February 2016

Press freedom crisis in India's Chhattisgarh state deepens as two journalists flee Bastar

February 29, 2016 6:15 PM ET

New York, February 29, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned by the deteriorating climate for the press in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh and calls on authorities to ensure that journalists can work there without fear of intimidation. In recent weeks, two journalists have fled the district...

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After disputed Uganda election, journalists fear prolonged crackdown

February 29, 2016 5:33 PM ET

Twenty nine-year-old photographer Abubaker Lubowa was excited when he was assigned to cover the campaign of opposition leader Kizza Besigye. He told CPJ he did not anticipate that the assignment would mean he would make the news almost as often as he covered it....

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Computer security is necessary for journalist safety

February 29, 2016 2:10 PM ET

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was originally published, in Spanish, in El País. This week, journalists, technologists, and other human rights advocates will gather in Valencia, Spain for the Internet Freedom Festival, a multidisciplinary "un-conference" dedicated to fighting surveillance and censorship online. More than 600 people from 43 countries have registered...

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Journalist faces criminal defamation threat in East Timor

February 29, 2016 1:04 PM ET

Bangkok, February 29, 2016 - The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on East Timor's prime minister, Rui Maria de Araujo, to drop the criminal defamation complaint he is pursuing against freelance journalist Raimundos Oki. Oki faces up to three years in prison if convicted of defamation for a report for...

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Amid rising violence in Brazil, convictions in journalists' murders are cause for optimism

February 29, 2016 12:43 PM ET

Justice delayed is justice denied, goes the legal maxim, and that has all too often been the case in Latin America. But the perseverance of lawyers and prosecutors in Brazil has resulted in a number of recent convictions in cases many thought had been buried or forgotten....

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CPJ Newsletter: March edition

February 29, 2016 12:39 PM ET

Landmark conviction in 2000 attack on Colombian journalist A Colombian court on February 26 convicted a former paramilitary fighter in the kidnapping and torture of Colombian journalist Jineth Bedoya and sentenced him to 11 years in prison. The fighter, Alejandro Cárdenas Orozco, was also ordered to pay a fine of...

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Ex-paramilitary fighter jailed for 11 years over Jineth Bedoya attack in Colombia

February 26, 2016 5:42 PM ET

New York, February 26, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the sentencing Thursday of former paramilitary fighter Alejandro Cárdenas Orozco to 11 years in prison for the kidnap and torture of Colombian journalist Jineth Bedoya Lima in 2000....

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CPJ asks European Union to prioritize press freedom in talks with Azerbaijan

February 26, 2016 3:44 PM ET

CPJ writes to EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Federica Mogherini to ask her to make press freedom a priority in her February 29, 2016, talks in Baku.

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CPJ calls on Turkey to drop charges against Cumhuriyet journalists

February 26, 2016 11:43 AM ET

Istanbul, February 26, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the conditional release today of Turkish journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, of the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet, and calls on authorities to drop all charges against them. The two, who spent 92 days in pre-trial detention, still face multiple life...

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Slideshow: Remembering Avijit Roy, one year after blogger's murder in Dhaka

February 25, 2016 4:01 PM ET

On the day Avijit Roy was murdered in Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, I had only just left the country. When I arrived in India later that day a Bangladeshi journalist broke the news to me that Roy had been hacked to death and his wife Rafida Ahmed Bonya, also a blogger,...

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Dominican Republic court partially strikes down criminal libel laws

February 25, 2016 11:52 AM ET

New York, February 25, 2016 -- A recent decision by the Dominican Republic's Constitutional Court to strike down laws providing for criminal penalties for defamation is a step forward in the fight to eliminate criminal defamation laws in the Americas, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. CPJ called on...

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Nigerian journalist says businessman threatened her over investigative report

February 25, 2016 10:18 AM ET

Abuja, Nigeria, February 25, 2016--Nigerian authorities should investigate claims that a businessman threatened freelance journalist Augustina Armstrong-Ogbonna over her investigation into his company, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....

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Journalist trapped and injured while reporting in besieged Turkish town dies

February 24, 2016 1:37 PM ET

New York, February 24, 2016--A news editor for the Kurdish-language daily Azadiya Welat, who had been trapped with a gunshot wound in Cizre since January 22, has died. Authorities used DNA testing to identify the remains of Rohat Aktaş, local reports said today. The exact circumstances of his death are...

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79 cases and counting: Legal challenges pile up for Daily Star editor who admitted error in judgment

February 23, 2016 4:44 PM ET

When Mahfuz Anam, editor of one of Bangladesh's most respected newspapers, admitted recently to a lapse in editorial judgment several years ago, he could not have predicted the legal backlash that would ensue. Anam's admission that he published unsubstantiated information accusing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of corruption has led...

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Court convicts suspect in murder of DRC journalist Soleil Balanga

February 23, 2016 2:34 PM ET

New York, February 23, 2016--A court in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday convicted a suspect of murdering journalist Soleil Balanga in April 2015, in Équateur province, according to a press release issued today by Journaliste en Danger, a Congolese press freedom organization. The High Court of Boende found...

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Egypt prevents investigative journalist from leaving the country

February 23, 2016 2:03 PM ET

New York, February 23, 2016- Egyptian authorities prevented journalist Hossam Bahgat from traveling from Cairo International Airport today. No reason was given for the ban....

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Owner of Mexican news outlet who was threatened for his reporting killed in Tabasco

February 22, 2016 6:34 PM ET

New York, February 22, 2016--Mexican journalist Moisés Dagdug Lutzow, who owned media company Grupo VX, was stabbed to death in his home in Villahermosa, Tabasco state, Saturday, local news reports said. Dagdug presented a weekly program for the company's television station TVX....

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Head of Kazakh journalists' union detained

February 22, 2016 5:21 PM ET

New York, February 22, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by today's detention of Seytkazy Matayev, head of the Kazakh Journalists' Union and the chair of National Press Club, in Almaty....

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Syrian journalist killed while covering fighting in Daraya

February 22, 2016 4:08 PM ET

New York, February 22, 2016 -- Syrian freelance journalist Majid Dirani was killed on February 19 by Syrian military tank shells while covering fighting in a suburb of Damascus, one of his employers, Anadolu Agency, and other news outlets reported....

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Tibetan blogger jailed for three years for 'inciting separatism'

February 22, 2016 3:27 PM ET

New York, February 22, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists today condemned the sentencing of Tibetan blogger Druklo to three years in prison on charges including inciting separatism....

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Last critic standing: How El Nacional defies challenges to keep publishing

February 22, 2016 11:12 AM ET

Patricia Spadaro, news editor at the Caracas daily El Nacional, faces daunting challenges in putting out the newspaper. Her boss, El Nacional's president and editor Miguel Henrique Otero, has been living in exile since May 2015 after a top government official accused him of defamation. Amid the country's deep...

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Court reporters beaten by lawyers in latest attack on press freedom in India

February 19, 2016 4:47 PM ET

Attacks this week against journalists covering a high-profile sedition case have heightened concerns about the state of press freedom in India. CPJ has reported frequently on journalists there coming under attack from police, criminals, politicians, and others. Now lawyers have to be added to the list....

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At least one Yemeni journalist taken captive by Houthi forces

February 19, 2016 4:08 PM ET

New York, February 19, 2016 - Pro-Houthi forces took journalist Abdallah al-Minefi from his home in the city of Dhamar, roughly 50 miles south of Sanaa, late on Thursday, his employer reported. His current location is unknown....

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Are intelligence sector reforms enough to protect Colombia's journalists?

February 19, 2016 11:39 AM ET

When Colombia's national intelligence agency, known as DAS, was disbanded in October 2011 after revelations of illegal surveillance and harassment of the press and public figures, many journalists breathed a sigh of relief. But recent claims of reporters being spied on and government agencies buying advanced surveillance technology without...

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Thailand tightens visa requirements for foreign reporters

February 19, 2016 11:09 AM ET

Bangkok, February 19, 2016 - The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned about new visa restrictions imposed on foreign reporters in Thailand that if fully implemented could restrict coverage of the country. The new guidelines, outlined in a Ministry of Foreign Affairs press statement released on Thursday, come amid...

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CPJ calls for Turkey to release Syrian journalist Rami Jarrah

February 19, 2016 2:00 AM ET

New York, February 19, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Turkish authorities to immediately release Rami Jarrah, a Syrian journalist based in Turkey, who has been held since Wednesday....

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Radio reporter murdered in the Philippines

February 18, 2016 2:48 PM ET

New York, February 18, 2016 -- Authorities in the Philippines should swiftly bring to justice the killers of radio reporter Elvis Banggoy Ordaniza, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Ordaniza was shot and killed on Tuesday in the province of Zamboanga del Sur, on the country's southernmost main island...

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Mexican reporter who denounced local corruption attacked

February 18, 2016 2:33 PM ET

Armed assailants beat Mexican newspaper reporter Pedro Sala García in his home at around 7 a.m. on February 10 in Emiliano Zapata, Tabasco state, according to the journalist and press reports....

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Uganda blocks social media and mobile phone services during voting

February 18, 2016 1:11 PM ET

Nairobi, February 18, 2016 --- The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Ugandan authorities' restricting access to social media as voters went to the polls in today's presidential elections....

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Yemeni journalist killed in Taiz

February 17, 2016 4:55 PM ET

Embed from Getty Images Heavily damaged buildings are shown in the Yemeni city of Taiz on February 12, 2016. New York, February 17, 2016--Armed men in the central Yemeni city of Taiz fatally shot Ahmed al-Shaibani on Tuesday, according to his colleagues and employers....

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Ugandan radio host arrested mid-broadcast

February 17, 2016 3:22 PM ET

Kampala, February 17, 2016 - Ugandan authorities should immediately drop all charges against radio journalist Richard Mungu Jakican, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....

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Turkish police arrest journalist

February 16, 2016 5:08 PM ET

Istanbul, February 16, 2016 -- Turkish authorities should immediately release Feyyaz İmrak, a correspondent for the pro-Kurdish Dicle News Agency (DİHA), the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....

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Indian journalist fatally shot

February 16, 2016 3:01 PM ET

New York, February 16, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on investigators in India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, to act quickly to bring the killers of journalist Karun Misra to justice....

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Journalist groups urge Kerry to make good on media safety pledges

February 16, 2016 2:50 PM ET

The Islamic State beheadings of journalists shook up the media industry. The safety of reporters generally and conditions for freelancers in particular became a news story. Politicians responded....

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Call for Secretary Kerry to support journalist safety measures

February 16, 2016 2:50 PM ET

Dear Secretary Kerry: Your support for press freedom and journalist safety is welcome and can play an important role in helping to protect journalists around the world. There are specific actions that you could take that would ensure the agenda you launched last year continues and leaves a lasting legacy.

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Uganda elections approach amid hostile environment for media

February 16, 2016 8:53 AM ET

Demonstrations against the government are a routine affair in the Ugandan capital Kampala, and Andrew Lwanga thought it would be just another day at work when he was assigned to cover a protest march by a few dozen unemployed youth on January 12, 2015....

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Four American journalists arrested in Bahrain

February 15, 2016 3:23 PM ET

New York, February 15, 2016 - The Committee to Protect Journalists calls for the immediate release of four American journalists arrested in Bahrain yesterday while reporting on the anniversary of the launch of mass opposition protests on February 14, 2011....

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Why the governor of Veracruz should resign

February 12, 2016 4:46 PM ET

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was originally published, in Spanish, on Univision.com. The state of Veracruz has become one of the world's most lethal regions for the press. According to research by the Committee to Protect Journalists, when you include the case of Anabel Flores Salazar, whose body was found...

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Jordanian journalist held incommunicado in Abu Dhabi for two months

February 12, 2016 4:19 PM ET

New York, February 12, 2016 -- The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned that Abu Dhabi has detained Jordanian journalist Tayseer al-Najjar for two months without disclosing any charges against him or allowing him contact with the outside world....

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Amid financial scandal, Malaysia increases pressure on media

February 12, 2016 11:55 AM ET

A financial scandal involving a state investment fund created and overseen by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, exposed in turns by investigative journalists, has put a parallel spotlight on the country's deteriorating press freedom situation. A suggestion by the government's top lawyer to strengthen the 1972 Official Secrets Act...

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CPJ urges Obama to prioritize press freedom at ASEAN summit

February 12, 2016 10:30 AM ET

Dear President Obama: The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to express our enduring concern about the press freedom situation in Southeast Asia ahead of the summit meeting you will host for regional leaders from February 15 to February 16.

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Two newspaper offices firebombed in Istanbul

February 11, 2016 11:12 AM ET

New York, February 11, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns today's attacks on the Istanbul offices of the daily newspapers Yeni Akit and Yeni Şafak. The newspapers are generally supportive of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)....

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Mob attacks Indian journalist's home, threatens her with death

February 10, 2016 3:36 PM ET

New York, February 10, 2016--Indian authorities should immediately investigate the harassment of and threats against journalist Malini Subramaniam, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....

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Nigerian journalists barred from covering deputy governor's inauguration

February 10, 2016 1:00 PM ET

Armed security guards on Tuesday, February 9, 2016, prevented journalists from covering the inauguration of Simon Achuba to the post of deputy governor of Nigeria's central Kogi State, according to news reports and local journalists....

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Body of missing Veracruz crime reporter Anabel Flores Salazar found in neighboring state

February 9, 2016 7:44 PM ET

New York, February 9, 2016--The body of Anabel Flores Salazar, a reporter for El Sol de Orizaba who was abducted from her home near the city of Orizaba in Veracruz on Monday, was found today in the neighboring state of Puebla, according to a Puebla state official who spoke on...

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Bahrain upholds prison sentence against photographer

February 9, 2016 3:29 PM ET

Washington, February 9, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists today condemned Bahrain's imprisonment of photographer Ahmed al-Fardan. A Bahraini appeals court on February 3 upheld the photojournalist's three-month prison sentence on charges of participating in an unlicensed protest, according to his lawyer and news reports....

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'I kept telling them I'm a journalist but they kept beating me': Photographer beaten at Delhi protest

February 9, 2016 11:24 AM ET

As police cracked down on protesters in Delhi during recent protests over the treatment of Dalits, who occupy the lowest rungs of India's caste ladder, journalists were caught in the fray. The protests were sparked by the suicide of Rohith Vemula, a student who had been barred from halls...

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Mexican crime reporter abducted in Veracruz

February 8, 2016 5:12 PM ET

New York, February 8, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned for the safety of Anabel Flores Salazar, a Mexican crime reporter who was abducted from her home in Orizaba, Veracruz state, at about 2 a.m. today by armed men who claimed to have an arrest warrant for her, according...

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Turkish journalist arrested for posts on social media

February 8, 2016 3:07 PM ET

Istanbul, February 8, 2016--Turkish authorities should immediately release Hayri Tunç, a reporter for the independent news website Jiyan, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....

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CPJ concerned by rising pressure on journalists in Israel

February 8, 2016 1:24 PM ET

New York, February 8, 2016 - The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by reports indicating rising pressure from the Israeli government on the foreign press. Last week, the head of the Government Press Office threatened to revoke the credentials of reporters for inaccurate headlines....

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Guinea journalist shot dead during clash at political meeting

February 5, 2016 6:49 PM ET

New York, February 5, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the shooting in Guinea today of El-Hadj Mohamed Diallo, a reporter for the news websites Guinée7 and Afrik, and calls on authorities to ensure justice is served....

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Claims police spied on two journalists revive surveillance fears of Colombia's press

February 5, 2016 5:08 PM ET

When Claudia Morales's six-year-old daughter asks about her mother's bodyguards, the Colombian journalist tells her they are colleagues. "She's too young to understand," Morales, who works for the Bogotá-based Caracol Radio in the city of Armenia, told CPJ in a telephone interview. Vicky Dávila, the news director of LA Fm...

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Justice delayed for Egyptian photojournalist Shawkan

February 5, 2016 3:05 PM ET

New York, February 5, 2016 - The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned by the prolonged trial of photographer Mahmoud Abou Zeid, who has been in jail for more than 900 days. Abou Zeid, also known as Shawkan, was due in court Saturday along with more than 700 defendants...

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Two TV stations ordered off the air in DRC

February 5, 2016 10:20 AM ET

New York, February 5, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the decision by the Democratic Republic of Congo's government to close two privately owned news channels, and urges officials to allow the channels to resume broadcasting immediately....

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CPJ raises concerns over UN agenda on preventing violent extremism

February 4, 2016 3:55 PM ET

Preventing and countering violent extremism has been a major issue on the international agenda in the past year, prompting the United Nations Secretary-General to launch a Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism in December and the UN Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution last fall....

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CPJ concerned for safety of injured journalist trapped in Turkish city

February 4, 2016 3:15 PM ET

New York, February 4, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned for the safety of Rohat Aktaş, a news editor and reporter for the Kurdish-language daily Azadiya Welat, who has been trapped in the southeastern town of Cizre with a gunshot wound since January 22....

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Zimbabwe Constitutional Court Strikes Criminal Defamation Laws

February 3, 2016 1:43 PM ET

New York, February 3, 2016--Today's ruling by Zimbabwe's Supreme Constitutional Court that the country's criminal defamation laws are unconstitutional is a welcome step toward safeguarding press freedom, the Committee to Protect Journalists said....

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Bulgarian journalist bludgeoned

February 2, 2016 6:01 PM ET

Stoyan Tonchev, owner of the local news website Zad Kulisite (Behind the Scenes), was leaving a friend's apartment in the Bulgarian Black Sea resort town of Pomorie at around 11 p.m. on January 14, 2015, when at least one man brutally beat him with a blunt object, according to local...

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CPJ urges full, independent investigation into killing of journalists in Yemen

February 2, 2016 5:42 PM ET

New York, February 2, 2016 - Investigations into the killing in Yemen of journalists and other civilians in airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition should be thorough and impartial, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....

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CPJ condemns Equatorial Guinea's decision to ban state media coverage of Gbagbo trial

February 2, 2016 2:00 PM ET

New York, February 2, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists strongly condemns the decision of the government in Equatorial Guinea to ban state television from covering the trial of former Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo, which opened at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague on January 28. "We've been...

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Growing fears as more Afghan journalists and media workers come under the gun

February 1, 2016 2:22 PM ET

New York, February 1, 2016 -- The fatal shooting of senior Afghan broadcast journalist Mohammad Zubair Khaksar on Friday and the beating of freelance reporter Yahya Jawahari on Sunday further raise concerns for the safety of Afghan journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The attacks follow a...

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