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A police officer stands at a barricade in New Delhi, India, on March 23, 2020. Police in New Delhi and Hyderabad recently assaulted journalists for allegedly violating the cities' lockdowns. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi)

Governments around the world crack down on journalists covering COVID-19

March 27, 2020 10:13 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.

This week, journalists covering COVID-19 have been arrested in Venezuela and Niger, and assaulted by police in India. In Thailand, a state of emergency was declared on Thursday to contain the virus, which gives the government more control over the press.

Last week, Hamas-controlled security forces assaulted a journalist covering a COVID-19 protest, and authorities in Jordan, Oman, Morocco, and Yemen issued decrees suspending newspaper printing and distribution in response to coronavirus.

Follow CPJ's news coverage of the virus' impact on press freedom at cpj.org/covid19

Journalism in the time of coronavirus

CPJ Emergencies’ Safety Advisory for journalists reporting on the COVID-19 crisis is now available in 19 languages.

Spotlight

CPJ’s new coronavirus response webpage offers a central place for reporters to find resources, features interviews with journalists on the front lines of the pandemic, and documents press freedom violations related to coverage of COVID-19.

As part of CPJ’s work to provide journalists with advice on covering the virus safely, CPJ Emergencies has also launched an “Ask an Expert” feature: journalists and newsrooms can reach out to CPJ’s safety experts with any questions.

What we are reading

Beyond the pandemic

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