reports. More than a dozen broadcasters have also been censored, the...

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Two journalists killed in two days in Syria

March 10, 2014 5:00 PM ET

New York, March 10, 2014--Two journalists were killed over the weekend while covering the conflict in Syria, the deadliest country for the press....

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Journalist sentenced to jail for defamation in Honduras

March 10, 2014 4:18 PM ET

Honduran journalist Julio Ernesto Alvarado was convicted on charges of criminal defamation on December 9, 2013, according to local human rights groups. The Supreme Court of Justice sentenced the journalist, who hosts the news program "Mi Nación" on Globo TV, to 16 months in prison on charges of damaging the...

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Editor attacked in Pakistan-administered Kashmir

March 10, 2014 3:51 PM ET

On March 7, 2014, at least 20 assailants stormed the offices of Chingari, an Urdu-language daily based in Mirpur, Pakistan-administered Kashmir, according to local reports and local press freedom groups, including the Freedom Network and the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists. ...

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UN reviews Kyrgyzstan's human rights, free press record

March 10, 2014 12:14 PM ET

Today, the U.N. Human Rights Committee begins its two-day review of Kyrgyzstan's compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. By ratifying the treaty in October 1994, Kyrgyz authorities pledged to enforce internationally recognized provisions regarding the protection of human rights, and freedom of expression, in their country....

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CPJ welcomes dismissal of charges against Barrett Brown

March 8, 2014 9:53 AM ET

San Francisco, March 8, 2014--Following requests from both prosecutors and defense attorneys, yesterday the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas dismissed 11 felony counts against journalist Barrett Brown. The charges related to the reposting of a publicly-available hyperlink containing thousands of documents stolen from intelligence contractor...

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Erdogan threatens to shut down YouTube, Facebook

March 7, 2014 3:06 PM ET

New York, March 7, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's threats to shut down YouTube and Facebook in order to, in the premier's words, prevent the negative impact of the Internet on society. ...

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Bahrain racing in circles

March 7, 2014 2:09 PM ET

Thursday, the official Bahrain News Agency announced the "final 30-day countdown [to] the Formula One extravaganza" to take place the first week of April. Every year the race acts as a lightning rod for criticism of the Bahraini government, which seeks to use high-profile international events like the F1...

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Crimean authorities take two more broadcasters off air

March 6, 2014 5:19 PM ET

New York, March 6, 2014--Crimean authorities should immediately restore broadcasting in the region by the independent Ukraine television stations Channel 5 and Channel 1+1, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....

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Forced to flee false perceptions, ICC, and Kenyan press

March 6, 2014 5:17 PM ET

EDITOR'S NOTE: February 15, 2014 marked one year since Omwa Ombara arrived in the U.S. to seek political asylum after attempts on her life in Kenya between May and December 2012. She fled her native land after being contacted by International Criminal Court (ICC) investigators probing the violence that...

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Sudan judiciary protects press freedom; authorities censor

March 6, 2014 2:54 PM ET

New York, March 6, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists today welcomed recent decisions by the Sudanese judiciary supporting press freedom and called on the government to stop confiscating independent newspapers. ...

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Modi's rise does not bode well for Indian press freedom

March 5, 2014 6:11 PM ET

As India is set to hold elections next month, journalists covering Narendra Modi, India's right-wing prime ministerial candidate, are reportedly coming under increased pressure online and in the newsroom for shedding critical light on him. Given these developments, free and independent reporting of the campaign is in doubt--as is...

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Chinese journalist Liu Jianfeng crowdsources his funding

March 5, 2014 3:36 PM ET

Last July, veteran Chinese journalist Liu Jianfeng posted an announcement on the Chinese microblog Weibo, confirming his intention to become an independent investigator and writer. In a country where all media remains state-owned, Liu's plan was a bold one. He promised to produce four to six independent, investigative stories in...

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One journalist released, Al-Jazeera trial begins in Egypt

March 4, 2014 4:36 PM ET

New York, March 4, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release from jail of one reporter in Egypt and calls on authorities to release all other journalists held behind bars. While the release of a second journalist is pending, a trial begins on Wednesday for three imprisoned journalists affiliated...

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Vietnamese blogger sentenced on anti-state charges

March 4, 2014 11:22 AM ET

Bangkok, March 4, 2014--Vietnamese blogger Truong Duy Nhat was sentenced to prison today for online posts critical of the country's Communist Party-led government, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the ruling and urges Vietnamese authorities to stop persecuting independent bloggers....

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Independent media, journalists obstructed in Crimea

March 3, 2014 6:06 PM ET

New York, March 3, 2014--Authorities in the autonomous republic of Crimea in southern Ukraine should ensure that media outlets and independent journalists are allowed to report on the political crisis in the region without being censored or harassed, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....

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In Pakistan, six convicted in Wali Khan Babar murder

March 3, 2014 2:09 PM ET

New York, March 3, 2014--A Pakistani court on Saturday convicted six defendants for their roles in the murder of Wali Khan Babar, a Geo TV journalist who was shot dead in Karachi in January 2011, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the convictions--the first in the...

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Kenya media, security forces soul search after Westgate

March 3, 2014 10:47 AM ET

Should journalists expect support and protection from security agents when they risk their lives to report on security operations? What if their coverage could potentially expose military strategies? Why are journalists disparaged as unpatriotic when they show how security operations fail?...

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