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.
Three journalists were killed in Mexico in less than a week. CPJ is investigating to determine if they were killed in retaliation for their work. Jorge Celestino Ruiz Vázquez, a reporter for the newspaper El Gráfico, was shot dead on August 2 in Veracruz state. On the same day in Guerrero state, Edgar Alberto Nava, of La Verdad de Zihuatanejo, was shot dead. On July 30, Rogelio Barragán Pérez, founder of the news website Guerrero Al Instante, was found murdered in Morelos state. Meanwhile in Chihuahua state, daily El Monitor de Parral suspended its print edition after Molotov cocktails were thrown at the paper's offices in Parral on July 30.
An internet disruption that began on Sunday in Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir turned into communication blackout one day later amid political tension in the region. CPJ called on the Indian government to ensure access to internet and communications services in the state. A short CPJ video explains events leading up to the blackout.
Separate protests in Moscow and Hong Kong over the weekend resulted in attacks on journalists. Read and share CPJ’s safety tips on covering civil disorder.
Global press freedom updates
- Turkish court orders service providers to block access to 136 web addresses
- Tanzania switches track, charges journalist Erik Kabendera with economic crimes
- Russian journalist Mikhail Romanov found guilty of ‘abuse of freedom of information’ and ‘false’ news
- Deyda Hydara’s daughter speaks with CPJ: ‘I am still crying’ for murdered Gambian journalist
- Israeli forces injure 3 journalists at West Bank and Gaza protests
- Sudan detains Sadiq al-Rizaigi, Al-Sayha editor-in-chief and journalists’ union head, for five days
- Militant group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham detains Syrian reporter Jumaa Haj Hamdou in Aleppo
- Assailants disrupt Ukrinform press conference, attack staff in Kiev
- CPJ joins call for U.N. Human Rights Council to extend mandate of Burundi Commission of Inquiry
This week, CPJ published an in-depth look at the press freedom crackdown in Nicaragua, starting with the protests that erupted in April 2018 and analyzing events through December. The report details the harassment of journalists, surveillance, and arrests, including the imprisonment of CPJ’s 2019 International Press Freedom Awardees Miguel Mora and Lucía Pineda Ubau. Mora and Ubau recently shared their harrowing story of imprisonment in an interview with CPJ.
A detailed infographic shows the timeline in Nicaragua: As the unrest escalated and the situation for journalists deteriorated, CPJ issued safety advisories for media on the ground and documented incidents of journalists being attacked, beaten, detained, or harassed for their coverage.
As part of its Press Freedom Partnership, The Washington Post printed a joint advertisement by CPJ, Reporters Without Borders, and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press showcasing the plight of American journalist Austin Tice, who went missing in Syria seven years ago. Tice’s parents, Debra and Marc Tice, penned an open letter in The Washington Post calling on readers to take action on behalf of their son.
What we are reading
- Twitter and the rest of social media are a rising threat to media freedom — and I am part of their roadkill — Ferial Haffajee, The Daily Maverick
- What the Arab Spring Cost Me — Nada Bakri, The New York Times
- Mother of arrested Tanzanian journalist Erick Kabendera pleads for his release — John Namkwahe, The Citizen
- Journalism in Iran nears extinction — Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post
- ‘Anxiety Fills the Air.' What It's Like Inside Kashmir When All Communication With the Outside World Is Cut Off — Fahad Shah, Time
- Kashmir Valley has seen many a lockdown but why this time it is so different — Muzamil Jaleel, Bashaarat Masood, Adil Akhzer, The Indian Express
- Kashmir journalists struggle to tell their stories amid clampdown — Al Jazeera
- China troll army’s battle expeditions leap Great Firewall to target Hong Kong anti-government protests— Laurie Chen, South China Morning Post
- A Multimillionaire Surveillance Dealer Steps Out Of The Shadows . . . And His $9 Million WhatsApp Hacking Van—Thomas Brewster, Forbes
- Africa: SIM Card Registration Only Increases Monitoring and Exclusion — Privacy International
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