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 raid independent media company

New York, September 2, 2015--Turkish police on Tuesday raided the offices of a media group, in what one editor called an attempt to silence opposition media ahead of November parliamentary elections, according to news reports. The move follows terrorism charges leveled against VICE News journalists who have been detained while reporting from the predominantly Kurdish southeastern part of the country.

Letters   |   Turkey

Turkey should drop terrorism charges against detained VICE crew

Dear Prime Minister Davutoğlu: The Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent international press freedom organization, is writing to express its concern about recent charges leveled against two British journalists and a local fixer who were detained while reporting from the southeastern Turkish province of Diyarbakir.

Statements   |   Azerbaijan

CPJ condemns 7.5-year prison term for Khadija Ismayilova

New York, September 1, 2015--The Baku Court of Serious Crimes today convicted Khadija Ismayilova, one of Azerbaijan's most prominent investigative reporters, of illegal business, tax evasion, abuse of power, and embezzlement, and sentenced her to seven and a half years in prison, according to local press reports. The court dropped the charge of incitement to suicide, the reports said. A state prosecutor had requested a nine-year sentence during a closed hearing. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the verdict and sentence and calls on Azerbaijan to scrap them on appeal.

Alerts   |   Turkey

CPJ calls for the release of VICE News reporters, fixer, in Diyarbakir, Turkey

New York, August 28, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities in the southeastern Turkish province of Diyarbakir to release British journalists Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury immediately. The journalists were on assignment with the U.S.-based global news channel VICE News when they, along with their fixer, were detained by police in Baglar district on Thursday, news reports said.

Statements   |   Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani prosecutor requests nine-year jail term for Khadija Ismayilova

New York, August 21, 2015--A state prosecutor today called for Azerbaijani investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova to be sentenced to nine years in prison, according to pro-government news agency Trend. The request was made during a hearing in the Baku Court of Serious Crimes that was closed to independent journalists and rights activists, the regional press reported. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the trial and calls on Azerbaijan to drop all charges against Ismayilova.

Alerts   |   Azerbaijan

In Azerbaijan, independent journalist dies after being beaten in Baku

New York, August 10, 2015--An independent reporter in Azerbaijan died early Sunday after being beaten viciously the day before in Baku, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities in Azerbaijan to conduct an efficient and transparent investigation into the attack on Rasim Aliyev, determine the motive, and ensure all of the perpetrators are brought to justice.

Blog   |   Germany, Internet

Germany scores against the surveillance state

It all went very fast. On Tuesday morning August 4, Germany’s chief federal prosecutor, Harald Range, was ordered by Justice Minister Heiko Maas to withdraw an independent expert from the investigation of two journalists from Netzpolitik. The investigator had concluded that leaked documents quoted by the news website amounted to a disclosure of a state secret, one of the required criteria to pursue a treason case. The prosecutor protested: “To meddle with an internal review on the basis that the results might be inopportune is an intolerable interference with the independence of the judiciary .” A few hours later on Tuesday evening Maas asked for the prosecutor to be granted early retirement. In plain words, Harald Range was sacked.

Statements   |   Azerbaijan

Baku court bars press and family from Khadija Ismayilova trial

New York, August 7, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Azerbaijani authorities to ensure due process in the trial against award-winning investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova. When Ismayilova appeared at Baku Court on Grave Crimes for the first substantive hearing in her case today, journalists, international observers, and the reporter's family were barred from entering the courtroom, according to press reports.

Statements   |   Germany, Internet

Germany investigating news website, journalists for treason

New York, July 31, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned by the allegations of treason against two journalists affiliated with the critical German news website Netzpolitik. German authorities on Thursday opened an investigation into the website's bloggers, Markus Beckedahl and Andre Meister, as well as an unidentified third party, accusing them of treason, according to news reports. In February and April, Netzpolitik had reported on plans to expand Germany's domestic surveillance of online communications, news reports said.

July 31, 2015 2:33 PM ET

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