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Authorities in India continue to investigate, detain journalists amid COVID-19 pandemic

Local authorities across India filed legal notices against, questioned, or detained at least eight journalists between March 29, 2020, and May 17, 2020, amid the country’s lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus, according to CPJ interviews with the journalists and media reports. According to Om Sharma, a journalist with Hindi daily Divya Himachal in…

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A Nepalese police officer maintains distance as he detains a man defying the lockdown imposed by the government amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Kathmandu on March 29, 2020. Several journalists have been detained or obstructed while reporting since the lockdown was imposed. (Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar)

Nepali reporters detained, threatened while reporting on COVID-19 pandemic

Police in districts around Nepal briefly detained at least four journalists in relation to coverage of the coronavirus pandemic since the government introduced containment measures on March 23, 2020, while at least six others reported being threatened or attacked by a range of actors seeking to suppress allegations of wrongdoing over the same period, according…

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Protesters are seen in front of the Department of Justice in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on July 29, 2019. The department recently subpoenaed Facebook for information from student news outlets on the island. (Angel Valentin/Getty Images via AFP)

Puerto Rico authorities subpoena Facebook for information from student media outlets

On September 27, 2019, Denis Márquez, a member of Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives, told the staff of Pulso Estudiantil, a student-run newspaper based at the University of Puerto Rico, that the island’s Justice Department had acquired information from the paper’s Facebook account, as well as from Diálogo UPR and the Center for Student Communication,…

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Palestinian police officers are seen in Hebron, in the West Bank, on April 7, 2020. Police recently attacked and arrested journalist Anas Hawari at a checkpoint. (Reuters/Mussa Qawasma)

Palestinian police assault and arrest journalist Anas Hawari

On May 15, 2020, Palestinian police officers manning a checkpoint in the West Bank town of Anabta pulled over, assaulted, and arrested Anas Hawari, a reporter for the Hamas-affiliated Quds News Network, according to a report by his employer, a Facebook post by his lawyer, Mohannad Karajeh, and a report by the Skeyes Center for…

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Police officers wearing face masks stand guard during an anti-government protest, following the coronavirus outbreak, in Algiers, Algeria on March 6, 2020. News websites covering both the unrest and the impact of the disease have recently been blocked in the country. (Reuters/Ramzi Boudina)

Algerian media websites newly censored after “false news” ban

Three additional local news websites have been blocked on Algerian networks since April 22, 2020, bringing the number of outlets affected in April and May to at least six, according to online statements by the websites affected. The intervention came in the wake of a new law against “false news.”

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Swaziland News editor Zweli Martin Dlamini recently fled to South Africa after being arrested and abused by police, who now have a warrant out for his arrest on false news allegations. (Photo: Swaziland News)

Swazi editor flees to South Africa, wanted in false news investigation

In the early morning of February 25, 2020, police in the Manzini region of Swaziland raided the home of Zweli Martin Dlamini, the editor of the privately owned news website Swaziland News, and arrested him, according to media reports and the journalist, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app.

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People are seen in Namanga, Tanzania, on March 16, 2020. Tanzanian authorities recently suspnded the Mwananchi newspaper from publishing online for six months over a COVID-19 report. (AFP/Filbert Rweyemamu)

Tanzanian newspaper banned from publishing online for 6 months over COVID-19 report

On April 16, 2020, Tanzania’s communications regulator banned the privately owned Mwananchi newspaper from publishing online for six months and fined it five million Tanzanian shillings ($2,173) for allegedly publishing false news, according to a public notice by the regulator and a report by the newspaper’s sister publication, The Citizen.

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Police are seen in Hong Kong on April 26, 2020. Police recently arrested two journalists for alleged loitering. (Reuters/Tyrone Siu)

Hong Kong police arrest 2 reporters for alleged ‘loitering’

On April 28, 2020, Hong Kong police arrested two Next Magazine reporters at Pik Shui Sun Tsuen, in Clear Water Bay, on allegations of loitering, according to news reports.

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Police are seen in La Paz, Bolivia, on April 5, 2020. Bolivian cartoonist Abel Bellido Córdoba recently received death threats for his work. (Reutesr/David Mercado)

Bolivian cartoonist Abel Bellido Córdoba receives death threats

Since April 5, 2020, multiple Facebook users have sent death threats to Bolivian cartoonist Abel Bellido Córdoba, he told CPJ in a phone interview.

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A police officer is seen in Mexico City on April 25, 2020. The Mexican Interior Secretariat recently threatened two news companies over their coronavirus coverage. (AP/Fernando Llano)

Mexican government threatens outlets over COVID-19 coverage

On two occasions in April 2020, the Mexican federal Interior Secretariat issued warnings to news outlets over their coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and threatened to file administrative sanctions against them.

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