Tom Rhodes/Africa Program Coordinator

Tom Rhodes is CPJ's East Africa representative, based in Nairobi. Rhodes is a founder of southern Sudan’s first independent newspaper. Follow him on Twitter: @africamedia_CPJ


Six senators call for Ebrima Manneh’s immediate release

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) leads a group of six senators to call for the immediate release of the former state Daily Observer newspaper, “Chief” Ebrima Manneh today. Colleagues at the newspaper say they witnessed two plainclothes Gambian National Intelligence Agency officers whisk Manneh, right, away in July 2006. He has not been seen since despite repeated calls…

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Mission Journal: Mysterious raid draws new concerns

On March 2, 2006, Kenyan state agents conducted a commando-style midnight raid on the Standard Group, owner of an independent daily and KTN Television in the capital, Nairobi. The agents seized computers and tapes, vandalized a printing press, and burned roughly 20,000 copies of The Standard, Chief Executive Officer Tom Mshindi told me recently in…

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(Jean Pierre Harerimana)

Former CPJ award winner acquitted in Burundi

The staff at CPJ was relieved to hear that former CPJ Press Freedom Award winner Alexis Sinduhije was released from prison today. The former radio station director and veteran Burundian journalist was acquitted by a Bujumbura court after serving four months of a two and a half year jail sentence for “insulting the president.” A…

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Remembering Said Tahlil

Falastiin Iman, a former producer for the independent Somali broadcaster HornAfrik, was talking by phone on Sunday with the station’s director, Said Tahlil, left. He was upbeat, she said, a mood that is not easy to come by in Mogadishu. “He was so happy that peace was finally coming to Somalia and that, miraculously, HornAfrik…

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How diamond rings silence Zimbabwe’s foreign press

The Hong Kong police announced on Monday they would investigate the alleged assault on photographer Richard Jones by Zimbabwe’s first lady, Grace Mugabe, while she was on vacation. On January 15, Jones claimed Mugabe ordered her bodyguard to hold the photographer down while she punched him repeatedly in the face near Hong Kong’s exclusive Shangri-la…

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In Kenya, a flawed U.S. comparison to bolster a faulty law

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki says he will reconsider the deeply flawed communications legislation that he signed into law at the beginning of the year. Kibaki said he would direct the Information Ministry and attorney general to consider the concerns of Kenya’s media and present them to the cabinet for possible legislative revision. CPJ and other…

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West African journalists fight back

This week marks a significant change in the press freedom climate for journalists in West Africa: Journalists, media organizations, and activists in the region fought back against attacks and censorship against the press, in contrast to a decade ago, when the media was too oppressed and scared to speak out. In Sierra Leone, Guinea, and…

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Australian photojournalist Nigel Brennan. (Reuters)

Day 7: Freelancers hostage in Somalia

Today marks the seventh day that four media workers have been held hostage by an unknown group roughly 12 miles (20 kilometers) west of Mogadishu. Freelance journalists Amanda Lindhout, Nigel Brennan, and Abdifatah Mohamed Elmi, along with driver Mahad Clise, were returning from interviews with Somali refugees at Celasha Biyaha when they were kidnapped along…

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UPDATED: In Manneh case, Gambia silent as questions mount

Considerable international press coverage arose from U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin’s statements on the Senate floor last week, calling on the Gambian government to release imprisoned journalist Chief Ebrima Manneh. But Durbin’s request has not drawn a response from the Gambian Embassy in Washington. Ambassador Abdul R. Cole told CPJ today that his government would not…

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Photographer Richard Mills dies in Harare

A personal tragedy unfolded in Zimbabwe this week with the death of photographer Richard Mills. The Times of London photographer was working undercover in Harare when he was found dead on July 14 in his hotel room. Authorities said there was no evidence of foul play. Hundreds attended a funeral service at Roselawn Cemetery in…

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