An Indian policeman (R) stops people during a curfew in Srinagar, Kashmir, on August 4, 2020. CPJ has documented how ongoing restrictions on movement and communications have placed unprecedented pressure on journalists. (AFP/Tauseef Mustafa)

Kashmir new media policy is “nail in the coffin” for free press

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.

One year after the Indian government revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s limited governing autonomy, Kashmiri journalists told CPJ Senior Asia Researcher Aliya Iftikhar about new tactics authorities are using to censor the media. Press freedom has deteriorated drastically, with a rise in harassmentongoing communication restrictions, increased surveillance, and a proposed new media policy that would be a “nail in the coffin” for media in Kashmir. Last week, authorities in Kashmir detained journalist and editor Qazi Shibli, just a few months after his release from prison, and reporter Aasif Sultan is still jailed.

In Mexico, journalist Pablo Morrugares was killed in Iguala, Guerrero, on August 2. He is at least the second journalist to be killed this year while enrolled in a federal protection program for journalists under threat. Before Morrugares was killed, at least two journalists had been murdered in 2020 in Mexico in direct retaliation for their work, and CPJ is investigating a third killing to determine the motive.

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Global press freedom updates

  • Chinese journalist Lu Yuyu speaks to CPJ about his four years in detention
  • Malaysian police raid Al-Jazeera’s office
  • Uzbek authorities interrogate journalists, confiscate equipment over retracted COVID-19 report
  • Haitian journalist Setoute Yvens survives a shooting attempt, and another reporter receives death threats
  • Journalist Alex Braga attacked, threatened in Brazil
  • Libyan National Army ‘sentence’ freelance photojournalist Ismail Abuzreiba al-Zway to 15 years
  • Sudanese authorities in North Darfur state harass 2 journalists reporting on COVID-19
  • Guinea Bissau broadcaster Radio Capital FM vandalized
  • Benin regulator orders online media ‘without authorization’ to halt publication

Spotlight

The One Free Press list is published in over 30 outlets globally each month, highlighting some of the most urgent cases of journalists under threat around the world.

Each month the One Free Press Coalition leverages the power of member organizations to raise awareness and inspire action on behalf of journalists under threat. The August

One Free Press list was published this week, and includes 10 journalists and outlets targeted for their work. 

Some of the cases featured this month are Aasif Sultan, detained for close to two years in Kashmir; human rights reporter Azimjon Askarov, who recently died in prison while serving a life sentence; and the reporting team at Burundi outlet Iwacu, who are imprisoned on a two and a half year sentence in connection to their reporting. Learn more about their stories here.


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