CPJ calls on Biden, US lawmakers to push Netanyahu on press freedom

U.S. President Joe Biden  meets with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on October 18, 2023. The two are set to meet again on July 23, 2024 in Washington, D.C., and CPJ and other rights groups are urging the President and other lawmakers to push Netanyahu to improve press freedom and address rights abuses against journalists. (Photo: AFP/Brendan Smialowski)
U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on October 18, 2023. The two are set to meet again on July 25, 2024, in Washington, D.C. (Photo: AFP/Brendan Smialowski)

President Joe Biden should press Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the unprecedented number of journalists killed in the Gaza Strip and the near-total ban on international media entering the Strip, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and seven other human rights and press freedom organizations said in letters to the White House and U.S. Congressional leaders.

The letters call on the U.S. to ensure that Israel stops killing journalists and takes urgent steps to enable the press to report freely throughout the region. The letters also outline press freedom violations and Israel’s failure to hold journalists’ killers to account. Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress on Wednesday and is due to meet with Biden on Thursday.

The letters were signed by Amnesty International USA, Freedom of the Press Foundation, Knight First Amendment Institute, the National Press Club, PEN America, Reporters Without Borders, and the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy. 

 “More than 100 journalists have been killed. An unprecedented number of journalists and media workers have been arrested, often without charge. They have been mistreated and tortured,” CPJ CEO Jodie Ginsberg said in a video message to Netanyahu last week.

Haitian press face ‘existential crisis’ with no end to gang violence
Children accompany armed gang members in a march organised by former police officer Jimmy "Barbecue" Cherizier, leader of an alliance of armed groups, in the Delmas neighbourhood, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, May 10, 2024. Nearly half of the country's population is struggling to feed themselves due to the conflict, since the 2021 assassination of Haiti's last president, armed gangs have expanded their power and influence, taking over most of the capital and expanding to nearby farmlands. "If you are displaced or your family doesn't have a place to sleep, you may need to join armed groups just to cover your needs," said Save the Children Haiti food advisor Jules Roberto. REUTERS/Pedro Valtierra Anza SEARCH "ARDUENGO VALTIERRA HAITI HUNGER" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC2RN8AJCNUV
Children accompany armed gang members during a march in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on May 10, 2024. (Photo: Reuters/Pedro Valtierra Anza)

Le Nouvelliste, Haiti’s oldest independent daily newspaper, has been around for 126 years, and the outlet’s owners are proud to have maintained its operations through the country’s intensifying challenges — from foreign occupation and devastating earthquakes to coups.

But now Le Nouvelliste’s survival — and that of more independent media outlets in the country — may be in grave danger after gang rule has descended the island nation into virtual lawlessness following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021, writes David C. Adams.

Many media outlets have been forced to cut staff due to falling advertising and others say they are close to being forced out of business.

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The Committee to Protect Journalists promotes press freedom worldwide.

We defend the right of journalists to report the news safely and without fear of reprisal.

Journalists Attacked

Myat Thu Tan

MURDERED

Myat Thu Tan, a contributor to the local news website Western News and correspondent for several independent Myanmar news outlets, was shot and killed on January 31, 2024, while in military custody in Mrauk-U in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State.

He was arrested on September 22, 2022, and held in pre-trial detention under a broad provision of the penal code that criminalizes incitement and the dissemination of false news for critical posts he made on his Facebook page. Myat Thu Tan had not been tried or convicted at the time of his death.

The journalist’s body was found buried in a bomb shelter, with the bodies of six other political detainees, and showed signs of torture.

Myanmar’s military junta has cracked down on journalists and media outlets since seizing power in a February 2021 coup.

In at least 8 out of 10 cases, the murderers of journalists go free. CPJ is waging a global campaign against impunity.

journalists killed in 2024 (motive confirmed)
imprisoned in 2023
missing globally