Jonathan Rozen/CPJ Senior Africa Researcher

Jonathan Rozen is CPJ's senior Africa researcher. Previously, he worked in South Africa, Mozambique, and Canada with the Institute for Security Studies, assessing Mozambican peace-building processes. Rozen was a U.N. correspondent for IPS News and has written for Al-Jazeera English and the International Peace Institute. He speaks English and French.

‘There is no private life’: Three Togolese journalists react to being selected for spyware surveillance

When Komlanvi Ketohou fled Togo in early 2021, he left behind his home, his family, and his cell phone that the gendarmerie seized when they arrested and detained him over a report published by his newspaper, L’Independant Express. In July, Ketohou, who goes by Carlos, learned that the phone number connected to the device they…

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Botswana police use Israeli Cellebrite tech to search another journalist’s phone

Tsaone Basimanebotlhe was not expecting security agents to appear at her home in a village outside Gaborone, Botswana’s capital, in July 2019, she told CPJ in a recent interview. But they didn’t come to arrest or charge her, she recalled – they came for her devices, hunting for the source for an article published by…

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In Burkina Faso, Spanish journalist killings underscore broader dangers to the press

The murder of Spanish reporters David Beriain and Roberto Fraile by unidentified attackers last week in eastern Burkina Faso was a tragic example of the dangerous working conditions for  journalists in the country, where the government has struggled to contain a rise in militant activity in recent years.   Beriain and Fraile were kidnapped along with Rory Young, an Irish conservation worker, from an anti-poaching convoy…

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A man examines a large Cellebrite demo screen showing data analysis.

Equipped by US, Israeli firms, police in Botswana search phones for sources

Oratile Dikologang was naked when police officers pulled black plastic over his head during his detention in April 2020. It was difficult to breathe, but the interrogation continued, he told CPJ in a recent phone interview. “What are your sources, where do you get information,” he recalled them asking repeatedly. “It was the most painful…

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CPJ joins letter urging NSO to act on commitments to curb spyware abuse

The Committee to Protect Journalists and eight other civil society groups today co-signed an open letter asking the Israel-based NSO Group company to deliver on its commitments to improve transparency about sales of its advanced spyware, and due diligence to protect human rights. Research by CPJ and other organizations indicates that the company’s Pegasus product…

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How U.S. copyright law and fake Gmail accounts were used to censor a report on gambling in Kenya

On February 4, Emmanuel Dogbevi turned to Twitter with a plea for help. He tagged press freedom groups and colleagues in a series of tweets, lamenting how allegations that he violated U.S. copyright law had prompted his news website to be taken offline.  Dogbevi told CPJ via phone that Ghana Business News, the Ghana-based website he edits,…

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A man is shown in profile against a window holding a camera up to take a photo.

CPJ joins call to revise Nigeria’s draft data protection bill

The Committee to Protect Journalists has joined Paradigm Initiative, a Nigeria-based digital rights group, and the NetRights Coalition of over 100 global civil society groups to submit comments on Nigeria’s draft data protection bill, which is undergoing a public consultation process. The submission said that the bill should “protect those fulfilling their duty as journalists”…

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Ghana police officials receive technology

US, UK, Interpol give Ghana phone hacking tools, raising journalist concerns on safety and confidentiality

In May 2019, senior members of Ghana’s law enforcement posed for photos with the U.S. ambassador to their country at a ceremony in the capital, Accra. Between them they held boxes and bags, gifts from the U.S. government to Ghana which, according to one of the recipients, contained Israeli phone hacking technology. That recipient was…

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A police officer clears shoppers from a market on the first day of lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19 disease in Monrovia, Liberia, on April 11, 2020. The government says the right to free expression is suspended during the state of emergency. (Reuters/Derick Snyder)

Liberia’s journalists wary as authorities announce new press passes, threaten shutdowns

When the coronavirus arrived in Liberia, local journalists knew what it meant to report on a deadly, infectious disease; six years earlier they had donned personal protective equipment (PPE) to report on the Ebola crisis, Musa Kenneh, the Press Union of Liberia’s secretary general, told CPJ. But this time, Kenneh said, threatening comments from government…

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People use computers in Lagos, Nigeria, on January 20, 2020. Nigerian journalists recently spoke with CPJ about their concerns over a proposed social media bill. (Reuters/Temilade Adelaja)

‘An attempt to gag the media’: Journalists on Nigeria’s proposed social media bill

At a public hearing on Nigeria’s social media bill held in Abuja last month, the voice of Chris Isiguzo, president of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), rang clearly across the room: “This bill…seeks to pigeonhole Nigerians from freely expressing themselves.” The NUJ is “totally opposed” to it, he said.

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