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.

2013


In Pakistan, another journalist breaks his silence

December 9, 2013 4:31 PM ET

CPJ's report, Roots of Impunity, published earlier this year, provides a glimpse of the grim realities that journalists in Pakistan face when they cross red lines. Many journalists are threatened, harassed, and intimidated by a host of actors, including members of Pakistan's security and intelligence apparatus. Some of these cases...

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CPJ joins Pakistani groups in condemning Express attack

December 3, 2013 12:40 PM ET

The Committee to Protect Journalists has joined the Alliance for Access, a coalition of Pakistani media groups, academic and student organizations, and telecommunications companies working to promote open access, in condemning Monday's attack on the offices of Express Media Group in Karachi....

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A daughter's plea for her father's freedom in Vietnam

November 21, 2013 2:07 PM ET

Next week, the Committee to Protect Journalists will be honoring four journalists from around the world at the International Press Freedom Awards, an annual recognition of courageous reporting. As the awardees from Ecuador, Egypt, and Turkey make the journey to attend the awards and benefit dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria in...

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Journalists and imperfect justice in Bangladesh

September 19, 2013 6:13 PM ET

Bangladesh's Supreme Court has hardened the sentence against Abdul Quader Molla, a top Islamist of a key opposition party, from a life term to death for his role in mass killings committed during the country's war of independence from Pakistan in 1971. But what caught my eye in particular was...

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UN rights chief should push Sri Lanka on press freedom

August 23, 2013 1:59 PM ET

When the human rights watchdog for the United Nations visits Sri Lanka this weekend she should forcefully address the government's problematic record on press freedom....

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Q&A: Nadia Sharmeen on journalists in Bangladesh

August 9, 2013 10:58 AM ET

Nadia Sharmeen was attacked when she tried to cover a protest in April. (Ekushey TV)It has been a turbulent year for journalists in Bangladesh. It began with blogger Asif Mohiuddin being stabbed in January as he left his office in Dhaka. The following month, blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider was killed...

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New Zealand accesses journalist's records, movements

August 2, 2013 4:28 PM ET

Following reports earlier this week that New Zealand, with help from U.S. intelligence, may have spied on one of its journalists, Wellington is under fire for tracking the phone records and movement of another journalist. Ironically, this journalist came under surveillance after writing about potentially illegal government surveillance....

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New Zealand, US may have spied on McClatchy reporter

July 30, 2013 7:46 PM ET

Concern over government surveillance of journalists has washed up on the faraway shores of New Zealand, with a report in the country's Sunday Star this week asserting that the military there, with help from U.S. intelligence, spied on an investigative journalist who had been critical of its activities in Afghanistan. ...

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Kashmir's Internet suspension fits pattern of restrictions

July 22, 2013 1:35 PM ET

Curbing the flow of information during heightened periods of tension has become routine business by authorities in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Access to mobile Internet service was suspended Thursday after violent protests erupted in the state. Although the service was restored late that night, the...

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Doubts as Sri Lanka says Commonwealth meeting open

July 17, 2013 4:19 PM ET

As Sri Lanka prepares to host the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo in November, some journalists have wondered whether they will be able to access the summit given the island nation's abysmal press freedom record....

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Historic judgment for Gautam Das murder in Bangladesh

July 10, 2013 1:17 PM ET

Almost eight years have passed since the murder of Bangladeshi journalist Gautam Das, but the slow wheels of justice have finally rotated. Late last month, a court sentenced nine individuals to life in prison in connection with the scribe's murder. Many local journalists have hailed the verdict as a landmark,...

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Chinese diplomats harass France 24 reporter

June 14, 2013 1:55 PM ET

Diplomats are charged with promoting cordial and constructive ties between nations. But Chinese embassy officials in France and Thailand appear bent on fostering fear and disgust with recent efforts to harass and intimidate France 24 reporter Cyril Payen....

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Indian media face growing calls for regulation

June 10, 2013 3:55 PM ET

The rapid growth of revenue-hungry Indian media and recent scandals involving news outlets have prompted growing calls for external regulation, raising concerns about independence of the press....

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Sri Lankan journalist in UAE still at risk of deportation

June 6, 2013 5:00 PM ET

Lohini Rathimohan, a former television journalist from Sri Lanka, faces an unclear future. The 28-year-old is among 15 Tamil refugees still sheltered in a single room of an aluminum factory at Dubai's Jebel Ali port whose official statuses remain uncertain....

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A poor defense of censorship on Tiananmen anniversary

June 4, 2013 4:40 PM ET

Today, the 24th anniversary of the brutal crackdown in Tiananmen Square, a Chinese state-run newspaper ran a piece justifying censorship of the Web by citing recent attempts at media regulation abroad....

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In China, reporter's death sparks questions on censorship

May 13, 2013 5:23 PM ET

Twenty-four-year-old Bai Lu was just four days into her new job as a journalist at the Urumqi Evening Post when she was killed. She and her colleague, Chen Aiying, were struck by a bulldozer while reporting at a major construction project on April 18 in the city of Urumqi in...

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Business as usual under new Chinese leadership

May 2, 2013 1:20 PM ET

Almost two months have passed since President Xi Jinping took office. Despite expectations for greater transparency, Beijing continues to try to suppress information on a broad range of issues from human rights to public health....

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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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Under Hindu right, attacks on press rise in Karnataka

February 26, 2013 4:49 PM ET

Confusion surrounds the case of imprisoned Indian journalist Naveen Soorinje, who was jailed for exposing an attack on young men and women last summer by extremists belonging to the Hindu Jagran Vedike, self-appointed moral police in coastal Karnataka. Soorinje's report helped lead to the arrest of dozens of attackers. But...

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Indian reporter who exposed assault faces new litigation

February 7, 2013 3:52 PM ET

Indian journalist Naveen Soorinje continues to languish in prison despite last week's decision by the Karnataka state cabinet to withdraw charges against him. New developments this week are challenging his release. And his continued imprisonment raises a larger question about the role of journalists at the occurrence of a crime....

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India withdraws charges against journalist Naveen Soorinje

January 31, 2013 4:36 PM ET

Although Naveen Soorinje is still in jail, there may be some good news. Today, 86 days after his arrest, the state cabinet in Karnataka decided to withdraw charges against him....

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Nepal takes one step toward justice for Dekendra Thapa

January 30, 2013 4:20 PM ET

Lau Tzu once said: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. In Nepal, getting to that first step has been a tumultuous process. Tomorrow, a court in the western district of Dailekh is expected to formally begin hearings in the 2004 murder case of journalist...

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Amid rape furor, journalist still in jail for exposing assault

January 8, 2013 12:27 PM ET

Even though members of the Karnataka state government have provided broad assurances that they will drop charges against Naveen Soorinje, the young journalist remains imprisoned two months after he was arrested for exposing an assault on women by Hindu extremists. Welcome to Incredible India, where a journalist can be...

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Pakistan's problematic record on Internet restrictions

January 3, 2013 11:20 AM ET

The fleeting nature of YouTube's availability in Pakistan this weekend--the site, which has been banned in the country since September, was unblocked for a whole three minutes--is only the latest emblem of Islamabad's erratic and confounding approach to Internet censorship. Those who have been hoping for less opaque tactics apparently...

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