The Torch

The Torch

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Egyptian journalist faces trial over a tweet

CPJ joined 18 other civil society groups this week in condemning the decision by U.S. President Joseph Biden’s administration to send $170 million in military aid to Egypt and bypass human rights conditions set by Congress. The joint statement notes that the move “sidesteps the intent of Congress,” which had passed legislation to withhold such…

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Apple Daily parent company shuts down in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong media company Next Digital, which owned the pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper before it shut down in June, announced this week that it will also cease operations. Under Hong Kong’s national security law, authorities have escalated attacks on independent media outlets, including Next Digital and its executives. The company’s founder, Jimmy Lai, is…

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The US is failing Afghan journalists

Many journalists have fled Afghanistan since the Taliban took power, but many more—including ones who worked for U.S.-funded outlets—are still struggling to get out, with little help from the Biden administration to help them reach safety. “The president and his team promised to support press freedom and the rights of journalists around the world. In…

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Afghanistan’s free press disappearing

In recent weeks in Afghanistan, the Taliban has physically attacked journalists, raided homes, and forced female state TV anchors off the air. As they seek safety, Afghan journalists fear for their lives, going into hiding and deleting their social media presences to avoid being targeted. Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan this month, CPJ…

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At risk: An entire generation of Afghan reporters

With the Taliban in power, the situation for journalists in Afghanistan has become even more dire. Militants searched the homes of at least four journalists and news agency employees, and a journalist seeking safety told CPJ she worries she may not be alive by the time help comes. PBS NewsHour correspondent Jane Ferguson described the…

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As US pulls out of Afghanistan, journalists fear for their lives

In Afghanistan, as violence escalates against the backdrop of the ongoing U.S. military withdrawal, suspected Taliban militants killed an Afghan journalist and kidnapped another, and Taliban fighters shot at a car carrying two Afghan journalists. CPJ continues to call on the U.S. to act to save Afghan journalists’ lives. “Over the past 20 years, independent…

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US must expedite visas for Afghan journalists

As journalists, media workers, and their families face increased risk in Afghanistan following the U.S. pullout, CPJ welcomes the priority inclusion of Afghans who are or were employed in Afghanistan with U.S.-based media outlets in the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, and calls on the Biden administration to ensure the program is inclusive and accelerated. “Given…

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Pegasus spyware revelations are ‘a wake-up call for security on the internet’

Following recent revelations that journalists around the world were potential targets of NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware, the chief executive of WhatsApp, Will Cathcart, spoke to CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “This should be a wake-up call for security on the internet,” Cathcart said. This week CPJ also joined more than 150 human rights groups and…

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Journalists identified as possible targets of Pegasus spyware

The Pegasus Project, a consortium of investigative reporters, revealed this week that at least 180 journalists are possible targets of Pegasus spyware, which is produced by the Israeli company NSO Group and marketed to governments around the world. “This report shows how governments and companies must act now to stop the abuse of this spyware…

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Iranian nationals indicted in attempt to kidnap US-based journalist

This week, U.S. prosecutors indicted five Iranian nationals for allegedly surveilling and planning to kidnap Brooklyn-based journalist Masih Alinejad. The indictment “shows that Iranian intelligence agents will stop at nothing to silence independent members of the press, even those abroad,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour. Iranian agents have previously…

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