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A view of the site for the 2019 European Games in Minsk, Belarus. Journalists covering the Games should be aware of local regulations on media accreditation and digital safety issues. (Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko)

CPJ Safety Advisory: Covering the European Games in Belarus

The second European Games is scheduled to take place in Minsk, Belarus, from June 21 to June 30. Local and international journalists covering the Games should be aware of media regulations, the potential for data theft, and the risk of a digital security breach.

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A banner depicting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is seen outside a polling station, during the referendum on draft constitutional amendments, in Cairo, Egypt, on April 20, 2019. (Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

Egypt tests new censorship law with handling of al-Mashhad website block

Magdy Shandi, editor-in-chief of the Cairo-based independent newspaper al-Mashhad, planned to send 30 journalists to report from polling stations while votes were being cast in Egypt’s constitutional referendum between April 20 and April 22. He ended up ordering them to stay away, he told CPJ in a telephone interview in May. The state’s media regulator…

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Priests are seen in the background as security personnel stand guard in front of St Anthony's shrine on April 29, 2019, days after a string of suicide bomb attacks across the island on Easter Sunday killed hundreds. (Reuters/Danish Siddiqui)

Social media still blocked in Sri Lanka following terror attack

Several social media sites remained blocked in Sri Lanka today, according to NetBlocks, an independent, international civil society group that monitors internet censorship. Sri Lankan authorities blocked the sites, along with several messaging apps, throughout the country on April 21, following a terrorist attack that left more than 253 people dead, according to international news…

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A TV screen shows Chinese President Xi Jinping delivering a speech at the closing session of the annual National People's Congress in Beijing on March 20. China's censors last month removed from social media any words suggesting Xi is seeking a life term. (AP/Andy Wong)

Censorship, surveillance, and harassment: China cracks down on critics

Hours after the Chinese Communist Party proposed a constitutional change last month to lift presidential term limits, any words or phrases that remotely suggested President Xi Jingping was seeking a life term were blocked from social media. Censors targeted everything from “Emperor Xi,” “The Emperor’s Dream,” and “Dream of Returning to the Great Qing,” to…

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People use an internet cafe in Ankara, April 16, 2015. Turkish authorities have censored social media and news websites, and have sought to block access to tools for circumventing that censorship. (Reuters/Umit Bektas)

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of December 18

Court confiscates assets of 54 journalists Istanbul’s 11th Court of Penal Peace court confiscated the assets of 54 journalists, media workers, and writers, saying there was a “strong suspicion” that they were followers of exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen, whom the Turkish government accuses of maintaining a terrorist organization and “parallel state structure” (FETÖ/PDY, by its…

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China doubles down on counterproductive censorship

In a move unlikely to surprise those who access the Internet from mainland China, the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently blocked several popular tools used to bypass the “Great Firewall” national Internet censorship system. Citing the need to protect “cyberspace sovereignty” and to “maintain cyber security and steady operation,” the Ministry changed…

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Syrian Facebook: Low-tech threats and high-tech scrutiny

Journalists and online news-gatherers have been struggling to collect and distribute high-quality information about recent events in Syria. Foreign journalists have been turned away at the border; local online reporters have been detained. The quality of Internet and mobile phone connectivity has been extremely variable, with reports of Net and phone connections being cut off…

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