CPJ calls Kenya on its "Broken Promises"
As U.S. President Barack Obama headed to Kenya and Ethiopia in July, CPJ launched a special report in Nairobi on the climate for press freedom in Kenya. The report, called "Broken promises: How Kenya is failing to uphold its commitment to a free press," found that a combination of legal and physical harassment, as well as concentration in media ownership, is making it increasingly difficult for journalists to work freely in Kenya.
CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon, and CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Sue Valentine met with Information and Communication Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiangi, who said President Uhuru Kenyatta was determined to create a culture and an environment that respected press freedom. The cabinet secretary pledged to ensure investigations into a brutal attack against two journalists in April and to further discuss the country's criminal defamation law.
But, as Simon observed at the press conference, if a commitment to delivering justice is to have meaning, it must bear results.
New York, July 9, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release from prison today of Ethiopian journalist Reeyot Alemu, a critical columnist who has been jailed since June 2011 on terrorism charges. Reeyot was sentenced in 2012 to 14 years in prison, which was reduced to five years on appeal. Reeyot told CPJ today that she was happy to be free and that her health was "okay," but that she was still taking painkillers. The journalist suffered from breast tumors while in prison.
At the Lideta courthouse in Ethiopia's capital city, Addis Ababa, stands a statue of a blindfolded woman holding a set of scales in her outstretched hand--a universal symbol of justice, here cast in metal of pinkish gold and wearing thick braids in her hair.
Nelson Mandela regularly harangued the media once he'd been freed after 27 years of imprisonment by South Africa's apartheid government. He would call individual journalists when he liked or disliked something they had written or when he wanted to advance a political lobby.
Par Ferial Haffajee
Libéré après avoir passé 27 ans dans les prisons du gouvernement de l’apartheid en Afrique du Sud, Nelson Mandela haranguait régulièrement les médias. Il appelait individuellement des journalistes lorsqu’il aimait ou n’aimait pas ce qu’ils avaient écrit ou lorsqu’il cherchait à appuyer tel ou tel lobby politique.
It will be one year this weekend since six bloggers were arrested in Addis Ababa, just days after the group announced on Facebook that their Zone 9 blog would resume publishing after seven months of inactivity. As the anniversary of the arrests approaches on Saturday, Soleyana S. Gebremichale, one of the Zone 9 founders who was charged in absentia, told me the situation was not hopeless.
Collaboration with University of Maryland students highlights journalists jailed worldwide
New York, March 26, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists today launched the Press Uncuffed: Free the Press campaign at the Newseum in Washington to raise awareness about journalists imprisoned around the world in connection with their coverage of news in the public interest. The campaign, conducted in partnership with students at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism, highlights nine emblematic cases of imprisoned journalists and calls for their release. At least 221 journalists were behind bars when CPJ conducted its most recent prison census.
Do you believe the free flow of information must be protected? Sign the #RightToReport petition and demand that President Obama immediately:
1. Issue a presidential policy directive prohibiting the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organizations.
2. Limit aggressive prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers.
3. Prevent the harassment of journalists at the U.S. border.
Or click here to see the full petition, and join leading journalists like Christiane Amanpour, The Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the AP Kathleen Carroll, and Arianna Huffington in signing on.