Attacks on the Press in 2011

Attacks on the Press in 2011

February 21, 2012 11:39 PM ET

Trade and the Internet are turning us into global citizens, but the news we need to ensure accountability is often stopped at national borders. China is ramping up censorship, Iran is jailing dozens of journalists, and Turkey is using nationalist laws to stifle critical reporting. In Mexico criminals are...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Preface

February 21, 2012 11:38 PM ET

Technology has democratized news publishing, rattling regimes that see their survival dependent on control of information. Video footage of repression from Burma to Syria to Egypt dramatically illustrates the benefits of Internet platforms and social media. Yet the Arab uprisings of 2011 also demonstrate the urgent need for providers...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Abolishing Censorship

February 21, 2012 11:37 PM ET

Even as trade and new systems of communication turn us into global citizens, the information we need to ensure accountability often stops at national borders. New platforms like social media are valuable tools, but the battle against censorship is hardly over. By Joel Simon...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Regulating the Internet

February 21, 2012 11:36 PM ET

Legislation for Internet security can quickly turn into a weapon against the free press. Cybercrime laws are intended to extend existing penal codes to the online world, but they can easily be broadened to criminalize standard journalistic practices. By Danny O'Brien...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Profiles in Freedom

February 21, 2012 11:35 PM ET

How does one negotiate the choice to stay and report potentially dangerous news, rather than take a less risky assignment, leave the profession, or flee the country? The recipients of the 2011 International Press Freedom Awards explain. By Kristin Jones...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Fighting Impunity

February 21, 2012 11:35 PM ET

The global rate of unpunished murders remains stubbornly high at just below 90 percent. Senior officials in the most dangerous countries are finally acknowledging the problem -- the first step in what will be a long, hard battle. By Elisabeth Witchel...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Evolution in Journalist Security

February 21, 2012 11:34 PM ET

The danger of covering violent street protests has become a significant risk for journalists, alongside combat and targeted killings. Sexual assault, organized crime, and digital vulnerability are also hazards. The security industry is struggling to keep up. By Frank Smyth...

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Attacks on the Press: Changing Views on Sexual Assault

February 21, 2012 11:33 PM ET

The much-publicized assault on Lara Logan put the danger of sexual violence for journalists into the spotlight for the first time. As a result, there is more open discussion between reporters and news managers, but still too few preventative steps. By Lauren Wolfe...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Africa

February 21, 2012 11:32 PM ET

Analyses and data chart press freedom conditions throughout the region. Mohamed Keita examines the false choice between development and press freedom, while Tom Rhodes probes an unsolved murder in Kenya that reverberates worldwide....

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Attacks on the Press: Development Trumps Freedom

February 21, 2012 11:32 PM ET

Many African leaders continue to offer a false choice between stability and press freedom. Taking a cue from China, a key investor and model, they stress social stability and development over openness and reform. By Mohamed Keita...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Killing, Coverup in Kenya

February 21, 2012 11:31 PM ET

It is not too late for justice for Francis Nyaruri, who was killed in 2009 after he wrote a story on police corruption. The murder comes against a backdrop of widespread extrajudicial killing. By Tom Rhodes with reporting from Clifford Derrick...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Americas

February 21, 2012 11:30 PM ET

Analyses and data chart press freedom conditions throughout the region. Carlos Lauría describes the rise of state media as a powerful propaganda tool. Mike O'Connor exposes Mexico's failed efforts to combat deadly violence against the press....

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: State Media As Anti-Media Tool

February 21, 2012 11:30 PM ET

In some Latin American countries, state-owned media are used not only for propaganda but as platforms to smear critics, including journalists. Some elected leaders have even invested in large multimedia holdings to further their agendas. By Carlos Lauría...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: In Mexico, Silence or Death Remains the Choice

February 21, 2012 11:29 PM ET

The Mexican president promised to protect a besieged press corps with a federal protection program, a special prosecutor and new legislation making anti-press violence a federal crime. But Felipe Calderón Hinojosa has failed at nearly every turn. By Mike O'Connor...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Working in Peril

February 21, 2012 11:28 PM ET

This video companion to Attacks on the Press recounts the story of Mexican journalist Javier Valdez Cárdenas, who works in one of the world's most dangerous places. (3:26) Read the Attacks on the Press 2011 country profile on Mexico....

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Asia

February 21, 2012 11:27 PM ET

Analyses and data track press conditions throughout the region. Bob Dietz describes efforts by Pakastani journalists to address widespread violence. Shawn Crispin details the faltering prosecution in the Maguindanao massacre. Madeline Earp examines the future of information control in China, and Monica Campbell recounts the plight of Afghan reporters for...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Pakistani Media Look Inward

February 21, 2012 11:27 PM ET

As journalists continue to be targeted, the government of Asif Ali Zardari has shown itself unable and unwilling to stand up for a free press. Whatever solutions exist will have to be found by people in the profession. By Bob Dietz...

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Attacks on the Press: Will Philippines Fail on Maguindanao?

February 21, 2012 11:26 PM ET

Nearly two years since 32 journalists were murdered, the fight for justice has both intensified in rhetoric and bogged down in technicalities. Without a greater commitment of resources, the litmus test is one the Philippines could fail. By Shawn W. Crispin...

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Attacks on the Press: China Holds Fast to Information Control

February 21, 2012 11:25 PM ET

Internet users posed ever-bigger challenges to Beijing's media controls, boosting debate on public safety and censorship. But ahead of a 2012 leadership transition, the Chinese Communist Party looks likely to fiercely suppress dissent. By Madeline Earp...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Fixers on Front Lines

February 21, 2012 11:24 PM ET

Local "fixers" have been essential to foreign reporters covering the Afghan war. While they often do the same work as their international counterparts, they run greater risk and face a far more uncertain future. By Monica Campbell...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Pakistani Journalist Speaks Up

February 21, 2012 11:23 PM ET

Pakistani reporter Umar Cheema speaks out on the climate of impunity that led to his being abducted and brutally assaulted for his work. (4:15) Read the Attacks on the Press 2011 country profile on Pakistan....

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Europe & Central Asia

February 21, 2012 11:22 PM ET

Analyses and data track press freedom conditions, Jean-Paul Marthoz details the European Union's inconsistent approach to press freedom. Nina Ognianova describs Russia's struggles to combat impunity in journalist murders....

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Europe, a Leader That Lags

February 21, 2012 11:22 PM ET

In the EU, some countries appear more immune than others to scrutiny and reproach. Anti-terror laws, political and economic concerns, and a lack of common standards all challenge the credibility of the EU's diplomacy. By Jean-Paul Marthoz...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Impunity Still the Norm in Russia

February 21, 2012 11:21 PM ET

Russian investigators have adopted a more serious tone when discussing unsolved journalist murders, but officials still lack the will to apprehend masterminds of the killings. The lack of convictions takes a serious toll on investigative journalism. By Nina Ognianova...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Impunity on Trial

February 21, 2012 11:21 PM ET

This video companion to Attacks on the Press details a series of journalist murders in Russia since 2000 and the government's inability to bring justice in most of the cases. (4:57)...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Middle East & North Africa

February 21, 2012 11:20 PM ET

Analyses and data track press freedom conditions throughout the region. Mohamed Abdel Dayem examines five trends to watch from the Arab uprisings. María Salazar and Sheryl Mendez describe the fear and uncertainty facing doens of Iranian exiled journalists. And Robert Mahoney details Turkey's assault on free expression....

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Attacks on the Press: From Uprisings, Trends to Watch

February 21, 2012 11:20 PM ET

The Middle East's political shifts changed conditions for journalists dramatically. The emerging trends favor free expression, but are filled with ambiguity and depend on the political configurations to emerge after the revolutionary dust has settled. By Mohamed Abdel Dayem...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Turkey's Legal Problem

February 21, 2012 11:19 PM ET

With the aid of anachronistic legislation and a rigid judiciary, Turkish officials and politicians have curbed free expression by subjecting journalists to endless court proceedings and legal costs. The EU and the U.S. are no help. By Robert Mahoney >> Türkçe...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Iran's Vast Diaspora

February 21, 2012 11:18 PM ET

Journalists who have fled Iran to avoid prison face a tense and lengthy process toward resettlement, an uncertain financial and professional future, and most of all, fear that the Iranian government will catch up with them. By María Salazar-Ferro and Sheryl A. Mendez >> فارسي...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: From Iran Into Exile

February 21, 2012 11:17 PM ET

This video companion to Attacks on the Press recounts the story of Iranian journalist Javad Moghimi Parsa. Time magazine published one of the photos he took during his off-duty coverage of the unrest that came after the 2009 elections. Called a spy, he fled into exile. (2:47) Read the...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: The Year in Photos

February 21, 2012 11:16 PM ET

Photographers from The Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse, and other news outlets documented historic events in 2011, often at great peril. The Year in Photographs: Press Freedom in 2011 features images from the Arab uprisings, South Asia's armed conflicts, and political repression in the Americas, Africa, and Europe....

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Journalists In Prison

February 21, 2012 4:41 PM ET

Iran is the world's worst jailer of the press. Detentions rise in the Middle East and North Africa....

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Journalists Killed

February 21, 2012 4:37 PM ET

Murders decline, but fatalities rise during coverage of protests. Photographers and freelancers pay an especially high price. Pakistan is the world's most dangerous nation....

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Bahrain

February 21, 2012 4:30 PM ET

The government waged a brutal multifaceted crackdown against independent news media covering the country’s months-long protest movement. Security forces subjected journalists to assaults, expulsions, detentions, politicized trials, prison terms, and lethal mistreatment in custody. Both international and local reporters were targeted: A journalist for the U.S. broadcaster ABC was...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Eritrea

February 21, 2012 11:31 AM ET

No independent press has operated in this Red Sea nation since a September 2001 government crackdown on dissent that led to the imprisonment of 11 leading journalists without charge or trial and the enforced closure of their publications. President Isaias Afewerki's administration consistently refused to account for the whereabouts,...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Uzbekistan

February 21, 2012 12:56 AM ET

Authoritarian leader Islam Karimov marked Media Workers Day by calling for an independent domestic press, the state news agency UzA reported, but his long-standing policies of repression belied such statements. The regime is a persistent jailer of journalists, often ranking among the worst in the region. Embattled reporter Abdumalik...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Ukraine

February 21, 2012 12:55 AM ET

The government failed to deliver on President Viktor Yanukovych's promises to investigate official harassment of news media and ensure justice in the 2000 murder of online journalist Georgy Gongadze. Prosecutors indicted former President Leonid Kuchma on abuse-of-office charges in connection with the Gongadze slaying, alleging that he had ordered...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Tajikistan

February 21, 2012 12:54 AM ET

Investigative journalists were targeted with retaliatory arrests and debilitating lawsuits, marking a decline in press freedom conditions. Makhmadyusuf Ismoilov, a reporter for the independent weekly Nuri Zindagi, was imprisoned for nearly a year on defamation charges related to stories on government corruption in the northern Sogd region. BBC correspondent...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Russia

February 21, 2012 12:53 AM ET

Authorities detained at least six journalists covering December protests over flawed parliamentary elections, but in a rare phenomenon Kremlin-controlled television reported on demonstrations that brought tens of thousands of Muscovites onto the streets. In December, a gunman killed the founder of the weekly Chernovik, the 20th work-related murder in...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Kyrgyzstan

February 21, 2012 12:52 AM ET

As President Roza Otunbayeva declared her commitment to press freedom, parliament decriminalized libel, eliminating a tool used by authorities in the past to suppress critical journalism. But rising violence, censorship, and politically motivated prosecutions marred the year in Kyrgyzstan. Parliament ordered state agencies to block domestic access to the...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Kazakhstan

February 21, 2012 12:51 AM ET

The convictions of three men in the 2009 murder in Almaty of prominent Kyrgyz journalist Gennady Pavlyuk was a bright spot in Kazakhstan's otherwise grim press freedom record. The government had yet to reform its media laws in line with international standards, despite its promises to the Organization for...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Hungary

February 21, 2012 12:50 AM ET

On January 1, 2011, the day Hungary assumed the rotating presidency of the European Union, a restrictive new media law came into force. The law created a National Media and Infocommunications Authority--staffed with appointees of the ruling Fidesz party--that was given vast powers to regulate news media. The law...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Belarus

February 21, 2012 12:49 AM ET

After a rigged December 2010 presidential vote, authoritarian leader Aleksandr Lukashenko unleashed two waves of repression against critics and political opponents, one in early year and one in summer. The KGB and police raided independent newsrooms and journalists' homes, confiscated reporting equipment, and jailed independent reporters. Politicized courts handed...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Azerbaijan

February 21, 2012 12:48 AM ET

Four years after Eynulla Fatullayev was imprisoned on a series of fabricated charges, and more than a year after the European Court of Human Rights ordered his immediate release, the editor finally walked free. In an interview with CPJ, Fatullayev praised the international community for its sustained support. Attacks...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Venezuela

February 21, 2012 12:46 AM ET

President Hugo Chávez Frías’ administration continued its systematic campaign to stifle critical reporting through regulatory, judicial, and legislative avenues. The telecommunications regulator fined Globovisión, the country's sole critical television station, more than US$2 million for its coverage of deadly prison riots in June and July. The regulator invoked the...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: United States

February 21, 2012 12:45 AM ET

A federal judge ruled in favor of reporter James Risen, who invoked his First Amendment rights to protect a confidential source. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and other groups called the ruling an important victory for the press. The Department of Justice, which appealed the decision,...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Peru

February 21, 2012 12:44 AM ET

Press freedom suffered notable setbacks in 2011. In the run-up to the presidential election in June, journalists reported an alarming rise in attacks and threats in response to campaign coverage. In northern Peru, one journalist was murdered in reprisal for his work, while two others were killed under unclear...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Mexico

February 21, 2012 12:43 AM ET

Criminal groups exerted extraordinary pressure on the press as they extended their control over virtually every sector of society. Journalists were killed or disappeared, media outlets were bombed and threatened. Pervasive self-censorship was a devastating consequence of this environment. In an information vacuum, journalists and citizens increasingly used social...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Honduras

February 21, 2012 12:42 AM ET

The Honduran press continued to suffer the violent fallout of the 2009 coup that ousted Manuel Zelaya. Four broadcast journalists were murdered in 2011 under unclear circumstances. CPJ is investigating to determine whether the killings were work-related. A climate of violence and widespread impunity has made the country one...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Guatemala

February 21, 2012 12:41 AM ET

Journalists increasingly practiced self-censorship as Mexican drug cartels expanded their presence in Guatemala. In May, criminals in four provinces hung banners in public places, threatening journalists with harm if gang activities were covered. A television journalist in southern Escuintla province was killed under unclear circumstances after receiving several threats....

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Ecuador

February 21, 2012 12:41 AM ET

The press freedom climate continued its sharp decline under President Rafael Correa. In September, a CPJ special report concluded that Correa’s policies had transformed the country into one of the hemisphere’s most restrictive nations for the press. In March, Correa brought a criminal libel complaint against senior managers of...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Cuba

February 21, 2012 12:40 AM ET

Official repression in Cuba remained the most intense in the hemisphere. Although the last of the 29 independent journalists imprisoned in the 2003 Black Spring crackdown was released in April, the government's restrictive practices persisted. Official censorship was codified in law and closely enforced. The government persecuted critical journalists...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Colombia

February 21, 2012 12:39 AM ET

While lethal anti-press violence has slowed considerably in recent years, the press freedom landscape remains troubled. Journalists continue to be attacked and threatened with such frequency that some are compelled to flee to safer locations within Colombia or into exile. A journalist in Arboletes was murdered in June, although...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Brazil

February 21, 2012 12:38 AM ET

In provincial areas where law enforcement is weak, reporters were vulnerable to attack for their coverage of corruption. In urban centers, journalists faced risks while covering organized crime and drug trafficking. Two journalists were killed in direct relation to their work in 2011, and CPJ was investigating the circumstances...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Argentina

February 21, 2012 12:37 AM ET

The Supreme Court of Justice ruled in March that the government should apply reasonable balance in the distribution of state advertising. Ruling in a case brought in 2006 by Editorial Perfil, the country's largest magazine publisher, the court sought to rein in the government's long-standing practice of rewarding supportive news...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Zimbabwe

February 21, 2012 12:36 AM ET

Although official anti-press harassment continued a gradual decline from its peak after the disputed 2008 elections, a highly restrictive legal framework kept domestic, independent news sources to a mere handful. The fractious coalition between Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF and Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC failed to implement the media reforms they had...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Uganda

February 21, 2012 12:35 AM ET

Police and security agents engaged in widespread physical attacks on local and foreign journalists during the general election campaign and its aftermath. Incumbent President Yoweri Museveni was elected to a fourth term in the February vote, which was marred by reports of intimidation and vote-buying. Reporters covering opposition candidates...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: South Africa

February 21, 2012 12:34 AM ET

The ruling African National Congress bridled at news media scrutiny of its record on poverty, crime, and corruption, which raised concerns about the durability of post-apartheid democratic reforms. In June, the government announced a new policy to use state advertising expenditures to reward supportive media outlets. Members of the...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Somalia

February 21, 2012 12:33 AM ET

Local and international journalists faced persistent, deadly violence, with both targeted murders and crossfire killings reported. Four soldiers with the African Union peacekeeping mission fired on a Malaysian humanitarian aid convoy in September, killing one journalist and injuring another. The AU mission in Somalia suspended the soldiers and returned...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Rwanda

February 21, 2012 12:32 AM ET

Authorities pursued an aggressive legal assault against critical journalists, using laws that ban insults against public officials and abusing anti-genocide laws to silence independent voices. President Paul Kagame’s close relations with Western governments continued to shield him from criticism over his administration’s poor press freedom record. In February, a...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Malawi

February 21, 2012 12:31 AM ET

President Bingu wa Mutharika signed a penal code amendment that allowed the government to ban any publication it deemed “not in the public interest.” Authorities did not immediately use the new tactic, but local journalists said the law’s existence had created a chilling effect. Government officials also made use...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Ivory Coast

February 21, 2012 12:30 AM ET

After the disputed November 2010 presidential elections, incumbent Laurent Gbagbo and rival Alassane Ouattara, whom the United Nations recognized as the winner, waged a months-long struggle for power led by partisan media outlets. The fight was centered in the economic capital, Abidjan, where Gbagbo controlled the national media and...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Gambia

February 21, 2012 12:29 AM ET

Years of brutal repression by President Yahya Jammeh’s administration have gutted Gambia’s once-vibrant independent press and driven numerous journalists into exile. In August, the government forced Taranga FM, the last independent radio station airing news in local languages, to halt its coverage. The move came ahead of an October...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Equatorial Guinea

February 21, 2012 12:28 AM ET

News and information was tightly controlled in Equatorial Guinea, which CPJ identified as one of the world’s most censored nations. Nearly all news media were owned and run by the government or its allies. One independently owned newspaper circulated in the country, but had to practice self-censorship; no independent...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Democratic Republic of the Congo

February 21, 2012 12:27 AM ET

Incumbent Joseph Kabila claimed victory in a November presidential election marred by widespread voting irregularities and a spike in attacks on news outlets. While international observers questioned the results, Kabila forces launched a crackdown on dissent. Attacks on the press were concentrated in the capital, Kinshasa, and surrounding Bas...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Cameroon

February 21, 2012 12:26 AM ET

The government sought to curtail popular protests and related news coverage as President Paul Biya extended 29 years of rule in an October election. Having consolidated power through constitutional amendments that removed term limits and stacked the membership of the election oversight agency with loyalists, Biya swept 78 percent of...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Angola

February 21, 2012 12:25 AM ET

Youth-led and social media-fueled protests demanding reform challenged President José Eduardo Dos Santos, who marked 32 years in power. Parliament, controlled by Dos Santos’ MPLA party, considered legislation to “combat crime” in information and communication technology. The bill, pending in late year, would stiffen penalties for defamation and would...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Vietnam

February 21, 2012 12:24 AM ET

Vietnam intensified a media crackdown targeting online journalists and bloggers, reasserting the government’s near-total control of domestic news media. Authorities arrested and detained five bloggers and contributors to online news publications, bringing to nine the number of journalists behind bars. Political bloggers Pham Minh Hoang and Vi Duc Hoi...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Thailand

February 21, 2012 12:23 AM ET

Journalists faced significant restrictions, particularly online, despite democratic elections and a change in government. Outgoing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva cracked down on partisan media, shutting radio stations and detaining Somyot Preuksakasemsuk, editor of a newsmagazine aligned with the anti-government United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship. New premier Yingluck Shinawatra...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Sri Lanka

February 21, 2012 12:22 AM ET

The government's effort to silence critical media has been brutally effective as politically motivated deaths, attacks, and disappearances go uninvestigated and unprosecuted. The sister websites Groundviews and Vikalpa became the last independent news sites based in Sri Lanka, after a series of attacks on Lanka eNews. Arsonists attacked the...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Philippines

February 21, 2012 12:21 AM ET

Despite high levels of press and Internet freedom, provincial journalists worked under constant threat of reprisal. Two broadcast journalists, Gerardo Ortega and Romeo Olea, were shot and killed for their reporting. Both cases were unsolved by year's end, underscoring the country's third worst ranking on CPJ's 2011 Impunity Index,...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Pakistan

February 21, 2012 12:20 AM ET

Meeting with a CPJ delegation in May, President Asif Ali Zardari committed his government to the pursuit of justice in journalist murders. But with seven journalists killed, five in targeted killings, Pakistan was the world's deadliest country for the press for the second consecutive year. High-profile investigations into the...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Nepal

February 21, 2012 12:19 AM ET

Anti-media attacks and harassment flourished in a power vacuum left by the ruling coalition's political struggles. Baburam Bhattarai of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) became prime minister in August, securing support with his proposal to offer amnesty for war crimes, including journalist murders. Four assailants were convicted...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Indonesia

February 21, 2012 12:18 AM ET

With no work-related deaths reported in 2011, Southeast Asia's largest economy and most populous country pulled back from its record high of three fatalities in 2010. The country's vibrant media remained under threat, however, particularly in remote areas. Banjir Ambarita, a contributor to the Jakarta Globe, suffered serious injuries...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: India

February 21, 2012 12:17 AM ET

Although the motives remained unconfirmed in late year, the murders of Chhattisgarh's Umesh Rajput and Mumbai crime reporter Jyotirmoy Dey reminded colleagues of the risk of violence. India remained on CPJ's Impunity Index, a ranking of countries in which journalists are murdered regularly and authorities fail to solve the...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Ethiopia

February 21, 2012 12:16 AM ET

Trumpeting economic growth on par with India and asserting adherence to the authoritarian model of China, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi pushed an ambitious development plan based in part on ever-hardening repression of critical journalists. The government aggressively extended application of a 2009 anti-terrorism law, designating rebel and opposition groups...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: China

February 21, 2012 12:15 AM ET

Authorities blocked reporting of unrest occurring around the world, from Inner Mongolia to the Occupy movement. More than half of the 27 journalists imprisoned on December 1 were from Tibet and Xinjiang, reflecting crackdowns after earlier unrest in minority regions. After online calls for Arab Spring-style demonstrations, dubbed the...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Burma

February 21, 2012 12:14 AM ET

Burma's news media remained among the most restricted in the world, despite the transition from military to civilian rule and President Thein Sein's vow to adopt a more liberal approach. The Press Scrutiny and Registration Department reviewed all local news journals prior to publication, censoring a vast array of...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Afghanistan

February 21, 2012 12:13 AM ET

As NATO and Afghan military forces faced off with militant groups, the news media worked in a hostile and uncertain environment. Two journalists were killed for their work, both during major insurgent attacks. Accusations of widespread fraud marred the second post-Taliban parliamentary elections, which were resolved only by a presidential...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Yemen

February 21, 2012 12:12 AM ET

A besieged government and its supporters retaliated fiercely against journalists covering the months of popular protests that sought an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh's rule. Authorities detained local journalists, expelled international reporters, and confiscated newspapers in an effort to silence coverage, while government supporters and plainclothes agents assaulted...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Tunisia

February 21, 2012 12:11 AM ET

The press enjoyed new freedom after Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was ousted in January amid widespread protests, although a photographer was killed covering the unrest. The release of veteran journalist Fahem Boukadous after several months in prison was welcome news for a press corps accustomed to continued harassment...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Syria

February 21, 2012 12:10 AM ET

The regime enforced an effective media blackout in March, banning international journalists from reporting or entering the country and detaining local journalists who tried to cover protests seeking an end to Bashar al-Assad’s rule. In a widespread campaign to silence media coverage, the government detained and assaulted journalists, expelled...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Sudan

February 21, 2012 12:09 AM ET

Sudan continued to impose extensive censorship by confiscating newspapers and shutting news outlets, and it maintained a hostile atmosphere through the frequent use of harassment and detention. Numerous press freedom violations were reported in the run-up to the January referendum that led to independence for South Sudan. On the...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Saudi Arabia

February 21, 2012 12:08 AM ET

Saudi authorities maintained a suffocating atmosphere of censorship as they further tightened the country's highly restrictive media law. In May, a royal decree amended five articles of the law, barring the publication of any material that contravened Sharia law, impinged on state interests, promoted foreign interests, harmed public order or...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Morocco

February 21, 2012 12:07 AM ET

King Mohamed VI pledged a series of constitutional reforms in March after the region’s wave of popular uprisings passed through the kingdom. But the reforms did not extend to opening up the press. Authorities took concerted measures to suppress coverage of mass protests in Casablanca’s streets. During a March...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Libya

February 21, 2012 12:06 AM ET

Journalists worked in extraordinarily dangerous conditions during the eight-month uprising that ended 42 years of rule by Muammar Qaddafi and led to his death. Five journalists were killed amid fierce fighting between rebels and loyalists. Qaddafi's regime unleashed a widespread campaign to silence foreign and local journalists, detaining dozens...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Jordan

February 21, 2012 12:05 AM ET

Security forces tried to restrict coverage of the country’s civil unrest by attacking journalists covering pro-reform protests, often confiscating or destroying their equipment. Authorities raided the office of a news website in April, destroying equipment and threatening staff members. The same month, Al-Jazeera received a series of threats that...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Italy

February 21, 2012 12:04 AM ET

Silvio Berlusconi’s government crumbled in November amid the country’s economic crisis, ending a tenure marked by manipulation and restriction of the press. As prime minister and media owner, Berlusconi owned or controlled all of Italy’s major national television channels, ensuring news coverage favorable to his administration. He worked methodically...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

February 21, 2012 12:04 AM ET

Hamas forces in Gaza cracked down on journalists covering March demonstrations that called for Palestinian unity. Local journalists were attacked, media bureaus raided, and journalistic material confiscated. In April, three photographers were assaulted in the West Bank while covering skirmishes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers in a village south...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: United Kingdom

February 21, 2012 12:03 AM ET

The News of the World phone-hacking scandal and subsequent public inquiry raised concerns that public interest journalism could suffer from efforts to curtail unethical practices through regulation. While investigating related police leaks, Scotland Yard invoked the Official Secrets Act to pressure a journalist to reveal sources for her coverage...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Iraq

February 21, 2012 12:03 AM ET

Five journalists and a media worker were killed as Iraq maintained its position as one of the most dangerous countries for journalists. In August, the government adopted a law meant to offer journalists more protection, although its vague provisions did little initially to improve conditions. As demonstrations for economic...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Iran

February 21, 2012 12:02 AM ET

Two years after a contested presidential election, Tehran continued to use the mass imprisonment of journalists to silence dissent and quash critical news coverage. Imprisoned journalists suffered greatly amid the crowded and unsanitary conditions of notorious prisons such as Rajaee Shah and Evin. The health of many detainees severely...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: France

February 21, 2012 12:02 AM ET

France’s press freedom record continued a downward slide, in large part because authorities attempted to violate the confidentiality of journalists’ sources and interfere with editorial decisions. Most of the recent cases stemmed from the “Bettencourt affair,” the alleged illegal financing of the presidential party by the billionaire Liliane Bettencourt....

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Egypt

February 21, 2012 12:01 AM ET

During the 18-day uprising that led to Hosni Mubarak's ouster, the government unleashed a systematic campaign to intimidate journalists and obstruct news coverage. Dozens of serious press freedom violations were recorded between January 25 and February 11, as police and government supporters assaulted journalists in the streets. One journalist...

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