CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Sumit Galhotra

Sumit Galhotra is the research associate for CPJ's Asia program. He served as CPJ's inaugural Steiger Fellow and has worked for CNN International, Amnesty International USA, and Human Rights Watch. He has reported from London, India, and Israel and the Occupied Territories, and specializes in human rights and South Asia.

Blog   |   India

'I kept telling them I'm a journalist but they kept beating me': Photographer beaten at Delhi protest

Rahul says he heard police give the order to charge before rushing at students at the Delhi protest. (Rahul M.)

As police cracked down on protesters in Delhi during recent protests over the treatment of Dalits, who occupy the lowest rungs of India's caste ladder, journalists were caught in the fray. The protests were sparked by the suicide of Rohith Vemula, a student who had been barred from halls of residence and parts of campus, according to news reports.

February 9, 2016 11:24 AM ET

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Blog   |   Indonesia

One year on, challenges remain for press in Indonesia

Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, President Widodo's right-hand man, discusses conditions for journalists with the press freedom delegation in Jakarta. (Sumit Galhotra/CPJ)

"Change does not come overnight," President Joko Widodo's right-hand man, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, told an international delegation of 10 media and freedom of expression groups that visited Indonesia last month.

Blog   |   India

In India, politics of beef and rising intolerance threaten press freedom

A protest in Delhi over the murder of a Muslim farmer killed over claims he slaughtered a cow. Violence over the tightening of beef laws in parts of India is having an impact on some journalists. (AP/Altaf Qadri)

The violence over the tightening of laws banning the consumption of beef in parts of India and debate over the reach of a right-wing Hindu agenda are having an impact on press freedom. An editor who wrote about the benefits of beef was fired last week, journalists have received death threats from extremist groups, and writers have handed back awards in protest of what they see as the government's failure to address a rising tide of intolerance.

Blog   |   India

Indian journalist named on hit list as threats against critical voices escalate

A vigil for rationalist scholar M.M. Kalburgi, who was shot dead earlier this year. Threats against writers and journalists from the rationalist school of thought are rising in India. (AP/Aijaz Rahi)

"These people will kill you," Nikhil Wagle, a prominent journalist in India, told me as we discussed reports of him being named as a target by a member of a hard-line Hindu group who is being questioned by police over the murder of a writer.

Blog   |   Indonesia

Indonesia should pursue justice in 1996 murder of journalist Udin

This past month marked 19 years since Indonesian journalist Fuad Mohammad Syfruddin was murdered. On August 16, 1996, Udin, as he was popularly known, died from injuries he sustained during an attack by unidentified assailants in his home. Udin, a correspondent for the Yogyakarta daily Bernas, had written articles on land disputes and local government corruption.

Blog   |   Bangladesh

Case will test Bangladesh and its commitment to justice for bloggers

Bangladeshi protesters hold torches in a demonstration against the murder of Niloy Neel, the fourth blogger killed in the country this year. (AFP/Munir uz Zaman)

Murder charges filed this week against five suspected Islamist militants in the killing of a Bangladesh blogger give the government a chance to prove it's serious about protecting the nation's bloggers. The formal charges, filed in connection with the March killing of Washiqur Rahman Babu, mark the first time charges have been brought in any of the four blogger slayings so far this year, according to news reports.

Blog   |   India, Security

Amid claims of police beatings during Gujarat clashes, India should step up press protection

A policeman uses a baton to disperse protesters in Gujarat on August 25. Journalists were among those injured as police broke up the crowds. (AP/Ajit Solanki)

Images of police forcibly suppressing protesters, such as the one above, are seen in many places around the world. Too frequently, journalists trying to cover these events find themselves caught in the crosshairs, with news crews beaten by police batons, exposed to teargas or hit by water cannon. From race riots in Ferguson in the U.S. to clashes in India, journalists covering unrest risk finding themselves injured in the violence.

Blog   |   Bangladesh

Hasina government must do more to protect Bangladesh's bloggers

Bangladeshi activists protest the killing of secular blogger Niloy Neel in Dhaka on August 11, 2015. (AP/ A.M. Ahad)

Asif Mohiuddin's stab wounds are still visible two years on. In January 2013, the outspoken Bangladeshi blogger narrowly escaped death after he was attacked near his office by knife-wielding assailants. His attackers stabbed him nine times on his neck, head, and back, narrowly missing his spine.

Blog   |   Myanmar

More signs of Myanmar's toughening stance on media

Myanmar’s parliament yesterday voted against several constitutional amendments that keep the military’s veto power intact, dealing a blow to hopes for fuller democracy, according to the BBC. And outside the legislature authorities are accelerating the pace at which they undoing democratic reforms.

Blog   |   Singapore

Blogger in Singapore faces financial ruin following defamation suit

Singapore blogger Roy Ngerng addresses a crowd protesting website regulations in June 2013. The blogger faces damages in a defamation suit brought against him by the prime minister. (Reuters/Edgar Su)

"If we want our freedom, we have to fight for it," wrote blogger Roy Ngerng last year after he was sued for defamation by Singapore's prime minister. The case was sparked by a blog post in which Ngerng allegedly suggested Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had misappropriated funds in a state pension system. In November, the court ruled in favor of the prime minister.

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