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Freelance journalist Erick Kabendera, who is detained in Tanzania. (Jamii Forums)

At least 7 journalists arrested throughout Turkey within 2 days

August 23, 2019 12:01 AM ET

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In the span of just two days, at least seven journalists were arrested in Turkey in the cities of Diyarbakır, Mardin, and Istanbul. Turkey has been the world’s worst jailer of journalists for three successive years, with at least 68 behind bars in direct relation to their work as of December 1, 2018, according to CPJ's prison census. CPJ calls on Turkish authorities to release the seven journalists who were detained by police on August 19 and 20, as well as all journalists jailed for their work.

Unidentified men took Tanzanian journalist Erick Kabendera from his home on July 29. On July 30, authorities announced that he was in detention, and have since leveled retaliatory charges against him. CPJ called on the heads of state of the Southern African Development Community, ahead of the organization’s 39th Ordinary Summit, to prioritize press freedom and the safety of journalists.

Global press freedom updates

  • Ethiopian authorities arrest journalist Mesganaw Getachew after he filmed outside court
  • Guardian columnist Owen Jones assaulted in London
  • At least two journalists detained amid tensions in Jammu and Kashmir
  • Chile accused of spying on investigative journalist Mauricio Weibel
  • CPJ and partner organizations call on Sacramento Police Department to fulfill commitment to respect the rights of journalists covering protests
  • Basra police raid home, seek arrest of Iraqi reporter Hassan Sabah
  • “Najam Sethi Show” news program cancelled in Pakistan amid defamation suits from prime minister
  • Iranian photojournalist Forough Alaei detained for five days over soccer stadium coverage

Spotlight

A 2014 memorial in Iraq for slain journalist James Foley. (Marko Drobnjakovic/AP)

This week marked the fifth anniversary of the killing of American journalist James Foley in Syria. His execution was documented in a graphic video published online by the Islamic State militant group. Weeks after Foley’s killing, the group released another video that purported to show the beheading of freelance American-Israeli journalist Steven Sotloff. CPJ has documented 66 journalists killed in Syria in relation to their work between 2014 and 2019.

In an op-ed for The Houston Chronicle, Robert Mahoney, CPJ’s deputy executive director, examines how Foley and Sotloff’s deaths signaled to newsrooms the importance of prioritizing freelancer safety. However, he argues that five years on, low pay remains one of the biggest safety concerns for freelancers.

CPJ is a founding member of the ACOS Alliance, which stands for “A Culture of Safety” and promotes a list of principles designed to improve safety and help journalists and news organizations talk with each other about safety issues.


Monday will mark the second anniversary of the death of British-American freelance journalist Christopher Allen, who was killed while he was reporting in South Sudan. Join us and partner organizations for parallel vigils in Washington D.C. and London.

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