UK / Europe & Central Asia

Journalists attacked in UK since 1992

  

UK online safety bill raises censorship concerns and questions on future of encryption

The U.K. government emphasized press freedom this month when it published the draft online safety bill for social media companies, pledging that the bill would protect both “citizen journalism” and “recognized news publishers” from censorship. Vocal segments of the media not only welcomed the legislation, but actively campaigned for it. When Oliver Dowden, secretary of…

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How U.S. copyright law and fake Gmail accounts were used to censor a report on gambling in Kenya

On February 4, Emmanuel Dogbevi turned to Twitter with a plea for help. He tagged press freedom groups and colleagues in a series of tweets, lamenting how allegations that he violated U.S. copyright law had prompted his news website to be taken offline.  Dogbevi told CPJ via phone that Ghana Business News, the Ghana-based website he edits,…

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A positive step for Julian Assange but a blow to press freedom

A London court’s decision this week not to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States imperils press freedom even as it benefits Assange.   In her January 4 decision, Judge Vanessa Baraister ruled that Assange would be at risk of suicide should he be extradited to the U.S. to face criminal prosecution, including on espionage…

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Journalist Patricia Devlin on working in Northern Ireland: ‘I feel vulnerable and I feel threatened’

Over the past two years, crime and paramilitary and sectarian attacks have risen in Northern Ireland, fueled by economic stagnation, a power vacuum in the regional government, and the fallout from Brexit, according to news reports. In this climate, journalists are also increasingly at risk: freelance reporter Lyra McKee was killed in April 2019, and…

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Ghana police officials receive technology

US, UK, Interpol give Ghana phone hacking tools, raising journalist concerns on safety and confidentiality

In May 2019, senior members of Ghana’s law enforcement posed for photos with the U.S. ambassador to their country at a ceremony in the capital, Accra. Between them they held boxes and bags, gifts from the U.S. government to Ghana which, according to one of the recipients, contained Israeli phone hacking technology. That recipient was…

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A police car is seen in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on March 26, 2020. CPJ recently joined a statement calling on the region's police and politicians to thoroughly investigate threats made against journalists. (Reuters/Jason Cairnduff)

CPJ joins call condemning threats against journalists in Northern Ireland

The Committee to Protect Journalists today joined 20 free expression groups, activist organizations, and journalists in a joint statement condemning recent threats against journalists working for the Sunday Life and Sunday World newspapers in Northern Ireland.

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Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, British then-Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, and Canadian then-Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland address a news conference on media freedom in Dinard, France on April 5, 2019. A panel of legal experts led by Clooney recommend more sanctions targeted at press freedom violators. (Reuters/Stephane Mahe)

CPJ welcomes call for targeted sanctions to protect journalists

When the U.K. launched an initiative to support media freedom in the waning days of Jeremy Hunt’s tenure as foreign minister, CPJ was skeptical that this government-led effort would be more than a feel-good campaign. However, we chose to engage, given the current vacuum of leadership on press freedom globally. As the U.S. pulls back…

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Members of the media prepare a broadcast report outside Sandringham Estate, the private residence of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, in eastern England, on January 13, 2020. A plan by Duke and Duchess of Sussex to change the rules of media engagement raised issues of access and what constitutes “credible media” in the United Kingdom this week. (AFP/Ben Stansall)

In the UK, ‘Megxit’ and Downing Street briefing change put focus on press access

Journalists and press associations in the United Kingdom this week debated issues of access and what constitutes “credible media,” as royal correspondents scrutinized the fall out from “Megxit”—the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s plan to step back from royal duties and the pool system of news coverage—and the Society of Editors raised concerns with Prime…

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A mural memorializing journalist Lyra McKee is pictured in central Belfast on May 7, 2019. Leona O’Neill was harassed online after reporting from the scene when McKee was shot. (AFP/Paul Faith)

Q&A: Leona O’Neill on the aftermath of Lyra McKee’s killing in Northern Ireland

Leona O’Neill was reporting in Londonderry’s Creggan estate on April 18, 2019, the night Lyra McKee, 29, was struck by a bullet. Considered a rising star in the British and Irish media, McKee was the first journalist to be killed in Northern Ireland since 2001, CPJ noted at the time.

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Metropolitan Police officers carry WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during his arrest, following the Ecuadoran government's termination of asylum, in London on April 11, 2019. (Adrian Cotterill/Daily Dooh via Reuters)

Why the prosecution of Julian Assange is troubling for press freedom

After a seven-year standoff at the Ecuadoran embassy in London, British police yesterday arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange–a development press freedom advocates had long feared.

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