News from the Committee to Protect Journalists
In Spain, CPJ calls for release of jailed Cuban journalists
On March 17, five years after Cuba’s massive crackdown on dissidents and independent journalists, CPJ traveled to Madrid to present “Cuba’s Long Black Spring,” a special report detailing the 2003 crackdown and the toll it has taken on journalists and their families. At a well-attended press conference at the Press Association of Madrid, Americas Senior Program Coordinator Carlos Lauría discussed ongoing efforts to free more than 20 journalists still imprisoned in Cuba. Lauría was joined by Raúl Rivero, a Cuban journalist who spent more than a year in prison; Antonio Muñoz Molina, the Spanish writer; and Fernando González Urbaneja, president of the Press Association of Madrid.
The Spanish government has played a key role in the release of several independent Cuban journalists including José Gabriel Ramón Castillo and Alejandro González Raga. CPJ’s new Europe Consultant Borja Bergareche produced a video featuring the two Cuban journalists’ first interviews since their release in February.
tion with the report’s release, several prominent writers, including Noam Chomsky, Antonio Muñoz Molina, and Juan Goytisolo, voiced their support for those still imprisoned in Cuba. The report’s release received wide coverage in the international media, including stories by The Associated Press, CNN International, and a lengthy segment on Spanish news channel TVE.
As part of CPJ’s lunchtime discussion series, Lauría and Americas Researcher Maria Salazar led a discussion about the report and the future for journalists in Cuba at CPJ’s offices in New York on March 25.
Three journalists tell CPJ about the war in Iraq
James Glanz, Baghdad bureau chief of The New York Times, Bobby Ghosh, Time magazine’s world editor, and freelance photographer Jehad Nga share personal anecdotes and discuss the increasing obstacles and dangers journalists face covering the Iraq war. Since the war started in March 2003, 127 journalists and 50 media workers have been killed.
In Ethiopia, CPJ helps foster independent press
CPJ has since urged Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s government to allow independent papers such as Harambe to open. Throughout early 2008, CPJ was in direct contact with Ethiopian authorities, advocating for press licenses for five independent publications. CPJ also highlighted this issue in a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice prior to her meeting in December with Zenawi.
The situation for the press has improved since 2005, when eight newspapers were banned and 12 others shut down after post-election violence. CPJ continues to monitor the developments closely.
PODER magazine honors CPJ
CPJ board member Norman Pearlstine was the moderator for the one-hour “Media and Philanthropy” panel, where Simon was a panelist. The panel discussed the power of the media to disseminate ideas and create change around the world.
CPJ to return to Kurdistan, release findings
After CPJ's mission in November, President Massoud Barzani refused to sign a press law that would have tightened restrictions on the media. CPJ lobbied strongly against the law. A report is scheduled to be released at the Kurdistan Press Association in the Kurdish capital of Arbil. The full text will appear in the next edition of Dangerous Assignments and will also be available online at www.cpj.org.
CPJ to cosponsor Olympic panel in Paris
Speakers will included recently freed Chinese journalist Ching Cheong, Gao Yu, an award-winning Chinese journalist, and Watson Meng, the founding editor of the Boxun News Web site.
More information about the conference can be found online.
CPJ investigates press freedom in Mexico