Australian Broadcasting Corporation Editorial Director Craig McMurtrie speaks to the media as Australian police raid the headquarters of public broadcaster in Sydney on June 5, 2019. (AFP/Peter Parks)

Troubling police raids on Australian journalists

June 7, 2019 12:00 AM ET

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.

In the past week, the Australian Federal Police twice targeted the media in the country in connection with leak investigations. On Tuesday, Annika Smethurst, a politics editor for the Sunday Telegraph, had her home raided and her property, computer, and cellphone searched. One day later, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation headquarters in Sydney was raided in a separate investigation, and documents seized.

Pratap Patra is the fourth Indian journalist to be attacked for investigating alleged illegal sand mining operations since 2018. On May 30, six unidentified individuals wielding a machete and other sharp objects attacked Patra, cutting his head, chest, and hands.

Global press freedom updates

  • CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Gulnoza Said writes about the harsh prison conditions for Azimjon Askarov, the Kyrgyz journalist UN says should be freed.
  • Brazilian journalist Robson Giorno shot and killed in Rio de Janeiro state
  • CPJ calls on Houthis in Yemen to release all detained journalists
  • Sudan's military rulers shut down Al-Jazeera Khartoum bureau
  • Russian video blogger Vadim Kharchenko attacked, injured in Krasnodar
  • Revolutionary court in Iran sentences journalist Masoud Kazemi to 4.5 years in prison
  • Polish court bans reporter Anna Wilk from journalism for 3 years in criminal libel suit
  • Journalists assaulted, news vehicle burned at Kenyan high school
  • Bulgarian reporter Hristo Geshov says he was briefly abducted; news outlets attack him
  • CPJ joins call for UN Security Council to act on Cameroon crisis
  • Read the latest Turkey Crackdown Chronicle, CPJ's weekly round-up of press freedom violations in the country
  • Hamas attorney general calls for Gaza ban of pro-Fatah weekly
  • Kurdish security forces detain reporter Mohammad Tawfiq al-Saghir in northern Syria


This month, the One Free Press List includes 12 journalists including (clockwise from top left) Miguel Mora, Lucia Pineda, Azory Gwanda, and Seyoum Tsehaye. (One Free Press Coalition)

This week, the One Free Press Coalition published their June list highlighting 12 journalists under threat around the world. CPJ and IWMF are part of the coalition, along with over 30 media outlets. The group works to leverage the power of their audiences to bring attention to press freedom threats. This month, the list includes Aasif Sultan, imprisoned in India; Azerbaijani reporter Sevinc Osmanqizi, facing extortion threats for her reporting; and Eritrean journalist Seyoum Tsehaye, who has spent close to 18 years behind bars in connection to his work.

CPJ is also part of The Washington Post Press Freedom Partnership. Sign up for their monthly press freedom newsletter, which features a guest piece from CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon this month.

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