Europe & Central Asia / 2013

Attacks on the Press in 2012: Uzbekistan

February 14, 2013 12:05 AM ET

Press freedom remained in a deep freeze under authoritarian leader Islam Karimov. The authorities continued to imprison critical journalists on lengthy terms. Muhammad Bekjanov, one of the two longest-imprisoned journalists in the world, was sentenced to an additional prison term just days before his scheduled release. The handful of independent...

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Attacks on the Press in 2012: United Kingdom

February 14, 2013 12:05 AM ET

The Leveson inquiry, begun in 2011 after revelations of phone-hacking and other ethical lapses by the press, drew to a close with the issuance of a lengthy report that proposed the creation of an independent regulatory body backed by statute. Critics, including CPJ, warned that statutory regulation would infringe on...

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Attacks on the Press in 2012: Ukraine

February 14, 2013 12:05 AM ET

As Ukraine prepared to assume the 2013 chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the nation’s leaders undermined one of the organization’s core values: freedom of the press. Censorship, denial of public information, physical attacks against reporters, and politicized lawsuits against news outlets marred the nation’s press...

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Attacks on the Press in 2012: Turkey

February 14, 2013 12:05 AM ET

With 49 journalists imprisoned for their work as of December 1, Turkey emerged as the world’s worst jailer of the press. Kurdish journalists, charged with supporting terrorism by covering the activities of the banned Kurdistan Workers Party, made up the majority of the imprisoned journalists. They are charged under a...

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Attacks on the Press in 2012: Tajikistan

February 14, 2013 12:05 AM ET

Authoritarian leader Emomali Rahmon praised journalists' mission at a ceremony said to mark the centennial of the Tajik press, but his speech came with a contradictory message: Rahmon urged news outlets not to publish reports that could damage Tajikistan's international image, cause pessimism, or undermine public order. Such was the...

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Attacks on the Press in 2012: Russia

February 14, 2013 12:05 AM ET

The beginning of Vladimir Putin’s third term as president was marked by a crackdown on civil society and critical opinion. Putin signed laws that suppress dissent by limiting public assembly, criminalizing defamation, and authorizing state censorship of critical websites. A Cold War-era chill settled in as lawmakers passed a measure...

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Attacks on the Press in 2012: Kyrgyzstan

February 14, 2013 12:05 AM ET

President Almazbek Atambayev and his ministers declared their commitment to press freedom and rule of law even as government agencies routinely subjected independent reporters to intimidation. Kyrgyzstan resisted domestic and international calls for the release of Azimjon Askarov, an ethnic Uzbek investigative reporter and human rights defender serving a life...

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Attacks on the Press in 2012: Kazakhstan

February 14, 2013 12:05 AM ET

Nursultan Nazarbayev's authoritarian government cracked down on critical news coverage with a flurry of early-year legislation and newsroom raids that came just weeks after deadly clashes between police and striking oil workers in the western city of Zhanaozen. In January, in the wake of the December 2011 labor unrest, Nazarbayev's...

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Attacks on the Press in 2012: Hungary

February 14, 2013 12:05 AM ET

Despite pressure from the European Commission, the Hungarian government implemented a media law that requires "balanced reporting" and imposes fines for transgressions. The government adopted only minor amendments in response to demands from the commission. Prime Minister Viktor Orban's right-wing party, Fidesz, was able to withstand the pressure thanks to...

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Attacks on the Press in 2012: France

February 14, 2013 12:05 AM ET

After five years of tension between the media and Élysée Palace under Nicolas Sarkozy, a new Socialist government sought to cool down the atmosphere. President François Hollande promised to review his predecessor’s policies on public broadcasting and to give up the presidential privilege of directly appointing its executives. The judiciary...

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