The Torch


A photojournalist works in a Caracas hotel room during the third day of a massive power outage. Alongside power cuts, journalists must navigate internet blackouts as Nicolás Maduro's government attempts to silence the news. (AFP/Juan Barreto)

Internet blackouts in Venezuela, and fighting for justice in the Maldives

John Otis, CPJ’s Andes correspondent, reports on Venezuela’s internet blackout and the impact it has had on Venezuelans’ ability to access news and information. Three journalists have been killed in the last week, in Afghanistan, Honduras, and Mexico. CPJ Asia Program Research Associate Aliya Iftikhar recently returned from a reporting mission to the Maldives, where…

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Journalists in Abuja gather at a press briefing at the Civil Society Situation Room, which collected information from thousands of election observers, including on attacks against the press. (Jonathan Rozen/CPJ)

Saudi Arabia arrests journalist on unknown charges

In Saudi Arabia, journalist Zuhair Kutbi was arrested on unknown charges, and Eman Al Nafjan and Hatoon al-Fassi, two of the four female journalists critical of the ban on women driving whom Saudi authorities arrested last year, were tried. They appeared in court Wednesday on charges under the cybercrime law, including supporting “hostile elements.” In…

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Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abou Zeid, known as Shawkan, is hugged by his parents at his home in Cairo, Egypt, on March 4, 2019. (Amr Nabil/AP)

This week in press freedom: Egyptian photojournalist free after over 5 years in prison

Egyptian photojournalist and CPJ’s 2016 International Press Freedom Award winner Mahmoud Abou Zeid, known as Shawkan, was released from prison on Monday after spending over five years in detention on anti-state charges. The conditions of his release, however, are arduous: he will be under “police observation” for five years, meaning he will have to appear…

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Jorge Ramos, anchor at Spanish-language U.S. television network Univision, talks to the media as he prepares to leave Venezuela at the Simon Bolivar international airport on February 26, 2019. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Caracas press crackdown goes from bad to worse

Venezuela’s political crisis continues to unfold, and the country’s press crackdown intensified over the past week. On Monday, a Univision news crew headed by reporter and anchor Jorge Ramos was detained for over two hours at the presidential palace in Caracas because Nicolás Maduro allegedly did not like the questions asked by Ramos. The crew’s…

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Egyptian journalist Ahmed Gamal Ziada was charged with spreading false news on social media on February 13. (Gianluca Costantini)

In Egypt, New York Times correspondent expelled, local journalist detained on false news charges

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,…

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Maria Ressa--founder, CEO, and executive editor of the Rappler news website--giving her acceptance speech at CPJ's 2018 International Press Freedom Awards on November 20, 2018. (Getty Images/Dia Dipasupil)

Philippines’ Maria Ressa detained and released over ‘political’ charge

The Philippine government’s legal harassment of the news website Rappler and Maria Ressa, its founder and executive editor, took an alarming turn Wednesday when officers from the National Bureau of Investigation arrested Ressa at Rappler‘s bureau in Manila and held her overnight over a cyber libel case filed against her by the Justice Department. Ressa’s…

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CPJ's Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour (center) speaks during a press conference outside the White House in Washington D.C. on February 7, 2019, demanding justice for slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (CPJ)

CPJ holds presser outside White House, calls on Trump administration to reveal its findings on Khashoggi murder

CPJ hosted a press conference Thursday morning in front of the White House as the culmination of its #JusticeForJamal campaign to demand the Trump administration provide answers and accountability in the case of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Two radio journalists were shot and killed in northern Afghanistan during a live program on Tuesday evening….

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Rori Donaghy, pictured in London in January 2019, is one of at least four journalists that Reuters says were surveilled under the UAE's Project Raven operation. (Reuters/Simon Dawson)

UAE hired former NSA employees to surveil journalists and human rights activists

CPJ expressed concern that at least four journalists were surveilled under Project Raven, a United Arab Emirates cybersurveillance and hacking operation, according to a Reuters report. CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour called the involvement of U.S. intelligence officials in the operation “disturbing.” CPJ North America Research Assistant Stephanie Sugars took…

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Slain Libyan photojournalist Mohamed Ben Khalifa in Tripoli, Libya, on June 5, 2018. (Hiba Shalabi)

Journalists killed in Libya and Mexico; crackdown on press escalates in Sudan; prominent journalist flees Nicaragua

Freelancer Mohamed Ben Khalifa was killed during clashes south of Tripoli, Libya, on Saturday. Mexican reporter Rafael Murúa Manríquez was found killed in Baja California Sur on Sunday despite being enrolled in a federal protection program for human rights defenders and journalists. On Monday, Sudanese authorities revoked the credentials of at least six journalists working…

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Pan Ei Mon, left, and Chit Su Win, wives of jailed Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, talk to media after their appeal was rejected by a court in Yangon, Myanmar, on January 11, 2019. (Reuters/Ann Wang)

Another delay in justice for Reuters’ journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo

A Myanmar court upholds the conviction of Reuters news agency reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. Investigative journalist Ahmed Divela shot dead in Ghana. In Romania, the EU GDPR privacy law is being used to try to muzzle investigative outlet, Rise Project. Global press freedom updates: CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator…

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