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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of August 21

Relatives mourn outside a hospital in the southern Turkish town of Gaziantep after a suicide bomb attack killed at least 30 people, August 20, 2016. A court banned all coverage of the attack the following day. (AFP/Ahmed Deeb)

Two editors arraigned on terrorism charges
A duty court at Istanbul's Çağlayan Courthouse last night arraigned Bilir Kaya and İnan Kızılkaya, editor and news editor of Özgür Gündem, respectively, the pro-Kurdish newspaper reported on its website. A court last week ordered the newspaper to stop publishing and police sealed its offices. A prosecutor interrogated the two at midday yesterday and asked the court to hold them on charges of "being a member of a [terrorist] organization," and "violating the unity of the state." The court discarded the "violating the unity of the state" charge, but upheld the terrorism charge and sent the journalists to Istanbul's Metris Prison, pending trial. Authorities have for years subjected the newspaper and its staff to relentless judicial harassment, accusing it of fomenting separatism and affiliation with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which the Turkish government classes as a terrorist group.

Alerts   |   Thailand

Thailand pressures two broadcast journalists off the air

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha arrives for a cabinet meeting in Bangkok on August 9, 2016. He has empowered a state media regulator to close news outlets without the right to appeal for reasons of national security. (AP/Sakchai Lalit)

Bangkok, August 18, 2016--Two television reporters in Thailand have been suspended for a 10-day period under pressure from military authorities and state media regulators over their critical news coverage, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Thailand's ruling military regime to cease its systematic harassment of the broadcast media and allow reporters to do their jobs without interference or fear of reprisal.

Blog   |   China

As Beijing tightens grip on Hong Kong media, mainland journalists suffer

A cover of Time magazine on display in Hong Kong, July 22, 2016, features portraits of Chinese leader Xi Jinping and former leader Mao Zedong. (AP/Vincent Yu)

On August 1, prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Yu, who had been detained incommunicado for over a year, reemerged--with an unusual twist on an old script. Wang gave a TV interview in which she renounced her legal work and accused foreign forces of using her to "attack" and "smear" the Chinese government; the report claimed she'd just been released on bail. The public statement of guilt without trial is part of an established pattern in China, with more than a dozen such "confessions" delivered by human rights activists, journalists, and writers. But this time, the state-owned China Central Television (CCTV) failed to play a role. Instead, the interview was carried by a website affiliated with the Hong Kong newspaper Oriental Daily.

Alerts   |   Bangladesh

Bangladesh journalists could face 14 years in prison for refuting rumor

New York, August 12, 2016 -- Bangladeshi authorities should drop all criminal proceedings against three journalists from the news website banglamail24, release them immediately, and restore press credentials to nine of their colleagues, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The three journalists could face a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison if charged and convicted under a law governing online publication.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of August 7, 2016

Participants in an August 7, 2016, pro-government rally in Istanbul wear masks depicting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Reuters/Umit Bektas)

Police detain 42 employees of state broadcaster
The official Anatolia News Agency reported today that police detained 42 employees of state broadcaster TRT on suspicion of affiliation with the Hizment movement, which the Turkish government alleges orchestrated a July 15 failed military coup. Anatolia did not named the detainees or their positions at TRT but said they include "inspectors" and a "news reader."

Statements   |   Turkey

Turkey shutters more than 100 media outlets as purge continues

New York, July 28, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Turkish authorities today to stop its sweeping purge of the media, and to allow all journalists to work freely at this critical time for the country. A decree published yesterday in Turkey's Official Gazette ordered the closure of more than 100 broadcasters, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses and distribution companies.

Blog   |   China

China shuts down internet reporting as Xi's sensitivity begins to resemble lèse-majesté

A Chinese security officer holds the media rope as U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice, background left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, are seated for photographers at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on July 25, 2016. Xi's increasing intolerance of negative coverage has approached a kind of lèse-majesté. (AP/How Hwee Young)

On July 1, popular internet portal Tencent, in its original news reporting section, published an article on a speech that President Xi Jinping gave the same day at a conference celebrating the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. One line of the article read, "Xi Jinping outburst an important speech." To any reader who speaks Chinese, the sentence clearly included a typo and its meaning was, "Xi Jinping delivered an important speech."

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 24

In this July 24, 2016, handout photo, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gives the Rabaa salute, a reference to Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawaya Square, where Egyptian soldiers and police in August 2013 killed hundreds of supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi protesting the military's ousting of the Egyptian president in July 2013. (Pool/AP)

At least 48 journalists detained in one week
Police in Turkey detained at least 48 journalists in the past week, according to the independent news website P24 and the Twitter account of Ben Gazeteciyim, a volunteer association of Turkish journalists formed to show solidarity with their threatened colleagues. At the time of publication, 21 of those detained were at Istanbul's Çağlayan Courthouse being interrogated by prosecutors and waiting to see a judge. Eren Şener, lawyer for journalists Bülent Mumay and Arda Akın, told the news website Bianet that prosecutors had asked his clients about their activity on Twitter, news stories they had written, and whether they viewed the Hizmet movement, which the Turkish government accuses of orchestrating a failed military coup on July 15 that left more than 200 people dead, as a terrorist organization.

According to P24 and Ben Gazeteciyim, the 21 people at Çağlayan Courthouse at the time of publication were:

Alerts   |   Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan suspends TV station's license for Turkey coverage

New York, July 19, 2016 - Azerbaijani regulators should immediately reverse their decision to suspend the license of broadcaster ANS TV, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Broadcasting regulators yesterday said they were suspending the station's license to broadcast for one month because of its coverage of events in Turkey.

Alerts   |   India

Indian authorities shut down media outlets in Jammu and Kashmir

In this July 16 photo, Kashmiri journalists protest against the government in Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir, where authorities have shut down printing presses and banned newspapers after days of anti-India protests.(AP/Mukhtar Khan)

Washington, July 18, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir to stop harassing and obstructing the media. Several newspapers in the state have been prevented from publishing for three days, while mobile internet services are shut down, and cable television has been blocked.

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