Europe & Central Asia

Rasool free after 131 days in Turkish jail


Iraqi journalist Mohammed Ismael Rasool is released on bail in Turkey after 131 days in prison but is barred from traveling until a court makes a ruling in his case. British journalists Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury from VICE News, arrested alongside Rasool in August, are already free. An emergency mission to Turkey by press freedom groups in October finds journalists are severely restricted as the country prepares for elections.

Prison census: Turkey
(AP/Elena Becatoros, File)

Alerts   |   Turkey

CPJ concerned for safety of injured journalist trapped in Turkish city

New York, February 4, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned for the safety of Rohat Aktaş, a news editor and reporter for the Kurdish-language daily Azadiya Welat, who has been trapped in the southeastern town of Cizre with a gunshot wound since January 22.

February 4, 2016 3:15 PM ET

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Blog   |   Syria, Turkey

For journalists fleeing Islamic State, Turkey 'is as dangerous as Syria'

Pictures of filmmaker Naji Jerf are held up at his funeral in Gaziantep in December. Syrian media activists based in Turkey say the murder of Jerf and two other journalists makes the country feels less secure. (STR/AFP)

For the past two years, activists and journalists seeking refuge from Islamic State repression in Raqqa would take sanctuary across the border in southern Turkey, setting up safe houses and offices, and darting back to Syria regularly with camera equipment and other vital supplies. But that sanctuary is now under threat.

Blog   |   Poland

Will the EU's actions speak louder than its words on Poland's new media law?

The headquarters of TVP in Warsaw. Poland's new media law moves toward giving the government greater powers over the public broadcaster. (Reuters/Slawomir Kaminski)

On January 13, the European Commission--the so-called guardian of EU treaties--will meet in Brussels to debate a troubling law passed in Poland today that, according to reports, paves the way for the government to take control of public service TV and radio.

Blog   |   France

One year after Charlie Hebdo, will press freedom become victim of war on terror?

Satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo releases an anniversary edition to mark the deadly attack on its staff last January. Government responses to the killings have threatened press freedom. (Jacques Demarthon/AFP)

Who would have thought that France would top the list of most deadly countries for the press in 2015, second only to Syria? The massacre of eight cartoonists and journalists by Islamic militants at the Paris office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last January was one of the deadliest attacks against the press since CPJ began keeping records in 1992. And in November a freelance music journalist was among the 130 killed in an Islamic State-inspired attack in the French capital.

Statements   |   Turkey

Turkey releases VICE News journalist Mohammed Ismael Rasool on bail

Freelance journalist Mohammed Ismael Rasool, pictured in 2014, is released on bail after 131 days in jail in Turkey. (AP/Elena Becatoros, File)

New York, January 5, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release on bail today of VICE News journalist Mohammed Ismael Rasool, and calls on authorities in Turkey to drop the terrorism charges he faces. Rasool, who was arrested in August, is banned from leaving Turkey and must report to a local police station twice a week until the court announces a ruling in his case, according to a statement by VICE News.

Blog   |   Bangladesh, France, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Turkey

From Charlie Hebdo in Paris to bloggers in Bangladesh, extremists target press

Thursday marks one year since two gunmen burst into the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and opened fire. Over the following year, CPJ documented the deaths of 28 journalists who were killed for their work by Islamic militant groups such as Islamic State and Al-Qaeda. This StoryMap charts the deadly attacks that took place in eight countries in 2015.

Statements   |   Syria, Turkey

Syrian journalist Naji Jerf shot dead in Gaziantep, Turkey

New York, December 27, 2015--Naji Jerf, editor-in-chief of the independent monthly Hentah and the maker of documentary films on the militant group Islamic State, was shot and killed in broad daylight today by unknown assailants with a silenced pistol in front of a building that houses Syrian opposition news outlets in downtown Gaziantep, Turkey, near the Syrian border, according to news reports.

Alerts   |   Kazakhstan

Embattled Kazakh editor detained following police raids

New York, December 24, 2015--Kazakh authorities should immediately release Guzyal Baydalinova, editor of the independent news website Nakanune, and return all reporting equipment seized in police raids, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Alerts   |   Turkey

Turkey press crackdown continues with arrests of three pro-Kurdish journalists

New York, December 22, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Turkey to end its crackdown on the press. Since the release of CPJ's annual prison census, three journalists working for pro-Kurdish outlets have been arrested in Turkey on terror accusations, according to news reports.

Reports   |   Bahrain, Egypt, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Syria, Turkey, Vietnam

Slideshow: Journalists freed

While just under 200 journalists are behind bars, CPJ witnessed several memorable releases in 2015, including in Vietnam, Ethiopia, and even secretive Eritrea. Some of the journalists had spent years behind bars; they endured isolation and several say they were tortured. This year, CPJ’s advocacy contributed to the release of at least 31 journalists. Some of their stories are shown here.

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