The Torch is a weekly newsletter from the Committee to Protect Journalists that brings you the latest press freedom and journalist safety news from around the world. Subscribe here.
New York Times correspondent David D. Kirkpatrick was denied entry into Egypt on Monday. His phone was confiscated and he was held in the airport for seven hours without food or water before authorities forced him onto a flight back to London without explanation. The move against Kirkpatrick comes after authorities detained a local journalist, Ahmed Gamal Ziada, in Cairo upon his return to Egypt from Tunisia in January. Ziada was held incommunicado until his charges, for spreading false news, were announced on February 13. According to CPJ’s 2018 census, Egypt had 19 journalists imprisoned on false news charges, the highest of any country.
CPJ analyzes how Iraqi militias, some of which are backed by Iran, use threats and violence to silence press in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. The journalists CPJ spoke with described feeling helpless as these abuses go unpunished.
Global press freedom updates
- CPJ India correspondent Kunal Majumder examines how Chhattisgarh’s plan for a journalist safety law could be a template for all India
- Turkish appeals court upholds prison sentences for Cumhuriyet staff. Read the latest Turkey Crackdown Chronicle, CPJ’s weekly round-up of press freedom violations in the country.
- Liberian radio station transmitter attacked twice in 10 days
- CPJ calls on Mauritania government to release blogger Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed
- Somaliland court suspends newspaper for one year for publishing “false news”
- Ukrainian court grants prosecutor access to newsmagazine’s files, reporter’s emails
- Lester Holt, Matt Murray, and Norman Pearlstine join CPJ’s board
Thursday marked one year since Slovak investigative journalist Ján Kuciak was murdered alongside his fiancée Martina Kušnírová. CPJ has repeatedly called on authorities to seek justice in his case. While four individuals have been identified in carrying out the murder, the party ultimately responsible has not been publicly identified.
CPJ representatives visited Kuciak’s memorial in Bratislava this week, and joined a vigil outside the Residence Palace in Brussels on Thursday to honor the slain reporter and keep up pressure on Slovak authorities. Kuciak was one of 34 journalists murdered in 2018 in connection to their work.
What we are reading
- Unfinished lives, unfinished stories — Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project
- “They killed Jano” — Drew Sullivan, Politico
- Self-censorship enforced by faceless elements — Muhammad Ziauddin, Naya Daur
- It’s Time to Finally Listen to Native Journalists — Nick Martin, Splinter News
- Warnings to Journalists Blur Twitter’s Transparency in Pakistan — Umer Ali, Coda Story
- The Lucrative Government Spyware Industry Has a New ‘One-Stop-Shop’ for Hacking Everything — Patrick Howell O’Neill, Gizmodo
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