July 2015

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In times of war, Pentagon reserves right to treat journalists like spies

July 31, 2015 3:24 PM ET

The Pentagon has produced its first Department of Defense-wide Law of War Manual and the results are not encouraging for journalists who, the documents state, may be treated as "unprivileged belligerents." But the manual's justification for categorizing journalists this way is not based on any specific case, law or...

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Germany investigating news website, journalists for treason

July 31, 2015 2:33 PM ET

New York, July 31, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned by the allegations of treason against two journalists affiliated with the critical German news website Netzpolitik. German authorities on Thursday opened an investigation into the website's bloggers, Markus Beckedahl and Andre Meister, as well as an unidentified third...

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Justice delayed is justice denied in Philippines' Maguindanao massacre

July 31, 2015 10:19 AM ET

During his final State of the Nation Address this week, President Benigno Aquino III made only a passing mention of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre that killed 57 people, including 32 journalists and media workers. He did not detail any plans for action on the case, despite his vow to...

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Radio reporter arrested after covering protest

July 31, 2015 10:06 AM ET

Juan Carlos Paco Veramendi, a reporter for the Potosí-based Radio Líder, was arrested on July 24, 2015, and held for five days, according to local journalists and press reports....

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Five Myanmar journalists freed from prison as part of mass amnesty

July 31, 2015 10:01 AM ET

Bangkok, July 31, 2015--Five journalists jailed on anti-state charges in Myanmar were released on Thursday in a presidential amnesty of nearly 7,000 prisoners, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the journalists' release but calls on Myanmar authorities to release all other journalists imprisoned in the country....

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CPJ calls on IOC to ensure press freedom at 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing

July 31, 2015 6:54 AM ET

New York, July 31, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the decision to award the 2022 Winter Olympic Games to Beijing and calls on the International Olympic Committee to ensure that journalists are able to freely cover all aspects of the Games, including sensitive issues such as construction...

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Freelance reporter arrested in Turkmenistan

July 30, 2015 3:24 PM ET

New York, July 30, 2015--Authorities in Turkmenistan should release Saparmamed Nepeskuliyev, a freelance journalist who has been in police custody since July 7 on bogus charges, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....

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International coalition marks anniversary of crackdown on rights in Azerbaijan

July 30, 2015 2:29 PM ET

A year after the Azerbaijani government launched an unprecedented crackdown on human rights including press freedom, the situation in the country continues to deteriorate, the Sports for Rights coalition said today. The coalition of international organizations, including CPJ, released a statement today to mark the anniversary of what is widely...

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Journalist attacked after covering protest in South Africa

July 30, 2015 1:29 PM ET

Luvuyo Mehlwana, a reporter for the Daily Sun, one of the highest-circulated daily newspapers in South Africa, told CPJ he was kicked and beaten after covering a protest in the Northern Areas of the coastal city of Port Elizabeth on July 27, 2015....

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'I don't want to die here': Gao Yu's health deteriorates in Beijing prison

July 29, 2015 5:56 PM ET

The lawyer for jailed Chinese journalist Gao Yu says the freelance reporter's health has declined since she was sentenced in April to seven years in prison for leaking state secrets. Shang Baojun, who visited Gao in Beijing No.1 Detention Center on July 28, told CPJ that Gao says she...

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In Taiwan, three journalists arrested at student protest

July 28, 2015 5:40 PM ET

Three journalists were arrested in Taiwan's capital, Taipei, on July 23, 2015 while covering a student protest, according to reports. Liao Chen-hui, a photographer for Liberty Times, Sung Hsiao-hai, a reporter for Coolloud Collective, and freelance reporter Lin Yu-yu were released without charge the following day, according to reports....

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Turkish authorities block access to news websites

July 28, 2015 2:24 PM ET

New York, July 28, 2015--Turkish authorities blocked access to at least eight news websites in Turkey on Saturday amid what the government called a counter-terrorism operation, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Turkish authorities to restore access to the websites so that Turkish citizens can...

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In Egypt, verdict expected in trial of Al-Jazeera journalists

July 28, 2015 1:07 PM ET

New York, July 28, 2015--An Egyptian court is scheduled to issue a verdict on Thursday in the retrial of Al-Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, Baher Mohamed, and Peter Greste, according to news reports. Greste is being tried in absentia. A court in February ordered the retrial because of lack of...

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In Pakistan, Geo bureau chief abducted and robbed, then released

July 27, 2015 3:52 PM ET

New York, July 27, 2015--Unidentified armed men in Pakistan abducted the Karachi bureau chief of the TV channel Geo News on Saturday and beat and robbed him before releasing him, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Faheem Siddiqui's abduction and calls on Pakistani authorities to ensure...

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Dogged by fraud allegations, Malaysia targets media

July 27, 2015 3:10 PM ET

Investigative reporting on alleged mismanagement of a Malaysian state investment fund has triggered a backlash against muckraking media. On Friday, the Home Ministry ordered the suspension of two local news publications, The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily, for three months on the grounds that their reporting on...

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Egypt arrests press advocate, accuses him of belonging to banned group

July 24, 2015 4:18 PM ET

Washington, July 24, 2015--Egyptian authorities on Tuesday arrested the head of a journalists syndicate and accused him of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the arrest and calls on the Egyptian government to release Aboubakr Khallaf immediately....

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Moroccan king must allow Ali Lmrabet to practice journalism

July 24, 2015 3:59 PM ET

The Committee to Protect Journalists today joined 161 organizations, writers, journalists, human rights defenders, lawyers, and politicians in calling on the king of Morocco to stop the administrative harassment of Ali Lmrabet. The satirical journalist has been on hunger strike outside the U.N.'s Geneva offices since June 24, according...

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New hurdles for Hungary's press as Orbán restricts FOI requests

July 24, 2015 1:42 PM ET

"This is the best thing that has ever happened in Hungary." Katalin Erdélyi, a freedom of information activist, was referring to a ground-breaking website launched in Hungary in 2012. "I was glad because I realized the potential and how it will help me get all the information I longed...

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CPJ welcomes sentence of murder mastermind in Russia

July 24, 2015 12:14 PM ET

New York, July 24, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the sentencing to life in prison today of a Russian nationalist leader in connection with the 2009 fatal attack on human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov, in which Novaya Gazeta journalist Anastasiya Baburova was also killed. The Moscow City Court ruled...

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Mission Journal: Will Obama's visit boost hopes for press freedom in Kenya?

July 23, 2015 6:15 PM ET

President Barack Obama is expected to address a range of topics when he arrives in Kenya tomorrow. The Kenyan government says it plans to discuss security and trade, while opposition parties and civil society want good governance and human rights added to the agenda, according to news reports. We...

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Tunisia charges editor with complicity in terrorist attack

July 23, 2015 3:19 PM ET

New York, July 23, 2015--Tunisian authorities should drop charges against an editor accused of complicity in the June 27 terrorist attack on Sousse beach that killed at least 39 people, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Noureddine Mbarki was charged in connection with publishing a photograph of a car...

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CPJ calls on Azerbaijan to free jailed journalist Khadija Ismayilova

July 23, 2015 1:09 PM ET

New York, July 23, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Azerbaijani authorities to immediately release Khadija Ismayilova, an investigative journalist who has been imprisoned since December on charges of embezzlement, tax evasion, and abuse of power, among others. Ismayilova's trial is scheduled to be held on Friday in Baku,...

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How China's national security and cybersecurity laws will further curb press freedom

July 22, 2015 5:38 PM ET

Convincing potential sources to share information and publishing independent journalism on social media or with the help of crowd-funding are a few of the practices that are likely to suffer under a pair of new Chinese laws--one passed, one still in draft form--local journalists tell CPJ....

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Journalists and international humanitarian law

July 22, 2015 10:31 AM ET

One of the most important protections that journalists operating in a conflict zone are afforded is their status as civilians. This means they cannot be deliberately targeted, and cannot be taken prisoner by the warring factions. Under the Geneva Conventions journalists are only entitled to this protection "provided that they...

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Four international reporters missing in north Syria

July 21, 2015 5:29 PM ET

Beirut, July 21, 2015--At least four international journalists have been reported missing in northern Syria in two separate incidents in the past month, in the latest indication of the profound dangers of reporting from inside the war-torn country....

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Gambian journalist abducted again, days after he was freed

July 21, 2015 4:59 PM ET

New York, July 21, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists holds Gambian authorities responsible for the safety and well-being of radio journalist Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay. Ceesay was seen being forced into a car in Banjul, the capital, on July 17, four days after he was held for almost two weeks by...

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Q&A: Ta Phong Tan's sister calls for release of ailing and jailed Vietnamese blogger

July 20, 2015 1:24 PM ET

As an independent blogger, Ta Phong Tan often highlighted abuses in Vietnam's justice system. Now as a prisoner of conscience serving a 10-year sentence for "propagandizing against the state," an anti-state offense under Article 88 of Vietnam's criminal code, she is suffering under the same abusive system she once...

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CPJ board urges Iran's leaders to intervene in case of Jason Rezaian

July 20, 2015 10:55 AM ET

Dear Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani: On the one-year anniversary of the arrest of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, members of the Committee to Protect Journalists' board of directors today sent a letter urging the head of the Iranian judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, to intervene in the case of jailed Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian.

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Increased risks for filmmakers and sources in documentaries' Golden Age

July 17, 2015 1:27 PM ET

Joshua Oppenheimer travelled to New York for today's premiere of his documentary "The Look of Silence," but one place he won't travel is Indonesia, where he says his work on this and an earlier film puts him at risk. Earlier this week, Laura Poitras, the Academy Award-winning director of...

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Myanmar media owner attacked by slingshot-wielding assailants

July 17, 2015 11:10 AM ET

New York, July 17, 2015--The owner of a media group in Myanmar was attacked on Tuesday by slingshot-wielding assailants, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the attack and calls on authorities to prosecute the perpetrators....

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Egyptian security forces raid news network offices, arrest director

July 16, 2015 5:02 PM ET

New York, July 16, 2015--Egyptian security forces have arrested Yahya Khalaf, the director of the privately owned Yaqeen news network, and are holding him under investigation for alleged crimes linked to terrorism, according to the network, a government statement, and news reports....

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Journalists arrested in Zambia for publishing allegedly classified documents

July 16, 2015 3:53 PM ET

New York, July 16, 2015--Zambian authorities have arrested two journalists and accused them of publishing classified documents, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the arrests and calls on Zambian authorities to release them immediately....

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Boko Haram threatens to kill Nigerian journalist

July 15, 2015 2:21 PM ET

Abuja, Nigeria, July 15, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Nigerian authorities to ensure the safety of a Nigerian journalist who received a death threat from a suspected member of the Islamist militant sect Boko Haram. Adeola Akinremi, the features editor of the independent daily ThisDay in Lagos state,...

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Broken promises

July 15, 2015 12:01 AM ET

How Kenya is failing to uphold its commitment to a free press Kenya’s constitution guarantees freedom of the media, but President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee coalition has introduced several bills that undermine rather than enforce that principle. Journalists are vulnerable to legal harassment, threats, or attack, while news outlets are manipulated...

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Broken promises

July 15, 2015 12:01 AM ET

Introduction On April 18, two journalists arrived near a state-owned ranch in Tana River County in southeast Kenya to investigate residents’ claims that local paramilitary police had impounded a large herd of cattle for allegedly trespassing and were demanding bribes to release the animals. Before the journalists got out of...

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Broken promises

July 15, 2015 12:01 AM ET

1. How media ownership and advertising curb critical reporting Attempts to control the media in Kenya date back to at least 1929, with transmission of the first radio signal by the British East African Broadcasting Corporation, which served the interests of the colonial government. Throughout the country’s history, including independence...

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Broken promises

July 15, 2015 12:01 AM ET

2. Media contend with lawsuits, restrictive bills, legal limbo Instead of passing new legislation in keeping with the new constitution’s guarantees for freedom of the press, the government has introduced a series of laws that undermine self-regulation and allow for harsh fines and even jail terms for journalists who...

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Broken promises

July 15, 2015 12:01 AM ET

3. Critical journalists silenced by threats of arrest or violence Harassment of the press from official quarters does not begin or end with the passage of troublesome legislation. Journalists say they are routinely threatened, intimidated, and even attacked, and that government authorities are the culprit more often than not....

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Broken promises

July 15, 2015 12:01 AM ET

Sidebar: Press phobia By Argwings Odera Journalists with foreign media credentials are finding it increasingly difficult to gain accreditation for covering events involving President Uhuru Kenyatta....

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Broken promises

July 15, 2015 12:01 AM ET

Sidebar: Covering the International Criminal Court By Robert Wanjala When the International Criminal Court (ICC) began its investigations into the 2007-2008 post-election violence that killed over 1,000 people, it had wide public support. Kenyans desperately wanted to see justice for the atrocities that followed the disputed presidential election results in...

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Broken promises

July 15, 2015 12:01 AM ET

Conclusion The late political scientist Joel D. Barkan wrote in 2013: “Kenya is the anchor of eastern Africa and the region’s geopolitical and economic hub; conditions there determine the region’s stability, security, and prosperity.” Though Kenya’s 2010 constitution sought to ensure that the country’s media and its information, communications, and...

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Broken promises

July 15, 2015 12:01 AM ET

Corruption, the government, and press freedom are frequent subjects for Godfrey "Gado" Mwampembwa, a political cartoonist in East and Central Africa. Gado, whose work appears in The Nation and other Kenyan and international newspapers, shares a selection of cartoons on the 2013 Kenyan election and problems facing the country's press....

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Mission Journal: Crimea's journalists in exile as Russia muzzles free press

July 14, 2015 11:45 AM ET

"First they asked if my parents had any guns or drugs in the apartment, then they showed my picture to my mother and asked her to identify me," Anna Andriyevskaya said. The Crimean journalist, who is living in exile in Kiev, was describing a raid on her parents' home...

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How patriotism with a Cold War tinge is damaging Crimea's press

July 14, 2015 11:01 AM ET

"You should move to Kiev," I was trying to persuade a friend of mine to leave Crimea. I first met him at the time when cassettes were used in voice recorders, there were no e-mail addresses on business cards, and people preferred to make acquaintances in bars, not online....

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Hacking Team leak underscores complexity of regulating software

July 13, 2015 10:20 AM ET

Among the 400 gigabytes of internal documents belonging to surveillance firm Hacking Team that were released online this week are details of the company's dealings with some of the most oppressive governments in the world. The revelations, which have generated alarm among privacy, security, and human rights advocates, have also...

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How Islamic State uses killings to try to spread fear among media

July 13, 2015 10:06 AM ET

The militant group Islamic State may be trying to push Syria back into the dark ages, but it is fighting a very modern war. From slick propaganda videos to online surveillance and wide restrictions on Internet use, the Islamic State is trying to control media output and stamp down on...

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Chinese journalist released from prison

July 10, 2015 1:09 PM ET

Zhang Miao, a reporter for the German weekly Die Zeit, was released on July 9, 2015, after being imprisoned for more than nine months, according to news reports....

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CPJ concerned about trial of journalists on defamation charges in Thailand

July 10, 2015 11:34 AM ET

Dear Prime Minister Prayuth: The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about the trial on Tuesday of two journalists who face up to seven years in prison if convicted on defamation and computer crime charges.

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Jordanian court orders arrest of journalist over terrorism reporting

July 9, 2015 4:16 PM ET

New York, July 9, 2015--A Jordanian journalist has been given 15 days in jail after being accused of breaking a recent ban on coverage of a terror plot, according to the journalist's employer and other news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the imprisonment and calls on authorities to...

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Gambia should disclose whereabouts of radio journalist

July 9, 2015 2:01 PM ET

Abuja, Nigeria, July 9, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Gambian authorities to disclose the whereabouts, health, and legal status of Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay, a radio journalist who was last seen on July 2 with individuals reported to be Gambian state security agents. "Gambian security agents have long...

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Ethiopia releases imprisoned journalist Reeyot Alemu

July 9, 2015 12:13 PM ET

New York, July 9, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release from prison today of Ethiopian journalist Reeyot Alemu, a critical columnist who has been jailed since June 2011 on terrorism charges. Reeyot was sentenced in 2012 to 14 years in prison, which was reduced to five years on...

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CPJ urges Egypt to halt legal clampdown on the press

July 9, 2015 11:56 AM ET

Dear President el-Sisi: The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to express its concern about the deteriorating climate for press freedom in Egypt.

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Ethiopia releases five journalists, drops all charges against them

July 8, 2015 4:39 PM ET

Nairobi, July 8, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release from prison today of two bloggers affiliated with the independent Ethiopian collective Zone 9 and three other journalists. All charges have been dropped against them, according to exiled Ethiopian journalists who spoke to CPJ and a report by the...

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Hopes of independent press in Rwanda fade as head of media body flees

July 8, 2015 10:40 AM ET

Rwanda's progress towards a more liberal media environment has been short-lived. In May Fred Muvunyi, the head of the Rwanda Media Commission, fled the country for fear of being detained or attacked, and the country's telecommunications regulator suspended the operation agreement for the BBC's Great Lakes radio service indefinitely....

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Myanmar detains, obstructs journalists from reporting

July 8, 2015 8:30 AM ET

On May 31, 2015, Myanmar's navy questioned and briefly detained several journalists. The journalists, who were in small boats, were attempting to reach a remote island off Myanmar's southwestern coast where a ship carrying hundreds of migrants had drifted, according to news reports....

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Journalist found dead in Veracruz, Mexico

July 7, 2015 4:32 PM ET

New York, July 7, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Mexican authorities in the state of Veracruz to consider journalism as a motive in the death last week of Mexican journalist Juan Mendoza Delgado, investigate the case thoroughly, and ensure the killers are brought to justice....

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Sri Lanka moves to re-establish restrictive media regulatory body

July 7, 2015 12:06 PM ET

New York, July 7, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about Sri Lankan authorities' decision to re-establish the Sri Lankan Press Council, a media regulatory body which gives the government powers to jail journalists in connection with their reporting....

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Erdoğan vs the press: Insult law used to silence president's critics

July 6, 2015 5:34 PM ET

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is known for being intolerant of critics. During his third term as prime minister, Turkey was the leading jailer of journalists in the world with more than 60 behind bars at the height of the crackdown in 2012. Most of those have been released, but...

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With more journalist arrests, press freedom further declines in Egypt

July 6, 2015 3:47 PM ET

New York, July 6, 2015--Egyptian authorities arrested four journalists last week around the two-year anniversary of the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, according to news reports and local press freedom groups....

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India should conduct thorough investigation into journalist's death

July 6, 2015 3:36 PM ET

New York, July 6, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Indian authorities to fully investigate the death of a local TV journalist in Madhya Pradesh state on Saturday. The family of Akshay Singh has called for the federal Central Bureau of Investigation to probe the case....

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Journalist gunned down outside radio station in Mexico

July 2, 2015 4:55 PM ET

New York, July 2, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns today's murder of Mexican journalist Filadelfo Sánchez Sarmiento in Miahuatlán de Porfirio Díaz, a municipality in the southern state of Oaxaca. Sánchez was shot at about 9:30 a.m. outside the offices of radio station La Favorita 103.3FM La Voz de...

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News from the Committee to Protect Journalists, June 2015

July 1, 2015 6:24 PM ET

Pushing for press freedom at European Games Azerbaijan, which ranks in fifth place on CPJ's list of 10 Most Censored Countries, hosted the first-ever European Games in its capital, Baku, this month. One of the country's most prominent journalists, Khadija Ismayilova, has been in jail there since December 2014 for...

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In Turkey, jailed journalist given new prison term as third investigation begins

July 1, 2015 6:23 PM ET

Istanbul, July 1, 2015--Turkish journalist Mehmet Baransu was handed a 10-month jail sentence by an Istanbul court on June 30 for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Twitter, according to reports. Baransu, a columnist and correspondent for the privately owned daily Taraf, is already in prison while authorities investigate him...

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Nigerian journalists investigating smuggling are beaten

July 1, 2015 6:08 PM ET

Abuja, Nigeria, July 1, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns an attack on two journalists who, according to one of the journalists and news reports, were left with serious injuries after being beaten and threatened on the grounds of the Nigeria Customs Service offices on June 25....

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Palestinian journalist held without charge by Israel

July 1, 2015 10:10 AM ET

Amin Abu Wardeh, director of the privately owned news website Asdaa Press, was arrested in an early morning raid on his home in the West Bank city of Nablus on April 15, 2015, by Israeli security forces, according to news reports and his employer. Abu Wardeh's wife, Um Omar, told...

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