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.
CPJ issued an extensive safety advisory for covering the U.S. presidential inauguration and its lead-up, following the violent takeover of the U.S. Capitol last week. CPJ recommends that journalists be prepared for potential hostility and violence from militia groups, protesters, and the police. CPJ called for accountability for attacks on the media during the Capitol assault, and examined the debate over reforming a law that shields tech platforms from liability in the wake of companies’ decisions to remove President Trump.
Yesterday, Ugandans went to the polls in their own presidential election, a flashpoint for attacks on the press. Ugandan security forces have assaulted journalists covering opposition events and briefly detained two reporters while they were covering candidate Bobi Wine. Journalists also faced accreditation hurdles and at least one foreign news crew was expelled. CPJ joined 54 other organizations in calling on President Museveni to ensure open and unrestricted internet access during and after the country’s election; however, internet access was cut off.
Global press freedom updates
- Colombian journalist Andrés Felipe Guevara shot and killed
- Zimbabwe re-arrests journalist Hopewell Chin’ono
- Togolese journalist Carlos Ketohou detained, newspaper barred from publishing
- Authorities harass, obstruct journalists covering Kazakhstan parliamentary elections
- The decision not to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the U.S. imperils press freedom even as it benefits Assange
- Investigative outlet Repórter Brasil targeted with cyberattacks, threats, attempted break-in
- Nicaraguan journalist Aníbal Toruño harassed, home raided
- Venezuelan authorities raid, shutter VPITV broadcaster
- CPJ joins call for Guatemalan authorities to drop criminal charges against journalist Anastasia Mejía
CPJ vigorously pursues justice for slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi. On Tuesday at the U.S Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, CPJ argued that the U.S. intelligence community should confirm or deny the existence of documents that may provide information on its duty to warn the Washington Post columnist of threats to his life before his murder in 2018 — or provide more detailed explanations of their refusal to do so. In 2019, CPJ filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act with members of the intelligence community seeking information related to their awareness of threats to Khashoggi. After those requests were ignored, CPJ joined a lawsuit, which it now leads.
CPJ Advocacy Director Courtney Radsch spoke with the creators of “Kingdom of Silence,” a documentary film about Khashoggi’s career, murder, and the lasting impact on U.S.-Saudi relations. Watch their conversation here and learn more about CPJ’s efforts to secure justice for Jamal.
What we are reading
- First came political crimes. Now, a digital crackdown descends on Hong Kong. — Shibani Mahtani, The Washington Post
- The Impact of COVID-19 on Journalism in Emerging Economies and the Global South — Damian Radcliffe, Thomson Reuters Foundation
- Coronavirus Claims an Unexpected Victim: Newspapers — Apophia Agiresaasi, Global Press Journal
- Why Is Iran Kidnapping and Executing Dissidents? — Arash Azizi, The New York Times
- New Study Finds that Delivering the News with Humor Makes Young Adults More Likely to Remember and Share — Annenberg School for Communications, University of Pennsylvania
- How Donald Trump gave the mob, and dictators worldwide, a free pass to intimidate the media — Robert Gerhardt, Hong Kong Free Press
- One Step Ahead: Preparing Reporters Before They’re Targeted by Disinformation and Online Harassment Campaigns — Howard Hardee, The Center for Journalism Ethics
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