CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Europe & Central Asia

Blog   |   Turkey

Report highlights Turkey's troubled press freedom record

Turkish authorities should end impunity for attacks against journalists, decriminalize insult and defamation, stop harassing critical news outlets, and release imprisoned journalists, according to "Press Freedom in Turkey's Inter-Election Period," a report published Saturday by the Vienna-based International Press Institute. Muzaffar Suleymanov, CPJ's Europe and Central Asia program researcher, contributed to the report.

Blog   |   UK

As police seize Newsnight laptop, concerns grow at reach of UK counter-terrorism measures

For journalists investigating jihadist networks, the UK is proving to be no safe haven. British police used special powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 in August to seize the laptop of Secunder Kermani, a reporter for BBC Two's flagship news show "Newsnight," according to reports. "They required the BBC to hand over communication between the BBC journalist and a man in Syria who publicly identified himself as an [Islamic State] member," BBC spokeswoman said today.

Blog   |   Turkey

Joint mission finds Turkish journalists under severe pressure

Pressure on journalists in Turkey has severely escalated since parliamentary elections on June 7, restricting the media's ability to report on matters of public interest, according to press freedom groups who conducted a joint international emergency mission to the country this week. Ahead of fresh elections on November 1, the group said that if the pressure continues, it is likely "to have a significant, negative impact on the ability of voters in Turkey to share and receive necessary information, with a corresponding effect on Turkey's democracy."

Blog   |   Turkey

CPJ and VICE News call on Turkey to #FreeRasool

It has been more than seven weeks since Iraqi journalist Mohammed Ismael Rasool was arrested in Turkey alongside Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury, two British journalists from VICE News. But whereas Hanrahan and Pendlebury were released a week later, Rasool is still behind bars.

Blog   |   CPJ, France

CPJ joins Council of Europe journalism safety platform

CPJ's EU correspondent Jean-Paul Marthoz, left, at the signing ceremony for the Council of Europe's platform to protect journalism and promote the safety of journalists. (Council of Europe)

The Committee to Protect Journalists has joined the Council of Europe's platform to protect journalism and promote the safety of journalists. The Strasbourg-based body set up the reporting system earlier this year as a way to hold its 47 member states responsible for responding to attacks against journalists.

Blog   |   France, Internet

CPJ joins call to oppose draft surveillance law in France

A protester holds a placard which reads 'I know they tap my phones' during a rally against the proposed surveillance bill in France. (Reuters/Charles Platiau)

The Committee to Protect Journalists has joined 30 other press freedom and digital rights groups in calling on the French government to reject a draft law on surveillance. The open letter, submitted yesterday to members of parliament, warns against giving authorities greater powers to spy on communications.

October 1, 2015 5:57 PM ET


Blog   |   Security, Turkey

Don't Forget Rasool: In international reporting, local journalists often suffer

When two journalists from VICE, Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury, were arrested with Iraqi journalist Mohammed Ismael Rasool on August 28, a familiar scenario unfolded. A week later, Hanrahan and Pendlebury were released following a media flurry and worldwide attention. Still behind bars is Rasool, an experienced journalist and translator who had worked extensively in the Middle East for the Associated Press, Al-Jazeera, and VICE.

Blog   |   Germany, Internet

Germany scores against the surveillance state

It all went very fast. On Tuesday morning August 4, Germany’s chief federal prosecutor, Harald Range, was ordered by Justice Minister Heiko Maas to withdraw an independent expert from the investigation of two journalists from Netzpolitik. The investigator had concluded that leaked documents quoted by the news website amounted to a disclosure of a state secret, one of the required criteria to pursue a treason case. The prosecutor protested: “To meddle with an internal review on the basis that the results might be inopportune is an intolerable interference with the independence of the judiciary .” A few hours later on Tuesday evening Maas asked for the prosecutor to be granted early retirement. In plain words, Harald Range was sacked.

Blog   |   Azerbaijan

International coalition marks anniversary of crackdown on rights in Azerbaijan

A year after the Azerbaijani government launched an unprecedented crackdown on human rights including press freedom, the situation in the country continues to deteriorate, the Sports for Rights coalition said today. The coalition of international organizations, including CPJ, released a statement today to mark the anniversary of what is widely described as the worst government campaign against critics that Baku has ever carried out.

July 30, 2015 2:29 PM ET


Blog   |   Hungary

New hurdles for Hungary's press as Orbán restricts FOI requests

Viktor Orbán at a European Parliament debate about Hungary in May. His government has brought in a law that will make it harder for journalists and others to make Freedom of Information Act requests. (AFP/Frederick Florin)

"This is the best thing that has ever happened in Hungary." Katalin Erdélyi, a freedom of information activist, was referring to a ground-breaking website launched in Hungary in 2012. "I was glad because I realized the potential and how it will help me get all the information I longed for," she told me. The website, KiMitTud (WhoKnowsWhat, in English) is a simple online tool that helps average citizens file information requests to public bodies, and to view and comment on other people's requests. "I alone filed around 500 requests since the launch," Erdélyi said.

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