Sri Lanka

Drawing the line: Cartoonists under threat

While the danger faced by cartoonists is brought into focus by the attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the threats far exceed Islamic extremism. A CPJ special report finds that as their work transcends borders and languages and simplifies complex political situations, cartoonists around the world are being imprisoned, forced into hiding, threatened with legal action or killed. In Malaysia, political cartoonist Zunar, pictured, could face decades in prison for his work.

Slideshow: Cartoonists share their work
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(AP/Joshua Paul)

Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka moves to re-establish restrictive media regulatory body

New York, July 7, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about Sri Lankan authorities' decision to re-establish the Sri Lankan Press Council, a media regulatory body which gives the government powers to jail journalists in connection with their reporting.

Reports   |   Bangladesh, Denmark, Ecuador, France, India, Iran, Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Syria, USA, Venezuela

Drawing the line: Cartoonists under threat

On January 7, two gunmen burst into the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing eight journalists and bringing into focus the risks cartoonists face. But with the ability of their work to transcend borders and languages, and to simplify complex political situations, the threats faced by cartoonists around the world—who are being imprisoned, forced into hiding, threatened with legal action or killed—far exceed Islamic extremism. A Committee to Protect Journalists special report by Shawn W. Crispin

Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Journalist faces charges after publishing report critical of Sri Lankan police

New York, April 9, 2015--A freelance journalist for a Tamil-language daily in Sri Lanka has been charged in connection with a story he wrote that criticized the police, according to news reports and the paper's editor, who spoke to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Letters   |   Sri Lanka

CPJ calls on Sri Lanka to improve press freedom

Dear President Sirisena, As your government's post-election 100-day agenda nears completion the Committee to Protect Journalists, an international press freedom organization, recognizes your early endeavors in keeping promises to ensure media freedom. CPJ would like to request a meeting with you and your government to discuss the problems that persist for the country's media.

Letters   |   Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan president should ensure improved climate for press freedom

Dear President Sirisena: The Committee to Protect Journalists, an international press freedom organization, is writing to congratulate you on your recent victory in Sri Lanka's presidential election. As Sri Lanka readies itself for a new chapter in its history, we urge your government to take concrete and meaningful steps to improve the climate for press freedom.

Blog   |   Sri Lanka

How Sri Lanka's new president can ease decade of repressive press measures

Newspapers announce the election victory of Maithripala Sirisena, who has pledged to improve conditions for the press in Sri Lanka. (AFP/Lakruwan Wanniarachchi)

The stunning defeat of Sri Lanka's incumbent president Mahinda Rajapaksa by challenger Maithripala Sirisena on Friday has given way to questions about what changes, if any, will come for press freedom in a country that had grown deeply repressive under the previous leadership.

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The Road to Justice

Breaking the Cycle of Impunity in the Killing of Journalists

The lack of justice in hundreds of murders of journalists around the world is one of the greatest threats to press freedom today. While international attention to the issue has grown over the past decade, there has been little progress in bringing down rates of impunity. States will have to demonstrate far more political will to implement international commitments to make an impact on the high rates of targeted violence that journalists routinely face. A special report by the Committee to Protect Journalists


October 28, 2014 12:01 AM ET

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The Road to Justice

About This Report

Elisabeth Witchel, the founder of CPJ’s Global Campaign Against Impunity, is the lead author of this report. Witchel launched the campaign in 2007 and has compiled five editions of the organization’s annual Global Impunity Index as well as several other major reports. She has worked in human rights and journalism for more than 15 years and participated in missions to Pakistan, Nepal, and the Philippines, among others. In 2010, she organized CPJ’s Impunity Summit, bringing together 40 representatives from more than 20 press freedom organizations to identify challenges and strategies to combat impunity in violence against journalists.

October 28, 2014 12:00 AM ET

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The Road to Justice

1. What Does Impunity Mean?

In 1981, the year CPJ was founded, Argentina was enmeshed in the so-called Dirty War, in which dozens of journalists were disappeared. Most were never seen again. To this day, no one has systematically documented the media murders that took place, and no one knows precisely how many journalists perished. Not surprisingly, given the information void, there was little international attention on journalists’ disappearances or the broader human rights catastrophe that many of the murdered reporters were seeking to cover.

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The Road to Justice

2. Measuring Progress Against Stubborn Reality

In November 2013, the United Nations General Assembly put the issue of impunity squarely on the global agenda.

The Resolution on Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, adopted by consensus, describes the absence of justice for victims as “one of the main challenges to strengthening the protection of journalists.” It calls on states to “ensure accountability through the conduct of impartial, speedy, and effective investigations into all alleged violence against journalists and media workers falling within their jurisdiction.” Governments are further charged to “bring the perpetrators of such crimes to justice and to ensure that victims have access to appropriate remedies.” The resolution proclaims November 2 as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.

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