Turkey / 2016

CPJ Blog

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of December 25

December 27, 2016 11:56 AM ET

Investigative reporter arrested on propaganda charges The prominent investigative journalist Ahmet Şık was arrested yesterday on allegations of spreading terrorist propaganda. Şık, who was detained in relation to his published writings and posts on social media, was also accused of "publicly humiliating the Republic of Turkey, its judicial organs;...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of December 18

December 19, 2016 1:42 PM ET

Court confiscates assets of 54 journalists Istanbul's 11th Court of Penal Peace court confiscated the assets of 54 journalists, media workers, and writers, saying there was a "strong suspicion" that they were followers of exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen, whom the Turkish government accuses of maintaining a terrorist organization and...

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How CPJ researches the killing and jailing of journalists

December 15, 2016 2:34 PM ET

Who is a journalist? In the era of citizen journalism, activist journalism and now "fake" journalism, the question is not academic. The Committee to Protect Journalists has just published its annual census of journalists in prison and next week it will release its survey of killed journalists....

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Press freedom on OGP agenda as authoritarianism rises

December 12, 2016 12:34 PM ET

There was poignancy to the Paris summit of the Open Government Partnership, as leaders from government and civil society took the stage to defend a political ideology under siege: liberal democracy. French President François Hollande, who amid weak public support announced he will not seek re-election in 2017, called...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of December 11

December 12, 2016 10:47 AM ET

Columnist jailed pending 'insult' trial for remarks on Syria Istanbul's Ninth Court of Penal Peace this evening ordered Hüsnü Mahalli, a columnist for the leftist newspaper Yurt, jailed pending trial on charges of "insulting the president" and "insulting a board of civil servants in the course of discharging their...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of December 4

December 5, 2016 9:57 AM ET

Wire reporter released pending conclusion of trial Mardin's Second Court for Serious Crimes today released Zehra Doğan, a reporter for the shuttered news agency JİNHA, pending the conclusion of her trial, which began today, the pro-Kurdish Dihaber news agency reported. Police detained Doğan on July 22, and a court...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of November 27

November 28, 2016 12:04 PM ET

Wire reporter releasedPolice in southeastern Mardin province today released Fethi Balaman, the leftist daily newspaper Evrensel reported. Police on November 29 detained the former reporter for the pro-Kurdish Dicle News Agency, which the government on October 31 ordered closed by emergency decree. [December 1, 2016]...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of November 20

November 21, 2016 10:11 AM ET

After six months, wire reporter released pending trial Hakkari's Second Court for Serious Crimes today ordered Şermin Soydan, a reporter for the shuttered pro-Kurdish DİHA news agency, released on probation the leftist newspaper Evrensel reported....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of November 13

November 14, 2016 10:53 AM ET

Two years in prison for newspaper editor Diyarbakır's Fourth Court for Serious Crimes yesterday sentenced İsmail Çoban, responsible news editor of the Kurdish-language daily newspaper Azadiya Welat to two years and four months in prison for "propagandizing for a [terrorist] organization," the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which the Turkish...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of November 6

November 7, 2016 1:05 PM ET

Opposition newspaper CEO detained Police at Istanbul's Atatürk airport detained Akın Atalay, CEO of the embattled opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet, as he disembarked from his flight from Berlin today, Turkey's official Anadolu News Agency reported. The Istanbul Chief Prosecutor's Office for Press Crimes had issued a warrant for his arrest...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of October 30

October 31, 2016 11:28 AM ET

Social media websites, WhatsApp blocked as police detain opposition leaders Turkey last night blocked access to social media websites and the text-messaging application WhatsApp as police arrested members of parliament for the opposition HDP party, including the party's co-chairs, Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yuksekdag, according to press reports....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of October 23

October 24, 2016 10:22 AM ET

EU Parliament urges Turkey to release journalists The European Parliament urged Turkey to release all journalists jailed without proof of their alleged involvement in the failed July 15 military coup, Hürriyet Daily News reported, based on the text of the resolution....

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CPJ, 25 other organizations call on Turkey to revoke state of emergency

October 19, 2016 2:02 PM ET

A coalition of 26 international media freedom and human rights advocacy groups, including CPJ, today called on Turkey to lift emergency measures that have resulted in the stifling of criticism and dissent; the detention of large numbers of individuals, including more than 100 journalists; and the removal of fair...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of October 16

October 17, 2016 9:32 AM ET

Man accused of shooting at award-winning editor freed pending trial A court in Istanbul today ordered Murat Şahin--the man accused of attempting to shoot former Cumhuriyet newspaper editor Can Dündar during a break in Dündar's trial on May 6--released pending the conclusion of his trial, Hürriyet Daily News reported....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of October 10

October 11, 2016 11:42 AM ET

Two columnists freed from jail on appeal Lale Kemal, a columnist who wrote for the dailies Taraf and Zaman, and Nuriye Akman, a columnist for Zaman, were released from prison yesterday on appeal, the English-language news blog Turkish Minute reported....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of October 2

October 3, 2016 9:48 AM ET

Reporter arraigned on terrorism charges for Facebook posts The Mersin Court of Penal Peace last night arraigned Cemil Uğur, a reporter for the left-wing Evrensel newspaper, on charges of "being member of a [terrorist] organization," and "propagandizing for a [terrorist] organization," his employer reported. Police held Uğur for 16...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of September 25

September 27, 2016 10:11 AM ET

Reporter arraigned on terrorism charges for having app on phone A court in the southern Turkish city of Isparta on September 24 arraigned Ramazan Alkan, a reporter for the pro-government, Islamist daily Yeni Akit on terrorism charges for having an app on his phone authorities believe followers of exiled...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of September 18

September 19, 2016 10:26 AM ET

Taraf chief editor detained hours after release Hours after his release from prison, the writer and journalist Ahmet Altan was detained again. Altan turned himself in late last night and was arrested after hearing that he was wanted by authorities, according to reports. According to a report in the...

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CPJ testifies on Turkey's press freedom record after failed coup attempt

September 14, 2016 3:59 PM ET

CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova today testified before the Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats Subcommittee of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, at the hearing, "Turkey after the July Coup Attempt."...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of September 11

September 12, 2016 11:30 AM ET

Eid holiday leaves detained writers in legal limbo, lawyers say Veysel Ok and Ergin Cinmen, lawyers for Mehmet and Ahmet Altan, two prominent writers detained four days ago, yesterday made a joint statement saying that because of the Eid holiday they could not find the responsible prosecutor or a...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of September 4

September 6, 2016 12:43 PM ET

Police raid Kurdish magazine office Police raided Istanbul office of the pro-Kurdish magazine Özgür Halk today, the pro-Kurdish Dicle News Agency (DİHA) reported. DİHA reported that the raid, which was in progress at the time of publication, was related to the magazine's feature commemorating August 15, the date the...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of August 28

August 29, 2016 10:30 AM ET

Government revokes press credentials for 115 journalists Turkey's General Directorate for Press, Broadcasting, and Information (BYEGM, by its Turkish acronym) -- the bureau within the prime minister's office responsible for accrediting journalists -- today revoked the credentials of 115 journalists, Turkey's official Anatolia News Agency reported. The government alleged...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of August 21

August 22, 2016 10:09 AM ET

Kurdish wire reporter, newspaper employee arraigned on terrorism charges A court in Turkey's eastern Van Province today arraigned Erdem Mühirci, a reporter for the pro-Kurdish Dicle News Agency (DİHA), and ordered him jailed, pending trial, on charges of "being a member of a [terrorist] organization" and "recruiting members for...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of August 14

August 15, 2016 10:18 AM ET

Released journalists describe beatings in custody, headline 'Resistance continues' Journalists from the pro-Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem, the pro-Kurdish DİHA news agency and broadcaster IMC TV released yesterday alleged that police beat and mistreated them in custody, Özgür Gündem reported on its website, which continues to publish despite a...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of August 7, 2016

August 8, 2016 11:41 AM ET

Police detain 42 employees of state broadcaster The official Anatolia News Agency reported today that police detained 42 employees of state broadcaster TRT on suspicion of affiliation with the Hizment movement, which the Turkish government alleges orchestrated a July 15 failed military coup. Anatolia did not named the detainees...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 31

August 1, 2016 11:42 AM ET

Court indicts 12 media workers on terrorism charges An Istanbul court last night indicted 12 journalists on charges of being a member of a terrorist organization -- the Hizmet movement, which the Turkish government classes as a terrorist group and alleges orchestrated a failed military coup on July 15...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 24

July 25, 2016 11:37 AM ET

At least 48 journalists detained in one week Police in Turkey detained at least 48 journalists in the past week, according to the independent news website P24 and the Twitter account of Ben Gazeteciyim, a volunteer association of Turkish journalists formed to show solidarity with their threatened colleagues. At...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 17

July 18, 2016 11:26 AM ET

Police raid and seal Meydan offices Istanbul police raided the offices of the pro-Hizmet daily Meydan at about 5 p.m. yesterday, local press reported. Police searched the offices in the Şirinevler district for three hours and confiscated documents, before sealing the building. The website of Meydan has not been...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 10

July 14, 2016 8:43 AM ET

Prosecutors interrogate journalist on suspicion of 'insulting the president' Prosecutors in Istanbul yesterday interrogated İhsan Çaralan, a columnist for the socialist daily Evrensel, on charges of "insulting the president" in connection with a May 31 article in the beleaguered, pro-Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem, Evrensel reported. Çaralan had symbolically...

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CPJ testifies on Turkey's press freedom record before House Foreign Affairs Committee

July 13, 2016 4:55 PM ET

CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova today provided written testimony at a hearing titled "Turkey's Democratic Decline," given before the Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats Subcommittee of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 4

July 5, 2016 11:56 AM ET

Arrest warrant issued for TV journalist An arrest warrant was issued yesterday for the Turkish journalist Tarık Toros, according to reports. The pro-government daily, Sabah, reported that Toros was one of more than 30 people against whom arrest warrants were issued as part of a police operation against the...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 26

June 27, 2016 10:11 AM ET

Columnist freed pending trial Istanbul's 14th Court of Serious Crimes today ordered Cumhuriyet columnist Ahmet Nesin released, pending trial, the pro-Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem reported. Police on June 20 arrested Nesin, Erol Önderoğlu, Turkey representative for the press freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and Şebnem Korur Fincancı,...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 19

June 20, 2016 11:22 AM ET

Court indicts TV journalist on terrorism charges for tweets The Bakırköy Second Court of Serious Crimes in Istanbul indicted Hamza Aktan, news editor at the pro-Kurdish television station IMC TV, on charges of "making propaganda for a [terrorist] organization" in connection with nine posts he made to Twitter from...

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World Refugee Day: Fear of arrest drives journalists into exile

June 16, 2016 9:49 AM ET

In August 2014 two journalists living more than 4,000 miles apart slipped across a border to find safety: one with his wife and three children, the other alone. Idrak Abbasov, from Azerbaijan, and Sanna Camara, from Gambia, faced imprisonment because of their reporting. Neither has been able to return home....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 12

June 13, 2016 12:06 PM ET

Constitutional Court rejects journalist's appeal Turkey's Constitutional Court today ruled that journalist Mehmet Baransu's constitutional right to freedom of expression and the constitution's guarantees of press freedom were not contravened in the journalist's March 2015 arrest in connection with in an alleged, elaborate conspiracy codenamed "Sledgehammer." The same court...

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Infographic: Islamic State's assault on the press

June 8, 2016 9:55 AM ET

When Mosul fell to Islamic State on June, 10, 2014, it sparked one of the biggest attacks on press freedom in recent times. Newspapers were shuttered, TV channels were ransacked, radio stations disappeared from the airwaves, and dozens of journalists vanished. Within days, the militants had a monopoly on information...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 5

June 7, 2016 9:41 AM ET

Provincial officials ask journalists to submit to prior censorship: report Top officials in southeastern Turkey's Gaziantep province, near the Syrian border, on June 1 convened local journalists to ask them not to report on "the bad things happening in the city," and to submit their stories to a group...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 29

May 31, 2016 10:59 AM ET

Turkish journalists launch solidarity campaign for jailed colleagues The Free Journalists Association (ÖGC) on Thursday afternoon held a press conference in front of Istanbul's Diyarbakır courthouse to announce a new campaign to show solidarity with their jailed peers. ÖGC co-chairs Nevin Erdemir and Hakkı Boltan read aloud a list...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 22

May 23, 2016 9:44 AM ET

Prison sentences for newspaper editors Istanbul's 13th Court for Serious Crimes sentenced Eren Keskin and Reyhan Çapan, former editor and news editor, respectively, of the pro-Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem, to three years and nine months in prison each on charges of spreading terrorist propaganda, the newspaper reported today....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 15

May 16, 2016 10:20 AM ET

Veteran columnist pleads 'not guilty' to charges of insulting Erdoğan Veteran journalist Hasan Cemal, a columnist for the news website T24 and a founder of the news website P24, today pleaded not guilty to charges of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at Istanbul's 12th Criminal Court of First...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 8

May 9, 2016 9:21 AM ET

Police detain two men on suspicion of plotting attack on newspaper Police detained two men suspected of planning to attack the printing house of leading pro-government daily Sabah today, the newspaper reported. According to Sabah, suspects Hasan K and Bahri T were on a motorcycle with no license plates,...

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Turkey responds to CPJ letter on Zaman takeover, denying move is politically motivated

May 2, 2016 1:40 PM ET

When riot police stormed the Istanbul offices of Turkey's largest newspaper, the daily Zaman, on March 4 following a court-ordered takeover, the Committee to Protect Journalists sent a public letter to Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, expressing dismay at the government's actions and calling on him to uphold press freedom...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 1

May 2, 2016 9:41 AM ET

Leading Turkish journalists sentenced to five years in prisonThe Committee to Protect Journalists condemned a Turkish court's sentencing today of two journalists for the opposition daily Cumhuriyet....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 24

April 25, 2016 10:32 AM ET

Erdoğan says response to "sleaze" of EU's press-freedom criticism beneath his dignity "Providing an answer to this worthlessness and sleaze would not be very appropriate for the president of Turkey," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told reporters in Croatia yesterday, responding to EU Parliament President Martin Shulz's criticisms of...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 17

April 18, 2016 9:08 AM ET

Trial resumes for journalists facing multiple life sentences The trial of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, editor and Ankara bureau chief, respectively, of Cumhuriyet newspaper resumed behind closed doors in Istanbul today. The court today denied prosecutors' request to combine the case with another case targeting alleged supporters of...

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'Erdoğan is killing journalism,' says Today's Zaman editor forced out after takeover

April 14, 2016 5:27 PM ET

Since the Turkish daily Zaman and its English-language sister publication Today's Zaman were taken over by court-appointed trustees last month, over accusations of terrorist propaganda, the papers' journalists have witnessed riot police fill their newsrooms, the arrests of colleagues, and the loss, through resignations and dismissals, of fellow journalists....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 10

April 11, 2016 8:57 AM ET

Merkel approves prosecution of German comic for insulting Erdoğan German Chancellor Angela Merkel today told reporters the German government would allow prosecutors to act on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's request that television satirist Jan Böhmermann be prosecuted for a profane poem about Erdoğan he read on the March...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 3

April 4, 2016 9:53 AM ET

Trial of 46 journalists, media workers resumes The trial of 46 journalists and media workers arrested in December 2011 resumed in Istanbul today. CPJ attended the trial as an observer....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 27

April 1, 2016 9:35 AM ET

Erdoğan, in Washington, says not at war with press; bodyguards insult, harass journalists Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, visiting Washington, on Thursday told the American television station CNN that he and his government were "not at war with the press," in remarks broadcast after his security detail harassed, insulted,...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 20

March 21, 2016 9:17 AM ET

Istanbul court rules trial for journalists facing life sentences to be closed to public The Committee to Protect Journalists today condemned an Istanbul court's decision today to bar the public from the trial of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, journalists for the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet. Representatives from CPJ and...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 13

March 16, 2016 11:14 AM ET

Prosecutors preparing charges against media owner, pro-government newspaper says Turkish prosecutors are preparing a case against media owner Aydın Doğan and his daughter, Hanzade Doğan Boyner, claiming they ran a fuel-smuggling ring, the pro-government daily newspaper Akşam said in a front-page story yesterday. Akşam said prosecutors were seeking a 23-year...

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On International Women's Day, CPJ recognizes nine female journalists jailed for their work

March 7, 2016 4:38 PM ET

Coverage of protests and riots. Revelations of official corruption and graft. Major natural disasters. Investigations into deplorable living conditions. These are some of the important issues journalists cover in their role as the Fourth Estate....

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For journalists fleeing Islamic State, Turkey 'is as dangerous as Syria'

January 11, 2016 6:28 PM ET

For the past two years, activists and journalists seeking refuge from Islamic State repression in Raqqa would take sanctuary across the border in southern Turkey, setting up safe houses and offices, and darting back to Syria regularly with camera equipment and other vital supplies. But that sanctuary is now...

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From Charlie Hebdo in Paris to bloggers in Bangladesh, extremists target press

January 4, 2016 3:00 PM ET

Thursday marks one year since two gunmen burst into the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and opened fire. Over the following year, CPJ documented the deaths of 28 journalists who were killed for their work by Islamic militant groups such as Islamic State and Al-Qaeda. This StoryMap charts...

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