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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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Statements   |   China

CPJ calls on IOC to ensure press freedom at 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing

New York, July 31, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the decision to award the 2022 Winter Olympic Games to Beijing and calls on the International Olympic Committee to ensure that journalists are able to freely cover all aspects of the Games, including sensitive issues such as construction of the venues, possible protests, and any allegations of corruption. The IOC announced its decision early today in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, according to news reports. Local and international human rights and press freedom experts have repeatedly expressed deep concern about the deteriorating human rights situation in China, which has included a crackdown on journalists, activists, and academics.

Statements   |   Egypt

In Egypt, verdict expected in trial of Al-Jazeera journalists

New York, July 28, 2015--An Egyptian court is scheduled to issue a verdict on Thursday in the retrial of Al-Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, Baher Mohamed, and Peter Greste, according to news reports. Greste is being tried in absentia. A court in February ordered the retrial because of lack of evidence leading to the journalists' conviction of "conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood," which the government has banned, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the charges and calls on Egyptian authorities to stop legally harassing journalists.

Statements   |   Russia

CPJ welcomes sentence of murder mastermind in Russia

New York, July 24, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the sentencing to life in prison today of a Russian nationalist leader in connection with the 2009 fatal attack on human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov, in which Novaya Gazeta journalist Anastasiya Baburova was also killed. The Moscow City Court ruled that Ilya Goryachev, a leader of the extremist Battle Organization of Russian Nationalists, was the mastermind behind the murder, according to news reports. The verdict was issued on July 15 while the court announced the sentence today.

Statements   |   Azerbaijan

CPJ calls on Azerbaijan to free jailed journalist Khadija Ismayilova

New York, July 23, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Azerbaijani authorities to immediately release Khadija Ismayilova, an investigative journalist who has been imprisoned since December on charges of embezzlement, tax evasion, and abuse of power, among others. Ismayilova's trial is scheduled to be held on Friday in Baku, according to news reports. If convicted, she faces up to 19 years in prison. CPJ and other international press freedom groups believe the charges against Ismayilova are in retaliation for her coverage of corruption in the Azerbaijani government.

July 23, 2015 1:09 PM ET

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Statements   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopia releases imprisoned journalist Reeyot Alemu

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.

Statements   |   Ethiopia

Ethiopia releases five journalists, drops all charges against them

Nairobi, July 8, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release from prison today of two bloggers affiliated with the independent Ethiopian collective Zone 9 and three other journalists. All charges have been dropped against them, according to exiled Ethiopian journalists who spoke to CPJ and a report by the pro-government Fana Radio. The journalists--editor Asmamaw Hailegiorgis; freelancers Edom Kassaye and Tesfalem Waldyes; and bloggers Mahlet Fantahun and Zelalem Kibret--were arrested in late April 2014, along with four other Zone 9 bloggers--Abel Wabella, Atnaf Berhane, Befekadu Hailu, and Natnail Feleke. All were charged with incitement and terrorism, according to news reports.

Statements   |   Mexico

Journalist gunned down outside radio station in Mexico

New York, July 2, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns today's murder of Mexican journalist Filadelfo Sánchez Sarmiento in Miahuatlán de Porfirio Díaz, a municipality in the southern state of Oaxaca. Sánchez was shot at about 9:30 a.m. outside the offices of radio station La Favorita 103.3FM La Voz de la Sierra Sur, where he hosted a news program, according to news reports. The journalist had also written for local newspapers, according to reports. Sánchez had received threatening phone calls, reports said, without providing further details.

Statements   |   Swaziland

Swaziland releases Bheki Makhubu after 15 months in jail

New York, June 30, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes today's decision by the Swaziland Supreme Court to release from prison Bheki Makhubu, the editor of The Nation, who has been in jail since March 2014 along with human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko, after the crown prosecution said it would not defend an appeal against their conviction, according to news reports.

Statements   |   USA

CPJ welcomes U.S. government's new hostage policy

New York, June 24, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the new U.S. policy announced today which states that families of American hostages seeking to negotiate with or pay ransom to the abductors will not be threatened with criminal prosecution. The White House will also create an office to work with the families of the hostages, according to news reports. U.S. President Barack Obama ordered a review of the policy following the murders in 2014 of kidnapped U.S. freelance journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, news reports said.

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