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.
Russian law enforcement has detained, beat, and interfered with the work of dozens of journalists covering protests in support of opposition leader and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, assaulting at least eight and detaining at least 49. Ahead of expected demonstrations on Saturday, police continue trying to intimidate independent journalists covering the demonstrations. CPJ urges Russian authorities to allow journalists to work freely and safely. Reporters looking for safety advice should bookmark this note on covering civil disorder, available in multiple languages, including Russian.
In Pakistan, the Supreme Court ordered the release of Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh, who was previously convicted for the 2002 murder of Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl. In a deeply disappointing ruling, the judge acquitted him and three others. “Daniel Pearl deserves justice and Sheikh deserves to pay for his crime. Journalists everywhere are less safe today due to this decision,” said CPJ’s Asia program coordinator, Steven Butler.
Global press freedom updates
- Journalist Marilú Capa shot, severely injured in Ecuador
- Lebanese security forces assault reporter Ibrahim Fatfat amid protests in Tripoli
- Egyptian cartoonist detained after publishing video on Arab Spring anniversary
- Ghanaian soldiers detain three Joy News employees, delete reporting footage
- Indian journalist Neha Dixit receives threatening calls, break-in attempt
- Pakistan court suspends regulator’s ban on BOL News broadcaster
- Though President Trump is out of office, CPJ found that animosity toward the press among some of his supporters is likely to persist
CPJ is excited to partner with the new Digital Platform for Safety of Journalists in Africa launching this week. The platform will provide a space to monitor and report attacks on journalists and to ensure perpetrators are held accountable. Journalists in the region face a myriad of threats, with 45 journalists imprisoned in Sub-Saharan Africa in CPJ’s global 2020 census. CPJ Emergencies has a wealth of resources for journalists in the region or planning a trip, including a safety kit with tips on physical, digital, and psychosocial safety.
The launch event, hosted by UNESCO, will kick off January 29 at 10 a.m. (GMT +2), and registration is still open.
What we are reading
- Book Showcases The Humanity At The Heart Of David Gilkey’s Photojournalism — Melody Rowell, NPR
- The enduring allure of conspiracies — Greg Miller, Knowable Magazine
- She Exposed Sexual Abuse in a Catholic Kids Camp. Now She’s Facing a Prison Sentence — Simeon Tegel, Vice
- The battle inside Signal — Casey Newton, Platformer
- Peruvian media create alliance with support from UN to verify information during electoral campaign in Indigenous languages — Paola Nalvarte, LatAm Journalism Review, Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas
- Life of a journalist on the run from security forces — Gerald Kutumba, The Observer
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