March 2016

In Somaliland, authorities order newspaper to close down

March 31, 2016 2:11 PM ET

Nairobi, March 31, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities in the semi-autonomous republic of Somaliland to reopen the daily Codka Shacabka (The Voice of the People). The attorney general's office issued an order March 24 for the privately owned paper to immediately cease publication, according to human rights...

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Blogger sentenced amid clampdown in Vietnam

March 31, 2016 10:10 AM ET

Bangkok, March 31, 2016 - In a mounting clampdown on dissent, Vietnam sentenced a prominent blogger on Wednesday to four years in prison on charges of disseminating "propaganda against the state," according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the sentence and calls for the immediate release of...

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Brazilian radio reporter survives shooting

March 31, 2016 9:58 AM ET

São Paulo, March 31, 2016--Brazilian radio journalist Jair Pereira Teixeira, who reported on crime and corruption in Forquilha, a city in northeastern Ceará state, survived after being shot on Sunday, according to news reports. Police arrested two suspected attackers Monday....

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Chinese police arrest siblings of Germany-based journalist

March 28, 2016 5:45 PM ET

New York, March 28, 2016 - Chinese police on Sunday arrested two brothers and a sister of journalist Zhang Ping, who lives in Germany, from his family's hometown, the journalist told CPJ. The arrests came a week after Zhang published an article decrying the disappearance of another Chinese journalist. Zhang...

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How RightsCon brings press freedom, technology and social change together

March 28, 2016 5:36 PM ET

This week in San Francisco, CPJ's Technology and Advocacy teams will participate in RightsCon 2016, an annual conference focusing on human rights and technology. Organized by digital rights group Access Now, RightsCon is one of the most important regular gatherings on technology policy, and the conference has been the...

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Second Indian journalist arrested in Chhattisgarh in one week

March 28, 2016 4:40 PM ET

New York, March 28, 2016 - The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Indian authorities to release journalist Deepak Jaiswal, and to cease harassing and jailing journalists for their work. Police arrested Jaiswal, a reporter for the Hindi-language daily Dainadini, in the Bastar region of the central Indian state...

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Footage shows journalist being punched outside corruption court in Uganda

March 28, 2016 3:32 PM ET

The broadcast journalist Judith Naluggwa, who works for the state-owned station Bukedde Television, was attacked outside a Ugandan court on March 23, 2016 while reporting on a case of a minister at the Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala, according to the local press freedom group Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda....

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Three simple steps to protect shared Twitter accounts from hackers

March 28, 2016 3:30 PM ET

In my previous blog post I reviewed the results of a poll asking journalists if they used two-factor authentication to protect Twitter accounts from being hacked. But the importance of robust security isn't limited to personal Twitter accounts....

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Family of Chinese blogger taken away after being questioned over critical letter

March 25, 2016 5:16 PM ET

New York, March 25, 2016--U.S.-based blogger Wen Yunchao told CPJ today he believes that government officials have detained his parents and brother after two weeks of police questioning the family about his alleged connection to an open letter calling on President Xi Jinping to resign....

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Cuban blogger jailed for five days after trying to cover protest

March 25, 2016 12:13 PM ET

An independent Cuban blogger and activist was held in police custody for five days after attempting to cover a protest by the prominent dissident group, Ladies in White, according to press reports. Lázaro Yuri Valle Roca told CPJ he was apprehended by a group of men in the Miramar neighborhood...

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Turkish judge rules trial for journalists facing life sentences to be closed to public

March 25, 2016 10:16 AM ET

Istanbul, March 25, 2016 - The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns an Istanbul court's decision to bar the public from the trial of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, journalists for the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet. Representatives from CPJ and other press freedom groups attended the first session of the trial...

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AFP and Le Monde reporters beaten, have passports taken during Congolese elections

March 24, 2016 6:06 PM ET

New York, March 24, 2016--Three international journalists who were covering the elections in the Republic of Congo were punched and had their passports and equipment seized Wednesday by a group of four men who identified themselves as police, according to reports....

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Singapore court sentences online editor for sedition

March 24, 2016 12:04 PM ET

Bangkok, March 24, 2016 - The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns a Singaporean court's sentencing Wednesday of an Australian editor of a now-defunct independent Singaporean news website, and calls on authorities to stop jailing journalists and censoring websites....

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After Venezuelan elections, Globovisión shows more defiant stance

March 23, 2016 6:27 PM ET

When Venezuela's opposition broke the ruling party's 17-year stranglehold on power by winning control of congress in December, the political earthquake created editorial aftershocks at the 24-hour news station Globovisión....

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'What's two-factor?' How journalists can protect themselves from Twitter hacks

March 23, 2016 4:52 PM ET

When The Associated Press's verified @AP account was hacked three years ago, CPJ's senior security adviser Frank Smyth and I noted that for individuals faced with that situation, the best course of action is to request a password reset, tweet at Twitter staff, and pray. The best advice is...

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Six sentenced in killing of journalist in Somalia

March 23, 2016 2:46 PM ET

New York, March 23, 2016 -- A military court in Mogadishu on Sunday upheld sentences imposed on six people convicted in connection with the December 2015 murder of Somali broadcast journalist Hindia Haji Mohamed....

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Vietnamese bloggers imprisoned for 'abusing democratic freedoms'

March 23, 2016 1:05 PM ET

Bangkok, March 23, 2016 - The Committee to Protect Journalists strongly condemns a Hanoi court's sentencing today of two Vietnamese bloggers to prison terms on charges of "abusing democratic freedoms."...

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Director of community radio station murdered in El Salvador

March 23, 2016 10:43 AM ET

Unidentified assailants killed Nicolás Humberto García, the director of a community radio station in Ahuachapán state, El Salvador, on March 10, 2016, according to news reports....

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CPJ joins call for Egypt to end its persecution of journalists, civil society leaders

March 23, 2016 10:32 AM ET

The Committee to Protect Journalists joined 14 other organizations in calling on Egyptian authorities today to halt the persecution of journalists, press freedom advocates, and civil society leaders. Restrictive measures have included travel bans, asset freezes, and the re-opening of a five-year-old investigation into the foreign funding of human rights...

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Journalist arrest another sign of deteriorating climate for press in Chhattisgarh

March 22, 2016 5:36 PM ET

New York, March 22, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh to immediately release Prabhat Singh, a reporter for the Hindi daily Patrika, who was arrested in the south Bastar region Monday, and to investigate a claim that he was mistreated in...

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CPJ calls on Nigerian police chief to investigate assault of publisher, not publisher

March 22, 2016 5:33 PM ET

CPJ writes to Nigerian Police Inspector General Solomon Arase to urge him to arrest those responsible for beating publisher Yomi Olomofe into a coma in June 2015, rather than investigating the publisher on charges of assaulting his assailants.

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Congo imposes total communications blackout during election

March 22, 2016 4:15 PM ET

New York, March 22, 2016 -The government of the Republic of Congo should immediately lift the total communications blackout it imposed before the March 20 presidential elections, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....

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Tanzanian journalist abducted, beaten for Zanzibar election coverage

March 22, 2016 3:44 PM ET

Unknown assailants abducted Salma Said, a reporter with the Kiswahili-language Mwananchi ("Citizen") newspaper and a correspondent for Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle, shortly after the journalist arrived at Dar es Salaam's Julius Nyerere International Airport on March 18, 2016, according to news reports and a statement she made to the...

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Mission Journal: Rise in journalist arrests tarnishes Jordan's image as reformist

March 22, 2016 10:45 AM ET

The phone call came just as our conversation about the escalating crackdown on Jordanian media hit its stride. Lina Ejeilat, the co-founder of the news website 7iber (pronounced hebber), apologized and said she had to take the call. It was 7iber's lawyer and it was important. For years the...

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Closure of news site underscores Malaysia's press freedom crisis amid 1MDB scandal

March 21, 2016 1:02 PM ET

On March 14, The Malaysian Insider abruptly closed its editorial operations less than a month after the state media regulator, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, blocked local access to its news site....

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Sudanese authorities confiscate newspaper edition

March 21, 2016 12:10 PM ET

Sudanese authorities confiscated all 20,000 copies of the March 15, 2016, edition of the daily newspaper Al-Sudani, according to press reports. Agents of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) appeared at the newspaper's printers in Khartoum on the evening of March 14 and seized all copies of the daily,...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 20

March 21, 2016 9:17 AM ET

Istanbul court rules trial for journalists facing life sentences to be closed to public The Committee to Protect Journalists today condemned an Istanbul court's decision today to bar the public from the trial of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, journalists for the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet. Representatives from CPJ and...

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In Colombia, second attacker sentenced in Jineth Bedoya case

March 18, 2016 5:39 PM ET

New York, March 18, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the sentencing today of former paramilitary fighter Mario Jaimes Mejía who, according to reports, was handed a 28-year prison term for the kidnap, rape, and torture of Colombian journalist Jineth Bedoya Lima in 2000. Last month, Alejandro Cárdenas Orozco, a...

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Authorities close Al-Baghdadia TV in Iraq, force staff out of channel's offices

March 18, 2016 1:06 PM ET

New York, March 18, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Iraqi authorities to restore the broadcasting license of the pro-Sunni satellite channel Al-Baghdadia TV, and to allow the channel to operate freely in Iraq....

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Venezuelan government newsprint squeeze forces newspaper to stop printing

March 18, 2016 11:19 AM ET

Bogotá, March 18, 2016 - Blaming the refusal of the government to sell it newsprint, the independent Venezuelan daily El Carabobeño printed its final edition on Thursday, according to news reports. The newspaper has published for 82 years and was one of the few independent media outlets in Valencia, the...

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A missed opportunity at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

March 18, 2016 8:01 AM ET

On March 8, the Appeals Panel of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon reversed the September 18 conviction of Karma Khayat, a journalist who had been ordered to pay a €10,000 (USD$11,064) fine because her channel broadcast interviews with confidential witnesses....

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Honduran journalist sentenced to 10 years in prison for defamation

March 17, 2016 6:01 PM ET

New York, March 17, 2016 -- Honduran authorities should drop all criminal charges against journalist David Romero Ellner, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. A court in the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa on Monday sentenced Romero, who is free pending appeal, to 10 years in prison on charges he defamed...

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Gado blames government pressure as cartoonist's contract at Kenya's Nation ends

March 17, 2016 5:47 PM ET

For 23 years Godfrey Mwampembwa has been a prominent and quick-witted observer of the political scene in East Africa. But all that changed last month when the cartoonist, known as Gado, was told his contract at Kenya's biggest newspapers, the Nation, would not be renewed....

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Chinese journalist Jia Jia disappears, whereabouts unknown

March 17, 2016 5:43 PM ET

New York, March 17, 2015 -- The Committee to Protect Journalists is troubled by reports that Chinese journalist Jia Jia disappeared on Tuesday night and that his whereabouts remain a mystery....

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Hostage video shows Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda, who went missing in Syria

March 17, 2016 5:28 PM ET

A freelance Japanese journalist who went missing in Syria in June 2015 appeared in a video on March 16, 2016, which was posted to the Facebook account of a Syrian named Tarik Abdul Hak. Jumpei Yasuda, who speaks in English in the video, says that no one in Japan cares...

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Four journalists, human rights lawyer pardoned in Azerbaijan

March 17, 2016 12:13 PM ET

New York, March 17, 2016 - The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes Azerbaijan's decision to release four independent reporters and a human rights lawyer, urges authorities to ensure they will not have criminal records, and calls on authorities to free all journalists who remain behind bars....

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As US-Cuba relations thaw, what's next for the island's independent press?

March 16, 2016 3:57 PM ET

"Our hope is that President Obama will meet journalists working for the alternative media, not just to cover his visit, but to start a dialogue," said Elaine Díaz Rodríguez, director of Periodismo de Barrio (Neighborhood Journalism) a website focusing on climate change and the impact of natural disasters on...

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CPJ joins call to renew Iran special rapporteur mandate

March 16, 2016 1:10 PM ET

The Committee to Protect Journalists has joined 34 other organizations in calling on the U.N. Human Rights Council to vote in favor of renewing the mandate of the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The vote is scheduled to take place during...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 13

March 16, 2016 11:14 AM ET

Prosecutors preparing charges against media owner, pro-government newspaper says Turkish prosecutors are preparing a case against media owner Aydın Doğan and his daughter, Hanzade Doğan Boyner, claiming they ran a fuel-smuggling ring, the pro-government daily newspaper Akşam said in a front-page story yesterday. Akşam said prosecutors were seeking a 23-year...

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Myanmar journalist's home targeted in bomb attack

March 16, 2016 10:41 AM ET

Bangkok, March 16, 2016 - The Committee to Protect Journalists calls for an independent, high-level investigation into the bombing of a journalist's home in western Myanmar and for the perpetrators to be swiftly identified and brought to justice....

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Brazilian journalist's car shot

March 14, 2016 12:29 PM ET

Brazilian journalist Kennedy Salomé Lenk was asleep at home with his wife and children in the small town of Afonso Cláudio, in Espírito Santo, north of Rio de Janeiro, when he awoke to gunshots at around 1 a.m. on March 10, according to news reports....

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Australian journalists harassed and threatened in Malaysia

March 14, 2016 10:48 AM ET

Bangkok, March 14, 2016 - Authorities should immediately lift restrictions imposed on the freedom of movement of two Australian journalists in Malaysia and drop all legal threats against them, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....

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China's overseas critics under pressure from smear campaigns, cyber attacks

March 11, 2016 5:57 PM ET

"I think my actions ... have harmed the national interest. What I have done was very wrong. I seriously and earnestly accept to learn a lesson and plead guilty," said Chinese journalist Gao Yu during a televised confession on the state-run channel CCTV in May 2014....

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Venezuelan editor sentenced to 4 years in prison for criminal defamation

March 11, 2016 5:39 PM ET

Bogotá, Colombia, March 11, 2016--A Venezuelan judge today sentenced David Natera Febres, the editor of an independent newspaper that investigated corruption at a state-run mining company, to four years in prison for criminal defamation, according to news reports....

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In Ethiopia, journalist detained since 2013 handed jail sentence

March 11, 2016 4:42 PM ET

New York, March 11, 2016--Solomon Kebede, the managing editor of the now-defunct Ethiopian paper Ye Muslimoch Guday (Muslim Affairs), was sentenced to prison Thursday, more than three years after being jailed on anti-terrorism charges. CPJ was not immediately able to reconcile conflicting reports on the exact length of the prison...

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Iraqi editor on trial for alleging corruption

March 11, 2016 2:56 PM ET

Washington, March 11, 2016 - Iraqi prosecutors should drop all charges against Montadhar Naser, the editor of the independent news site Al-Aalem al-Jadeed, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The editor is scheduled to appear in a Baghdad court on March 14 to answer criminal defamation and insult charges...

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Nigerian police detain publisher

March 10, 2016 6:12 PM ET

Abuja, Nigeria, March 10, 2016 - Nigerian authorities should immediately release magazine publisher Yomi Olomofe on bail, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Police detained Olomofe early this evening in Lagos, after men he had accused of severely beating him in June 2015 alleged the publisher had assaulted...

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'We are at a critical juncture,' Tolo TV's head of news says after bomb kills seven

March 10, 2016 3:47 PM ET

For people outside of Afghanistan, the January 20 attack on the Tolo TV van, which killed seven people and wounded about two dozen more staffers, was just one more horrendous event in a series of bombings, military skirmishes, attacks, counter attacks, and standoffs around the country. The attack was...

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Thailand aims to hollow out foreign press with new visa restrictions

March 10, 2016 10:43 AM ET

Senior Southeast Asia representative Shawn Crispin this week presented CPJ's concerns about new media visa restrictions for foreign reporters based in Thailand to a group of Bangkok-based ambassadors. The controversial measures, announced last month by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are scheduled to come into force on March 21....

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Turkish journalist sentenced to 21 months in prison for insulting Erdoğan

March 9, 2016 5:53 PM ET

Istanbul, March 9, 2016 -- Turkish prosecutors should immediately drop all charges against newspaper editor Barış İnce, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. An Istanbul court on Tuesday sentenced the editor to 21 months in prison for insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in an acrostic presented first as...

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Attackers beat group of journalists covering human rights abuses in North Caucasus

March 9, 2016 4:44 PM ET

New York, March 9, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns today's attack on a group of six journalists and two human rights activists from Russia, Norway, and Sweden, and urges authorities in the Russian region of Ingushetia to bring those responsible to justice....

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Nigerian security forces assault journalists

March 9, 2016 3:18 PM ET

Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps officers on February 20, 2016, detained three television journalists in Owerri, the capital of the southeastern Imo State, for refusing to hand over their phones to officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission who were allegedly demanding a bribe from a motorist, according to...

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Syrian journalist attacked in southeastern Turkey

March 9, 2016 1:48 PM ET

New York, March 9, 2016 - A Syrian journalist narrowly escaped an assault by two unidentified men in the southeastern Turkish city of Urfa on Tuesday. The incident follows a string of attacks against Syrian journalists believed to have been carried out by Islamic State operatives inside Turkey....

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Gambia should free ailing, arbitrarily detained journalist

March 9, 2016 11:20 AM ET

CPJ today joined with Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to call on Gambia to free Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay, managing director of the independent radio station Teranga FM, who has been charged with sedition and "publication of false news." Ceesay has been hospitalized twice since the beginning of 2016. Read...

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South Sudanese journalist found beaten

March 8, 2016 3:53 PM ET

Nairobi, March 8, 2016 - South Sudanese authorities should immediately launch an independent, thorough investigation into the abduction and beating of journalist Joseph Afandi and punish those responsible, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Colleagues found Afandi dumped near a graveyard in Juba today, beaten and bearing marks of...

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CPJ writes to Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoğlu to protest takeover of Feza media group

March 8, 2016 8:52 AM ET

CPJ writes to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to protest the government's takeover of the Feza media group, which runs the newspapers Zaman and Today's Zaman and the Cihan news agency.

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On International Women's Day, CPJ recognizes nine female journalists jailed for their work

March 7, 2016 4:38 PM ET

Coverage of protests and riots. Revelations of official corruption and graft. Major natural disasters. Investigations into deplorable living conditions. These are some of the important issues journalists cover in their role as the Fourth Estate....

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Ethiopian police detain journalists, translator for 24 hours

March 7, 2016 3:03 PM ET

Ethiopian federal police detained Bloomberg correspondent William Davison, freelance journalist Jacey Fortin, and a translator they had hired near the eastern town of Awash at around 12:40 p.m. on March 3, according to the Foreign Correspondents Association of East Africa....

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Journalists not welcome: Across Europe, press and migrants increasingly barred

March 7, 2016 1:01 PM ET

"The press is not allowed in refugee centers." The message from the Greek government could not have been clearer. "No permission will be given to television crews and reporters to enter such premises that hosts refugees," Yannis Mouzalas, the minister in charge of immigration policy, said in a February...

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Court sentences man in murders of five Somali journalists

March 4, 2016 3:24 PM ET

New York, March 4, 2016 -- A military court in Mogadishu on Thursday found Hassan Hanafi, a former journalist, guilty of direct or indirect involvement in the killing five journalists on behalf of the armed militant group Al-Shabaab, according to news reports. The court sentenced him to death by execution,...

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Istanbul court to appoint trustees for Zaman, Today's Zaman editorial board

March 4, 2016 11:11 AM ET

New York, March 4, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by a ruling in Turkey today under which an Istanbul court will appoint trustees for the Turkish language Zaman and its English-language sister publication, Today's Zaman. The ruling, brought by an Istanbul public prosecutor who accuses the papers...

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Egyptian journalist alleges torture, whereabouts unknown

March 3, 2016 8:42 AM ET

New York, March 3, 2016 - Egyptian authorities should immediately charge or release journalist Sabry Anwar and order an independent and thorough investigation into claims he has been tortured, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Security forces arrested Anwar, a correspondent for the independent newspaper El Badil, from his...

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Read and delete: How Weibo's censors tackle dissent and free speech

March 3, 2016 8:00 AM ET

The Chinese microblogging site Weibo has a huge following, with around 100 million users posting every day. For those living in China, one of CPJ's 10 most censored countries, the social network offers the chance to discuss and share news that is often blocked in mainstream outlets....

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The business of censorship: Documents show how Weibo filters sensitive news in China

March 3, 2016 8:00 AM ET

When journalists at the Guangdong-based Southern Weekly found that their 2013 new year editorial had been changed, without their knowledge, to exalt the virtues of the Communist Party, they took their outrage to the Chinese microblogging site Weibo....

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Indian television news anchor receives thousands of threatening phone calls

March 2, 2016 5:09 PM ET

New York, March 2, 2016 - Indian authorities should investigate threats made against a television journalist in the state of Kerala and ensure her safety, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. News anchor Sindhu Sooryakumar has received thousands of threatening phone calls following a broadcast she hosted last week,...

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'Prison is the equivalent of a death sentence for him,' son of journalist jailed in Iran says

March 2, 2016 12:34 PM ET

The son of imprisoned Iranian journalist Issa Saharkhiz says his father's health has deteriorated and he has lost a worrying amount of weight since being sent to Evin prison last November. In an interview with CPJ, Mehdi Saharkhiz said his father, who is due in court this week, has...

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Critics Are Not Criminals: Comparative Study of Criminal Defamation Laws in the Americas

March 2, 2016 11:00 AM ET

Criminal defamation prosecutions are still widespread throughout the Americas. In a new special report, prepared by Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in collaboration with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, CPJ finds a total of 32 out of 33 countries in the hemisphere maintain criminal penalties for defamation....

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Critics Not Criminals: Acknowledgements

March 2, 2016 11:00 AM ET

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Critics Not Criminals: Foreword

March 2, 2016 11:00 AM ET

Despite a growing consensus that criminal defamation laws should be abolished, there has been an alarming resurgence of their use in the Americas. From North America to South America, over two-thirds of the governments in the region routinely use these laws to silence dissent and to deprive citizens of information...

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Critics Not Criminals: Introduction

March 2, 2016 11:00 AM ET

After three decades of democratization, the current state of freedom of expression in Latin America is undoubtedly more open than in the period of military rule. But the legislative and judicial reforms necessary to institutionalize freedom of expression are still widely lacking....

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Critics Not Criminals: Regional Jurisprudence

March 2, 2016 11:00 AM ET

Below is a summary of the key Inter-American Court of Human Rights (“IACtHR”) decisions rendered on issues of criminal defamation since 2001. Although holdings from the IACtHR are not controlling in all jurisdictions in the Americas, they provide useful guidance on this type of case and set important precedents for...

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Criminal Defamation Laws in North America

March 2, 2016 11:00 AM ET

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Critics Not Criminals: Executive Summary

March 2, 2016 11:00 AM ET

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Criminal Defamation Laws in Central America

March 2, 2016 11:00 AM ET

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Criminal Defamation Laws in The Caribbean

March 2, 2016 11:00 AM ET

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Criminal Defamation Laws in South America

March 2, 2016 11:00 AM ET

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Station's signal dropped by Turkey's largest satellite provider over claims it promotes terrorism

March 1, 2016 3:08 PM ET

New York, March 1, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the action taken against the privately owned channel IMC TV after Turkey's largest satellite provider dropped its signal permanently on Friday....

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