Protesters take part in a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, on February 17. (Sai Aung Main/AFP)

Bangladesh court hands down convictions in 2015 murders of blogger and publisher

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In Bangladesh, a court sentenced five people to death for their involvement in the 2015 murder of blogger Avijit Roy, and another to life in prison. The court handed down death sentences to members of the same group for the 2015 murder of Roy’s publisher, Faisal Arefin Dipan. CPJ’s senior Asia researcher, Aliya Iftikhar, welcomed the guilty verdicts, adding, “We do not support the death penalty and urge Bangladesh to hand down humane sentences to these defendants on their appeals.”

In Myanmar, at least six journalists have been detained since February 11 as the military leadership cracks down on the press. The coup government also proposed a law that would require internet service providers to disclose user information to authorities, and to remove content deemed to “cause hatred, destroy unity and tranquility” or be “untruthful news or rumors.”

Global press freedom updates


Next week we invite you to attend two thought-provoking events that CPJ will participate in. Canadian and U.S. journalists look back at press freedom under the Trump administration at “Speaking Truth to Power,” co-hosted with the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, on Tuesday, February 23, at 7 p.m. EST. Ahead of the event, you can revisit CPJ’s 2020 report, “The Trump administration and the media.”

On Wednesday at 7 p.m. EST, CPJ’s Executive Director Joel Simon will introduce a panel discussion hosted by the Knight First Amendment Institute on the new documentary, “The Dissident.” Panelists will discuss international efforts to hold the Saudi government accountable for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. RSVP here and for a link to view the film.

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