Fear of arrest drives journalists into exile

To mark World Refugee Day, CPJ reflects on the experiences faced by the many journalists forced to flee each year after being persecuted for their reporting. Journalists such as Idrak Abbasov, from Azerbaijan; Sanna Camara, from Gambia, and Sevgi Akarçeşme, from Turkey, are forced to choose between prison and exile. Bob Rugurika, a radio director from Burundi, has been forced to flee his country three times. Pictured: his release from prison in early 2015 is celebrated at his radio station.

Journalists imprisoned worldwide
Journalist Assistance resource center

Blog   |   Azerbaijan, Burundi, Gambia, Turkey

World Refugee Day: Fear of arrest drives journalists into exile

In August 2014 two journalists living more than 4,000 miles apart slipped across a border to find safety: one with his wife and three children, the other alone. Idrak Abbasov, from Azerbaijan, and Sanna Camara, from Gambia, faced imprisonment because of their reporting. Neither has been able to return home.

Blog   |   Gambia, Iraq, Russia, USA

Global Magnitsky Act could be powerful weapon against impunity in journalist murders

The funeral of Sergei Magnitsky is held in Moscow on November 20, 2009. The lawyer died in state custody after exposing official corruption. (Reuters/Mikhail Voskresensky)

Last week, the proposed Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act emerged from the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee with approval. The bill was passed by the Senate last year. If passed by the full House of Representatives and signed into law by the president, it has the potential to offer partial redress to one of the most chilling truths facing journalists today: in 90 percent of cases, the murders of journalists go unpunished.

Blog   |   Gambia

Gambia should free ailing, arbitrarily detained journalist

CPJ today joined with Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to call on Gambia to free Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay, managing director of the independent radio station Teranga FM, who has been charged with sedition and "publication of false news." Ceesay has been hospitalized twice since the beginning of 2016. Read the full statement here.

March 9, 2016 11:20 AM ET


Reports   |   Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cameroon, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, India, Iran, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritania, Morocco, Myanmar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, UAE, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

China, Egypt imprison record numbers of journalists

Egypt is second only to China as the world’s worst jailer of journalists in 2015. Worldwide, the number of journalists behind bars for their work declined moderately during the year, but a handful of countries continue to use systematic imprisonment to silence criticism. A CPJ special report by Elana Beiser

The Egyptian photojournalist known as Shawkan appears before a court in Cairo in May 2015 for the first time after more than 600 days in jail. A record number of journalists are imprisoned in Egypt in 2015. (AP/Lobna Tarek)

Letters   |   Gambia

CPJ calls on the Gambia to free journalist, drop charges against him

Dear President Jammeh: The Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent international press freedom organization, is writing to express its concern about a Gambian journalist who has been held by the National Intelligence Agency since July 17.

Alerts   |   Gambia

Gambian journalist abducted again, days after he was freed

New York, July 21, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists holds Gambian authorities responsible for the safety and well-being of radio journalist Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay. Ceesay was seen being forced into a car in Banjul, the capital, on July 17, four days after he was held for almost two weeks by individuals suspected of being government agents, according to news reports and a member of the journalist's family.

July 21, 2015 4:59 PM ET


Alerts   |   Gambia

Gambia should disclose whereabouts of radio journalist

Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay. (Amadou Csay)

Abuja, Nigeria, July 9, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Gambian authorities to disclose the whereabouts, health, and legal status of Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay, a radio journalist who was last seen on July 2 with individuals reported to be Gambian state security agents.

"Gambian security agents have long stoked a climate of fear for journalists working in the country," said Peter Nkanga, CPJ West Africa representative. "We call on Gambian authorities to immediately release Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay and to stop trying to silence the media through intimidation."

Alerts   |   Gambia

Gambia radio station censored, director harassed after foiled coup

Abuja, Nigeria, January 8, 2015--An independent radio station that Gambian authorities ordered to stop broadcasting from January 1 to 4 after a failed coup attempt in the country has been allowed back on air, but ordered to play only music, according to news reports and local journalists.

Blog   |   Angola, Cameroon, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Republic of Congo, Swaziland, USA, Uganda

First US-Africa summit short on press freedom, other human rights

CPJ board member Clarence Page, right, speaks  at a panel Wednesday organized by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights in partnership with CPJ in Washington, D.C. (CPJ/Rachael Levy)

Top African and U.S. leaders are meeting next week in Washington in a first-of-its-kind summit focused on African development. But critics argue the summit is flawed in design, overlooking human rights such as freedom of expression and barring civil society actors from bilateral discussions.

Alerts   |   Gambia

Gambia police harass journalist over human trafficking story

Abuja, Nigeria, July 1, 2014--Gambian police should stop harassing a journalist over a story highlighting human trafficking in the country, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

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