Europe & Central Asia

Blog   |   Spain

Why Spain's new gag law is threat to free flow of information

A hologram of protesters is projected outside parliament in Madrid on April 10 in opposition to Spain's restrictive 'gag law,' which bans rallies near government buildings and threatens fines for photographing police. (Reuters/Susana Vera)

On July 1 a public security law is due to come into force in Spain amid an increasingly vocal chorus of concern among the media and press freedom groups. The bill--dubbed the "ley mordaza," or "gag law," by opposition groups--would define protests in front of parliament and other government buildings as a "disturbance of public safety," and ban the "unauthorized use" of images of law enforcement authorities or riot police. The punishment for either offense will be a €30,000 ($33,000) fine.

Blog   |   CPJ

On World Press Freedom Day and journalists' safety

Last week, I met a Cameroonian journalist who worked in the Congo until he fled following a series of threats and an attack on his home by armed men who assaulted his sister. Elie Smith, a TV host who documented alleged abuses by police and was outspoken in his criticism of the government, said he thought he had been under surveillance and that he had received multiple threats via text message.

Blog   |   Azerbaijan, Ireland

CPJ, HRW call on president of European Olympic Committees to engage with Azerbaijan on press freedom, human rights

A delegation of representatives from CPJ and Human Rights Watch met yesterday with Patrick Hickey, president of the European Olympic Committees, at the Dublin headquarters of the Olympic Council of Ireland. The delegation discussed the dismal state of press freedom and human rights in Azerbaijan, the host of the first-ever European Games in June and one of the 10 Most Censored Countries in the world.

Letters   |   Azerbaijan, Ireland

CPJ calls on European Olympic Committees to engage with Azerbaijan on press freedom

Dear President Patrick Hickey: I am writing on behalf of the Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent international press freedom organization, to call your attention to the dismal climate for press freedom in Azerbaijan, which is scheduled to host the first-ever European Games on June 12.

Letters   |   Russia, Ukraine

In Crimea, press freedom deteriorates at a rapid pace

Dear President Vladimir Putin: The Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide, is writing to express its concern about the deteriorating climate for press freedom in Crimea.

Blog   |   France, Luxembourg

Reporter who broke LuxLeaks story faces charges in Luxembourg

A flag flutters over a Luxembourg city street, above. French journalist Edouard Perrin, who helped expose the LuxLeaks tax revelations, has been indicted in the country. (AFP/Emmanuel Dunand)

The French journalist who helped break the LuxLeaks scandal, which exposed a large-scale, state-blessed system of tax avoidance in placid Luxembourg late last year, was indicted on April 23. A statement from the Luxembourg prosecutor's office accused Edouard Perrin of "being the co-author, if not an accomplice, in the infractions committed by a former PricewaterhouseCoopers employee" already charged with leaking documents exposing the scheme, according to reports.

Attacks on the Press   |   Egypt, France, Greece, Pakistan, Paraguay, Syria

Foreword

In Pakistan, an unknown gunman shoots a news anchor multiple times. No one is arrested for the crime, though arrest warrants are issued against the journalist--for his reporting.

Attacks on the Press   |   Canada, UK, USA

Surveillance forces journalists to think and act like spies

Graffiti attributed to the street artist Banksy is seen near the offices of Britain's eavesdropping agency, Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, in Cheltenham, England, on April 16, 2014. (Reuters/Eddie Keogh)

Once upon a time, a journalist never gave up a confidential source. When someone comes forward, anonymously, to inform the public, it's better to risk time incarcerated than give them up. This ethical responsibility was also a practical and professional necessity. If you promise anonymity, you're obliged to deliver. If you can't keep your word, who will trust you in the future? Sources go elsewhere and stories pass you by.

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