CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Entries by Author

Blog   |   Security, USA

In times of war, Pentagon reserves right to treat journalists like spies

A press briefing at the Pentagon in April. Worrying guidelines on how the military can categorize the press during conflict are contained in the Defense Department's Law of War Manual. (AP/Andrew Harnik)

The Pentagon has produced its first Department of Defense-wide Law of War Manual and the results are not encouraging for journalists who, the documents states, may be treated as "unprivileged belligerents." But the manual's justification for categorizing journalists this way is not based on any specific case, law or treaty. Instead, the relevant passages have footnotes referring to either other parts of the document or matters not germane to this legal assertion. And the language used to attempt to justify this categorization is weak at best.

Blog   |   Philippines

Justice delayed is justice denied in Philippines' Maguindanao massacre

Philippine citizens light candles in memory of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre. No one has been convicted in the case, and one of the alleged masterminds died of a heart attack earlier this month. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

During his final State of the Nation Address this week, President Benigno Aquino III made only a passing mention of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre that killed 57 people, including 32 journalists and media workers. He did not detail any plans for action on the case, despite his vow to deliver justice before his term ends in 2016.

Blog   |   Azerbaijan

International coalition marks anniversary of crackdown on rights in Azerbaijan

A year after the Azerbaijani government launched an unprecedented crackdown on human rights including press freedom, the situation in the country continues to deteriorate, the Sports for Rights coalition said today. The coalition of international organizations, including CPJ, released a statement today to mark the anniversary of what is widely described as the worst government campaign against critics that Baku has ever carried out.

July 30, 2015 2:29 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   China

'I don't want to die here': Gao Yu's health deteriorates in Beijing prison

Protesters hold up pictures of jailed journalist Gao Yu in Hong Kong in April. Gao's health has deteriorated since she was imprisoned in Beijing. (AP/Kin Cheung)

The lawyer for jailed Chinese journalist Gao Yu says the freelance reporter's health has declined since she was sentenced in April to seven years in prison for leaking state secrets. Shang Baojun, who visited Gao in Beijing No.1 Detention Center on July 28, told CPJ that Gao says she is scared she will die in prison after hearing the results of a health check.

July 29, 2015 5:56 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Malaysia

Dogged by fraud allegations, Malaysia targets media

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, center, denies allegations that he received money from a state investment fund for personal use. (AP/Joshua Paul)

Investigative reporting on alleged mismanagement of a Malaysian state investment fund has triggered a backlash against muckraking media. On Friday, the Home Ministry ordered the suspension of two local news publications, The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily, for three months on the grounds that their reporting on the fund, known as 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), had prejudiced public order, security, and national interests, according to news reports. The suspension came into effect today.

Blog   |   Morocco

Moroccan king must allow Ali Lmrabet to practice journalism

Moroccans take part in a demonstration to support French-Moroccan satirical journalist Ali Lmrabet on July 24 in front of the parliament in the Moroccan capital Rabat. (AFP/Fadel Senna)

The Committee to Protect Journalists today joined 161 organizations, writers, journalists, human rights defenders, lawyers, and politicians in calling on the king of Morocco to stop the administrative harassment of Ali Lmrabet. The satirical journalist has been on hunger strike outside the U.N.'s Geneva offices since June 24, according to news reports.

July 24, 2015 3:59 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Hungary

New hurdles for Hungary's press as Orbán restricts FOI requests

Viktor Orbán at a European Parliament debate about Hungary in May. His government has brought in a law that will make it harder for journalists and others to make Freedom of Information Act requests. (AFP/Frederick Florin)

"This is the best thing that has ever happened in Hungary." Katalin Erdélyi, a freedom of information activist, was referring to a ground-breaking website launched in Hungary in 2012. "I was glad because I realized the potential and how it will help me get all the information I longed for," she told me. The website, KiMitTud (WhoKnowsWhat, in English) is a simple online tool that helps average citizens file information requests to public bodies, and to view and comment on other people's requests. "I alone filed around 500 requests since the launch," Erdélyi said.

Blog   |   CPJ, Kenya

Mission Journal: Will Obama's visit boost hopes for press freedom in Kenya?

Billboards at Nairobi's airport welcome Barack Obama to Kenya. (CPJ/Sue Valentine)

President Barack Obama is expected to address a range of topics when he arrives in Kenya tomorrow. The Kenyan government says it plans to discuss security and trade, while opposition parties and civil society want good governance and human rights added to the agenda, according to news reports. We hope the discussion includes the commitments to improve press freedom that the Kenyan government made to CPJ last week.

On July 15, we released our special report, "Broken Promises: How Kenya is failing to uphold its commitment to a free press," in Nairobi to a room full of more than 50 Kenyan and foreign journalists. The report found that a combination of legal and physical harassment, as well as concentration in media ownership, is making it increasingly difficult for journalists to work freely in Kenya.

Blog   |   China

How China's national security and cybersecurity laws will further curb press freedom

Police gather near Beijing No. 3 People's Intermediate Court where veteran journalist Gao Yu is on trial on accusations of leaking state secrets, Friday, November 21, 2014. (AP/Ng Han Guan)

Convincing potential sources to share information and publishing independent journalism on social media or with the help of crowd-funding are a few of the practices that are likely to suffer under a pair of new Chinese laws--one passed, one still in draft form--local journalists tell CPJ.

Blog   |   Vietnam

Q&A: Ta Phong Tan's sister calls for release of ailing and jailed Vietnamese blogger

Ta Phong Tan, third from left, was a founding member of the Free Journalists Club of Vietnam. (Nguyen Tien Trung/Flickr)

As an independent blogger, Ta Phong Tan often highlighted abuses in Vietnam's justice system. Now as a prisoner of conscience serving a 10-year sentence for "propagandizing against the state," an anti-state offense under Article 88 of Vietnam's criminal code, she is suffering under the same abusive system she once critiqued and exposed.

July 20, 2015 1:24 PM ET

Tags:

Social Media

View all »