April 2013

CPJ Blog

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In 2 major efforts, journalist security tailored to fit

April 30, 2013 11:18 AM ET

In the past, donors and groups providing security to journalists in less-developed nations tended to export a Western, military-style of training designed for a war-time environment. But the danger of covering combat is one thing. Being fired upon by a motorcycle-riding assassin is another--as is being sexually molested in...

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Mexican press fails to question Martínez murder case

April 30, 2013 11:17 AM ET

He certainly looked guilty of something, and as if he'd finally been caught. With either his head down or with a kind of scared, dead-eyed stare, in a white jumpsuit, in front of the four Veracruz state police officers crowded behind him. They were all in black uniforms, with...

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In Mexico, a movement and a bill against impunity

April 26, 2013 4:21 PM ET

Who can say exactly when the work of press freedom groups, human rights defenders, and budding networks of Mexican journalists became a movement? It would have been many murders, many funerals, many orphans ago. It would have been countless news events--about crime, corruption, violence--that went uncovered because reporters and...

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Vladimir Putin denies repressing media, critics

April 26, 2013 2:36 PM ET

In the year since Vladimir Putin returned to the Russian presidency, independent media, civil society groups, and opposition activists have been under attack. But as he has done in the past, Putin recently asserted that his government is not engaged in political repression....

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Hamid Karzai goes conservative on media

April 26, 2013 2:04 PM ET

As if a faltering media industry and rising risks to endangered journalists as NATO reduces its forces in 2014 aren't bad enough, add in a president pandering to religious conservatives in a pre-presidential election run-up. Reporting from Kabul, Reuters said Wednesday:  ...

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Objection to international press at Indian rape trial

April 25, 2013 4:14 PM ET

A British journalist trying to cover the Delhi gang rape trial was asked to leave the courtroom on Tuesday after the prosecution objected to the presence of the international press. Andrew Buncombe, a correspondent for The Independent of London, was ejected from a court in the Indian capital even...

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Kuwaiti prime minister delays draft media law

April 25, 2013 2:00 PM ET

In a welcome move Wednesday, Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah offered to shelve Kuwait's controversial draft media law, according to news reports. The announcement came in what the official Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) called a "candid, frank, and expanded meeting with chief editors of Kuwaiti press." ...

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So your Twitter account is hacked? Reset, tweet, pray.

April 24, 2013 3:07 PM ET

That is a bogus @ap tweet.-- AP CorpComm (@AP_CorpComm) April 23, 2013 More than a quarter million Twitter accounts have been hacked worldwide, the social media company disclosed in February, but Tuesday's attack on The Associated Press's verified account, @AP, had unusual effect. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 143...

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Kyrgyz official urged to address Askarov case

April 24, 2013 2:12 PM ET

Kyrgyzstan has endured a turbulent past and continues to face significant challenges, but its leaders are committed to a democratic future, Djoomart Otorbayev, the nation's deputy prime minister, told human rights and press freedom advocates in New York this week. The country still grapples with the repercussions of the brutal...

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Kuwait should abandon repressive draft media law

April 24, 2013 10:29 AM ET

On April 8, the Kuwaiti cabinet approved a draft media law that would severely undermine press freedom in the country. But it is not too late to prevent a bad bill from becoming a bad law....

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Anarchists and suspected mafia target Italian media

April 24, 2013 9:41 AM ET

The last several months in Italy have seen a few disquieting attacks against independent media and an investigative reporter. In one case, the widely distributed independent newspaper La Stampa received an explosive device in the mail.  The Federazione Anarchica Informale/Fronte Rivoluzionario, an anarchist organization, claimed responsibility and ominously noted that...

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In Somalia, the mysterious case of Rahmo Abdulkadir

April 23, 2013 9:22 AM ET

It seemed clear-cut and sadly familiar: A journalist was shot and killed while walking in Mogadishu, one of the deadliest places in the world for the press. Yet in the four weeks that have passed since those initial reports from international and local news agencies--accounts that were then amplified by...

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Slideshow: Is Bangladesh spiraling out of control?

April 19, 2013 12:37 PM ET

As political turmoil continues between Islamists and secularists in Bangladesh, the climate for press freedom is rapidly deteriorating. The tensions stem from an ongoing war crimes tribunal tasked with prosecuting genocide, crimes against humanity, and other crimes dating back to the 1971 war of independence. ...

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Archaic court ruling in Belarus as photo book banned

April 19, 2013 12:23 PM ET

Thursday's court ruling in the western Grodno region of Belarus is not befitting a modern European country, where servants of justice--prosecutors and judges--are expected to ensure protection for press freedom and human rights. Instead, it is reminiscent of medieval Europe, where dissent was declared heresy and ordered destroyed.The Oshmyansky...

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Two years after his death, Hetherington studied, celebrated

April 18, 2013 4:51 PM ET

Two years ago this week, on the central boulevard of the Western Libyan city of Misurata, freelance photographers Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros were killed by mortar rounds from government forces. Hondros lost consciousness almost immediately. Hetherington bled out in the back of a pick-up truck as he clutched...

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China decrees use of foreign news must be approved

April 18, 2013 4:27 PM ET

You have to wonder how this will be enforced, but China's State Administration of Press Publication, Radio, Film and Television has issued a "Notice on Strengthening Control of Media Personnel's Online Activities" (关于加强新闻采编人员网络活动管理的通知). Chinese media organizations have been told to stop posting foreign media news without government permission:  "Without authorization, no kind...

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In Strasbourg, free expression linked to Vietnam diplomacy

April 18, 2013 3:11 PM ET

There is good news from Strasbourg that follows up on my entry from earlier this week, "European Parliament has chance to take on Vietnam." Today, the European Parliament did exactly that when they unanimously adopted an Urgent Resolution on Vietnam. It was a wide-ranging document, but a large part was...

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Getting ready for contingencies in Afghanistan

April 18, 2013 1:49 PM ET

Considering the worst-case scenarios for post-2014 Afghanistan, international news agencies should start planning a range of assistance responses for locally hired journalists and media staff. By the end of 2014, NATO troops will have largely withdrawn and the Karzai government will make way for a new administration. If the...

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European Parliament has chance to take on Vietnam

April 15, 2013 12:28 PM ET

On Thursday, April 18, the European Parliament will discuss Vietnam's human rights in a plenary session. At the top of the agenda will be freedom of expression. Over the weekend, CPJ's Brussels-based Senior Adviser Jean-Paul Marthoz blogged about the issues the parliament must confront in Le Soir.  ...

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Pre-publication censorship returns in Sudan

April 12, 2013 5:22 PM ET

In a return to old tactics, the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) in Sudan have resumed strict pre-publication censorship....

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Tamil journalist will not be forced back to Sri Lanka

April 12, 2013 3:56 PM ET

A short note to follow up on an alert we posted Wednesday on the threatened deportation of Lohini Rathimohan  (also spelled Lokini), a former television journalist and one of 19 Tamil refugees facing deportation from the United Arab Emirates. Earlier reports said the refugees, who reached Dubai illegally, could be deported this...

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Kerry should press Beijing on press freedom

April 12, 2013 3:30 PM ET

As John Kerry visits China this weekend in his first trip there as U.S. secretary of state, he should take the opportunity to engage Chinese leaders on their problematic record regarding press freedom. ...

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Tax story shows investigative reporting alive in Pakistan

April 12, 2013 12:42 PM ET

Umar Cheema, a CPJ International Press Freedom Award winner in 2011, was a strong runner-up for this year's Osborn Elliott Prize for Excellence in Journalism on Asia, awarded for the last 10 years by the Asia Society in New York. Umar's report, Representation Without Taxation, analyzed the tax returns of...

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Access restored, but ban on Fergahana News remains

April 11, 2013 5:02 PM ET

On Wednesday, more than a year after being blocked in Kyrgyzstan by government order, Ferghana News was again accessible to the public without the aid of proxy servers. Most local Internet providers, including the state-owned Kyrgyz Telecom, restored access to the website, Daniil Kislov, Ferghana's editor, told CPJ....

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In Bangladesh, climate worsens for journalists

April 8, 2013 4:40 PM ET

This past weekend, hundreds of thousands of Islamists took to the streets in Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, demanding death for bloggers whose work they see as blasphemous. The demonstrations highlight the deteriorating climate for journalists, both those whose work is the target of the protests and those who have tried...

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Beketov's untimely death, and Putin's unfulfilled promise

April 8, 2013 3:45 PM ET

Mikhail Beketov's recovery, in photos by CPJ and news agencies. Mikhail Beketov, the former crusading editor of the independent newspaper Khimkinskaya Pravda in the Moscow suburb, Khimki, died this afternoon at a Moscow hospital. A choking episode during lunch led to heart failure, Elena Kostyuchenko, Beketov's friend and a...

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Turkey peace talks positive; press freedom still in peril

April 8, 2013 11:44 AM ET

Today, hope for peace between the government of Turkey and Kurdish rebels is closer than ever to becoming reality. A resolution to the conflict, after more than 30 years, could have ramifications for Turkey's standing as the world's worst jailer of journalists. According to CPJ research, three-quarters of the...

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UN panel: Eskinder Nega jailing violates international law

April 5, 2013 2:35 PM ET

Authorities in Ethiopia describe Eskinder Nega, a prominent columnist and government critic jailed since September 2011 on vague terrorism charges, as a dangerous individual bent on violent revolution. However, in an opinion handed down in 2012--publicized only this week by Washington, D.C.-based legal advocacy group Freedom Now--a United Nations...

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Attacks on Knight Center sites reflect digital dangers

April 5, 2013 12:49 PM ET

The two websites at the University of Texas at Austin, at first blush, seemed to have been unlikely targets for attack. The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas and its blog cover news about journalism, press freedom and journalist safety throughout the Western hemisphere, with an emphasis on...

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Zeng Li: A rueful look at how censorship works in China

April 4, 2013 6:53 PM ET

Three days into his retirement, Zeng Li (曾礼) died yesterday at age 61, apparently of intestinal bleeding. Surprisingly, his March 28 farewell letter has spread across China's social media sites and blogs. The letter is an apology, an explanation of sorts, and an admission of regret regarding the latter...

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Haunted by cancer after Cuba's Black Spring

April 2, 2013 3:31 PM ET

As the world welcomes celebrated Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez on her first international tour in a decade, we must also remember journalist Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias, who continues to be confined not only to the island nation, but to a prison cell in Havana Province....

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CPJ launches Somali Security Guide

April 1, 2013 1:01 PM ET

Last week, two gunmen waited near the home of a young Somali journalist, Rahmo Abdulkadir, who had recently returned to the capital from the Galgadud district in central Somalia where she worked as a reporter for Radio Abudwaq (Worshipper). According to local journalists, 25-year-old Rahmo had just left an Internet...

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