Features & Analysis

  

Why authoritarian governments force journalists like Belarus’s Raman Pratasevich into public confessions

Forced confessions—sometimes tied to public humiliation—have a long and inglorious history, and were a fundamental component of ancient judicial systems in the East and West. Obtaining a confession, by any means, for centuries was often a key part of achieving a conviction and meting out punishment. At the Salem witch trials, the accused could escape…

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A raised hand holds a large ID card showing journalists in jail in place of a photo.

Turkish presidency reintroduces press card controls that court found restrictive

On April 1 this year, press freedom groups in Turkey chalked up a small win when the nation’s top administrative court, the Council of State, suspended 2018 rules that made it easier for the authorities to cancel or refuse press cards. The changes had transferred authority over press cards to the presidency and barred them…

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“The camera attracts violence”: Israeli right-wing groups attack local journalists

Israel’s May 15 bombing of The Associated Press and Al-Jazeera offices in Gaza made international headlines, as did the death of a Palestinian journalist in an air strike that may have been a deliberate attack on his home.  There were many other press freedom violations during the recent flare-up, which included unusual levels of street violence between Arabs and Jews in Israeli…

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In Belarus, Pratasevich’s arrest highlights risks facing journalists covering protests

The May 23 arrest of Belarusian journalist and blogger Raman Pratasevich off a diverted commercial passenger flight was a shattering blow to press freedom in Belarus. Pratasevich is the co-founder of NEXTA and chief editor of Belarus of the Brain, two Telegram channels that covered protests against President Aleksandr Lukashenko, a dangerous beat in the country where demonstrations are…

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LISTEN: A year after unprecedented assaults on US media covering protests, what comes next?

Last May, VICE video journalist Dave Mayers went to Minneapolis to cover protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in police custody. A day later, he was arrested with his entire crew for violating a curfew order that specifically exempted reporters.  All over the United States, journalists like Mayers were impeded from doing their…

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UK online safety bill raises censorship concerns and questions on future of encryption

The U.K. government emphasized press freedom this month when it published the draft online safety bill for social media companies, pledging that the bill would protect both “citizen journalism” and “recognized news publishers” from censorship. Vocal segments of the media not only welcomed the legislation, but actively campaigned for it. When Oliver Dowden, secretary of…

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CPJ joins call for Mauritius to reject ICT Act amendments that threaten online speech

The Committee to Protect Journalists today joined more than 50 organizations and individuals in co-signing a letter calling on the government of Mauritius to retract proposed changes to the country’s Information and Communication Technologies Act, known as the ICT Act. The letter, addressed to the Information and Communication Technologies Authority, expressed concern that the amendments’…

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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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CPJ testifies on threats to press freedom in Belarus at Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

Yesterday, at a hearing on Democracy and Human Rights in Belarus before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Gulnoza Said gave testimony on the threats to press freedom and safety of journalists in Belarus.  Said spoke on the sharp increase in press freedom violations and journalists’ detentions since the…

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CPJ, partners call on Colombian authorities to address press freedom violations in protest response

The Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and IFEX-ALC–which includes 24 member organizations across Latin America–yesterday sent a letter to Colombian President Iván Duque and three other high-ranking Colombian officials urging them to investigate press freedom violations committed by state security forces responding to protests and guarantee Colombians’ rights to access information and…

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