Jonathan Rozen

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.

‘Permanent fear’: Togolese journalists on their lives 1 year after Pegasus Project revelations

One year after news broke about a list of over 50,000 phone numbers allegedly selected for surveillance with Pegasus spyware, journalists around the world continue to live and work with the fear that their phones can be used to track their conversations and penetrate all the personal and professional data stored on their devices. The…

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Botswana journalists remain ‘vigilant’ under new surveillance law

When Botswana’s government sought to pass a new law early this year that would have allowed for warrantless surveillance, local opposition came swift. Authorities eventually introduced judicial oversight, which local media groups considered a success, but the Botswana police’s history of searching journalists’ devices and accessing their telecom information remains cause for concern. “We do…

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In Benin, growing fears over law that can jail journalists for posting news online

Posting on Facebook from Benin’s Central Office for Repression of Cybercrime on November 18, journalist Patrice Gbaguidi wrote that authorities had summoned him for a second time in two weeks over a defamation complaint about one of his articles. That day, he and Hervé Alladé, the owner of Le Soleil Bénin Infos newspaper where Gbaguidi…

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A Nigerian journalist took photos at the scene of killings his government denies. Then the harassment started

The photos showed blood-soaked concrete, a gashed open thigh, and an injured protester grimacing in pain on the ground. Taken by photojournalist Eti-Inyene Godwin Akpan on October 20, 2020, the images tell the story of Nigerian forces’ mass shooting of anti-police brutality protesters at Lagos’ Lekki Toll Gate, an incident the government continues to deny….

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‘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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