CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Bob Dietz

Bob Dietz, coordinator of CPJ’s Asia Program, has reported across the continent for news outlets such as CNN and Asiaweek. He has led numerous CPJ missions, including ones to Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. Follow him on Twitter @cpjasia and Facebook @ CPJ Asia Desk.

Blog   |   Afghanistan

By now, Afghan authorities should know media are not the enemy

Police and firefighters are seen at the site of a suicide blast in Kabul on June 20, 2016. Several journalists were obstructed from reporting at the scene. (Reuters/Mirwais Harooni)

Several journalists in Kabul--the exact number is unclear--were beaten, harassed, and kept from working by security forces when they rushed to cover a suicide bombing on Monday that killed 14 people and wounded more than eight. In an email message, the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee (AJSC), an organization with which we work closely, said when the correspondents and camera crews arrived near the site of the explosion, they were stopped by the police, and some of them beaten. AJSC identified Mohammad Ghazi Rasouli, a television correspondent; reporter Tawfik Khoja Siddiqui; and a journalist who works for a Turkish news agency ANP as among those harassed.

Blog   |   Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan journalist Freddy Gamage back in hospital, still under threat

Back on June 3, we called for "a thorough investigation into an attack" on Freddy Gamage, a muckraking editor and blogger for Meepura.com (and in Sinhala). At the time, the government promised on its official website that it "would never again allow media suppression, which prevailed during the past, to reoccur." Prime Mister Ranil Wickremesinghe personally and quickly condemned the June 2 assault, according to press reports.

Blog   |   Afghanistan

'We are at a critical juncture,' Tolo TV's head of news says after bomb kills seven

Tolo TV news director Lotfullah Najafizada, pictured second left in the Kabul newsroom, says staff remain committed to journalism despite the threats and risk of attack. (Reuters/Ahmad Masood)

For people outside of Afghanistan, the January 20 attack on the Tolo TV van, which killed seven people and wounded about two dozen more staffers, was just one more horrendous event in a series of bombings, military skirmishes, attacks, counter attacks, and standoffs around the country. The attack was widely reported but, for outside observers, it soon melted into the steady stream of body counts that seem to be the way the country is viewed by the rest of the world.

Blog   |   Vietnam

Poor trade-off: Jailed journalists released into exile as Vietnam pushes for weapons deal

Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Van Hai arrives in Los Angeles in October 2014 after being released from jail and forced into exile. The U.S. says trade deals will depend on human rights but press freedom conditions remain poor in Vietnam. (AFP/Robyn Beck)

In September, Vietnamese blogger Ta Phong Tan was released after serving three years of a 10-year prison term and was immediately flown to Los Angeles. In October 2014 Tan's colleague Nguyen Van Hai, whom she co-founded the Free Journalists Club with in 2007 and who was also imprisoned for his work, followed the same route.

Blog   |   China

Harassment in China: Foreign correspondents' club releases report

From being followed by plain clothes policemen to being locked in a hotel conference room, the life of an international journalist in China comes with its challenges. The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China released details on September 13 of six cases of members being harassed by authorities between March and August this year.

September 17, 2015 1:03 PM ET

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Blog   |   China

An international call for China to release ailing journalist Gao Yu

Anti-Beijing protesters in Hong Kong demand the release of jailed journalist Gao Yu on July 23. (AP/Kin Cheung)

With the health of jailed journalists Gao Yu fading quickly (see 'I don't want to die here': Gao Yu's health deteriorates in Beijing prison), 15 media support and human rights groups sent a letter today to Chinese President Xi Jinping and other officials calling for the 71-year-old reporter's unconditional release. Gao suffers from heart disease, high blood pressure, and Meniere's disease, which can cause severe dizziness, according to her lawyers. As today's joint letter points out, according to United Nations norms, governments are responsible for maintaining prisoners' health.

August 5, 2015 5:45 PM ET

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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.

Blog   |   China

Radio Free Asia reporter's brothers in China face anti-state charges

This week, Washington D.C.-based Uighur journalist Shohret Hoshur, sent CPJ a message saying that on May 28 charges had finally been brought against two of his brothers, Shawket and Rexim, who have been detained since August. Hoshur, who works for the U.S.-government funded Radio Free Asia (RFA), is convinced they are being put on trial to punish him for his outspoken reporting, although officially they have been charged with "leaking state secrets," he says.

Blog   |   China

Foreign journalists in China face harassment, restrictions

In this October 28, 2013, photo, a Chinese police officer reaches toward a journalist outside the courthouse where activists are on trial in Xinyu city, Jiangxi province. (AP/Aritz Parra)

The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China (FCCC) just released its Annual Working Conditions Report which we have reproduced with their permission, as we have done for several years. Here's a breakdown of the FCCC's top concerns:

Blog   |   Pakistan

Pakistani journalist Muhammud Rasool Dawar under threat

We get a fairly steady stream of journalists in Asia asking for assistance. The majority of the requests come from journalists who have been threatened, and the threats can come from just about anywhere: militant groups, the military, government officials, powerful local politicians, arms runners, and drug dealers.

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