Europe & Central Asia

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For Turkish journalists, fear of contracting COVID-19 competes with fear of arrest

April 1, 2020 1:58 PM ET

Journalist Evrim Kepenek works in Istanbul as the women and LGBTI+ news editor for the independent news website Bianet. Like most people, she works from home these days, but she is also a street reporter who recently observed twin fears among the Turkish public: getting infected with COVID-19 and...

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CPJ, partners call on Council of Europe to protect press freedom amid COVID-19 pandemic

April 1, 2020 12:38 PM ET

On March 31, CPJ and nine partner organizations wrote to the Secretary General and the Committee of Ministers at the Council of Europe to express concern about government restrictions on the media during the COVID-19 pandemic....

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Kyrgyz president must release journalist Azimjon Askarov amid COVID-19 epidemic

March 31, 2020 4:49 PM ET

CPJ today joined eight other human rights and press freedom organizations to call for the immediate release of journalist and human rights defender Azimjon Askarov, who has been serving a life sentence in retaliation for his reporting since June 2010....

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For Russia's Igor Rudnikov, coronavirus makes fight with Kaliningrad even tougher

March 31, 2020 2:30 PM ET

Igor Rudnikov is the editor-in-chief of the independent Novye Kolyosa newspaper, based in the western Russian city of Kaliningrad. In 2017, agents from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested Rudnikov over his paper’s reporting, as CPJ documented at the time....

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Q&A: RAI journalist Stefania Battistini on covering Italy’s coronavirus outbreak

March 26, 2020 1:23 PM ET

Stefania Battistini, an experienced reporter for Italian public broadcaster RAI, has covered terrorist attacks, earthquakes, and Syria’s civil war for the channel’s news program. Now, she is confronting the biggest challenge of her career: the coronavirus pandemic that is ravaging Lombardy, northern Italy, one of the hardest-hit regions in...

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Journalist Afgan Mukhtarli: ‘Azerbaijani prisoners are facing death under coronavirus quarantine’

March 24, 2020 4:48 PM ET

Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli was released from prison on March 17, 2020, after nearly three years in jail, and flown to Berlin, where he was reunited with his wife and daughter. He served half of his six-year sentence on charges that Azerbaijani authorities brought in retaliation for his investigative...

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Wife of imprisoned journalist Azimjon Askarov calls for his release as COVID-19 hits Kyrgyzstan

March 23, 2020 3:15 PM ET

On March 11, Khadicha Askarova, the wife of imprisoned journalist Azimjon Askarov, wrote a letter to Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov pleading for the journalist’s release....

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Chechen blogger and government critic Tumso Abdurakhmanov: ‘I am constantly at risk’

March 16, 2020 10:14 AM ET

Tumso Abdurakhmanov, a prominent blogger critical of the Chechen authorities, survived a violent assault in his home in Swedish town of Gävle on February 26, 2020. Two Russian nationals have been arrested in connection with the attack, according to a report by Agence France-Presse. CPJ documented the incident and...

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CPJ joins calls on Turkey to lift ad ban on Evrensel daily

March 16, 2020 9:55 AM ET

CPJ joined the International Press Institute, Reporters Without Borders, the Journalists Union of Turkey, the European Federation of Journalists, and 20 other Turkish and international groups in a joint letter today calling for Turkey’s Press Ad Agency, the state regulator of government advertisements in print media, to lift its...

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'The goal is to make us stop writing’: Turkish journalists on attacks and threats

February 25, 2020 3:07 PM ET

Eight months after he was attacked outside his Ankara home with baseball bats, Yavuz Selim Demirağ still has trouble sleeping. “The worry of suffering another attack at any minute messed with my psychology. Sometimes I feel like I am being followed,” the Turkish journalist said. “In the end, the...

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