Defamation

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Prison term completed, Mauritanian editor still jailed

New York, January 5, 2010—Mauritanian authorities should immediately release an editor who has served his prison term in its entirety, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The refusal to free Hanevy Ould Dehah, editor of the online publication Taqadoumy, appears to be unlawful and reflective of the politically motivated nature of the case.

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In Cameroon, jailed editor sentenced for ‘insulting’ Biya

New York, December 29, 2009—A Cameroonian newspaper editor, jailed this month after publishing a book excerpt that alleged sexual activities by President Paul Biya, was convicted on Monday of “insulting the head of state.” 

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Kazakh journalist and newspaper persecuted

After receiving reports of at least three defamation lawsuits filed recently against Lukpan Akhmedyarov, a prominent journalist with the independent newspaper Uralskaya Nedelya in Western Kazakhstan, in retaliation for his critical reporting on a state construction company’s illegal work on a gas pipe project, er issued the following statement…

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Free Speech Protection Act could slow ‘libel tourism’

Free press advocates in Britain are looking to a bill stuck in the U.S. Congress for moral support in the fight to reform England’s draconian defamation laws. The U.S. bill, the Free Speech Protection Act 2009, is itself the product of those laws, which have made London the capital of “libel tourism.” 

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AP

Iraqi court fines Guardian for defaming al-Maliki

New York, November 11, 2009—The Committee to Protect Journalists denounces a Baghdad court’s ruling that the London-based Guardian newspaper defamed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, left, in an April 2009 article depicting increasing authoritarianism in his government. CPJ calls on an appeals court to overturn the decision. 

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Sierra Leone’s criminal libel law sparks barber boycott

My looks have completely changed in recent months. Long hair now colonizes my chin and my head. Never in my adult life have I waited longer than a week without a shave or a haircut, let alone for four months. One ends up doing the strangest things for press freedom in Sierra Leone.

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In Rwanda, defamation case is politicized

New York, October 26, 2009—The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned that the prosecution of Jean Bosco Gasasira, editor-in-chief of the Rwandan bimonthly Umuvugizi, on criminal defamation charges has been politicized and the outcome predetermined.

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Two Azeri journalists imprisoned, a third sentenced

New York, October 9, 2009—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the prison sentences given to journalists at the weekly newspaper Nota on defamation charges on Thursday.

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U.S. reporter faces ‘insult’ suit in Brazil air crash aftermath

New York, September 29, 2009—U.S. freelance journalist Joe Sharkey, who covered a 2006 plane crash in Brazil in which he was a passenger, faces an onerous civil defamation suit for comments he said were wrongly attributed to him. On the third anniversary of the accident, the Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Brazilian judicial authorities…

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Nigerien editor charged with criminal libel

New York, September 24, 2009—A newspaper editor in police custody in Niger since Sunday was charged with criminal libel on Wednesday in connection with a story accusing a top official of involvement in a corruption scandal, according to local journalists and news reports. 

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