December 2011

CPJ Blog

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Belarusian website Charter 97 attacked, shut down

December 30, 2011 2:43 PM ET

It's not unusual for Charter 97, a Belarusian pro-opposition news website, to be disrupted online. CPJ has documented intimidations, threats, and arrests against its staff members, the murder of its founder, and denial-of-service attacks against the website....

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More revelations of threats to Pakistani journalists

December 30, 2011 11:54 AM ET

We released a statement Thursday--CPJ supports Pakistani journalists facing threats--about the decision of two Pakistani journalists to publicly announce the threats they had been receiving. Najam Sethi, editor of The Friday Times and host of a popular Urdu-language political program on Geo TV, and Jugnu Mohsin, also a Friday...

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India struggles to cope with growing Internet penetration

December 28, 2011 2:47 PM ET

As Internet penetration deepens, largely religiously and socially conservative India is struggling to cope with concerns about controversial web content and its easy accessibility to a vast population, all with little oversight. Local courts have become the launching point for some of the anti-Web offensives....

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'Where is the state?' asks Pakistani journalist under threat

December 27, 2011 1:45 PM ET

Since making me aware of threats to Hamid Mir on December 20, Umar Cheema and I have been encouraging Pakistani journalists we know who are under threat to step forward with their own experiences. Ghulamaddin, producer for Samaa TV in Karachi who broke the story of students held in...

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Responding to Turkey's appalling press freedom record

December 23, 2011 10:36 AM ET

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would like to take credit for Turkey's economic growth and increasing regional influence, but when challenged on his country's abysmal  press freedom record he tends to blame others, including the media itself which, he says, exaggerates the problem. But the facts speak for themselves,...

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How to survive in Tanzania's press

December 23, 2011 9:39 AM ET

There is one simple rule for survival in Tanzania's media - whether you are an editor, reporter, columnist, printer, or even news vendor: don't be critical. Thanks to repressive laws on Tanzania's books, an article considered libelous by the state can get anyone in trouble, even prominent journalists such as...

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More on threats and journalist safety in Pakistan

December 22, 2011 4:55 PM ET

Tuesday's blog about threats to Hamid Mir generated a lot of discussion on our site. Mir messaged overnight, saying his case was widely reported in newspapers and discussed in Parliament, and there will be a committee of Parliament established to probe the issue. The Associated Press of Pakistan noted that...

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The press silenced, Nuevo Laredo tries to find voice

December 22, 2011 10:58 AM ET

You don't notice it at first. Not with the people seemingly moving as normal on the sidewalks and the happy recorded music blaring across the plaza in front of city hall to announce the annual cowboy parade. No, at first Nuevo Laredo looks like a regular border town, until...

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Policing the Internet in India

December 21, 2011 3:00 PM ET

Amid a raging debate on Internet freedom and censorship in India, members of the government met last week with a clutch of website operators, including representatives of Yahoo, Google, Facebook and Microsoft. In a meeting scheduled to address a wider plan to leverage social media to empower the government, it's...

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In China, real people vs. Internet minders

December 21, 2011 12:14 PM ET

In the next three months, users of China's microblog weibo.com --- "weibo" is the generic Chinese term for Twitter-like platforms --- run by the huge sina.com (the English site is here) news portal, entertainment and blogging site, will have to start providing their real-world identities to the site, instead...

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Pakistan's Hamid Mir publicizes a death threat

December 20, 2011 1:54 PM ET

Geo TV's most prominent television anchor, and one of the most prominent journalists in Pakistan, has just circulated a detailed email message of threats he has been receiving. Hamid Mir's open, public response to the threats is a textbook case of how to handle the steady stream of intimidation that...

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Journalists killed: Inside the numbers

December 20, 2011 12:00 AM ET

CPJ today released its annual tally of the journalists killed around the world. This is always a somber occasion for us as we chronicle the grim toll, remember friends who have been lost, and recommit ourselves to justice. It's also a time when we are asked questions about our research...

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In Nairobi, plans to improve aid to exiled journalists

December 16, 2011 10:25 AM ET

Kassahun Yilma left Ethiopia quickly in December 2009. He didn't have time to save money for the journey, choose a place to go, arrange housing or a job. He left his wife, his mother, his house and all his friends behind. Yilma didn't know what lay ahead. He only knew...

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Impunity still reigns in beating of Oleg Kashin

December 15, 2011 5:08 PM ET

A year ago, on a November night, two unidentified assailants awaited Oleg Kashin, a correspondent for the Russian business daily Kommersant, by his home on a central Moscow street, a 10-minute walk from the Kremlin. The two had hidden steel rods in bouquets of flowers....

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Pursuing justice for Gambia's Deyda Hydara

December 15, 2011 4:23 PM ET

December 16 will be the seventh anniversary of the killing of Deyda Hydara, the dean of Gambian journalism. It is also the 20th anniversary of the first issue of The Point, the courageously independent-minded daily that Hydara founded and directed for many years. He was murdered in a drive-by...

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Mission Journal: Secrets bill spurs South African press

December 14, 2011 3:41 PM ET

Irrespective of whether South Africa actually implements the most draconian parts of state secrets legislation now under consideration, the media in the continent's most open democracy already feel under threat. The prospect of 25-year jail sentences for journalists publishing "classified" information has galvanized disparate news outlets and journalists groups...

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Q&A: Press Council of India's Katju on media safety

December 13, 2011 10:44 AM ET

Retired Supreme Court Justice Markandey Katju is shaking things up at the Press Council of India, where he was appointed chairman in October. The statutory body, mandated to look at media freedom and address complaints against the print media since 1966, has often been criticized for ineffectiveness, its role...

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Ríodoce attack shows need for denial-of-service defenses

December 12, 2011 11:25 AM ET

A founder of Mexican news weekly Ríodoce, Javier Valdez Cárdenas, traveled to New York in November to receive CPJ's International Press Freedom Award at our annual benefit dinner. No sooner had he returned to Mexico than Ríodoce's website was thrown offline by a denial of service (DOS) attack, in which...

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Awramba Times is latest Ethiopian paper to vanish

December 9, 2011 5:27 PM ET

A couple of weeks ago, newspaper editor Dawit Kebede, an International Press Freedom award winner, fled Ethiopia. Sadly, Dawit's Awramba Times is the latest in a long list of Amharic-language private publications to vanish from the market following the incarceration or flight into exile of their editors....

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Several tallies, one conclusion on Turkish press freedom

December 8, 2011 4:13 PM ET

Press freedom in Turkey is under assault. Thousands of criminal cases have been filed against reporters, the Criminal Code and Anti-Terrorism Act are used routinely to silence critical news coverage, and Kurdish journalists face constant persecution. Today CPJ released its annual prison census, which tracks cases of journalists jailed for...

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China's jailed Uighurs: Out of sight, not out of mind

December 8, 2011 12:00 AM ET

For the first time in more than a decade, China is not the world's worst jailer of the press in CPJ's annual census of imprisoned journalists. Among the 27 jailed in China, one group has seen a massive jump in imprisonments. In another first since CPJ began taking its census,...

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Intimidation or imprisonment by 'democratic instruments'

December 8, 2011 12:00 AM ET

Three years ago, I met Minister Bereket Simon at his office at the center of Addis Ababa. I was with my colleague Abiye Teklemariam -- who was recently charged with terrorism, treason and espionage along with five other journalists, including myself....

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Protests not newsworthy to Kremlin-controlled media

December 7, 2011 3:54 PM ET

Following Sunday's elections to the Russian Duma, news reports abound of the wave of opposition protests that have hit Russia's current and historic capitals, Moscow and St. Petersburg. In demonstrations unprecedented in the past decade, thousands of protesters have taken to the streets chanting "Russia without Putin!" and calling...

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Six years later: Hayatullah Khan's family calls for justice

December 6, 2011 5:04 PM ET

Six years after the murder of journalist Hayatullah Khan, his brother Ahsan Ahmad Khan has asked CPJ to put pressure on the government and the Supreme Court of Pakistan to ensure that a special investigation carried out in September 2006 into the journalist's death be released. (A copy of...

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The silent funeral of an exiled Rwandan journalist

December 5, 2011 5:15 PM ET

The crime reporter for Uganda's vibrant Daily Monitor, Andrew Bagala, went to an odd funeral over the weekend. Last week, he covered the murder of online journalist Charles Ingabire, 32, who was shot dead in the early hours of Thursday morning by unknown gunmen at a bar in a...

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Solomon Abera, who voiced end of Eritrean free press, dies

December 2, 2011 5:12 PM ET

The name Solomon Abera will forever be etched in the collective memory of Eritrea's press corps. On September 18, 2001, as the world focused its attention on the terrorist attacks on the United States, the government of Eritrea borrowed Abera's voice to sound the death knell, on state-controlled airwaves,...

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Q & A: Khudaiberdiyev on Kyrgyz trial, press freedom

December 1, 2011 1:22 PM ET

In late October, a regional court in Jalal-Abad, southern Kyrgyzstan, convicted and sentenced in absentia to hefty prison terms two ethnic Uzbek media owners, Dzhavlon Mirzakhodzhayev of Mezon TV and Khalil Khudaiberdiyev of Osh TV. Both men were tried in connection to the ethnic conflict that ravaged southern Kyrgyzstan...

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