The Torch

The Torch

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CNN team arrested while covering Minneapolis protests

This morning, Minnesota police officers arrested a CNN crew covering protests in Minneapolis while they were live on air, as seen in a video from the broadcaster. The crew was released about an hour later. CPJ issued a statement condemning the arrests. As protests continue in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd, CPJ is concerned about the police department’s use of rubber bullets and…

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A man casts his ballot in Giheta, central Burundi, on May 20, 2020. (AFP)

#KeepItOn, Burundi!

Burundian authorities blocked social media access during the country’s presidential elections on Wednesday, despite the calls from CPJ and 30 partner organizations to #KeepItOn. Burundi’s media landscape has been deteriorating, with the recent detention of four journalists and bans on the BBC and Voice of America. Jorge Miguel Armenta Ávalos, a Mexican journalist who had…

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Kyrgyz supreme court refuses to #FreeAzimjon; U.S.-China tit-for-tat media visa war continues

The Kyrgyz Supreme Court upheld journalist and human rights defender Azimjon Askarov’s life sentence, denying his final appeal. Askarov’s health has been steadily deteriorating since being imprisoned in 2010, his family told CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Gulnoza Said when she travelled to meet with them and visit Azimjon in prison. The threat…

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Colombian soldiers wearing masks as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19 are deployed on Bolívar Square in Bogotá on April 21, 2020. (AFP/Juan Barreto)

Leading Philippines broadcaster taken off air; Colombian military spied on dozens of journalists

In the Philippines, the country’s broadcast regulator ordered the ABS-CBN network to stop broadcasting and “cease and desist” operations after its 25-year franchise agreement with Congress expired. In Colombia, the military carried out extensive monitoring of more than 130 individuals, including local and international journalists, according to a new report by the newsweekly Semana. One…

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AFP photographer Diptendu Dutta works during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19 in Siliguri, India, on April 10, 2020. (AFP)

World Press Freedom Day: Imprisoned journalists’ lives at risk due to COVID-19

For journalists behind bars, the coronavirus pandemic has now become a matter of life and death. Imprisoned journalists have no control over their surroundings, cannot choose to isolate, and are often denied necessary medical care. Recognizing the urgency of this situation, more than 175 partner organizations have joined CPJ’s #FreeThePress campaign calling for the immediate…

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Kashimiri photojournalist Masrat Zahra. (Courtesy of Masrat Zahra)

Pandemic threatens not just lives, but livelihoods for freelancers worldwide

As the global tally of coronavirus cases continues to rise, CPJ Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney published a piece in Al Jazeera highlighting why it is so crucial for journalists to be protected during the pandemic. A new blog by CPJ Advocacy Director Courtney Radsch highlights a range of additional concerns for freelance journalists around…

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Journalist Dayanna Monroy covers the COVID-19 pandemic in Ecuador. (Courtesy of Dayanna Monroy)

Trump’s attacks on the press a threat to truth

Ecuadorian journalist Dayanna Monroy spoke to CPJ about covering the COVID-19 crisis in Guayaquil, the epicenter of Ecuador’s COVID-19 outbreak. Monroy – who visits the area’s hotspots nearly every day – discussed the challenges of reporting on COVID-19 in a country that lacks accurate official information about the virus. CPJ also spoke with a journalist…

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Police officers are seen in Algiers, Algeria, on March 6, 2020. (Reuters/Ramzi Boudina)

Newspapers suspended in 6 Middle Eastern countries due to COVID-19 fears

Across the Middle East this past month, printing presses have ground to a halt after governments in Iraq, Yemen, Oman, Morocco, Jordan, and Iran suspended the printing and distribution of newspapers, citing COVID-19 fears despite a lack of evidence that it can be transmitted via newsprint. As part of a series of Q&As with journalists…

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Stefania Battistini and her crew from Italian public broadcaster RAI report on the coronavirus outbreak in Lombardy, northern Italy. (Photo courtesy of Stefania Battistini)

‘Like visiting hell’: How an Italian journalist is reporting on COVID-19 from the frontlines

CPJ Europe Correspondent Attila Mong spoke with Stefania Battistini, a reporter for Italian public broadcaster RAI, about her experience covering the coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy, one of the hardest-hit regions in the world. Battistini compared the experience to reporting in a warzone. “The enemy is everywhere and you don’t know how to defend yourself,”…

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A police officer stands at a barricade in New Delhi, India, on March 23, 2020. Police in New Delhi and Hyderabad recently assaulted journalists for allegedly violating the cities' lockdowns. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi)

Governments around the world crack down on journalists covering COVID-19

This week, journalists covering COVID-19 have been arrested in Venezuela and Niger, and assaulted by police in India. In Thailand, a state of emergency was declared on Thursday to contain the virus, which gives the government more control over the press. Last week, Hamas-controlled security forces assaulted a journalist covering a COVID-19 protest, and authorities…

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