March 2013

CPJ Blog

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In UAE and Qatar, key trials go unreported as media barred

March 29, 2013 3:48 PM ET

In the past month, officials in both the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have prevented journalists from reporting on important court proceedings. But it is not too late to allow the press to cover these crucial cases....

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Indian law enforcement unaccountable in journalist attacks

March 29, 2013 2:43 PM ET

Anyone who has been to India or is familiar with the country knows how chaotic it can be: from the congestion on the streets of Delhi to the messy way in which democracy functions. And for journalists, covering the chaos of India can be risky business. This week alone,...

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In Egypt, crackdown against media reaches new lows

March 27, 2013 5:31 PM ET

The government of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi continues to escalate its offensive against journalists. Details of the most recent case, in which an arrest warrant was issued for blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah for inciting "aggression" against members of the Muslim Brotherhood, show how low the government is willing to...

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In Uzbekistan, speculation swirls as Karimov out of sight

March 26, 2013 6:12 PM ET

In the most tightly controlled countries, the media is told what they are allowed to report on and what topics are taboo. Anything related to the leader's health or his family is generally in the latter category. The resulting information vacuum can lead to rumors and uncertainty....

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At OAS, a victory for human rights and free expression

March 26, 2013 5:08 PM ET

By reaffirming the autonomy and independence of the regional human rights system and rejecting attempts to neutralize the work of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and its special rapporteur for freedom of expression, the Organization of American States (OAS) chose last week to discard proposals that would...

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Russia steps up crackdown on rights groups, Internet

March 26, 2013 3:40 PM ET

Recent statements by Vladimir Putin and Russian Member of Parliament (MP) Aleksey Mitrofanov, as well as raids on human rights organizations, signal that the threat hanging over civil society and freedom of expression in Russia has become reality. Since Putin returned to presidential office in May, the Kremlin has...

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Tony Lewis gave CPJ authority, devotion over decades

March 25, 2013 5:52 PM ET

Back in 1981, when CPJ was being formed and its board of directors assembled, Tony Lewis, who died today at age 85, was one of the first people we approached. As the author of books such as Gideon's Trumpet, as a widely read columnist for The New York Times,...

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Zimbabwe frees prominent lawyer Mtetwa on bail

March 25, 2013 3:59 PM ET

Beatrice Mtetwa, a tenacious lawyer who has won accolades for stubbornly defending journalists and others persecuted by Robert Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe, regained her freedom today after a hellish week that began on March 17 when she was arrested and charged with the criminal offense of "defeating or obstructing...

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In India, media gag order on rape trial lifted

March 25, 2013 12:55 PM ET

In a welcome move, Indian media will finally be allowed to cover court proceedings in the rape case that shook India's conscience. On Friday, the Delhi High Court lifted a gag order on media covering the ongoing trial of those accused of the gang rape and murder of a...

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Jubilation, then tragedy, for Mogadishu press this week

March 22, 2013 3:59 PM ET

"He's free! He's free!" a friend of mine from Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, shouted down the phone line on Sunday. For a fleeting second I did not know whom he referred to, given the high number of journalists imprisoned in the Horn region of Africa--but then it dawned on me:...

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Press freedom groups denounce repression in Azerbaijan

March 21, 2013 2:33 PM ET

In a joint statement today, leading international press freedom and human rights groups, including CPJ, condemned the ongoing repression of journalists and rights activists in Azerbaijan and urged authorities to address the issue immediately....

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New challenges for local and foreign press in Kenya

March 21, 2013 10:47 AM ET

Kenya has passed peacefully through its election period, but questions still hang over the legitimacy of presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta's victory--as well as over the future of the country's media coverage. During polling, challenges arose for both local and international media, and they have not subsided. For the foreign...

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Portuguese media chilled by Angolan involvement

March 20, 2013 2:44 PM ET

Portuguese journalists are increasingly concerned by Angola's growing investment and influence in their country. Buoyed by petrodollars and diamonds, powerful Angolan interests have been indulging in a buying spree in their former colonial power. Angolan capital invested in Portugal increased 35 times in the past decade, according to news...

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Iraq war and news media: A look inside the death toll

March 18, 2013 4:24 PM ET

The U.S.-led war in Iraq claimed the lives of a record number of journalists and challenged some commonly held perceptions about the risks of covering conflict. Far more journalists, for example, were murdered in targeted killings in Iraq than died in combat-related circumstances. Here, on the 10th anniversary of...

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Globovisión sale would finish critical Venezuelan TV

March 18, 2013 3:56 PM ET

If the proposed sale of Globovisión, the single remaining TV station critical of the Venezuelan government, is finalized next month, the broadcaster will almost certainly become less combative and could eventually turn into another government mouthpiece, according to news reports, local journalists, and analysts....

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Sánchez, Cuba's blogging pioneer, eyes a new trail to blaze

March 15, 2013 4:32 PM ET

Having broken through one long-standing barrier, Yoani Sánchez, the pioneering figure in Cuba's independent blogosphere, is looking to smash another. "It seemed like an impossible dream, but here I am," Sánchez told a gathering today at CPJ's New York offices. After being denied travel authorization at least 20 times...

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Under official pressure, Kazakh broadcaster closes

March 15, 2013 1:43 PM ET

A blocked website; reporting equipment confiscated; a newsroom sealed; and reporters denied information from state agencies: these things together spelled the end of Stan.kz, a local, independent Internet-based broadcaster which for two years had tirelessly reported on developments in Kazakhstan. "We are forced to shut down the Stan.kz newsroom,"...

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Pakistan's new effort to improve safety, combat impunity

March 15, 2013 10:34 AM ET

Representatives from 40 Pakistani and international press groups, development organizations, and media houses came together in Islamabad last week to discuss ways to better protect local journalists at risk of violence, and means to combat the virtually perfect record of impunity that assailants enjoy in this country. It's none...

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Mission Journal: Who is a journalist in Egypt?

March 14, 2013 6:15 PM ET

Egyptian journalists, besieged by punitive lawsuits and under threat, agree that under President Mohamed Morsi "there is no press freedom, only the courage of journalists," as editor Ibrahim Eissa put it. What they can't agree on is--in a climate of freewheeling, mutable media--who exactly is a journalist? ...

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In Mali, one journalist's detention ignites press revolution

March 14, 2013 5:04 PM ET

Mali's press has endured one attack too many. Since the coup d'état of March 22, 2012, CPJ has documented a staggering 62 anti-press violations across Mali. Journalists and media houses have become ready targets of attacks, threats, intimidation, assassination attempts, arbitrary arrests, detentions, and censorship by separatist and Islamist...

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Working with phone companies on free expression

March 12, 2013 1:34 PM ET

For more than six years the Committee to Protect Journalists has been working with freedom of expression advocates, investors, and giant Internet companies to promote online freedoms. Absent from the discussions under the umbrella of the Global Network Initiative have been the telecommunications companies--vital gateways to the Internet for journalists...

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In tense climate, Kenyan press can draw on solidarity

March 11, 2013 3:57 PM ET

Amid a tense presidential election, Kenyans have avoided a repeat of the deadly violence that followed the vote in 2007, when half a million people were uprooted and more than 1,000 people were killed. Still, the situation today is fraught. Ethnic identity dominates the nation's political divisions--and those same...

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Arrests in Torreón press crimes; will it make difference?

March 8, 2013 3:47 PM ET

Twenty-one people have been arrested for a wave of crimes that included 11 murders (six of which were committed against police officers), the abduction for hours of five employees of El Siglo de Torreón newspaper, the murder of a mayoral candidate, and attempted murder of a current mayor in a...

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Brazil officials back OAS human rights system

March 8, 2013 1:45 PM ET

"Leave me in peace. Wallow in your garbage," Brazilian Chief Justice Joaquim Barbosa said in a rage when a reporter with one of the leading national newspapers, O Estado de Sao Paulo, tried to ask him a question Tuesday at a meeting of the National Council of Justice in...

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Jail for reporting on women in Mangalore, Mogadishu

March 8, 2013 1:31 PM ET

Today marks International Women's Day. Hashtags like #IWD and #InternationalWomensDay have been trending on Twitter. Among the twitterati who voiced their support for women's rights was Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He tweeted:  PM: Let me reiterate in this House the commitment of our govt. to ensuring the dignity, safety...

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For Iran and U.S., mutually restrictive visa policies

March 7, 2013 11:25 AM ET

Istanbul-based McClatchy correspondent Roy Gutman has been honored for his reporting from Srebrenica to Baghdad. But he can't get a visa for Iran. He blames the U.S. government, at least in part. ...

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From Islamabad to Hyderabad, journalist safety at issue

March 5, 2013 5:20 PM ET

Owais Toheed, head of ARY News, cancelled his speaking slot for Wednesday at the conference I'm attending in Islamabad. Organized by UNESCO, the Open Society Foundations, Intermedia, and International Media Support, the meeting's title says it all: International Conference on Safety and Security of Journalists in Pakistan. The reason...

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Journalists relieved, wary amid Kenyan elections

March 5, 2013 4:46 PM ET

Journalists could be seen rushing from polling station to polling station Monday to see long queues of determined Kenyan voters in what was apparently a largely peaceful election, according to the Deputy Director of Kenya's statutory media council, Victor Bwire. But leading up to the vote, many journalists worked...

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In letter from Turkish jail, journalist describes ordeal

March 5, 2013 4:28 PM ET

In a letter she passed from Gebze women's prison outside Istanbul, Fusün Erdoğan, founder and director of the leftist broadcaster Özgür Radyo, details circumstances of her arrest, imprisonment, and politicized criminal charges. Erdoğan founded the broadcaster in 1995, and worked as its director until September 8, 2006--the day when plainclothes...

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To bridge divide, Bahrain should expand media access

March 4, 2013 6:19 PM ET

The Bahraini press, like almost everything else in the island country, is sharply divided. If the government would take steps to strengthen press freedom instead of restricting access, then much of this divide could be bridged....

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