A visa stamp is seen on a passport in Los Angeles on June 6, 2020. CPJ recently contributed to a report calling for emergency visas to be granted to journalists in need. (AFP/Chris Delmas)

CPJ joins call for new emergency visa regulations to protect journalists fleeing threats

Yesterday, the Committee to Protect Journalists joined a panel marking the launch of a report, “Providing Safe Refuge to Journalists at Risk,” published by the High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom, and CPJ endorsed the report’s findings and recommendations.

The report recommends that countries prioritize the issuance of emergency visas to allow journalists to flee danger in their home countries and seek temporary refuge until such threats subside. It was authored by human rights lawyer Can Yeginsu and the panel was chaired by former U.K. Supreme Court President Lord Neuberger and Amal Clooney, a human rights lawyer and recent CPJ Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award winner.

As a member of the advisory network for the Global Media Freedom Coalition, a board established by the U.K. and Canadian governments, CPJ contributed to the report’s formulation and recommendations, and CPJ Advocacy Director Courtney C. Radsch joined a panel marking the report’s release.

Temporary safe havens give journalists the possibility to return home and to continue their work; after all, in a 2015 report, CPJ found that only about 17 percent of journalists who fled their countries were able to continue working during their time in exile.

The report also highlights the political manipulation of the Interpol Red Notice system, and recommends stronger safeguards prior to issuing notices for journalists. During the panel discussion, Radsch also noted how women journalists face unique threats, and are less likely to be able to leave their children behind if they seek relocation or asylum.

Read the full report here.

The International Bar Association hosts a panel to discuss a new report on emergency visas for journalists.

[Editors’ Note: This article has been changed in its first two paragraphs to accurately spell Can Yeginsu’s name, and to reflect the High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom’s affiliation with this report and CPJ’s endorsement of it.]