Europe & Central Asia

In Crimea, independent press under threat

Press freedom in Crimea is deteriorating as the region's media fall under Russian laws and regulations. A CPJ fact-finding mission to Ukraine in June finds many independent journalists are fleeing Crimea because of arrests, attacks, and harassment. Broadcasters, including Crimean Tatar outlet ATR, pictured, are denied registration and journalists say they struggle to get accreditation.

StoryMap: Attacks on Crimea's press
Guest blog: Patriotism with Cold War tinge
Доклад на русском языке

(AFP/Max Vetrov)

Alerts   |   Turkey

Turkish authorities block access to news websites

New York, July 28, 2015--Turkish authorities blocked access to at least eight news websites in Turkey on Saturday amid what the government called a counter-terrorism operation, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Turkish authorities to restore access to the websites so that Turkish citizens can access news of public interest.

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.

Statements   |   Russia

CPJ welcomes sentence of murder mastermind in Russia

New York, July 24, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the sentencing to life in prison today of a Russian nationalist leader in connection with the 2009 fatal attack on human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov, in which Novaya Gazeta journalist Anastasiya Baburova was also killed. The Moscow City Court ruled that Ilya Goryachev, a leader of the extremist Battle Organization of Russian Nationalists, was the mastermind behind the murder, according to news reports. The verdict was issued on July 15 while the court announced the sentence today.

Statements   |   Azerbaijan

CPJ calls on Azerbaijan to free jailed journalist Khadija Ismayilova

New York, July 23, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Azerbaijani authorities to immediately release Khadija Ismayilova, an investigative journalist who has been imprisoned since December on charges of embezzlement, tax evasion, and abuse of power, among others. Ismayilova's trial is scheduled to be held on Friday in Baku, according to news reports. If convicted, she faces up to 19 years in prison. CPJ and other international press freedom groups believe the charges against Ismayilova are in retaliation for her coverage of corruption in the Azerbaijani government.

July 23, 2015 1:09 PM ET

Tags:

Alerts   |   Japan, Spain, Syria

Four international reporters missing in north Syria

Jumpei Yasuda (Jiji Press/AFP)

Beirut, July 21, 2015--At least four international journalists have been reported missing in northern Syria in two separate incidents in the past month, in the latest indication of the profound dangers of reporting from inside the war-torn country.

Blog   |   Ukraine

Mission Journal: Crimea's journalists in exile as Russia muzzles free press

A mural in Sevastopol shows President Vladimir Putin in a Navy uniform. Crimea's press is struggling to survive after Russia illegally annexed the Ukrainian region. (AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

"First they asked if my parents had any guns or drugs in the apartment, then they showed my picture to my mother and asked her to identify me," Anna Andriyevskaya said. The Crimean journalist, who is living in exile in Kiev, was describing a raid on her parents' home by Russian FSB agents. "Any other mother would have probably suffered a heart attack if police asked them to ID their children," she said.

Blog   |   Ukraine

How patriotism with a Cold War tinge is damaging Crimea's press

Newspapers are sold in Sevastopol in March 2014. Independent journalism has struggled after Crimea was illegally annexed. (AFP/Viktor Drachev)

"You should move to Kiev," I was trying to persuade a friend of mine to leave Crimea.

I first met him at the time when cassettes were used in voice recorders, there were no e-mail addresses on business cards, and people preferred to make acquaintances in bars, not online. He asked me not to make his name public, but all you need to know about him is that he is 30, lives in Crimea, and is an objective journalist. Lately, there has been a shortage of objectivity in the Crimean media.

Blog   |   Turkey

Erdoğan vs the press: Insult law used to silence president's critics

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, left, looks at a cell phone during a meeting in 2013. Since Erdoğan became president there has been an increase in insult charges filed against Turkey's press. (AP/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is known for being intolerant of critics. During his third term as prime minister, Turkey was the leading jailer of journalists in the world with more than 60 behind bars at the height of the crackdown in 2012. Most of those have been released, but the press faces another threat--Article 299 of the penal code, "Insulting the President," which carries a prison term of more than four years if content deemed to be offensive is published in the press.

Alerts   |   Turkey

In Turkey, jailed journalist given new prison term as third investigation begins

Istanbul, July 1, 2015--Turkish journalist Mehmet Baransu was handed a 10-month jail sentence by an Istanbul court on June 30 for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Twitter, according to reports. Baransu, a columnist and correspondent for the privately owned daily Taraf, is already in prison while authorities investigate him on separate charges, his lawyer told CPJ.

Alerts   |   Turkey

Turkish journalist faces 23 years in prison for insulting government officials

Istanbul, June 26, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the insult charges filed against a Turkish reporter and calls on Turkish authorities to drop them immediately. The charges against Canan Coşkun, a reporter for the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet, were first reported by the Turkish media on Wednesday.

More documents on Europe & Central Asia »

Social Media

View all »