False News

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Kashmiri journalists describe new government tactics to control the narrative

In April, after Srinagar-based senior journalist Peerzada Ashiq published an article about the families of two militants who wanted to exhume their bodies to perform funeral rites, police in Kashmir launched an investigation and accused him of publishing “fake news.” Ashiq told CPJ that he had sought official comment on multiple channels, but never received…

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Somali court sentences editor to 6 months in prison for spreading false news

Nairobi, July 29, 2020 — In response to a Somali court sentencing Goobjoog Media Group Deputy Director Abdiaziz Ahmed Gurbiye to six months in prison on false news charges, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement: “This conviction, in a case that should never have been entertained by the courts, is not only…

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Bangladeshi journalists face physical attacks, legal cases, and detention amid COVID-19 pandemic

Between March 10, 2020, and May 21, 2020, authorities detained at least six journalists in Bangladesh and opened investigations into at least nine more under the country’s Digital Security Act, according to news reports and CPJ interviews with journalists. At least seven other journalists were assaulted by both the authorities and political figures, according to…

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Cuban journalist Jorge Enrique Rodríguez detained amid protests, awaiting trial

Miami, July 2, 2020–Cuban authorities should immediately release journalist Jorge Enrique Rodríguez and stop harassing the independent media, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On June 28, security forces arrested Rodríguez, of the independent news site Diario de Cuba, and took him to the criminal processing center known as ‘Vivac in Havana, according to…

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Tajikistan parliament approves amendments imposing fines, detentions for ‘false news’ amid COVID-19 pandemic

New York, June 30, 2020 – Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon should not ratify proposed legal amendments that would threaten free expression in the country, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On June 26, the country’s National Assembly, its upper house of parliament, unanimously approved amendments to the country’s administrative code making it illegal to…

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Iranian youth checks currency rates

Majid Motalebzadeh arrested, charged with cybercrimes for economic reporting

Washington, D.C., June 29, 2020 – Iranian authorities should immediately drop charges against Majid Motalebzadeh, editor and reporter at the state-run Sedaye Eslahat newspaper, and release him, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On June 20, Motalebzadeh appeared before the Cyber Crimes Court in Tehran after being summoned by the country’s Cyber Police Unit,…

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Kyrgyzstan draft legislation empowers government to block ‘false information’ online

New York, June 25, 2020 – Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov should reject recently proposed legislation that would mark a serious step toward curtailing press freedom in the country, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Today, the country’s parliament held the second and third readings of proposed legislation called “On Manipulating Information” and passed it…

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Russian journalists investigated, fined over COVID-19 reporting

Vilnius, Lithuania, June 16, 2020 — Russian authorities should stop harassing journalists reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic and allow them to work freely and safely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.  Russia has more than 500,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the most in Europe, and had recorded 7,091 deaths from the virus as of…

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Police at Monir's apartment

Egyptian journalist Mohamed Monir detained, charged with spreading false news

New York, June 15, 2020 — Egyptian authorities must immediately release journalist Mohamed Monir and drop all charges against him, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Earlier today, plainclothes security officers in Giza arrested Monir, a veteran journalist and freelance columnist who had recently written for the Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera, according to Al-Jazeera and…

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Managing director of Iranian news agency convicted on false news charges

On May 31, 2020, Branch 6 of Tehran’s Media Court convicted Ali Motaghian, the managing director of the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA), on charges of “spreading false news,” according to a report by the news agency. CPJ could not determine what sentence Motaghian received or whether he is in custody. The semi-official Iranian…

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