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.

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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A woman makes a phone call in front of India-owned Airtel on October 10, 2011 in Abuja. A Nigerian NGO on February 25, 2020, sued the Nigerian Communications Commission over warrantless access to ‘call data.’ (AFP/Pius Utomi Ekpei)

Nigeria’s communications regulator sued over warrantless access to ‘call data’

Laws and Rights Awareness Initiative, a Nigerian nongovernmental organization, filed a lawsuit on February 25 against the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) over regulations granting warrantless access to telecom subscribers’ information, including “call data.” The suit claims that accessing the information “violates and will likely further violate” Nigerians’ constitutional right to privacy, according to a copy…

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A woman vendor waits for customers as she uses her phone at the 'Computer Village' in Ikeja district in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos on May 31, 2017. Nigeria’s police have used telecom surveillance to lure and arrest journalists. (Reuters/Akintunde Akinleye)

How Nigeria’s police used telecom surveillance to lure and arrest journalists

As reporters for Nigeria’s Premium Times newspaper, Samuel Ogundipe and Azeezat Adedigba told CPJ they spoke often over the phone. They had no idea that their regular conversations about work and their personal lives were creating a record of their friendship.

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Hamza Idris (left), an editor with the Daily Trust newspaper, sits with colleague Hussaini Garba Mohammed in their office in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, in February 2019. The office was raided in January by the military, who seized 24 computers. (CPJ/Jonathan Rozen)

Nigerian military targeted journalists’ phones, computers with “forensic search” for sources

Hamza Idris, an editor with the Nigerian Daily Trust, was at the newspaper’s central office on January 6 when the military arrived looking for him. Soldiers with AK47s walked between the newsroom desks repeating his name, he told CPJ. It was the second raid on the paper that day; the first hit the bureau based…

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A billboard for Nigeria's incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari and his deputy, who won re-election in February. (CPJ/Jonathan Rozen)

‘You cannot muzzle the media’: Nigerian journalists on press freedom under Buhari

When Nigeria’s incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari won re-election this year, he campaigned (as he did in 2015) on an image of good governance and anti-corruption. Billboards in the capital, Abuja, bore the smiling faces of the president–who first led Nigeria as military ruler from 1983-1985–and his vice-president Yemi Osinbajo, and called for voters to let…

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The Independence Arch is pictured in Accra, Ghana. Authorities have failed to hold anyone to account in recent attacks on journalists. (CPJ/Jonathan Rozen)

Ghana won’t have press freedom without accountability

Three bullets, fired at close range by two assassins on a black and blue Boxer motorbike on January 16, 2019, killed investigative journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale Divela, according to Sammy Darko, a lawyer working on Divela’s case. Darko told CPJ over the phone that bystanders saw it happen. Ghana’s media community, international rights groups (including CPJ),…

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A billboard featuring President Salva Kiir, left, and opposition leader Riek Machar, is displayed in Juba in 2016. South Sudan is due to resume peace talks under an agreement that includes calls for an end to harassment of the press. (AFP/Albert Gonzalez Farran, CDS)

As peace talks resume South Sudan continues its assault on press freedom

A ceasefire agreement signed on December 21 between the South Sudanese government and opposition forces has revived a 2015 peace process and brought hope that the conflict will not persist into its fifth year. The agreement includes obligations to “ensure protection of media” and “[c]ease all forms of harassment of the media.” Yet, ahead of…

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