The Torch is a weekly newsletter from the Committee to Protect Journalists that brings you the latest press freedom and journalist safety news from around the world. Subscribe here.
Egyptian photojournalist and CPJ's 2016 International Press Freedom Award winner Mahmoud Abou Zeid, known as Shawkan, was released from prison on Monday after spending over five years in detention on anti-state charges. The conditions of his release, however, are arduous: he will be under "police observation" for five years, meaning he will have to appear at a police station every day at sunset, and is prohibited from managing his financial assets and properties. Shawkan and his lawyer plan to appeal the verdict in Egypt's court of cassation.
CPJ explores how the Trump administration's emerging record of prosecuting those who allegedly leak information to the press is affecting journalists covering national security. Many fear that Trump's anti-press attitude could translate into criminalizing reporting on leaks.
Global press freedom updates
- NBC7 San Diego reports that U.S. Customs and Border Protection had adopted a policy of targeting reporters, confirming CPJ suspicions
- Read the latest Turkey Crackdown Chronicle, CPJ's weekly round-up of press freedom violations in the country
- Tanzania imposes seven-day publication ban on The Citizen
- Mission Journal: One year on, Ján Kuciak murder seen as turning point by Slovak press
- Venezuelan counterintelligence agents detain U.S. freelancer, Venezuelan fixer
- U.N. commission: Israeli snipers 'intentionally shot' Palestinian journalists in 2018, killing two
Around the world, female journalists work tirelessly to bring the news to their communities in the face of threats like online harassment, sexual violence, and imprisonment.
As part of International Women's Day, March 8, CPJ has released a series of infographics taking a look at the 32 female journalists behind bars for their work. Learn more about these brave journalists, and CPJ's reporting on gender here. CPJ is also excited to take part in a panel next week at the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women.
As the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker found, physical and digital attacks on journalists in the United States are increasing, and CPJ's reporting has found that women and gender nonconforming journalists face many overlooked challenges. We are currently collecting feedback from women and gender nonconforming journalists based in the U.S. and Canada in an online survey to improve our safety resources.
What we are reading
- Source: Leaked Documents Show the U.S. Government Tracking Journalists and Immigration Advocates Through a Secret Database -- Tom Jones, Mari Payton, and Bill Feather, NBC News
- Hiding in Plain Sight: PAC-Connected Activists Set Up 'Local News' Outlets -- Alex Kasprak and Bethania Palma, Snopes
- Telling stories of gang life, while risking their own -- Michael Tarm, AP
- On Monday night police launched attack on our 1st Amendment. Here's how you can respond -- Editorial Board, Sacramento Bee
- Remembering photographer Yannis Behrakis -- Mohammed Elshamy, CNN
- Egypt: Activists, government critics hit by wave of digital attacks -- Amnesty International